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Preinstallation Environment tools

 

AKA,

  • The get me out of trouble, my system will not boot page.

  • I forgot my administrator password page

  • My server crashed and ...

  • I have been hacked and ....

  • I did something stupid and ....

Preinstallation environments are not new. They previously went by other names and have proved their worth, time and time again. The earliest tool was the simple DOS boot disk. You would boot up, get to a prompt, edit the win.ini or autoexec.bat, dross your fingers and reboot. Not really a PE but it was underlying windows and the changes were made external to the system.

 

This became more difficult with Windows NT and NTFS based Operating systems since NT. We had some tools based on mounting NTFS partitions under Windows 98 and my favorite DOS boot disk with NTFS2DOS. Allowed you to boot up with a basic CDROM driver, load the volumes up and edit them.

 

Then came the Linux single floppy boot disks. These were great until you could not fit the boot img file on a floppy disk and your SCSI or RAID drivers. Then we did the same tools all over again, but with CD disks. We moved to my favorite password reset tool, cd050303.iso found here: http://home.eunet.no/~pnordahl/ntpasswd/ and booted into Linux, mounted the registry and changed the keys we needed to, then logged back on. This tool is still valid. I still use this tool but time has marched on.

 

We moved from simple password recover tools like Linux versions of Austrumi to full suites of tools like Wininternals Admin Pack 2005 which included a tool called Wininternals ERD Commander 2005. This allowed Registry editing and much more.

 

Microsoft has now purchased Wininternals and the Wininternals Admin Pack is now the

Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack leaving only two really obtainable products for us on budgets to use. WinPE and BartPE.

 

The Microsoft Windows Preinstallation Environment is only for Microsoft  Enterprise/OEM customers. It is intended for new installs and small issues with current installations.

 

Bart's Preinstalled Environment (BartPE) bootable live windows CD/DVD is now the sweet spot. It is what the old DOS boot disks were. An adaptable, customizable tool for getting you out of trouble. the best part is, people are plugging their tools into BartPE and making it better. There is also the Ultimate Boot CD for Windows which is based on BartPE and full resource pages like PE Builder Plug-ins from Joshua.

 

BartPE vs. Windows PE?

  • BartPE is not supported by Microsoft. Windows PE is an official Microsoft product.
  • BartPE has a graphical user interface. Windows PE has a command line interface.
  • The tools needed to make a BartPE installation are free software. Windows PE is available only to Microsoft OEM users.
  • BartPE allows unlimited custom plugins. Windows PE has a limited range of plugins options.

What is the technical difference between BartPE and Windows PE?

  • Target - Microsoft sees Windows PE as an installation platform. Bart sees Windows PE as the next generation rescue platform.
  • Start-menu - Bart's builder gives you a simple, dynamic and powerful start-menu. Microsoft's builder does not give you a start-menu, it uses a command prompt.
  • Build from - Bart's builder can also build from Windows XP Home Edition or from a preinstalled Windows XP version (without CD).
  • Plugins - With PE Builder you can easily add applications, drivers or tools using plugins. This makes PE Builder extremely powerful. The end user can even combine plugins from different software vendors into one CD image.
    Network support - PE Builder includes its own network support tools (BartPE/penetcfg) to start TCP/IP and Microsoft Client. The TCP/IP settings like: dynamic/static ip-address, subnet-mask, default gateway, dns-servers computer-name, workgroup can be changed on-the-fly. You can create pre-defined profiles, that you can select. Microsoft Windows PE only supports DHCP or fixed settings using winbom.ini.
    Also there is a plugin (NwDskPe) created by Erwin Veermans that loads the Netware Client on BartPE (IP/IPX).
  • Fileshare - BartPE can start File Sharing support so you can connect to the system through a share.
  • VNC - Because of the File Sharing support you can also run UltraVNC.
  • Dos support - Bart's builder has a plugin called "dospe".
  • License - Microsoft Windows PE is only for Enterprise/OEM customers (see previous), BartPE is for everybody!
  • 64-Bit - Bart's builder does not support Windows 64-bit editions.

 

 

My current choice of weapon when faced with a dilemma is BartBuilder and BartPE

 
BartPE
 

You will find the latest build at http://www.nu2.nu/pebuilder/
By far the easiest to use, build and run.

Home web address
Download:
pebuilder3110a.exe
Download:
Plugins


(If you can, please drop the author some money via Pay pal. It is a very worthy cause)
 

If the above links do not work, please notify webmaster@mickyj.com If you require the software urgently please try the filemirrors search engine. Please take care as the files found on this engine may not be the same item listed here.

Recommendation

Skill required      

Danger               
 

 
Microsoft WinPE
 

You will find the latest build at http://oem.microsoft.com
(Only for Microsoft OEM partners)

Home web address
Download: Nil
(If you can, please drop the author some money via Pay pal. It is a very worthy cause)
 

If the above links do not work, please notify webmaster@mickyj.com

Recommendation

Skill required      

Danger               
  >

 
Wininternals ERD Commander
 

You will find the latest build at: No longer Available
The only way to get this is to already have it.

Home web address
Download: Nil

Mark Russinovich wrote ERD Commander 2005 which boots dead systems directly from CD into a Windows-like repair environment. You'll have full access to the dead system's volumes, so you can diagnose and repair problems using tools located on the ERD Commander 2005 Start menu

 

 
If the above links do not work, please notify webmaster@mickyj.com

Recommendation

Skill required      

Danger               
 

 

Austrumi
 

You will find the latest build at http://prdownloads.sourceforge.net/austrumi/austrumi-0.9.2.iso?download
 

Home web address
Download:
austrumi-0.9.2.iso


Austrumi is a Linux bootable ISO image for recovering NT passwords and other cool tools and methods, sized for Business Card size CD media (50Mb). It allows you to change any password, including that of the Administrator, on a partition occupied by Windows NT, Windows 2000 or Windows XP

This is for the person who wants to dabble with Linux
 

If the above links do not work, please notify webmaster@mickyj.com If you require the software urgently please try the filemirrors search engine. Please take care as the files found on this engine may not be the same item listed here.

Recommendation

Skill required      

Danger               
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 

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