Monday, May 02, 2005

April component updates available, and Q&A

Updates update

Well, the April updates were posted to the OEM Secure Site last week – the date is April 29, which is right on for when they asked me to verify the bits downloads.  This time gap between desktop updates and component updates will be consistent through the early summer, but expect it to decrease as summer languishes into fall – that’s when we’ll have things in place to start to turn up the heat on getting updates through a more aggressive process.

BTW, you can learn more about the existing process, the new process, and our goals next week at MEDC in Las Vegas.  I’ve got one scheduled session and a hands-on lab about securing XPE devices, and part of those appearances includes some discussion about security updates and the processes around them.  The organisers of MEDC have done something cool this year – in previous conferences, there’s usually a crowd of people surrounding the speaker and the podium, asking questions and engaging in discussions.  Problem is, with a dozen of more people crowding the speaker on the podium, it’s tough to get the next speaker and his audience into the room.  Therefore, the organisers have come up with the idea of a Speaker Cabana – basically, it’s a place somewhere away from the podium and presentation room where we can all get comfortable and have our conversations, which allows the setup for the next guy to take place.  Since it’s a cabana (and it is Vegas), I’m expecting comfy chairs, a drink cart, and some finger food, but I’m ready to accept just a comfy chair and a plug to charge my laptop.  I’ll bring my own potables…  :-) 

Q & A

Now, some Q&A – a loyal (I hope) reader has fired some questions to me directly regarding BootPrep and the vagaries of a dual boot with XP Pro and XPE.  I’ll group the questions together to answer them.

Can you please tell me that what it bootprep utility and why it's used?

BootPrep is a utility we shipped with XPE to allow you to create an XP boot sector on a drive that normally wouldn’t have one, such as a FAT/FAT32 partition.  You only need to run it if the partition you will be booting from is FAT or FAT32 and does not currently have an XP boot sector on it.  To put it another way, if you’re booting from an NTFS partition, or if you’re dual-booting a system that already has XP booting on it, you do not need to run BootPrep – all NTFS volumes have the proper XP boot sector code in them, and a system already booting XP has already been properly setup to boot XPE no matter which volume it’s on.  BootPrep is only useful for making a single drive/single partition FAT/FAT32 system bootable to XPE.

Is it necessary to run FBA on target device hard drive which is formatted by FAT/FAT 32?

It's necessary to run FBA on every system, no matter the underlying file system.

What are ARC paths?

That's best handled by giving you some links to info on the base OS.  Knowledge Base article 102873 has some good basic information on ARC paths.

 And What is GenDisk?

GenDisk stands for Generic Disk, and is a fallback PnP ID for an IDE or SCSI disk.  Basically, any disk that can be used in a PC supports some basic functionality – GenDisk encapsulates that functionality, so that if XP/XPE can’t find a specific driver for your drive, it can still boot from it and read and write data to it.  Some of the links returned by a search on MSDN can give you more info on GenDisk, why it appears, and why it’s useful.

When I do dual boot, I do it on drive D of target device, which is formatted by NTFS system. My root drive is C with XP pro, does this thing giving me problem for RAM boot?

It might - a Remote Boot into a RAM disk presumes that the RAM disk will be C:.  If you are preparing the system on D: so it runs properly, it probably won’t run properly in a RAM disk called C:.  You may want to swap how you dual boot the system – repartition and install XP Pro on D:, then put your XPE image on C:.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Jon
Thanks a lot for your reply. I made image, which was 120MB and RAM: 512MB.
My target pc has XP Pro on drive D. C had Windows 2000, it was formatted by FAT32 system. I deleted all folders from C (windows 2000 folders and any other), tried to format it, but it did'nt format.
So, I directly pasted my image to this drive. Ran FBA, got an expanded image, made SDI of 200MB and did remote booting.
The image started laoding and finally this time it was successful.
But the thing is, C drive didn't have any XP boot sector earlier+ it was FAT32 formatted (for the time win 2000 were installed on it). I also did'nt run bootprep utility.
I read an article at msdn, i think it was yours, that stated that we need FAT32 partitioning, i dont remember link right now, but will try to find and then paste over here.
thanks again, Sana