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Using Longhorn Setup's WinPE

Test Zero

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I'm having a go using the version of Windows PE that Longhorn 4053's Setup uses.

I ran Longhorn's \SOURCES\SETUP.EXE in Windows XP. This copies the installation files from \SOURCES\INSTALL.WIM to C:\$WINDOWS.~BT

Setup then reboots the computer.

C:\$WINDOWS.~BT\BOOTSECT.DAT boots up, which launches Windows PE.

C:\$WINDOWS.~BT\system32\winpeshl.exe launches. Hex edit this file:


winpeshl.exe launches C:\$WINDOWS.~BT\system32\startnet.cmd and then C:\$WINDOWS.~BT\Sources\SETUP.EXE and then finally reboots the computer.

factory -winpe

This sets the screen resolution and then installs network components.

SETUP.EXE should then load. However, I deleted this file beforehand. netstart.cmd's command prompt window stays on-screen. However, when this window is closed, winpeshl.exe restarts the computer because it thinks that SETUP.EXE has finished installing Longhorn (when it actually hasn't, because it doesn't even exist).

I'm going to have a play with this; see if I can stop winpeshl.exe from rebooting, and see if it's possible to add Explorer to this. If anyone could point me in the right direction, please give me a hand with this. :) I'll let you know if I find out how to get this going properly.

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it reboots cuz you closed its shell...edit setupreg.hiv and change winpeshl.exe to some other file...this is basic pe editing...but when you close winpeshl.exe it will reboot...same as if the shell was cmd.exe and you closed the command prompt

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i don't understand what you are trying to do. Longhorn's winpe is the same as any other winpe. The only difference is the shell. If you want longhorn's winpe just boot from cd then copy the BOOT or whatever it's called to the hard drive.


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I'm trying to get Windows PE running with the explorer.exe shell. This doesn't work with BartPE and so the only way I can get a copy of Microsoft's Windows PE is by using Longhorn Setup's. So I'm trying to get Longhorn's WinPE working properly. At the moment, I'm running in to problems with it.

Unless there's a way I can get the Windows PE files of Windows 2000 or Windows XP Home? :)

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There is a way getting 4051 PE work with BartsPE:

- Get a copy of the "windir"\I386 directory of an installed Longhorn. Use it as source dir.

- Get a copy of $WINDOWS.~BT or BOOT. Use it as Additional Source directory.

- You may also need hive*.inf and ASMS01.CAB from Windows 2003 or XP CD-ROM

But currently this is just for fun, because only the Desktop works, but the start menu isn't visible, it needs the Themes Service which currently not runs under PE (as I know).

Additional notes:

In $WINDOWS.~BT you must delete following files:


Rename $WINDOWS.~BT to i386 and define the parent folder as source.

To get START MENU snd TASKBAR create an INF file named siderbar.inf with following contents in a plugin directory of your choice:

; sidebar.inf
; PE Builder v3 plug-in INF file for disabling Longhorn Sidebar
; Created by SCP

Signature= "$Windows NT$"

Name="Longhorn PE: Registry - Disable Sidebar"

0x4, "Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\StartBar\Sidebar", "Initialized", 0x00000001
0x4, "Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\StartBar\Sidebar", "Width", 0x00000096
0x4, "Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\StartBar\Sidebar", "Minimized", 0x00000001
0x4, "Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\StartBar\Sidebar", "Height", 0x00000096
0x4, "Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\StartBar\Sidebar", "AutoHide", 0x00000000
0x4, "Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\StartBar\Sidebar", "Enabled", 0x00000000

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Wow! Thats cool! I'll have to try it sometime, but at the moment were in the middle of a flood and the whole of the ground floor is like a foot deep under water.

Thanks for the info! :)


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I forgot something essential:

1. if you use plugins which take files from the Windows CD-ROM/source dir you should look for each file if there is also a .mui or a .mu_ file. This file must be copied to i386\mui\fallback\0409. Her is an .inf example:



2. There is a special case if you use XPE or the Shutdown Enabler plugin:

msgina.dll.mui must be copied to ginaorg.dll.mui to enable shutdown in longhorn.

In a .inf it is a line like this:


3. Longhorn EXPLORER.EXE needs csmagnet.dll and csmagnet.dll.mui to work.

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Now updated the .inf file with some registry classes. and now you can use it as a real plugin.

You don't need the whole $WINDOWS.~BT anymore. Only the WinSxS folder, some files from system32 and the 2 well known network INFs (See PluginHelp for Details).


Now tested with Build 4053. Works too, but if you wonder that Cryptographic Service not works, just add these 2 dlls:


Also PE Builder may display some missing files (some DLLs, MFLs, MOFs and MUIs), they are not required, just run PE Builder a second time and select "ISO Build".

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