First: For anyone who wants to see what I do to knock my PE size down, visit my reply to another thread
The PE image you're talking about seems to be very awesome..
Can you make your PE image publicly available?? (you can remove sensible corporate data)
Or please tell us how you did all the stuff.
(I can host it if you want.)
Legally, Microsoft doesn't allow distribution of 1.x PE images as you likely already know.
Even outside of that, the PE image I develop also contains licensed and copyrighted software, and several components of the scripting contain sensitive corporate data such as service account passwords and information about our network topology. While the information is "encoded" to keep the general user populace out, it wouldn't be hard to disassemble
As such, I'm sure you understand, I cannot host a file for your perusal.
However, I can give you the general gist of what I do:
I first use ISOLinux for the underlying structure of the CD. This of course allows me to put all the BIOS flash utilities, OEM standalone diagnostic software, WinPE and other items into a simple boot menu. I like ISOLinux because it's VERY straight forward and works on nearly everything I need.
Within PE, I've developed two "tiers" of scripting -- one part on the CD, one part that resides on multiple servers in our environment. The CD portion does the following:
- Boot to Ramdisk from SDI, Enumerate PnP, start networking
- If the CD is still in the drive, it's ejected so the tech doesn't forget
- Query for available NIC cards, then query for link, then query for IP address and connection speed
- If a NIC is not available, it flips to "CD Only" mode (see further below)
- It correlates the local IP against an INF file that identifies "parent" servers for scripting (supports definition of class A, B or C subnets, references a domain to authenticate against, parent server name, upload directory for imaging, download directory for script files, among a few other items
- It performs a version check -- all my SDI images are named with a unique ID that correlates to that CD release. If that unique ID is not "allowed" on that parent server (outdated, only for testing use, whatever) then it disconnects the network, stops the workstation service and deletes from ramdisk some fundamental files needed for network functionality. Long story, but this became a requirement a few years ago and has worked well
- Once the CD version checks out, it copies the network script files to a temp directory in the ramdrive and then starts the primary network script from that temp location (I do not run them directly from the server; this gives me the ability to perform network script updates without "killing" a CD that may be currently using said scripts)
The "CD-only" scripting provides an easy interface for three levels of physical disk wipe + make DOS bootable, ghost physical disk to/from CD/DVD, offline checkdisk of a HDD volume, offline checkdisk of a HDD volume, and a few other items such as dropping to a command prompt.
The "network" code does some further items, such as the following:
- Detect hardware type. This allows me to spawn seperate core menus for working with servers versus workstations. Also allows other scripting branches later for devices that may need it (VMWare machines for enabling acceleration, tablet PC's, IBM Thinkpads that need our special "bios fix", et al)
- Ghost options (upload to parent server if available, download standard 2K or XP image, download a previously uploaded image, join a multicast session)
- It also allows access to the "CD Only" menu, and access to a few other little utilities such as hosting a GhostCast server, ghost explorer, regedit, notepad, et al.
That gives you the REALLY high level version of what my CD does. Since I'm using the legitemate Microsoft PE tool, I don't have the luxury of "snapping in" a bunch of cool tools that are already provided. However, with only a small bit of work, you can "convert" essentially any BartPE snapin to work with the real PE. And why not, since they're the same damned OS anyway?
Edited by Albuquerque, 12 May 2006 - 08:19 AM.