Preparing and Installing Windows XP Embedded Images – Part III: Using Remote Boot

After what we’ve seen on the previous posts: Setting up the environment (Part I) and building an Windows XP Embedded Image (Part II) we can complete the remote boot process with diskless devices with this last part. There are special hardware requirements for this procedure and could get a little tricky. In the computer you are using to prepare the image (the server), you need an additional hard disk (or virtual disk) which you will use to boot the image from. To prepare the image for remote booting: 1. Add a second drive to the machine that act as server. Format the volume and set it like an “Active” partition. 2. Copy all of the files that were created on the Windows Embedded Images subfolder you chose to a second disk (virtual disk if you are using virtual machines) Note: Since this disk will be used to boot an operating system image, remember that the partition within must be Active. Otherwise the operating system will not boot. 3. After copying all of the files to the second hard disk, move it to a client machine and boot that client using the disk. 4. After the image boots, you’ll see that several components are configured in the image, by a process named First Boot Agent. This process takes a few minutes to complete. If you are using the System Cloning Tool, then fbreseal is run in the first boot, as the […]

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Preparing and Installing Windows XP Embedded Images – Part II: Building Images

Now that the environment is ready as we’ve seen on the first part of these posts, let’s start on creating our own Windows XP Embedded image. There are involved different kinds of tools to accomplish this, but you will see that is a simple process at the end of it. The big picture of this process is that the images are built on the server; using the hardware data from the clients. Target Analyzer This is the tool that you will use to get the hardware data from the clients. The data represents all the drivers that the Windows XP Embedded image will include to support the hardware on the clients. When Windows XP arrived you probably noticed that a huge difference appears on the hardware detection of the operating system; it’s mainly because the XP included almost every device driver that was available on the market. With Windows XP Embedded the same thing happens, but since you are customizing images for particular clients you must first find out the hardware that it’s available on them. Using Target Analyzer it’s very simple: 1. First of all you’ll need access to the client’s machine to run this tool.  If it’s a virtualized environment where the server and clients will be using same type of host (physical machine) then there’s no need to access to a “client machine” because the hardware will be the same as in the server. If that’s the […]

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Preparing and Installing Windows XP Embedded Images – Part I: Setting up the Environment

Embedded operating systems have been present among us since a long time ago. Windows XP Embedded and several others have been a part of tons of devices for various reasons: – Componentized version of the bigger operating system, with only the components that the user requires. – Small footprint: Around 40mb at minimum for Windows. – Secure operating systems; with selected features installed we can reduce at minimum the attack surface. Payphone working with Xp Embedded. Microsoft recently released Windows Embedded Standard 2009 that will succeed Windows XP Embedded. This version it’s not actually the embedded version of Windows Vista. That embedded operating system is still in progress (expected for 2010) with the codename “Quebec” that will contain most of the Vista features, like Aero, Bit locker encryption, Windows Defender, etc. Windows Embedded Standard contains basically the same kernel than XP Embedded with a few improvements: Silverlight, .Net Framework 3.5, Internet Explorer 7, NAP, among other features. Diskless Operating System These types of operating system have been designed for special cases and special type of devices (like the one shown on that payphone), most of them that need a “locked-down” operating system, the smaller and secure as possible. That’s why the design it’s prepared to use this operating system on diskless devices, having a Remote Boot Manager server that contains the client operating system image and the device requires the image from that server and boots it directly from RAM […]

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