Saturday, July 25, 2009

USB Tricks for Vista and Windows 7

Here are some miscellaneous links I stowed away regarding maximizing USB storage usage.

I offer this one as a great walkthrough when coupled with a VistaPE build.  Even better would be use with a custom VistaPE WinPE Build perhaps?  Seriously, this is exactly what I did with my custom VistaPE build (with PGP WDE driver injection).  Having that package on a bootable USB stick makes servicing systems so much faster and stable now.

As an added trick, the VistaPE.wim file is right on the root of the device so, say you have a couple of different VistaPE builds, a big/fast USB stick, and a touch of cleverness, you could just keep all your different (renamed) VistaPE.wim file builds on it, then pre-booting, rename the wim file package you want to use to “VistaPE.wim” and then boot away into that build.

--Claus V.


JMisner said...

Hi Claus,

Any idea on the status of VistaPE updates? I've been waiting for the RC to go gold for a year it seems like. Maybe SevenPE is on the way? There is the new PE version after all.

Claus said...

@ JMisner - Please forgive the long response. Wanted to ensure I had time to adequately respond.

From all indications the primary developer of VistaPE has been silent on the main page for some time.

That doesn't necessarily mean that the VistaPE (Win PE 2.0) project is "dead". However it looks like the official version is shelved.

I suspect that this is because of the upcoming release of Windows 7 and the Win PE 3.0 format.

Although they are remarkably the same (I did my manual build based on Win PE 3.0) there are enough changes for the professional PE builders to need to make some serious WinBuilder scripting changes. I'm guessing that the focus will be on a Win7PE project.

That said, there is still a strong community of VistaPE building enthusiasts, just that you will have to do more hands-on building work.

There is lots and lots of great below-project development work going on in the xPE community at Boot-Land forums. I learned a whole lot of tricks in reading, even though my method didn't involve any script building.

I highly recommend reading around in here. Looks like I may need to do a post on this subject very soon.

Here are some links:

Is VistaPE dead? - BootLand Forums

Win7PE - BootLand Forums

VistaPE - BootLand Forums

I think we will see an "official" Win7PE project release similar to VistaPE once Windows 7 final goes to general-public release in the fall.

VistaPE might have continued if the OS had been continued by MS. However, except for the enthusiasts, I don't sense a lot of support for continued work on this. Windows 7 is so much better (IMHO) and I have had such great luck in Win7PE (manual) building with the Beta and RC versions alone. I'm sure it will be a great success. And that folks will devote their attention to it. Just is too challenging to make an "official" Win7PE based on the Beta/RC as too many kernel/driver level changes could occur and render the script-work null and void.


--Claus V.

JMisner said...

Thanks for the informative reply!

I checked out your links, and found this third-party(?) updated VistaPE labeled version RC1a.

I'm in the process of building this now, we'll see how it goes. Seems like the best 'out of the box' choice until a stable WinPE 3.0-based package is available, but I could be wrong.

JMisner said...

Just wanted to follow up and mention that I was able to make a successful "RC1a" build, however the scripts were a bit buggy. For instance, the Vista Recovery Environment script was grabbing the wrong values for certain variables, creating incorrect paths which I had to manually edit. Despite such, VistaRC did not work despite that, but everything else seems to work great.