How to boot XPe SP1 from a USB flash drive?



Hi, thus far I've thrown my XPE images on a hard drive and everything has
worked fine. With the decrease in price of USB flash drives however, I want
to try booting of one of these usb drives.

I threw my image onto the usb flash drive, my embedded hardware has the
ability to select the USB drive as the one to boot from in the BIOS. When
it comes time to boot nothing happens. It thinks that there isn't a valid
boot image or something.

So I was wondering, is it possible to boot off a USB flash drive using XPE

If so, what do I need to change in my image in TD to do it, if anything?

How do I make the USB flash drive have bootable?




Theoretically you can boot SP1 from USB drive (lets talk USB 2.0 otherwise it'd be too slow boot). It is not natively supported
there but lots of info has been posted in this NG (and on the Web) on how to make the USB boot on XP(e) (SP1).
Assuming your BIOS support USB device enumeration and boot from mass storage devices, basically the "hack" was to make sure all the
USB require drivers are loaded early enough at the system boot (and populate CriticalDeviceDatabase reg.entries).

However, I am not sure why you really need to mess with this on SP1 when FP2007 is already released and available to downloads. On
of the features XPe SP2 Feature Pack 2007 (FP2007) brings in a USB 2.0 boot. Assuming your hardware meets the requirements it is
really easy to create an image that will boot off a USB drive.

After all, if you are still needing to get this working on SP1, you can try coping all the required registry entries and drivers and
loader components from FP2007 to your SP1 image. With certain preparations (basically you'd need to populate the entries pre or
post-FBA) you can make it to work there with a small effort. Just take a look at the relevant components in the FP2007 tree.


Well, honestly I've been wary of upgrading to XPE SP2 because I was told
that the image size would increase quite a bit. Also since my images are
created for embedded devices that do not connect to the Internet, there's no
need for the SP2 firewall. We do however have network connections and I've
heard that the firewall is added automatically in SP2. So my main concern
with upgrading to SP2 was the bloated image size. XPe SP1 has worked for us
and it's hard to get away from the "if it ain't broke don't fix it"

Andy Allred [MS]

Hi Russ.

It appears there's a misunderstanding, you can simply disable the
firewall dependency in the "Core Networking" component before resolving
dependencies, it's just on by default as it is in XP-Pro SP2 because
customers (including XPe developers) were shipping devices connected to
the network and without a firewall. Both SP2 and it's follow on feature
pack FP2007 have had significant changes to address footprint and
component bugs, let alone the security fixes and enhancements. You
really should move on to SP2 or FP2007 asap since the Windows Sustained
Engineering team will not be providing support for SP1 next year.

Russ, please please please get off of SP1 as soon as possible.


Hi Andy, thanks for the response.

My pre FBA image size is 150mb. If I upgrade to SP2 with FP2007, how much
will this image grow?

I've downloaded security updates for XPE Sp1 as they've come out, so I think
I'm good to go as far as security goes...again embedded devices do not
connect to the Internet. Is it really crucial that I move to SP2 and



I completely agree with Andy. The main reason you want to move to SP2 is security updates that are soon only going to be issued for
SP2 area. Also, SP2 by definition is more stable build of XP (this is of course the statement under judgment for more testing).

Personally, I can give three main reasons I'd want to move to FP2007:
- Finally fixed XPe tools where the bug with loading small and big projects was so much annoying in RTM/SP1/SP2
- Better EWF and great FBWF
- USB 2.0 boot support

Footprint increase has never been an issue for us here. I feel very comfortable often disable/remove some components from my image
(including firewall) and leave the build with some errors as long as I know I didn't break the system functionality and didn't
create extra issues (some common knowledge of various components and lots of testing are always your friends on XPe).



KM, how does it work moving from SP1 to SP2 and FP2007? Will my SP1 TD
files and images still work? What components do I want to leave out to keep
the image size low?



You would really want to move to FP2007 (not just SP2) as some reducing footprint job has been done there by Microsoft.
Your SP1 image should supposedly work even with SP2/FP2007 tools. You just don't have to upgrade your configuration and components
within the config (turn off auto-upgrade feature in TD options and auto-refresh on your config settings page). Just keep in mind
that SP2 and FP2007 add new repositories to the database and don't really "influence" SP1 components that had been released by MS
and shouldn't be removed by new upgrades.

If preserving working SP1 environment is critical to you projects you'd definitely want to backup the system first (database and
repository folders). FP2007 installer will pop up a message about that early at the install phase.
What components do I want to leave out to keep the image size low?

It is going to be really hard to answer this question in general. The answer completely depends on what components you've already
got in your config and what dependencies for those have changed in SP2 and FP2007.

Obviously you can remove the firewall stuff if you don't need it, security Center components and etc. In my opinion, the best way to
start such effort would be turning off the auto-dependency resolver in TD just before upgrading the configuration and then include
new components on case by case basis.

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