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  • Windows Embedded Blog

    Culture of “Done”

    Posted By Phillip Cave
    Software Development Engineer

    Simplicity. Why do we, in general, get so hung up on getting stuff done?

    There are a few things that I wish everyone could experience. One of them is driving on the autobahn in a Porsche 911 at over 200km/hour (or, if you are like my colleague Dave Kelley, an Audi R8). If that wish came true, then I would not be stuck behind slow drivers in the fast lane. Just because the speed limit “suggests” 65 or 75 does not mean I want to be behind you wishing you would stop hogging the far-left passing lane. (The key word is PASSING, and I mean pass within the next hundred feet, NOT miles; pass and move over, don’t police me. Thus, I love the autobahn. Germans know how to drive.)

    Another wish is for all people in the software world to experience living and succeeding at a product company startup.


    Comments Windows Embedded Standard

  • Windows Embedded Blog

    Look who’s talking

    Posted By Werner Reuss
    Windows Embedded Business Lead for Germany and Eastern Europe

    The POS and barcode were once the apex of retail technology. They allowed mega stores to balance enormous demand with adequate supply. Nowadays, whoever has the most intelligent system is able to balance fleets of stores--from production, through logistics, digital signage, and even consumption based on weather forecasting--all in real time…and…autonomously.


    Comments Intelligent Systems

  • Windows Embedded Blog

    Preparing raw hardware to run Windows Embedded Standard

    **Updated preface on 3/26/09

    This is the first in a series of articles on a variety of topics from our guest blogger, Alexander. He is an MVP for Windows Embedded- check out the link to his bio at the bottom of this article.Our MVPs have a heavy background in Embedded systems and are a great repository of information on Windows Embedded products. We’re providing this space on our team blog as a service to our readers by allowing MVPs to share some of their knowledge with the rest of the community

    It can be a challenge - especially when new to Windows Embedded Standard development - to prepare a raw target system to get the operating system booting. On a normal Windows desktop the preparation of the disk is done by Setup.exe behind the scenes, and therefore the user seldom has to cope with these preparation issues. Due to the fact that Setup.exe is, of course, not available for building Standard images, this task needs to be treated differently.
    To bring up a Standard device, the best thing is to start with the disk layout. The layout should follow the normal requirements well-known from Windows XP Professional, meaning that there can be a maximum of four primary partitions per disk.


    Picture 1: Standard disk layout

    One partition (in this picture partition 1) must be the boot partition. This partition must be marked “active”, because otherwise Standard will not boot from it. It also needs to be the location of all OS boot files such as NTLDR, boot.ini, later on. Another important point to keep in mind is the master boot record (MBR). This record contains a little bit of code that helps to bootstrap the OS (calling NTLDR, whose start address can be found in the boot sector of the active partition) after the BIOS has finished its startup sequence.


    Picture 2: Standard boot sequence

    The content of the MBR can be the reason for boot issues because it must be different for each OS and file system you are booting from. If a DOS boot disk is used to prepare the target device with a FAT file system, FDISK /mbr will write an MBR to boot DOS from this disk, not Standard. If WinPE 1.x in combination with NTFS 2.0 is used, systems are prepared to boot XP. If the WinPE version is 2.0 or higher the system will be prepared to boot VISTA or Server 2008, which is not compatible to Standard.As one can see, this can easily create a mine field of problems.

    So what would be the foolproof way to get a system prepared?

    How to painlessly prepare a Standard device for booting:

    1. Boot the target from into the "Windows Preinstallation Envirnment"  of the Standard toolkit  (WinPE), which can be obtained from disk 1 of any previous versions of XP Embedded. If this is not available you can use the "Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK)" to generate a custom WinPE image to boot from (I am going to explain how to do this in one of my upcoming blog posts).
    Make sure the BootSect.exe utility from the [Install Path]\Windows AIK\Tools\PETools\x86 folder is included in this PE image.

    2. At the command prompt start the Diskpart utility

    3. In Diskpart mode issue the following commands (disk layout here is a single boot partition – for simplicity):
    select disk 0
    – wipes all previous disk content
    create partition primary size=
    [as desired in MB]
    select partition 1
    - set the partition active
    assign letter=C

    4. The last command closes diskpart mode and returns to the normal command line interface

    5. Format the disk with NTFS using the Format utility:

    Format C: /FS:NTFS

    6. Do not do a quick format, formatting a disk with NTFS Format in normal operation writes the MBR for WES automatically.

    Quick format does not do this!!!

    7. Now the target system is ready to boot Standard!
    Just copy over the files you can find the Image folder of the development system.

    In the rare event that this should not work the Recovery Console available on Win2k or XP setup disks can be used to fix any MBR issues such as blinking cursor only, “Missing operating system” message, etc. using the fixmbr command.
    There are also some 3rd party freeware utilities available on the Internet that are able to help troubleshooting and fixing MBR problems.

    - Alexander

    Alexander Wechsler

    Wechsler Consulting


    PingBack from


    Comments Product Updates

  • Windows Embedded Blog

    Dialog Box Filter- a New Feature in Windows Embedded Standard 2011

    Dialog Box Filter is a new feature in Windows Embedded Standard 2011. Dialog Box Filter can be used to prevent dialogs or windows from appearing on your embedded system. In order to use Dialog Box Filter properly it is important that you understand how it performs this task. This article will explain how Dialog Box Filter works and its limitations, as well as how to troubleshoot issues.

    The Dialog Box Filter feature has 4 main components:

    1. Dialog Box Service
    2. Dialog Box Filter
    3. Dialog Filter Editor
    4. ConfigurationList.xml


    Comments Product Updates

  • Windows Embedded Blog

    A More Intelligent Way to De-Ice

    Posted By Myriam Semery
    Windows Embedded BG Lead

    A big freeze is descending upon much of Europe today and this weekend, causing thousands of canceled flights or completely closed airports, extremely cold temperatures and snowfall, and dangerous roads. I’m the Windows Embedded lead for Southern Europe, living in Paris, where getting around is no picnic. My colleague Werner Reuss has been braving the roads in Munich, Germany; here, he reflects on an innovative Italian technology that’s making a big difference in wintertime driving.

    It has been snowing pretty heavily the past few days in Munich, where I live, and the forecast doesn’t show any signs of it letting up soon. As an avid skier, living in a city within an hour and a half’s drive of some of the best skiing in the world is major incentive. I love the snow when I’m hitting the slopes, but there is a downside to living in a winter wonderland.

    Munich is very prepared for snow; the city has snow plows ready at the first sign of a flake. Due to environmental and economic concerns, we plow and salt only major roadways, which keeps traffic flowing and accidents to a minimum. Unfortunately, if you have to drive on side streets to get to the main roads or have to cross a bridge, driving can feel like sledding.


    Comments Intelligent Systems

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