Run-Time Image Deployment Design Considerations

You might deploy your run-time image as you develop your product, during production, or when you subsequently maintain it. You might deploy your image during the following scenarios:

  • During development, you and other developers might test multiple configurations repeatedly during the edit, build, and test cycles. Typically, after each successful build, you would deploy the run-time image to your development system for testing.
  • During production, you can deploy the run-time image to your device in the factory, or deploy it to media that your customer installs.
  • During maintenance, you can deploy an update by replacing the run-time image already installed on a device with a newer version of that image.
    Note   As a best practice, deploy your run-time image to your development system and test it before deploying it to your device. When you are satisfied with the test results, deploy the image to your device, and then test it again.
    Consider how you expect to use the development tools. If you plan to deploy your run-time image on your development system for testing purposes, you need a free logical disk on your development system.

The Microsoft® Windows® XP Embedded run-time image includes a tree containing multiple files and folders. When you are ready to deploy your image, you must deploy the entire tree.

You must deploy your run-time image to a bootable partition. The partition can be on a hard disk drive, compact disc (CD), or Flash memory device, and must be visible to the device basic I/O system (BIOS).

You can deploy your image to your device in the following ways:

  • Deploy the run-time image to a bootable CD-ROM. For more information see How to Create a Bootable CD-ROM.
  • Deploy the image to a storage device on your development system, such as a hard disk drive, or to a nonvolatile storage module, such as ROM or Flash disk. You can then move the storage device to your embedded device. For more information about deploying to Flash devices, see CompactFlash.
  • Use the System Deployment Image (SDI) tool to create an image of a partitioned, formatted disk on your development system that contains your run-time image. By using this tool, you prepare your run-time image for deployment by copying it to a file-backed virtual disk drive. After you remove the disk, use the SDI management tool to deploy the file to your raw disk space on your device. For more information, see System Deployment Image.

Keep in mind the following additional design considerations:

  • If you are booting multiple operating systems on the same device, only the Windows XP boot loader is supported. Previous versions of the Windows boot loader (NTLDR) will not work.

    Because the Windows XP NTLDR is backwards compatible with previous versions of Windows, you can copy the Windows XP boot loader over the previous Windows boot loader

  • If you want to build a single binary image, you can develop an image builder tool or use one by a third-party vendor. The advantage is that one image is more manageable for remote install and upgrade scenarios.
  • Swapping a storage device might work well for production or field maintenance, but can be impractical during development because of the iterative nature of the development process.
  • Replacing persistent storage at a customer site might be costly.
  • Ensure that your system includes sufficient RAM for your run-time image. Some devices, such as video cards, share system RAM. It is important to test and verify the RAM usage on your system.

See Also

Deploy a Run-Time Image | Mass Deployment | First Boot Agent | Remote Boot | Reassign Drive Letters to Volumes in Target Designer

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