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Different shells, pros and cons?


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Hello forum.

Newbie here, pretty new to WinPE, etc. and my first post. :hello:

I've been lurking here and learning so far, but there's one thing (AT LEAST) I'm still missing. I have successfully built a generic WinPE CD, and also put generic WinPE on a hard drive.

Here's my question: I've seen shells mentioned like XPE, NU2MENU, Explorer, etc.

But, I've not been able to find anything here that talks about the differences between them, the pluses and minus', pros and cons, etc. Can someone clear this up for me?

Thanks and thanks for all the help you never knew you have already given me!!

tk

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Ok quick synopsis;

1.)Nu2menu - comes with BPE, easy to configure many nice options, but not the shell you are looking for if you are trying to emulate the windows feel. As in it's lack of a taskbar clock etc. <I use this one>

2.) XPE - for BPE only, as is my understanding, loads alot slower than Nu2menu, but has that windows like feel, uses registry entries instead of XML file for menu layout.

3.) Explorer - adds a ton of files to your disk, makes it kinda bloated, in order to get it to work right it takes a TON of tweaking.

4.) BS Explorer - Written by a Russian gentleman, supposedly very nicely laid out, I used it a while ago so I am rusty but does emulate the Windows feel in PE fairly well without the added bloat and speed decrease.

Please if someone has anymore info post it up.

5. Kinda) BB4Win <-- used to use it but don't recommend it.

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Which version of PE do you use it on, and what version of BB4win, we ran into severe issues with it, i.e. VBS scripting onload would crash the shell.

I'm using Windows PE 2004, I don't load it as the shell though, I runt it from startnet.cmd after a cmdow @ /hid. If it crashes the cmd windows pops back up. I haven't run any vbs scripts as I haven't had the need to. Send me a PM with something to test & I'd be happy to try it out.

path %PATH%;%SYSTEMDRIVE%\tools
set RAMDRV=Z:
set RAMAPPS=X:\apps
set TEMP=z:\temp
md %TEMP%
for %%i in (%RAMAPPS%\*.rar) do UNRAR x %%i %RAMDRV%\
cmdow @ /HID
%RAMDRV%\blackbox\blackbox.exe -nostartup
cmdow @ /VIS

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This happened as soon as we loaded the OC.bat, also the custom background would also seem to disapear not completely but partialy wherever the menu was loaded. I wish I still had a build to show you. Anyhow attached is a text version of a sample that should work. Run it from a ram drive.

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This happened as soon as we loaded the OC.bat, also the custom background would also seem to disapear not completely but partialy wherever the menu was loaded.  I wish I still had a build to show you.  Anyhow attached is a text version of a sample that should work.  Run it from a ram drive.

I had the same issue with the custom background until I disabled the wallpaper within the bb style I was using. I'll check the VB & let you know what happens.

# My wallpaper keeps changing when I change styles! Why? How do I stop it?
Each style can contain a directive entitled rootCommand: . This directive changes your wallpaper to something choosen by the style author (or added/modified by you) to give a more consistent feel to the desktop. BB4Win uses the programs bsetroot.exe and bsetbg.exe to set your desktop.
To stop this from happening you have 3 approaches:

  1. Comment out the rootCommand: in each stlye. (Add a ! or # at the begining of the line in the style file)
  2. Delete bsetroot.exe and bsetbg.exe
  3. Move the bsetroot.exe and bsetbg.exe into a differant folder (It only works if it's in the same folder as Blackbox.exe)

Source: http://www.bb4win.org/FAQ.html#Il

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Ok quick synopsis;

1.)Nu2menu - comes with BPE, easy to configure many nice options, but not the shell you are looking for if you are trying to emulate the windows feel.  As in it's lack of a taskbar clock etc.  <I use this one>

2.) XPE - for BPE only, as is my understanding, loads alot slower than Nu2menu, but has that windows like feel, uses registry entries instead of XML file for menu layout. 

3.) Explorer - adds a ton of files to your disk, makes it kinda bloated, in order to get it to work right it takes a TON of tweaking.

4.) BS Explorer - Written by a Russian gentleman, supposedly very nicely laid out, I used it a while ago so I am rusty but does emulate the Windows feel in PE fairly well without the added bloat and speed decrease. 

Please if someone has anymore info post it up.

5. Kinda) BB4Win  <-- used to use it but don't recommend it.

How does Geoshell compare to these? I saw it mentioned elsewhere here...

Thanks for the info so far!

tk

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