Comparison of Windows PE to Bootable CD-ROMs
You can boot an embedded device that does not have hard drive by using either Microsoft® Windows® Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE), or by using a bootable CD-ROM. These two operating systems have different purposes in the development, testing, and deployment of an embedded device.
Windows PE is intended to provide a minimal operating system that you can use for developing, testing, and fine-tuning your device. Windows PE is included on Disc 1 of the Windows XP Embedded Installation media or on a separate Windows PE disc, depending on whether you have the Full Price Product or the Upgrade Product. The Windows XP Embedded version of Windows PE cannot be updated or configured.
You can also package Microsoft® Windows® Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE), a System Deployment Image (SDI) file, and SDI tools, to create a recovery CD. With this recovery CD, you can boot the device with Windows PE, and then restore the image on your device by installing an image from an SDI file. Once the recovery image is installed, you can reboot the device from the recovery image. To create this recovery CD, you will need a licensed version of Windows PE toolkit or the OEM Preinstallation Kit (OPK). For information about licensing Windows PE, contact your Microsoft distributor.
A bootable CD-ROM is primarily used to deploy and distribute Windows XP Embedded on a device that does not have a hard drive. You can also create a bootable CD-ROM that provides the functionality of Windows PE, but that includes additional features or tools which are not included in Windows PE.
The following table compares Windows PE to a bootable CD-ROM.
(Windows XP Embedded version)
|Windows PE Recovery CD
(Using SDI and customized Windows PE)
(El Torito component with EWF component)
Testing and fine-tuning:
|Can boot device||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Configurable with Windows XP Embedded Tools||No||Yes: SDI is included in Windows XP Embedded Tools.
No: Windows PE. You must obtain Windows PE toolkit or OEM Preinstall Kit to create a bootable Windows PE CD-ROM.
Development with Windows PE | Bootable CD-ROM | Windows XP Embedded Licensing Requirements and Guidelines | How to Create a Device Recovery CD by Using Windows PE and SDI | Choose Your Windows PE Options
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