Mai 062014

There are cases where your operating system is not booting anymore but you really need to retrieve important/personal files.

You could boot a WinPE onto a USB key (using QuickPE and Rufus) to work locally on the faulty computer but you could also do it remotely, confortably settled from another O.S.

Here below the steps :

1-Lets make a WINPE out of  windows (7 or 8) iso/dvd (I use QuickPE) .

2-Boot onto this Winpe (I use rufus to « burn » the winpe iso onto USB).

3-Launch DevIO : from the WinPE command line, type devio -r 9000 \\physiscaldrive0 1 .
Note : the -r is for read only and physicaldrive0 1 for disk 0 partition 1.


4-Launch ImDisk : from a remote host command line, type imdisk -a -t proxy -o ip -f -m X:
Note : replace by the ip of your WinPE / faulty computer


5-At this stage, you should now have a new logical drive letter X: appearing on your remote host.
You can now recover your files remotely !

 Posted by at 12 h 49 min
Avr 262014

More than once did I spend (lose…) long minutes on google to find the proper syntax with windows bcdedit command line.

I came with the quick batch below that will set different entries : win7, winpe, grub4dos, etc …

You need to edit the batch to set the path to your BCD store.

Beware that the BCD is overwritten each time.

Note that this is greatly (mostly) inspired from this page.

@echo off
set BCDEDIT=%SYSTEMROOT%\system32\bcdedit.exe
set BCDSTORE=C:\temp\BCD


rem create - rem if not needed
%BCDEDIT% /createstore %BCDSTORE%

rem create bootmgr entry
%BCDEDIT% /store %BCDSTORE% /create {bootmgr}
%BCDEDIT% /store %BCDSTORE% /set {bootmgr} description "Boot Manager"
%BCDEDIT% /store %BCDSTORE% /set {bootmgr} device boot
%BCDEDIT% /store %BCDSTORE% /set {bootmgr} timeout 20

ECHO _________________________________________
ECHO Menu Choices
ECHO 1 Add Win7
ECHO 3 Add Grub4Dos
ECHO 4 Add Winpe
ECHO 5 Add RamDisk
echo -
ECHO 9 Exit
ECHO _________________________________________

if %userChoice% == 1 GOTO win7
if %userChoice% == 2 GOTO vhdboot
if %userChoice% == 3 GOTO g4d
if %userChoice% == 4 GOTO winpe
if %userChoice% == 5 GOTO ramdisk
if %userChoice% == 6 GOTO ntdlr
if %userChoice% == 9 GOTO QUITMENU

rem add new windows7 entry
for /f "tokens=2 delims={}" %%g in ('%BCDEDIT% /store %BCDSTORE% /create /application osloader') do set guid={%%g}
%BCDEDIT% /store %BCDSTORE% /set %guid% device partition=C:
%BCDEDIT% /store %BCDSTORE% /set %guid% path \Windows\system32\winload.exe
%BCDEDIT% /store %BCDSTORE% /set %guid% osdevice partition=C:
%BCDEDIT% /store %BCDSTORE% /set %guid% systemroot \Windows
%BCDEDIT% /store %BCDSTORE% /set %guid% description "Windows 7"
%BCDEDIT% /store %BCDSTORE% /displayorder %guid% /addlast
goto :eof

%BCDEDIT% /store %BCDSTORE% /create {ntldr}
%BCDEDIT% /store %BCDSTORE% /set {ntldr} device partition=C:
%BCDEDIT% /store %BCDSTORE% /set {ntldr} path \ntldr
%BCDEDIT% /store %BCDSTORE% /set {ntldr} description "Windows XP"
%BCDEDIT% /store %BCDSTORE% /displayorder {ntldr} /addlast
goto :eof

rem add new vhd boot entry
for /f "tokens=2 delims={}" %%g in ('%BCDEDIT% /store %BCDSTORE% /create /application osloader') do set guid={%%g}
%BCDEDIT% /store %BCDSTORE% /set %guid% device vhd=[C:]\disk.vhd
%BCDEDIT% /store %BCDSTORE% /set %guid% path \Windows\system32\winload.exe
%BCDEDIT% /store %BCDSTORE% /set %guid% osdevice vhd=[C:]\disk.vhd
%BCDEDIT% /store %BCDSTORE% /set %guid% systemroot \Windows
%BCDEDIT% /store %BCDSTORE% /set %guid% description "Windows 7 VHDBOOT"
%BCDEDIT% /store %BCDSTORE% /displayorder %guid% /addlast
goto :eof

rem add grub4dos
for /f "tokens=2 delims={}" %%g in ('%BCDEDIT% /store %BCDSTORE% /create /application osloader') do set guid={%%g}
%BCDEDIT% /store %BCDSTORE% /set %guid% device boot
%BCDEDIT% /store %BCDSTORE% /set %guid% path \grldr.mbr
%BCDEDIT% /store %BCDSTORE% /set %guid% description "Grub4dos"
%BCDEDIT% /store %BCDSTORE% /displayorder %guid% /addlast
goto :eof

rem add winpe
for /f "tokens=2 delims={}" %%g in ('%BCDEDIT% /store %BCDSTORE% /create /application osloader') do set guid={%%g}
%BCDEDIT% /store %BCDSTORE% /set %guid% systemroot \Windows
%BCDEDIT% /store %BCDSTORE% /set %guid% detecthal Yes
%BCDEDIT% /store %BCDSTORE% /set %guid% winpe Yes
%BCDEDIT% /store %BCDSTORE% /set %guid% osdevice ramdisk=[boot]\Boot\boot.wim,{ramdiskoptions}
%BCDEDIT% /store %BCDSTORE% /set %guid% device ramdisk=[boot]\Boot\boot.wim,{ramdiskoptions}
%BCDEDIT% /store %BCDSTORE% /set %guid% description "Windows PE"
%BCDEDIT% /store %BCDSTORE% /displayorder %guid% /addlast
goto :eof

rem add ramdisk
%BCDEDIT% /store %BCDSTORE% /create {ramdiskoptions}
%BCDEDIT% /store %BCDSTORE% /set {ramdiskoptions} ramdisksdidevice boot
%BCDEDIT% /store %BCDSTORE% /set {ramdiskoptions} ramdisksdipath \Boot\boot.sdi
goto :eof

echo "this is the end..."

 Posted by at 15 h 54 min
Avr 242014

In the previous article, we have seen how to benefit from the new wimboot feature of MS Windows 8.1 using the DISM command.

Thanks to the free/opensource WimLib, let’s now see how we can proceed with the capture/apply phase. This WimLib method will be similar to the DISM one.

Since Wimlib 6.3, you no longer need a Windows 8.1 Update 1 source which means you can use any Winpe 3/4/5 version !


Here below the procedure (we assume Win8.1U1 is already installed on C drive):

1-Lets make a WINPE out of  windows (7 or 8) iso/dvd (I use QuickPE) .

2-Boot onto this Winpe (I use rufus to « burn » the winpe iso onto USB).

3-Capture the installation : wimcapture.cmd c:\ e:\install.wim --wimboot
Note : e:\ is a second partition on my hard drive.
Note : wimlib binaries are in x:\extra\wimlib if you used QuickPE.

4-Format C drive (so that we start from a fresh drive)

5-Apply our wim file (from step 3) to my C drive : wimapply.cmd e:\install.wim c:\ --wimboot

Note : before step 5, you may want to perform the following command wimlib-imagex update install.wim 1 --command="add CustomWimBootCompress.ini \Windows\System32\WimBootCompress.ini" in order to fully apply bootmgr files (and not use pointers to the wim file).
Here is the customewimbootcompress.ini.
This applies only if you have one unique boot & system partition which is nowadays rarely the case as Windows always created a hidden/reserved partition for the boot files.

And voila, you should end up with a C drive occupied by only 250 MB (before 1st boot where pagefile.sys and hyberfil.sys will be created).

 Posted by at 21 h 30 min
Avr 122014

In April 2014, MS has updated Windows 8.1 to Windows 8.1 Update 1. (buildlab 6.3.9600.17031 and up).

One feature which was not very much marketed was the Windows Image File Boot also named Wimboot.
You can read more here on MS Web site.

In short, here is what MS says :
Windows image file boot (WIMBoot) lets you set up a PC so that it runs directly from a compressed Windows image file (WIM file).
WIMBoot can significantly reduce the amount of space used by Windows files. This helps you provide more free space to users, and helps you manufacture Windows on PCs with smaller drives.

So lets see how we can use this new feature :

We’ll assume you have already installed your Windows 8.1 (You can download an evaluation version here).

1-Lets make a WINPE out of the Windows 8.1 update 1 iso/dvd (I use QuickPE).

2-Boot onto this Winpe (I use rufus to « burn » the winpe iso onto USB).

3-Capture the installation : dism /capture-image /imagefile:e:\install.Wim /capturedir:c:\ /name:install /wimboot
Note here : e:\ is a second partition on my hard drive

4-Format C drive (so that we start from a fresh drive)

5-Apply our wim file (from step 3) to my C drive : dism /apply-image /imagefile:e:\install.Wim /index:1 /applydir:c:\ /wimboot

Note : after step 5, I had to do a bcdboot X:\windows /s X:\ where X is the partition where you just applied your WIM file.
This applies only if you have one unique boot & system partition which is nowadays rarely the case as Windows always created a hidden/reserved partition for the boot files.

And voila, you should end up with a C drive occupied by only 3GB (when it was about 20GB minimum before step 1).

This should work on X86 or X64 (tested), with a UEFI or MBR (tested) partition, with SSD drive or standard drive (not tested).

Here below a picture showing my final / wimboot setup.


 Posted by at 22 h 27 min
Avr 112014

In a previous article, we have seen how to make a bootable image using Windows API and MS Virtual Disk.

Now, lets do the same but this time we will manipulate bytes in the Drive Master Boot Record and in the Volume Boot Sector with CloneDisk and ImDisk.

1-Create a raw disk image (here test.img=64 MB)



2-Retrieve file size in sectors (here 131072 = (64MB * 1024KB * 1024B) / 512 sectors)



3-Modify partition table : chs end/start=1023/254/63, sectors before=2048, total sectors=129023 (131072-2048-1)



4-Write NT6 mbr



5-Mount disk image (ImDisk auto detect offset=2048, size of disk=129023)



6-Format to NTFS



7-Change Hidden Sectors in Boot Sector  (since it is incorrectly set to 1)


8-Boot (in qemu or virtualbox)



 Posted by at 18 h 56 min
Mar 122014

About SystemRescueCD :

Description: SystemRescueCd is a Linux system rescue disk available as a bootable CD-ROM or USB stick for administrating or repairing your system and data after a crash. It aims to provide an easy way to carry out admin tasks on your computer, such as creating and editing the hard disk partitions. It comes with a lot of linux software such as system tools (parted, partimage, fstools, …) and basic tools (editors, midnight commander, network tools). It can be used for both Linux and windows computers, and on desktops as well as servers. This rescue system requires no installation as it can be booted from a CD/DVD drive or USB stick, but it can be installed on the hard disk if you wish. The kernel supports all important file systems (ext2/ext3/ext4, reiserfs, btrfs, xfs, jfs, vfat, ntfs), as well as network filesystems (samba and nfs).

Now as you have understood by now, whenever I can, I skip burning CD/DVD’s and will at worse use a USB stick or at best use PXE Boot.

Lets use TinyPXE Server + iPXE.

First lets prepare our iPXE script (save it to rescue.ipxe)

set boot-url http://${next-server}
kernel ${boot-url}/sysrcd-4.1.0/isolinux/rescue32 dodhcp netboot=${boot-url}/sysrcd-4.1.0/sysrcd.dat
initrd ${boot-url}/sysrcd-4.1.0/isolinux/initram.igz

Then lets prepare our files

Extrat the content of SystemRescueCD iso to /sysrcd-4.1.0, next to TinyPXE Server.
You can use 7Zip for this operation.

Now, lets setup TinyPXE Server


Now, lets boot !

 Posted by at 20 h 20 min
Mar 112014

There are times where you need to make a bootable disk image, to boot from pxe, or from a boot loader (grub4dos, ms bootmgr, etc).

Lets see how to make it quick and easy with CloneDisk :

1-Lets create and attach a virtual disk
2-Lets create a disk
3-Lets create a partition
4-Lets format it
5-Lets install grub4dos as bootloader
6-Lets copy/paste grldr and menu.lst

1-Lets create and attach a virtual disk
->ignore the parent field
->fill in the path field
->indicate the size (in MB)
->lets go for a fixed one (vs dynamic)


2-Lets create a disk (i.e initialise)


3-Lets create a partition
->CloneDisk will use the whole disk size and will make the partition active


4-Lets format it (FAT or FAT32, NTFS works too)


5-Lets install grub4dos as bootloader in the MBR


6-Do not close CloneDisk yet (or else your new virtual logical drive will away) and copy/paste grldr and menu.lst (in CloneDisk zip file)


You got yourself a bootable disk image, feel free to add your own content.
Even better, since we used a VHD format, you can later on expand this virtual disk.

In a next tutorial, we will see how to PXE boot this virtual disk.

 Posted by at 13 h 46 min
Mar 012014

The excellent Rufus software got updated to version 1.4.4.

  • Add uncompressed Disk Image support (FreeBSD, FreeNAS, etc.) (NEW)
  • Add right-to-left language support (NEW)
  • Add an alert when multiple partitions are about to be erased (NEW)
  • Add (unofficial) NTFS Compression support (NEW)
  • Add Finnish translation, courtesy of Riku Brander
  • Ignore failure on ISO autorun.inf creation, to keep dumb security applications happy
  • Improve hotplug detection
  • Improve Syslinux v5+ support (requires an internet connection to download extra files)
  • Fix support for latest gparted, ArchLinux, and other Syslinux v5+ based ISOs
  • Fix detection for Toshiba drives (again)
  • Fix UDF Unicode support
 Posted by at 15 h 49 min
Jan 252014

BOOTICE is a powerful boot-related utility.
It’s desired to manipulate (install, backup, restore) the MBR and PBR of disks (or disk images), to partition and format disks, to edit disk sectors in hexadecimal, to erase all the data on your disk or logical drive (by filling with customizable characters), to edit Grub4DOS boot menu, and to edit BCD file of Windows NT 6.x.

2013.12.10 v1.3.2.1
1. Fixed the bug that compacting VHD doesn’t work on Windows 7.

◆ 2013.12.07 v1.3.2
1. VHD/VHDX supporting. Now you can create, mount or unmount, resize, compact, reset the parent VHD file for VHD/VHDX files.
2. Better partition formatting speed, especially for NTFS.
3. Allow formatting as FAT32 on a partition larger than 32GB.
4. Fixed a bug that cuases wrong total sectors of VHD files.
5. When installing GRUB4DOS/WEE MBR, the choice « Install NT6 MBR to the 2nd sector » was checked initially.

Find it here.


Jan 132014


  • fixed: remoteport=4011 when srcport=4011 -> was preventing some ipxe client to boot (uefi for exemple)
  • changed: opt60=empty by default when using opt67 (was ‘PXEClient’ before) -> was preventing ipxe client to boot with opt67
  • changed: opt60=’PXEClient’ when proxydhcp=1 (was hardcoded before) -> more flexible
  • fixed: xid is now displayed correctly -> was reversed order
  • fixed: was sending an empty boot filename in proxydhcp in the dhcp_offer stage -> removed, was preventing proxydhcp+opt67
  • changed: bind=true by default when multiple interfaces detected -> was preventing pxe boot with multiple interfaces when bind=false

Discuss it here.

 Posted by at 23 h 26 min