Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Add lightweight WinPE versions to E2B that you can easily configure yourself!

It is normally very difficult to tailor a WinPE project to your own requirements unless you rebuild the entire OS each time.

However, there is a way to make changes to your WinPE OS and have those changes remembered on reboots. For instance, you can specify your own wallpaper and Desktop shortcuts.

32-bit XP and 32-bit and 64-bit Win 10 PE builds are available.

See also the more recent blog post here for use with any WinPE.

AIOBoot

AIOBoot  is a multiboot USB project by Tứ Nguyễn from Vietnam.

AIOBoot itself is quite complex and although there is documentation in English and many of the GUI utilities have an English option, it is not very easy to understand for non-expert users.

However, there are details here about how you can use AIOBoot to make a bootable USB drive and then add various WinPE builds (based on ChrisR's Win10PESE project) made by Tứ Nguyễn to it.

One interesting feature of these AIO WinPE builds is that most of the PE's automatically run PEStartup.exe from the \AIO\Tools\PEStartup folder of the USB drive (if it is present).

PEStartup

With PEStartup, you can customize WinPE 10 and XP by changing wallpaper, installing drivers, adding Shortcuts, Registry and Autorun commands.

Drivers: automatically install drivers every time booting into WinPE.
Drivers can be downloaded from DriverPacks.
If you want to use your driver, compress it to a .zip file.
For XP, you need to rename the file and add “XP_” before the file name.
Shortcuts: add shortcut to desktop screen. This gives you quick access to the files.
AutoRun: automatically runs programs every time the system boots.
Registry: automatically import Registry files every time you boot into WinPE.

'Note:
You can only select files located on the (USB) Boot drive. If it is outside of the drive, you need to copy the files to the drive first. Why? Because to make sure these files are always available when you use this USB on another computer.'

You can download Portable applications and run it on USB from within WinPE. Here are some that he recommends:

PortableApps
PortableAppZ
WinNTSetup
PStart
Cent Browser
Cent Browser XP
Teamviewer 6
Opera 12


PEStartup.exe allows the user to change the wallpaper, add shortcuts to the Desktop, add registry entries, add drivers and autorun .exe, .cmd and .bat files when WinPE loads. The changes are stored in the \AIO\Tools\PEStartup folder and so will be read when WinPE is next booted.

This means that you can easily configure the WinPE yourself, without actually needing to change the .wim file or rebuild the entire WinPE OS.

PEStartup separates out 32-bit and 64-bit OSs, so 32-bit WinPEs will store and use your 32-bit configuration settings, but a 64-bit WinPE will store and use 64-bit settings. In this way, your 32-bit WinPE will have shortcuts, etc. that run 32-bit apps, and your 64-bit WinPE's will run 64-bit apps.

Note: when you boot to 32-bit AIO XP PE, you will get the same wallpaper and Desktop shortcuts as 32-bit Windows 10 AIO PE.

Read about PEStartup here.

Note that you do not need to reboot to test your changes - just click on the 'Options' button and then click on 'Perform' to 'run' the configuration changes.

Specify the wallpaper and which operations are to be run on startup.

Add to Easy2Boot

Downloads

The GoogleDrive storage area for his downloads can be found here.

Here is how to add PEStartup and the PE files to your E2B USB drive...

Add PEStartup and some utilities

1. Download AIO_Boot_Extractor.exe

2. Open with 7zip and extract the AIO folder only to the root of the E2B drive

3. Delete all files in the \AIO folder and all folders except the \AIO\Tools folder

4. Delete all folders from the \AIO\Tools\ folder except the 7zip, 7zip64, BOOTICE, imdisk and PEStartup

The E2B \AIO\Tools folder

WinPE 10

1. Download one of the WinPE10 .wim files - I used:
WinPE_10_x64_v1607_NET_Framework_30.09.2017.wim and
WinPE_10_x86_v1607_NET_Framework_30.09.2017.wim

2. Copy the .wim files to \_ISO\WinPE folder (or any suitable menu folder of your choice)

The .wim file name must not contain spaces, so use a .txt file if you want a nicer E2B menu entry.

XP

This is basically Hirens MiniXP + PEStartup.

1. Download XP_for_LAN.iso

2. Extract only the two files \AIO\XP and \AIO\XP.bin to the E2B drive's \AIO folder.

Do NOT extract the XP.wim file from the ISO file as it does not autorun PEStartup.exe.

3. Download the single XP.wim file from the download area and copy it to the E2B  \AIO folder...

Note: The XP.wim file is NOT the XP.wim file from the XP_for_LAN.iso file!

4. Create a new .mnu text file using Notepad in the \_ISO\WINPE folder called AIO_XP.mnu, containing these two lines:

iftitle [if exist /AIO/XP.bin && if exist /AIO/XP && if exist /AIO/XP.wim] AIO XP\n Boot AIO XP PE
chainloader /AIO/XP.bin

Testing

1. Copy a suitable .bmp or .jpg wallpaper to your E2B drive.

2. Boot to one of the AIO WinPEs and run the PEStartup utility.

3. Click on the 'Shortcuts' button and add a shortcut to the \AIO\Tools\7-Zip\7zFM.exe file. Click on 'Save' to save it.

4. Click on the 'AutoRun' button and add X:\Windows\Notepad.exe as the path.

5. Click on the 'Options' button and Add a path to the wallpaper file. Click on the 'Save' button and then click on the 'Perform' button to change the current wallpaper to the new one and add the new shortcut for 7Zip. NotePad should also open.

Repeat this for the other WinPEs (remember that the 32-bit settings are separate from the 64-bit settings).

Now you can add Portable Apps to the \AIO\Tools folder and add Desktop shortcuts for them or even automatically run some of them using the AutoRuns feature.

See here for how to add Reboot and Shutdown shortcuts to the Desktop.

Drivers and Registry files

You can add .zip files containing driver packs from DriverPacks - e.g. to \AIO\Drivers folder.
If they are XP 32-bit drivers, the filename must begin with XP_
The drivers can be set to auto-install on startup if you wish.

You can also copy .reg Registry files to the \AIO folder and configure them to run on startup using the 'Registry' button.