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FloDiggs

Dual boot Xp and PE?

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Currently we are dual booting XP and the Recovery Console. We are looking at removing the Recovery Console and adding WinPE instead. I am in the early stages of planning this out, and would appreciate any advice anyone can give. Right now, I am planning on following the necessary instructions for running PE from a hard disk, and then editing our boot.ini file to point to XP and PE. I've not been able to find anything anywhere about anyone else doing it, which scares me into thinking I may be overlooking a major reason this won't work.

Jon

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You could download the bartPE (a variant of winPE) from http://www.nu2.nu/pebuilder/.

Then, use it with your XP CD to make a WinPE bootable CD. Use any plugins you want to, I never forget the XPE plugin (for explorer-style interface). Then, you'll see an option in the bart-menu that offers to install bartPE to hard-disk. Follow the prompts (which disk/partition, etc.) and you're done. It took me exactly 45 mins. for the whole process on one PC - after that, installing the bartPE on each machine is a 30-second job, so its good.

I've not been able to find anything anywhere about anyone else doing it, which scares me into thinking I may be overlooking a major reason this won't work.
It does work, believe me (I've done it, as have many others here) its very simple and you can't mess up your experiment by much, even if you wanted to. BTW, if at first you don't succeed, try again - with a slight variation this time. ;)

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It does work, a while ago I set PE to act as my recovery console. That said, one thing you would need to take into consideration is that, the recovery console would require an admin password while WinPE does not.

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I'm trying to avoid using Bart's if at all possible for legal reasons. I've played with Bart's on my home PC and like the features, but my manager at work wants to stick with Microsofts since the legality of Bart's is a grey area.

We have taken into consideratoin the lack of a password, and that was our next step after verifying feasibliity. I'm looking into finding a way to password protect PE, and will let you know what I find.

mbouchard, were you dual booting with BartPE or WinPE?

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It was WinPE. I don't think Barts was around at the time I started with PE, but I could be mistaken.

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@FloDiggs

If the problem is just to password protect BOOTING in WinPE, you could use a boot manager like XOSL that can password protect some boot items.

XOSL page:

http://www.ranish.com/part/xosl.htm

jaclaz

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I am still not able to dual boot. At this point, when I select Windows PE, ntldr loads and the "Setup is inspecting your computer's hardware..." mesage comes up, but when that is finished, I get an error that says, "INF file txtsetup.sif is corrup or missing, status 14. Setup cannot continue. Press any key to exit."

When I got that error, I remembered seeing that it was mentioned in Gosh's instructions for PE on a hard disk, so I read through, and followed his instructions for removing the read only from C:\cmdcons\txtsetup.sif and then replacing that file with the one from copying C:\minint\. I still got the error. I am using WinPE v1.2, if that makes any difference.

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bartPE WAS a grey area legally, not anymore.... Anyway, its upto you to choose. :)

Just a tidbit I saw somewhere - It looks like a PE windows (winPE/bartPE/ERDcommander) will reboot every 24 hours - it looks like that's MS' way of preventing usage of PE as your main OS, instead of the recovery/install tool it is supposed to be.

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Alright, I got the dual boot working, but I am now working on password protecting WinPE. Are there any other idea's out there for password protecting the startup?

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I haven't heard of any way to do it, but your question set me thinking.....

You could have a batch-file that runs as the first-thing upon loading the winPE environment, which asks for an input. Now, this input must match a pre-defined text that only you know. (maybe you could use IF ELSE statements, or something) So, if the right input text (or 'password' in other words) is entered, it will run a different section of the batch-file which carries on with the loading. If not, the batch file will simply keep looping to the same "Password Prompt".

Also, since the next step in the WinPE loading process is controlled by a different section (:LOAD), anyone who closes the command window will have to see no further progress - script it such that he will simply sit back and see a re-boot.

This is just a suggestion, there will be others around, I'm sure, who'll be able to take this and refine it to a usable form. Do post back and tell us how you do it.

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Since my last post ew have looked at a similar idea. Before deciding on the dual boot configuration we experimented with booting from a USB key drive (even though everyone said it wasn't possible, we just wanted to prove them right I guess). Anyhow, each of our techs would have had a key drive. To continue on with that idea, we are talking about putting some sort of a check file on the key drives so that the drive would be required to start in WinPE. It was and idea, but I think I like the idea of a password better because people tend to lose things...

I'll let you know what we end up doing.

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The only issue I see with that is the fact that if you are like us here you don't use the command window to do anything anymore, which is what we do we have all of our programs and a gui shell, the cmd window in this scenario will remain open and the process will not stop, thus using up 1 of 6 process'. While troubleshooting that is a real hadicap. Now supposedly in the SP2 release, which I don't have I only have the OPK.chm, someone posted at 911cd that the process limit was gone, but I have yet to be able to test this. If you were to say use the cmdPrompt I don't think this would be an issue though. Since you would want the window open anyhow. So in your setupreg.hiv you could substitute cmd.exe /startnet.cmd for cmd.exe /YourBatch.cmd or just add the line to your startnet.cmd, i personally would go with the first and then call the startnet.cmd. Just my .02

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Right!

You have mentioned an important thing I over-looked - okay here's a plan for eliminating that negative feature:

If the password is correct, the CMD loads the necessary environment (or startnet.cmd or whatever) using plain "start" commands (not "start /wait", as that will have the impact likuidkewl pointed out). The next command to get executed after the "start .\myenvGUI.exe" will be EXIT, that's all. So your custom CMD is present only for the purpose of password, and does not encroach on any resource.

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I hadn't thought of the process limit, that's a good point. We'll take that into consideration as well.

@likuidkewl

I think I read somewhere that you said you are using geoshell with WinPE? I've ready so many threads it's rediculous, and can't find that one again. Do you remember where you posted it?

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