Wednesday, 9 January 2019

E2B v1.A8f/g Beta available

This Beta v1.A8f  has extra code so that typical All-In-One ISOs such as the Murphy Install ISOs will hopefully 'just work' when placed in either a standard menu folder or one of the \_ISO\WINDOWS\xxxxx folders. This means you can run a 'Murphy's 24-in-One Windows Install ISO' and his scripts will run correctly.

Note: v1.A8g has a couple of bug fixes: (1) XP install using WinPE now can use WIMBOOT, (2) repair option when user hits ENTER when selecting Windows 8/10 install ISO now works, (3) .iso01 file extension fixed.

I have been experimenting with the startup files in WinPE but found there is a lot of bad, inaccurate and misleading information about the WinPE startup process on the web! I could not find a complete and accurate description or flowchart anywhere, even the Microsoft documentation was inaccurate (no surprise there then)!

I think I have now worked out how WinPE actually starts up and how the various files are used.

I have done quite a bit of testing using Windows Install ISOs...

The 'correct' WinPE startup process is actually this...

Here is my best guess after experimenting with a Win10 boot.wim image #2 (#2 is the image used for installs)...
  1. Winpeshl.exe is run (required file) - if winpeshl.ini exists the application(s) specified in X:\Windows\system32\winpeshl.ini are run.
    If the winpeshl.ini file exists but is invalid, a cmd shell will be opened and the process will stop.
  2. If winpeshl.ini does not exist then X:\Setup.exe is run, if it exists.
    X:\Setup.exe allows the user to choose a language and then choose either Repair or Install - if you choose Install it runs X:\sources\setup.exe.
    The \Sources\Setup.exe will look on all drives for a \Sources folder containing both the file "setup.exeand  a install.wim, install.swm or install.esd file in the same folder -  if not found it will prompt you to install CD\DVD drivers.
    Windows can then be installed using the \Sources\install.* files.
  3. If no winpeshl.ini file is found and no X:\Setup.exe is found then cmd /k X:\Windows\system32\startnet.cmd is run.
  4. Usually, Windows PE's boot.wim install images contain the X:\Windows\system32\Startnet.cmd file which just contains the command Wpeinit
  5. Wpeinit.exe loads network resources and coordinates with networking components like DHCP. It also loads a wpeinit unattend XML file if it can find one at X:\Unattend.xml to process settings such as firewall, network and display settings.
  6. When Wpeinit.exe completes, the Command Prompt window is displayed.
  7. The boot process of Windows PE is complete.

No comments:

Post a comment