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Vizioncore Vconverter 4.2 - free version


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#1 steom

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 02:08 PM

Hi all,
anyone have seen the winpe boot procedure of vizioncore vconverter Remote Cold Cloning feature?
it's truly fantastic, i cannot find any similar automated procedure in the forum.

This is how the process works when the conversion type is set to RCC:
1. sends a new boot loader to the online remote lan target.
2. sends the VistaPE boot image file directly to the to harddisk of the online remote lan target and initiates a
reboot.
3. The remote target boots into the PE image and instantiates the network
stack WITH THE ORIGINAL CLIENT IPADDRESS/configurations!
4. Once the operations is complete, the remote lan target restarts and boots into its previous boot
environment with the previous boot loader intact.


Imagine the convenience of such scenario, all remotely without the need of physical interaction with the remote machine, without pxe, without dhcp, without preparing anything in advance on the target pc (like press a key for boot from lan, insert cd, boot from usb, setup something or else) and then connect via VNC to manage all the operations necessary, from backup to restore to anything easily with just a launch of a batch script.


bye

#2 was_jaclaz

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 02:19 PM

Just for the record, steom forgot to add the most imprtant info, that he PMed me:
Application page:
http://www.vizioncor...erter/index.php

Manual for it:
http://www.vizioncor...rUserManual.pdf

On page 16 there should be the description of the process.

:loleverybody:

jaclaz

#3 joakim

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 02:39 PM

I just had a look under its surface recently.

Here's some of what I found; http://sanbarrow.com...opic.php?t=1639

It is highly possible to put the whole thing to PE as one of many converter options these days.

Last note:
It seems like a "not-too-easy-tool" to start with for beginners doing their first p2v.

Joakim

#4 steom

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 02:57 PM

Forget the conversions and p2v stuff.
I wanted only to focus the attention on the way the automated procedure boot the winpe iso from harddisk into ram once on-the-fly ability to give an opportunity to make an "Ultimate WinPErescue-like" project.


bye

#5 was_jaclaz

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 04:05 PM

I just read briefly the manual, which must have been written by a software engineer (nothing against the category, and no offence to any software engineers that may come and read this B), they are usually very good guys, only they shouldn't write manuals :loleverybody:), as the result is almost, but not quite, completely unreadable by a "normal" human being. ;)

However (page 10, not 16):

Chapter 1 Introduction 10


There are a few options for using a boot image based on the Windows Vista OS.
• Download Vista PE .ISO image from the Vizioncore website and burn it to a CD.
From the CD, boot the system to be converted. When booting completes, the
source will display in vConverter’s Network Browsers pane. This is called manual
cold conversion.
• Use Vista PE boot .wim and PXE service for machines that support PXE. From a
remote system, reboot the source and use F12 to boot from the network. The
source server will display in vConverter’s Network Browser pane under an object
named Cold cloning ready (under VistaPE). This is called RCC.
Use Vista PE boot .wim and RCC. The boot image is transferred to a working
source system. This requires 300MB of free space on each active partition. The
boot loader code is replaced. The source is rebooted remotely into the boot image.
The F12 sequence runs automatically. As Vista PE loads, the original boot area is
restored. When loading is complete, the boot image is removed from the source.


Which creates the questions:

  • So, you need to dowload a pre-made "Vista PE" .iso from the site? (additionally to the around 300 Mb the app apparently is sized? :cheers:)
  • Where is it?
  • Is it actually downloadable?
  • Do they have a re-distribution agreement with Microsoft AND offer the download for free? ;)

;)

jaclaz

#6 steom

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 04:31 PM

1. Nope, the iso is not needed. Using the RemoteColdClient options, the boot image is transferred via lan to the C:\ of destinations pc.
2. the program create the iso/wim dynamically on the target pc.
3. u must contact support@vizioncore.com for assistance in downloading the ISO, but actually their iso is not necessary for our needs, the goal is to utilize "our pe/wim environment"
4. their send the iso download link also for users of the free version.

ciao

#7 was_jaclaz

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 05:02 PM

1. Nope, the iso is not needed. Using the RemoteColdClient options, the boot image is transferred via lan to the C:\ of destinations pc.

WHICH boot image?
The one that is not needed and that you have to contact support to download as in point 3.? B)

2. the program create the iso/wim dynamically on the target pc.

From WHAT? Thin air? Or from the .iso in point 3.? :loleverybody:

3. u must contact support@vizioncore.com for assistance in downloading the ISO, but actually their iso is not necessary for our needs, the goal is to utilize "our pe/wim environment"

So, the .iso is needed in the "original" solution. :cheers:

4. their send the iso download link also for users of the free version.

Ok, so we can have one as reference. :cheers:


So, if I get it right ;) the whole point is:
  • there is a freely available (though through only after a registration and contacting the technical support) way to do something.
  • can we make our own with similar functionalities?

I don't see anything really difficult or impossible ;), but the whole idea of:
  • "injecting" a new bootloader/bootsector or whatever on a running machine on the network
  • "send" to it a PE image
  • remotely reboot the machine to the PE
  • remotely take control of the booted PE
  • remotely do whatever you have to do
  • remotely restore previous booting
  • remotely reboot the machine

Seems to me like a thing that only Network Administrators with a really huge number of machines do need, I guess that it is usually much simpler to use good ol'way (1st and 2nd methods in the excerpt from the app manual) and WALK to the machine. ;)

The most troublesome part, as I see it, would be not to assemble the various pieces of the puzzle, but rather, as always, creating an appropriate "payload" (the PE image, .iso or whatever) capable of infallibly boot and work the remote machine until a VNC or whatever connection is established with the local "controller".

B)

jaclaz

#8 sanbarrow

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 09:37 PM

Interesting discussion ....

Reminds me of this idea
http://sanbarrow.com...opic.php?t=1192

There I used a CD to copy the image to the local machine - which is not too much different from doing it via network.
As Jaclaz already mentioned : the big problem is as always with PE the hardware detection - not the scheduling tasks stuff

#9 steom

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 09:56 PM

Call me optimistic, but the vista or seven pe contains tons of lan and storage drivers for all hardware platforms present today.
Anyway to solve the problem of the hardware detection at root in a more elegant and slimmest way, isen't possible to extract the driver from the live remote pc and inject them into the iso/wim to boot from?
This, among other things, allows us to use also the traditional xp-pe stripped down of unused drivers and maybe other generic stuff.

#10 steom

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Posted 21 September 2009 - 02:56 PM

WHICH boot image?
The one that is not needed and that you have to contact support to download as in point 3.? B)

From WHAT? Thin air? Or from the .iso in point 3.? ;)

So, the .iso is needed in the "original" solution. :loleverybody:

jaclaz

The boot image files and structure is avaible in %PROGRAMFILES%\Vizioncore\vConverter\Bin\ISO\PXE

#11 was_jaclaz

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Posted 21 September 2009 - 04:20 PM

I really cannot transmit properly the questions (and cannot have the relative appropriate answers) B)

I'll try again:
Question #1:
  • So, you need to dowload a pre-made "Vista PE" .iso from the site? (additionally to the around 300 Mb the app apparently is sized? )
Possible answers:
a. Yes, the PE .iso is NOT inside the 251.920.384 bytes sized file vConverter-4.2.282.0.exe, you need to contact support to download it additionally.
b. No, the PE .iso is ALREADY contained in the vConverter-4.2.282.0.exe you can download once registered on the vizioncore site.

Question #2:
  • Where is it?
Possible answers:
a. After support gives you the info to download it, you have to put it in %PROGRAMFILES%\Vizioncore\vConverter\Bin\ISO\PXE
b. The image is installed to %PROGRAMFILES%\Vizioncore\vConverter\Bin\ISO\PXE by the main installer.

Question #3:
  • Is it actually downloadable?
Possible answers:
a. Yes, I did download it.
b. Yes, this is what I read on the manual.
c. No, support does not give the link to non-registered users.
d. I don't know, I didn't try downloading it.

Question #4:
  • Do they have a re-distribution agreement with Microsoft AND offer the download for free?
Possible answers:
a. Yes, I don't know about the redistribution agreement, but support gave me the link all right, even if I do not hold a License for the vconverter.
b. No, I don't know about the redistribution agreement, support didn't gave me the link because I do not hold a License for the vconverter.
c. I don't know, I don't know about the redistribution agreement and never contacted support.

Since previous given answers unfortunately did not clear the doubts I had (and still have) I found two other documents, here:
http://www.vizioncor...rter/addons.php

Windows Vista PE image (.ISO) Instructions
http://www.vizioncor...nverter_ISO.pdf

PXE Service Instructions
http://www.vizioncor...nverter_PXE.pdf

The Windows Vista PE image (.ISO) Instructions clears that:

Obtaining the vConverter PE Image ISO
The vConverter PE Image ISO cannot be freely downloaded. To download the PE Image ISO, please contact
Vizioncore support @ support@vizioncore.com


The PXE Service Instructions clears that:

Getting Started
Before beginning this process, you will need the following:
• Access to the internet
• A valid vConverter license. The PXE Service is not available to trial users.


So, I will add a fifth question.
Question #5:
Given that what stated in the Windows Vista PE image (.ISO) Instructions is inaccurate, and that after contacting support the ISO image is freely downloadable, are also the PXE Service Instructions inaccurate and the PXE service is actually available?
Possible answers:
a. Yes, I got the PXE part from support.
b. No, but I found another way using another PXE server (details follow)
c. I don't know, I did not actually try using the vconverter with the ISO and PXE/RCC, I just saw a video of it.

Now, I do understand that I am particularly picky and possibly a really BIG PITA :loleverybody:, but I really would like to understand the details before giving away some personal data and downloading a whooping 240 Mb file, eventually contact vizioncore support, eventually download this misterious .iso, and after all this not having a chance of even trying the ONLY feature (PXE/RCC) that is the current topic.

;)

jaclaz

#12 steom

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Posted 21 September 2009 - 04:35 PM

Sorry in english i'm not able to explain.

----
In italian:

ciao, in inglese non so come mettertela.

allora la ISO, serve solo se si vuole avviare il tutto via cd. quindi a noi non serve, e no, non è inclusa già bella che pronta.

anche il pxe a noi non serve, non ci è necessario.

oggetto di studio è la riproduzione dell'automatizzazione che il RCC (Remote Cold Cloning) esegue per permettere l'avvio dell'ambiente PE direttamente dal disco del pc remoto e la sua rimozione senza colpo ferire.

L'ambiente PE è disponibile nel vConverter-4.2.282.0.exe, una volta installato il programma, lo trovi nella cartella %PROGRAMFILES%\Vizioncore\vConverter\Bin\ISO\PXE se uno ha voglia la iso se la fa usando quei file, ma a che pro?
------

Forget the ISO.
Forget the PXE.
We don't need them at all.

The PE environment is available in vConverter-4.2.282.0.exe, once installed the program, is located in %PROGRAMFILES%\Vizioncore\vConverter\Bin\ISO\PXE dir.

If anyone absolutely wants to make a ISO, it can use those files, and create an old school iso like any common pe environments out there, but why?

the object of study is the reproduction of automation that the RCC (Remote Cold Cloning) runs for launching a PE environment directly from the disk of remote PC and its trasparent removal.

#13 was_jaclaz

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Posted 21 September 2009 - 05:47 PM

Forget the ISO.
Forget the PXE.
We don't need them at all.

The PE environment is available in vConverter-4.2.282.0.exe, once installed the program, is located in %PROGRAMFILES%\Vizioncore\vConverter\Bin\ISO\PXE dir.

If anyone absolutely wants to make a ISO, it can use those files, and create an old school iso like any common pe environments out there, but why?

the object of study is the reproduction of automation that the RCC (Remote Cold Cloning) runs for launching a PE environment directly from the disk of remote PC and its trasparent removal.


Sure, I understand the theory, maybe even better than it seems B), but what I am asking, out of sheer curiosity, and of course you are perfectly free to answer the following or not :loleverybody: is:
  • Did you actually try the app with PXE/RCC?
You see, it is a simple question, just a simple yes or no would be enough.

If the answer is yes, the second question is:
  • Did it work for you on several different hardware (different "target" machines I mean)?

And here the answer is a bit more complex, it could be something like:

Yes, I tried it on (10/100/1000) computers of my network and it worked flawlessly on each of them.

or

No, I only tried it on the 2 PC's of my home network network and it worked flawlessly on each of them.


;)

jaclaz

#14 steom

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Posted 21 September 2009 - 06:35 PM

the vConverter 'magic' is the function named Automated RCC
if you had better read the manual, you'd know that there are two ways to complete an RCC — one is automated; the other is not. Both processes are described at page 138 of User Manual pdf.

The PXE and the ISO is only necessary for NoN-Automated RCC: normal stuff, nothing revolutionary.
if u prefer there is an italian manual for the old 4.0 version - http://www.vizioncor...r_Manual_IT.pdf

I'm mastering the vConverter to convert several machine, different hardware, amd & intel platform, old & new.
the boot procedure always works flawlessy.

I was very really impressed by the power, immediacy and simplicity of 'Automated RCC' boot procedure so I wanted to share with you the existence. a simil such technique would certainly be convenient for many boot-land project. imho

#15 was_jaclaz

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Posted 21 September 2009 - 07:49 PM

the vConverter 'magic' is the function named Automated RCC
if you had better read the manual, you'd know that there are two ways to complete an RCC — one is automated; the other is not. Both processes are described at page 138 of User Manual pdf.

I have NOT read the manual, and certainly not up to page 13x!

However I am happy ;) to report that besides speaking two different languages B), we are also using two different versions of the manual.

From the little I can understand, on this manual:
http://www.vizioncor...rUserManual.pdf
the topic is at page 132

Due to the complexity of the app, the "reticence" of OP (I am not gonna apply toorture to get the info :cheers: ), as after all I am a good guy at heart liver, I just decided that this whole vconverter thing has become a typical S.E.P.:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somebody_Else's_Problem
and as thus, I simply cannot see it anymore. :loleverybody:

:cheers:

jaclaz

#16 steom

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Posted 21 September 2009 - 08:00 PM

page 138 of the pdf. :loleverybody:




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