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Wireless Networking Windows PE 1.6 & 2.0


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#1 skanders

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 11:05 PM

Hello Fellow Tech Pros in Boot-Land:

Quick question and request for help. Am technical computer and network systems conslutant in greater Portland, OR USA region. Have complete expertise in using system level backup and bare-metal recovery software tools from Acronis TrueImage, to Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery to UltraBac Enterprise. Am also working directly with Intel Advanced Wireless Enterprise Engineering on solution to accessing secured wireless networks via Intel wireless chipset technologies. Currently, can modify .inf to access un-secured wireless networks for Intel & Broadcom wireless chipsets via process described in article below for WindowsPE CD & virtual boot-up recovery environments for Acronis TI, Symantec BESR & UltraBac Ent recovery solutions:

Wireless Networking in Windows PE 1.6

http://www.pcdoctor-...Windows-PE-1.6/

In trolling across the internet, am searching for solution for Windows PE 2.0 for access to secured and un-secured wireless networks. Found the follwing blog below, and am hopefull that Holger or whom-ever at Boot-Land has available solution for accessing secured and un-secured wireless networks in Windows PE 2.0 boot-up environment.

http://ubcd4win.com/...showtopic=12076

Thanks in advance for any help from the greater Boot-Land tech-heads on this important issue...... will stay tuned.....

Sincere Regards, Scott
Scott K. Anderson
Network Systems Director
Anderson Computing Solutions
mailto:skanders@earthlink.net

#2 Brito

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 09:44 PM

Hello Scott,

Welcome to our community, you're certainly on the right place to discuss and learn more about Windows PE in ways that are nowhere usual sometimes.

Unfortunately, the "Hello World" section where you originally posted your request is probably not the best place to find help so I'm moving it into the "VistaPE" section which is probably more adequate to help you.

VistaPE is a winbuilder project that creates a customized Windows PE 2.x boot disk.

-----------------------

I haven't personally tested the Wireless connectivity support under Windows PE since I don't have much use for it, but reading some of the older topics here on the forum I think it should be possible to achieve what you need.

So, I suggest looking at these older topics that have been discussed on the VistaPE forum or use the search tool.

Here is one of the most detailed about this matter:
http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=4022

Google is also your friend if you type something like:
site:boot-land.net vistape wireless

Would also be nice if at the end of your research work you could share your conclusions with the rest of the community so that others might learn something from your steps combined with the previous steps of other technicians.

:)

#3 skanders

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 01:28 AM

Hello Nuno:

Also, greetings to Holger and TheFro. Looks like both of you are working on the same issue.... acess to secured and open wireless networks within WinPE and VistaPE boot-up environments. Thanks Nuno for placing my initial post into the right slot for maximum leverage. ACS has a key interest in leveraging wireless access within the WinPE and VistaPE boot-up environments. Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery Ver 6.5 & 7.1 uses WinPE Ver 1.6 in their recovery boot CDs and Virtual Partition Lights-out recovery boot-up environments. Symantec BESR Ver 8.0, 8.5 & 8.52 utilize WinPE-VistaPE Ver 2.0 in their recovery boot CDs and Virtual Partition Lights-out recovery boot-up environments. Symantec BESR is a great product. So is Acronis TrueImage and UltraBac Enterprise. For informations sake, below is direct link regarding the Symantec BESR Desktop Edition product. The "View Tour" Flash Audio-Video demo is also very cool.....

Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery Desktop Edition:

http://www.symantec....desktop-edition

However, with the Symantec BESR, you can utilize the PC_Anywhere Thin Host to have a client in a remote location or a server, desktop or laptop configured with an automatic Virtual Lights-out recovery partition launch a PC_Anywhere Thin Host session that can be remotely accessed using PC_Anywhere to remotely control the complete system recovery session. Very, very cool! ACS utilizes this technology on a very regular basis to remotely recover & restore client and server data, files and also perform bare-metal system recovery, even to totally dissimilar hardware platforms or virtual environments of main servers, server blade clusters, virtual servers, virtual desktops, client workstations, desktops, and laptops, all in remote and in some cases completely enclosed and secured data center environments. All this works great on a local LAN, or even within performance WAN networks for remote and satellite offices. However, with the advent and explosion of wireless technologies, not just in the laptop, but also in the desktop and small business server channel segments, wireless configurations are now endemic within the entire Small-Medium-Busines, SMB Channel. So, with that, ACS utilized the key hints in the following article from Dr. Blip to experimentally enable access to open wireless networks for WinPE 1.6:

Wireless Networking in Windows PE 1.6:

http://www.pcdoctor-...Windows-PE-1.6/

Plugging in the wireless network broadcast SSID into the appropriate driver .inf files works well for both Intel and Broadcom wireless chipsets when creating customized Symantec BESR recovery CDs and Virtual Partition recovery environments. However, in attempting to access secured wireless networks in WinPE 1.6, which is the only business viable configuration, you also needed to plug in the security WEP, PSK, PassPhrase info, etc into the same .inf files, but, the caveat is that this information must be pre-encrypted before entering directly into the appropriate .inf files. ACS is working currently with Intel Advanced Wireless Enterprise Engineering on incorporating a pre-encyption tool that will take the necessary security keys and info and pre-encrypt for direct entry into the appropriate .inf files when creating customized Symantec BESR recovery CDs and Virtual Partition recovery environments. However, in our search and trolling across the internet, we came across this great Boot-Land site, and also the following blog posts discussion:

http://ubcd4win.com/...showtopic=12076

This is how we ended up here, and are especially interested in following the progress and implementing the solutions Holger and TheFro are currently developing. It looks like Holger may have already developed a PENetwork solution that could be plugged into the process of creating a customized Symantec BESR recovery CD or Virtual Partition boot-up recovery environment for both WinPE 1.6 and WinPE-VistaPE 2.0, which would cover both previous and current versions of Symantec BESR ACS has deployed across an extensive client base within the corporate enterprise, manufacturing and small-medium-business channels. We are anxious to test Holgers solutions and have downloaded and are in the process of tooling up and evaluating these solutions for accessing secured and open wireless networks within the WinPE 1.6 and WinPE-VistaPE 2.0 environments. Below is link to Holgers Boot-Land site for reference.

Welcome to Holger's Boot-Land-Site:

http://holger.boot-land.net/

Of special note: click on the Screenshots menu and scroll to the bottom of the page and take a close look at the next to last screenshot showing a listing of available wireless networks and their respective security configrations. We are hoping that when a specified wireless network is selected, and the Connect button is clicked on, that a prompt for entering the appropriate security inforation appears to put in and commit the required security information to successfully attach to the chosen secured wireless network. "Holger", and also "TheFro" if you are reading thru this post, please let us know if this is the case as it looks to be true, or so we hope. If you have any hints after extensive overview of the Symantec BESR product as to implementation hints for incoporating the PENetwork Manager tool into the Symantec BESR recovery CD or Virtual Partition Lights-out recovery environments for both WinPE 1.6 and WinPE-VistaPE boot-up environments, that would be most appreciated. Will stay tuned and update the general Boot-Land audiance on ACS progress with this important key issue.....

P.S. Will also be interested to work with Holger to see if there is the possibility to include a simple PPTP and L2TP VPN launch and connect tool into the PENetwork Manager tool as well. This would allow ACS clients in a remote location to attach to a secured or open wireless network and launch a PPTP or L2TP VPN tunnel back to ACS, then launch a PC_Anywhere ThinHost session so ACS could remotely take over the system for complete remote control and management of any system recovery. From there ACS could utilize either external USB drive client has connected or possibly online FTP recovery storage to complete entire remote bare-metal recovery of any system anywhere in the world. Neat and very cool.... this is where we want to go.....

Sincere Regards, Scott
Scott K. Anderson
Network Systems Director
Anderson Computing Solutions
mailto:skanders@earthlink.net

#4 joakim

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 06:13 AM

As a little sidenote, I'd like to mention that running vmware player or workstation on top of a bootcd, will extend the possibilities a lot.

Here is how to use Backeup Exec 8.5 and ghost 14 on top of a bootcd (backing up the local physical disk;

http://www.911cd.net...=symantec ghost

To eliminate the need for large plugins or scripts use this loader;

http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=6924

And it can all be done with whatever usb based wireless;

http://communities.v...m/docs/DOC-9800

It means you should be able to use Backup Exec or anything else from a running winpe and backing up over, lets say a mobile connection.



Joakim

#5 skanders

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 06:31 AM

Joakim:

Fascinating! Now why the heck did'nt we think of this? Guess we need to eat more lutefisk for breakfast. Have completed a surface overview of the vmware manipulations and shoe-horned modified tools to accomplish this. Will dig deeper and will be in touch on this issue as a direct tangent to what we are currently working, which is direct open and secured access to wireless networks within the customizable Symantec BESR recovery CDs and Virtual Partition recovery environments that are running directly on the WinPE and VistaPE platforms. Will be in touch with you Joakim down the road on this issue.... please stay tuned....

Sincere Regards and Many Thanks, Scott

#6 plmcc01

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 12:27 PM

Hello,

I'm new to the Boot Land Forums as this is my first post. I just wanted to report that I've been able to successfully create a "nearly complete" VistaPE Boot DVD with the PENetwork utility included and that the utility has been working just fine for me. I was able to get both a Realtek RTL8187 Wireless 802.11g 54Mbps USB 2.0 Network Adapter and a Linksys WMP54G V4.1 Wireless-G PCI Adapter connected to my neighbor's NetGear Wireless Router (with permission, of course!) at the same time in the same computer.

I also would like to express my deep appreciation for the all of the work you all are doing on the VistaPE project. In my opinion, it is a VERY impressive body of work.

Thank You All.

#7 skanders

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 10:00 PM

Hi plmcc01:

Good news! With the VistaPE and XPLivePE PENetwork scripts from Holger, any ideas on how we could take an existing Symantec BESR recovery disk based on WinPE 1.6 or WinPE-VistaPE 2.0 and combine that applet into these existing boot recovery CDs. We have some ideas, but before we go experimenting, any relevant assembly clues and hints would be greatly appreciated.

Sincere Regards, Scott (aka "skanders")

P.S. ACS has an email into Holger awaiting a reply on this very issue and is staying tuned for his response.....

#8 plmcc01

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 12:03 AM

Hi skanders,

I'm sorry but I don't have any experience with the Symantec BESR product. I wish I could help you because it sounds like an interesting problem.

Once Again, Sorry.

#9 skanders

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 04:25 AM

Hi plmcc01:

Not a problem. Let's review together how you implemented the VistaPE PENetwork applet script from Holger into the construction of your VistaPE boot DVD. From there, this may give us clues as to how to go about accomplishing what we want to do with the Symantec BESR. We don't have to start with an extented response, just the first couple of process steps to begin and we can step along from there and pickup clues along the way, if your game.... will stay tuned and thanks very much for your help....

Sincere Regards, Scott (aka "skanders")

#10 plmcc01

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 06:53 PM

Hi Skanders,

Well, I'm completely new to the VistaPE process and as such, I just followed the instructions for Holger's script. The script's name is "PENetwork Beta V3" and can be found in the "Addons" section of the "VistaPE Core v.12 (RC1)" Build. For my test, I left all of the settings at their defaults. However, I added my test computer's NIC driver separately using Mustang's "AddDriver.script" script that I found at "http://www.mechrest....ddDrivers.zip". Instructions on how to use it can be found at "http://www.themudcra...e_drivers.php". Once I booted to the VistaPE, I found a PENetwork Desktop Icon available for me to start up the process. However, it MIGHT be possible to simply move the completed utility that is part of the VistaPE CD to your Symantec CD as a separate application to see if it will work as a stand alone application. But, I would check with Holger, first, just to be sure.

Hope this helps . . .

#11 skanders

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 08:13 PM

Hi plmcc01:

OK. Some good starter hints. Have visited Holger's site, http://holger.boot-land.net/ and downloaded and examined the PENetwork for LiveXP (V34), PENetwork for VistaPE (v03 Beta), and the PENetwork Manager (0.45). Exactly where did you get your PENetwork Beta V3 from? Did not find "Addons" or section of the "VistaPE Core V.12 (RC1)" Build on Holger's site. Is this located here on the Boot-Land downloads area? Please guide.... We know how to harvest and insert Wired and Wireless NIC drivers into the Symantec BESR WinPE 1.6 and WinPE-VistaPE 2.0 recovery CD ISO images and add the proper device entries into the driver .inf files. But the tools you referenced to add NIC drives look interesting and will check them out for interest. Of special note is the possibility mentioned about extracting and moving the completed PENetwork Manager that is incorporated into the VistaPE CD across to our Symantec BESR recovery CD ISO images as a separate utility application. Any chance you could reference an available completed VistaPE CD ISO image with the PENetwork Manager application already integrated and ready for download? We have an email in to Holger and will follow-up with another to see if we can start a thread with him on this issue as well. Staying tuned for replies....

P.S. Exactly what is the nature of the PENetwork Manager (0.45) - AutoIt3 sourcecode only download on Holger's site anyway?

Thanks and Regards, Scott (aka "skanders")

#12 plmcc01

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 05:08 AM

Hi Skanders,

In answer(s) to your question(s) . . . :)

1. Exactly where did you get the "PENetwork Beta V3" from?

I downloaded it from Holger's website and added it to the "Addons" section of my WinBuilder working folder. The specific details are:
1) Download his VistaPE script from "http://holger.winbui...twork_vpe.zip".
2) Add this script to your WinBuilder Addon folder. In MY case, it turns out to be "C:\WinBuilder077-2\Projects\VistaPE-Core\Addons". [The "-2" is for my "second attempt"] :)
3) Fire up the WinBuilder program with the Holger script already added, then navigate to the "Addons" section. You should see the "PENetwork Beta V3" Addon that you just added to the project. On the script's "configuration page" you should see various options to "Add ... shortcut ...", Add ... StartMenu ...", etc.

Of note, if you want to add the wireless network card/chip driver, you can do that too. If you are running this script on the target computer that has the target wireless driver, you can run the "Start Wireless Networks Exporter" so that you can create a default preferred wireless network configuration file which can then be added to the script for additional "stream lining".

2. Now, as to getting this to work on a different VistaPE Build such as the Symantec BESR Recovery CD . . .

I'm in the process of trying to figure out how to get this to work on one of my purchased "Active@ Boot Disk" discs. This disc does NOT support wireless connections at this time, not like the VistaPE Core v.12 (RC1) Project provided among the WinBuilder Projects available for download. So far, I've learned that just copying the resulting PENework.exe file over to the Active@ Boot Disk does NOT work. Turns out a number of required "Wireless Networking Support Files" are also needed.

And that is where I am as of today. I'm actively researching what those additional files are to see if I can merely round them up and make them "available" to the "Active@ Boot Disk" VistaPE implementation, just to see if I can do it, more than anything else, as a way to learn more about how this "VistaPE T'ang" actually works. :)

So, I hope this helps . . .

#13 joakim

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 09:27 AM

The Active bootdisk has only a handful or so files, that are from Active itself. Copy these files onto a vistape build that supports wireless.

or;

add "virtualized" wireless like I described, with hotplugged vmware support. The new active bootdisk is kernel 6001 based (server 2008), and is supported by the loader. I know it's not easily added for a first-timer, but it will result in greatly extended wireless support to winpe.


Joakim

#14 skanders

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 09:25 PM

Hi plcco1:

Thanks for the answers and further recent tips on building the VistaPE with PENetwork Manager integration. That's what was needed to get started. Will be experimenting over the next week or two and will report details on progress, so stay tuned..... also, plcco1, keep me updated on progress with the "Active@ Boot Disk" disk on rouding up required files for PENetwork Managers wireless to work, if possible.....

Also, joakim:

Thanks for the hints regarding combining "Active@ Boot Disk" disk with wireless capability or merging with vmware overlay wireless solution, will eventually get to experimenting with this as well and will report progress too.

Sincere Regards, Scott (aka "skanders")

#15 plmcc01

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 10:17 AM

Hi joakim,

Thanks for the tip. I'm going to try to give it a try.

Thanks Again.




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