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> Windows OPK, Why do I wind up doing this?
DaemonForce
post Sep 4 2007, 08:51 PM
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(IMG:../forums/style_emoticons/default/exclamation.gif) Preamble:
This thread should be read and responded by a compromised individual of IT Professional and Developer. Anyone else is likely to not understand this thread. In that case you're still welcome to try. (IMG:../forums/style_emoticons/default/unsure.gif)


No matter what it seems I always fall back to using the Windows OPK in place of a source-forged WinPE based on a project like PE Builder or WinBuilder. The exception was when I first extracted WinPE from Longhorn back in the days of PDC03. I ran into some sort of dependency issue with the console and explorer when I just finally gave up on it. However, I'm starting to believe that may have been exactly the wrong thing to do.

In front of me sits seven images of a possible Windows PE:
The Windows XP SP2 OEM Preinstall Kit.
The Windows Server 2003 SP1 Preinstall Kit.
The 4051 Prerelease of Codename Longhorn.
The 4074 Prerelease of Codename Longhorn
The 5219 build of Windows Vista Ultimate.
The 5384 release of Windows Vista Ultimate.
The 6001 release of Windows Server 2008.

So far I've been having trouble keeping track of the current customer release build numbers on Vista. As well as where the existence of the Windows Vista OPK is resident(I don't have it!). Why I am using Windows Server 2003 SP2 and there is no SP2 of the OPK, we may never know. (IMG:../forums/style_emoticons/default/huh.gif) Right now I'm having hell creating a universal builder for XP and 03, while Longhorn can be ripped right out of the box with a very tiny script that I made years ago. I have never had success in the days of 5219 and 5384 due to the wrong WAIK always being shipped along with it(no valid builds of Ximage which means I'm screwed regardless). Now I'm wondering if it's even feasible to go that route and try again.

It basically boils down to this:
Microsoft sees WinPE as the next generation deployment tool for Windows.
Bart Lagerweij sees WinPE as the next recovery platform.
Mark Russinovich saw the potential in WinPE and fitted it into a formidable OS repair system.
I see it as a rediculously overkill system solution and incredible network backup/image tool.

The chips are on the table.

-Here's where the dough gets rolled thin like my apple pies-
I need to create a PE that does the following in order to make it a reliable tool:
1. Boot WinPE on any system(within reason) using El Torito/PXE.
2. Run WinPE as a member of the network or become the joining network bridge along with complete cryptographic services and a wireless configuration system.
3. Run any shell of my choosing(Cmd/Explorer/Management Console/MsTdc/PowerShell/RegEdit)
4. Gain complete read/write access to FAT12/FAT16/FAT32/NTFS3/NTFS4/NTFS5/NTFS6 partitions without forcing an upgrade like the NT-2000 NTFS problem.
5. Automatically detect connected hardware such as display adapters, external storage devices and USB connectors.
6. Use generic drivers/handlers for said hardware.
7. Run Win32 programs including those dependent on .NET 2.0.
8. Have volatile Read/Write access to my WinPE system(READ: NOT a RamDisk!).
9. Easily image a partition or extract data from a install media. Checking dependencies as well.

I have solved that first one with a bootable image and DHCP.

The second can be defeated with Winpeshl/PELoader making a call to PE Shell and instantly calling netcfg or penetcfg before anything else.

The third is solved with PE Shell listing script. Weeeeeeeeeeee!

The fourth may be a problem. Windows XP and 2003 are not capable of reading/writing NTFS6 partitions. Only Longhorn/Vista/08 can do that. I could dual boot Vista/XP on an NT disk, but it has to be NTFS5. Since 08 uses a later driver model, it's probably a better idea to make it future-proof. The flaw being, I don't want to use a bloated 400MB+ mess for my PE and I may need to format an NT partition for XP. Also, there are several dependency issues I have trouble resolving when using NT6(to be named later).

The fifth is defeated with specific arguements when running HWPnP under PE Shell(note how much I really like PE Shell at this point...(IMG:../forums/style_emoticons/default/laugh.gif) ).

The sixth I have solved with an onboard driver repository that takes up less than 50MB. I would say it's pretty badass at this point. (IMG:../forums/style_emoticons/default/laugh.gif)

The seventh is where PE becomes a stick in the mud. I can't run the .NET Framework!

The eighth was one thing I couldn't find possible until I touched Vista. I needed write access to a CDFS partition and this is not a multisession disc. I didn't want to load an SDI. Maybe a WIM if I had the right Ximage to manufacture one, but I didn't and I still don't. A ramdisk is out of the question because a preset size relies too much on a worthy system which is usually not the case. I was playing around with Vista one day when I noticed I could delete files off the system area. A filter was being used. I extracted the little bugger and it seems to work regardless of the PE it's being used in. Problem solved. (IMG:../forums/style_emoticons/default/laugh.gif)

Nine was solved with Cabtool and WinImage.

It appears that my problems manipulating WinPE are in regard to the integration of the .NET Framework and formatting older NTFS partitions when necessary. What can I do about this without making two individual copies of WinPE? (IMG:../forums/style_emoticons/default/unsure.gif)

Also, is it easy to remanufacture a Vista PE that doesn't eat several resources? My system only has 512MB DDR500 and VistaPE just hangs.
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TheHive
post Sep 5 2007, 06:28 AM
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So Vistas new file system is NTFS6?
I just had this question. No answers for the problems you have.
I see you solved some of them.
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DaemonForce
post Sep 5 2007, 09:59 AM
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QUOTE(TheHive @ Sep 5 2007, 06:28 AM) *
So Vistas new file system is NTFS6?

Why do I always feel like I'm the only force within these Redmond walls that has picked up on this since the 2003 Professional Developer's Conference? (IMG:../forums/style_emoticons/default/blink.gif) The new Driver ID is NTFS 6.0. I use the driver version to determine the partition types rather than the version of the NTFS format. It keeps this simpler(at least to me). Just as Windows NT used IDs 3 & 4, XP/2K/.NET/03 uses NTFS5 IDs. The first attempted dual boot between an NT and 2000 OS without service levels made this very painfully apparent about partition upgrades and what needed to be done to protect this fault. (IMG:../forums/style_emoticons/default/dry.gif)

It's funny. I believe I made a statement in the CD Forum a long time ago bringing this possible issue forward, but I don't believe anyone listened. I also recall predicting in MSFN that Vista's release number would be 6000 something. I had no idea I had been so exact on these matters in those days. Where has all the documentation gone? (IMG:../forums/style_emoticons/default/unsure.gif)


...............


(IMG:../forums/style_emoticons/default/rolleyes.gif)
QUOTE(TheHive @ Sep 5 2007, 06:28 AM) *
I just had this question. No answers for the problems you have.
I see you solved some of them.

Most is the case here. As long as it's under XP or some NT5 variant.

It all boils down to these symptoms with use of XP/03 PE:
Cannot Read/write NTFS6 partitions
Cannot use .NET Framework 2.0

Seriously. That's it. That's all that is in my path. They are some serious buggers too. Would it be possible to load an additional(renamed?) NTFS6 driver into the PE? I haven't touched this in so long. I believe I would have to start with WINPEOEM.SIF or just go straight to TXTSETUP.SIF. Correct? (IMG:../forums/style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

The only quirks in LHPE:
Can read an NTFS5/6 partition but can only Create an NTFS6 ID.
Really bad display driver
Almost no networking system
Cannot define all major dependencies



I don't remember why I didn't try forging from 4074. I believe it was due to lacking mouse support for some bizarre reason.



Anyway, I dread moving on because these are the symptoms with Vista(/08?):
Cannot read dependency table
Cannot Fix MBR for NT5 OS
Cannot Create an NTFS5 partition.
Cannot operate a virtual disc without becoming seriously unstable
Cannot use .NET Framework 2.0
Cannot run Windows NT 6.0 native applications without severe memory leaks

I'm not even able to run Server 2008. The needed resources are so high that I feel like I'm doing something wrong. (IMG:../forums/style_emoticons/default/unsure.gif)
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