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  • Windows Embedded Blog

    Diagnosing IBW Installation Problems – Part 1 of 3

    *Updated with links to Part 2 and 3 -4/13/10* 

    So, you’re installing a Standard 7 image through IBW, and partway through installation, you get a nice little popup that looks something like this:

    clip_image002

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  • Windows Embedded Blog

    Importing Packages to the Distribution Share

    In Windows Embedded Standard 2011, the Distribution share (DS) is a critical element in creating customized Windows images. If you have used Image Configuration Editor (ICE), you would have noticed that packages are well organized into a tree structure that represents the DS. During development, users might need to use other packages in addition to the ones already found in the DS. Examples include new package releases from the Windows Embedded team (security updates, hot fixes, new versions of the same package, etc...) as well as 3rd party supplied packages (e.g. 3rd party driver packages).

    Windows Embedded Standard 2011 allows you to maintain the DS (for example you can add a new driver package or an update package) by using one of the supplied utilities that come with the Stnadard 2011 tools, importpackage.exe. This tool enables you to:

    • Create a DS.
    • Add package(s) to a DS: Language, Feature, and Driver packages exist usually as .cab files. And ecore is usually packed into an install.wim file, which can also be imported using the import package utility.
    • Rebuild the index file of a DS, a major functionality of utility in maintaining the DS. In addition, rebuilding the DS index file can be indirectly used to remove some packages from a DS

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  • Windows Embedded Blog

    June 2012 Feature Update for Windows Embedded POSReady 7 is on ECE

    Windows Embedded POSReady 7 June 2012 Feature Update. This update contains the following out-of-band application:

    • Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 SP1 Redistributable Package for Windows Embedded POSReady 7
      • The Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 SP1 Redistributable Package installs runtime components of Visual C++ Libraries required to run applications developed with Visual C++ 2010 SP1 on a computer that does not have Visual C++ 2010 SP1 installed.

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  • Windows Embedded Blog

    Preventing 'Last Access' Chatter

    The NTFS file system comes with some way cool features. Unfortunately, not all of these features are beneficial in some embedded systems. When used with EWF, one NTFS feature that is typically not desirable is "Last Access" logging. This feature keeps track of when a file or folder was last accessed as a result of either a read or a write operation.
     
    The NTFS file system keeps a Last Access Time attribute for each file and folder on the volume. When a file is access, this attribute is updated in memory and then later the attribute is written, with a delay of up to one hour, to two places on the disk. In addition to writing this value to the file's attribute, it is also written to the Master File Table (MFT) record.
     
    For a flash based volume, one would like to minimize the number of writes made to the volume so that the life of the memory is maximized. In many systems a RAM based EWF overlay is used for this purpose. But with the NTFS file system logging every access to every files and folders on a volume, the RAM overlay could be quickly consumed.
     
    Not to worry, there is a way to disable the Last Access logging. And, it's not particularly painful. All you need to do is to create the following registry key on your run-time image:

    Key Name: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM \CurrentControlSet \Control\ FileSystem
    Name: NtfsDisableLastAccessUpdate
    Type: REG_DWORD
    Value: 1

    Although disabling this feature will significantly "quiet" the NTFS file system driver, this isn't the only performance enhancement you should consider. For a full list of EWF performance considerations, please read this link.
     
    For general information on optimizing NTFS performance, you might want to read this article.

    - Jim

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  • Windows Embedded Blog

    Virtual Kernel Mode Debugging

    A while back I discovered that it was possible to do kernel mode debugging of an OS on a virtual machine (VM) running under Virtual PC using a single computer. Even if you are not concerned with debugging a device driver, kernel mode debugging can be useful for debugging applications on Windows Embedded Standard when a failure occurs in the system rather than the application itself. I have personally used this technique to verify that a Windows Embedded Standard runtime OS has at least began the boot process. I highly recommend the following book for more information on debugging: Advanced Windows Debugging (Addison-Wesley Microsoft Technology Series), by Mario Hewardt, and Daniel Pravat.

    Typically for kernel mode debugging, we use two physical devices with a null modem cable connected between the serial ports. In Virtual PC, we can create a virtual null Mmodem cable between the development machine and the Target VM using Named Pipes.

    The steps below will walk you through how to setup and begin kernel debugging from a development machine running WinDbg (available here) and a Target VM running a Windows Embedded Standard runtime OS.

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