Archive for the ‘vision’ Category

Why not use BartPE or VistaPE?

January 20, 2008

There are two well-known rescue systems based on Windows (and some rescue systems based on one of those two): BartPE (which uses Windows XP) and VistaPE (which uses Windows Vista). Both are great projects, sure. But they have several drawbacks:

  • You cannot distribute the finished CD (because they include files from Windows), so everyone has to build his own one
  • You will need a working Windows to build it
  • Usually, a Linux live CD (like grml or Knoppix) is more useful than a Windows Live CD
  • They are huge (hundreds of megabytes) and you will most likely not carry them with you all the time because CDs are larger than USB pens
  • If you have an USB pen, putting portable apps on there is better since you will use them much more often than BartPE/VistaPE.

As a result, you will usually have lots of portable apps and Linux live CDs handy, but no BartPE/VistaPE, if you need one (and if not, you will quickly find some computer magazine CDs that have a customized Linux live CD included…). You will never find a computer magazine that has a usable BartPE or VistaPE included…

So, LiVista Rescup should provide the following:

  • Be small – not larger than necessary
  • Include no files from Microsoft that cannot be redistributed
  • Enable you to use all your Portable Apps you have with you.

What is LiVista Rescup?

January 20, 2008

By today, Windows Vista has been sold a lot of times. Regardless whether you have a retail version, an OEM (“system builder”) version or a pre-installed version, you always get an installation DVD (or an “Anytime Upgrade DVD”) that includes a simple rescue system you can use if your Windows does not longer boot. That DVD will be the same for all Vista versions of the same language (okay, there will be one 32-bit and one 64-bit DVD for each language), and all installed files are stored in an install.wim file on there. So, everyone that is using Vista, basically has one of those DVDs.

The aim of this blog is to document and discuss about ways of making the rescue system built into the Vista Setup more usable. By default, you have no taskbar, no explorer, and cannot even extract files from the install.wim file separately. You can use some of your portable apps (like Firefox), but a lot just do not work.

So I want to build an addon (ideally an exe file you store on your USB pen) that you can execute from the rescue system and it will automagically build a nice user interface for you – without containing any files that are from Vista (or even without any files that are not open source). So you have to carry that one around with you (you have an USB pen with portable apps with you anyway, don’t you?) and whenever you forgot to wear that “No I do not fix your computer” T-shirt and anyone asks you if you can fix their Vista, you have everything you need.

The current state is a bunch of batch files that load up a taskbar and an explorer, and add support to extract single files. But, of course, we can do better 🙂

Why that name, you ask. Take Live Rescue and Vista Setup and move them together like in the picture below:

LiVista Rescup animation