Simplified WIMBoot Dell Venue 8 Pro Guide

Discussion in 'Dell' started by Ipaqman, Jun 27, 2014.

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  1. Ipaqman

    Ipaqman Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Revised Guide to WIMBooting your Dell Venue 8 Pro and freeing up space
    Version 1.8 - new ISO 1.2 to account for newer DV8P partition setup.

    Applying WIMBoot to a DV8P can get you about 12 GB extra disk space.
    I WIMBooted my 5 month old DV8P with all kinds of software on it. Originally, there was only 6.1 GB free. Now there is 18.3 GB free.

    This procedure is based upon ideas from EddCase, MS TechNet, and others.
    The scripts were based on MS TechNet information.
    My goal was to create a procedure that should work with most DV8P tablets. This procedure has been tested many times by several users.

    === Disclaimer - I do not claim that this works at all. Use at your own risk ===

    === Prerequisites ====

    A fully charged Dell Venue 8 Pro with WINRETOOLS partition and all partitions backed up. A working backup is your safety net. The PBR image is needed if you want to re-install Windows for this procedure.
    See the bottom of post for instructions on how to backup using Macrium Reflect.

    16 GB USB flash drive (revised upwards for bigger Windows)
    USB keyboard
    OTG cable
    USB hub optional

    ==== Brief Overview ===

    Download files.
    Build WinPE USB drive with the downloaded ISO.
    Update Windows 8.1 to 8.1.1 and clean it up.
    Boot to the WinPE USB drive which does all the work - takes two hours or less.

    === Section One ====== Download files

    Download WinPE_DV8Pv1.2.zip.
    https://onedrive.live.com/redir?res...391&authkey=!AB3t3EFM_ttP_qA&ithint=file,.zip
    Download Windows8.1-KB2919442-x86.msu.
    Download Update for Windows 8.1 (KB2919442) from Official Microsoft Download Center
    Download Windows8.1-KB2919355-x86.msu.
    Download Windows 8.1 Update (KB2919355) from Official Microsoft Download Center

    Extract the contents of WinPE_DV8Pv1.2.zip => rufus.exe, WinPE_DV8P.iso.

    === Section Two ====== Build WinPE USB drive

    Plug in the USB drive.

    Find rufus.exe using Windows Explorer and double click on it.
    Select the USB device, File system = NTFS.
    Click on the CD icon to find and select the extracted WinPE_DV8P.iso.
    Set Label = WinPE 5.1
    Click Start. Confirm.
    Click Close.

    Copy the *.msu files to the WinPE USB drive (required).

    Optionally, copy the *.msu files and CleanImage.cmd from the WinPE drive to your microSD D:\ drive so that the DV8P can stay AC powered at a later stage.

    If you are not using the standard DV8P partition setup and the WINRETOOLS partition does not exist, you will need to copy your 8.1 WinRE.wim to the WinPE USB drive root.

    Test the WinPE USB drive by booting to it.

    To boot to the USB drive, press and hold the Windows start button, press the power button briefly.
    When the Dell logo appears, release the start button. Press the volume up button to go to the boot selector.
    Press volume up to select the WinPE drive. Then press volume down to boot from the selected drive.
    This is a reliable way to boot to other drives with the DV8P.

    Reboot to Windows by closing the command window by pressing on the X close button.
    The first USB boot runs a test script. Subsequent boots run the full WIMBoot script.

    === Section Three ===== Set up Windows for WIMBoot

    Plug in the power cable.

    In this section, you will set up a version of Windows similar to your original DV8P installation.

    If instead, you choose to use your current version of Windows, update it to 8.1 update 1, CleanImage.cmd, sysprep\sysprep /oobe /shutdown. and jump to Section Four.

    Reinstall Windows via Change PC settings > Update and Recovery > Recovery > Remove Everything and Reinstall Windows.
    This will wipe out your Windows and your personal files and data.
    When you get to the first Windows screen: Region and language, plug in a USB keyboard.
    Press SHIFT CTL F3 to go to Sysprep mode. Windows will reboot.
    You can plug in the power cable again.

    Press the Metro desktop button
    Ignore the sysprep window

    Turn Encryption off, because if you do not, the script to convert to WimBoot may fail.

    Right Swipe > Settings > Change PC Settings > PC Devices > PC Info > Turn off encryption

    Here you can install Dell fixes and updates and other software. If it needs a reboot, do so.

    Plug in the WinPE USB drive.
    Find the *.msu files using Windows Explorer.
    Do the following in the specified order:

    Double click Windows8.1-KB2919442-x86.msu
    Double click Windows8.1-KB2919355-x86.msu

    Accept the restart option
    After the restart, press the Metro desktop button.

    Using Windows Explorer, find CleanImage.cmd on your WinPE USB drive.
    Select CleanImage.cmd and right click it.
    Select Run as administrator.

    In the Sysprep window, select OOBE and shutdown and click OK. Windows will shutdown.

    === Section Four ==== WIMBoot your DV8P

    Plug in the WinPE USB and boot to it. If you accidentally restart Windows, do the sysprep step again.

    The WinPE USB Boot drive will start the WIMBoot process.
    Then it will repartition your DV8P drive.
    Then it will install Windows WIMBooted.

    Try not to disturb the command window by touching inside the window. The output may hang.

    When it is all done, power down the DV8P by pressing the power button for over ten seconds. Then power it up.

    Set up your new Windows if necessary. If you are not using a new stock Windows, set up a temp local account, sign out and sign back in as your previous MS account. Delete the temp local account.

    Search for prompt
    Select Command Prompt and Run as administrator.
    Run:
    reagentc /enable

    === All Done ===

    You can save the WinPE USB drive as a disaster recovery backup. Do not modify or move the DV8P Images partition. The file pointers on C:\ depends on it.
    If you boot from the WinPE USB drive again, it will install Windows WIMBooted overwriting everything.
    Have fun with this procedure. I learned a lot about WIMBoot, WinPE, and scripting trying to make this as automated as possible.

    =================================================

    How to backup DV8P using Macrium Reflect (Free edition)

    1) Install the free version of Macrium Reflect.
    2) Plug in a 1 GB or larger USB drive. Use a much larger drive if you want to save your image to the USB drive.
    3) Run Macrium Reflect, select Other Tasks > Create Rescue Media > Select the defaults and build your WinPE 32 bit based USB rescue media.
    4) Then while in Macrium Reflect, select Image all local drives on this computer. Choose the DV8P drive. Select the destination folder and click Next and then Finish.

    You have now backed up your DV8P. You should test your rescue media by booting to it.

    To use the Reflect USB drive to restore an image, boot to the USB drive. When Reflect is ready, you can unplug the USB drive and plug in a USB mouse.

    If want to add touchscreen support to the Reflect USB drive to skip the need for a mouse,
    find C:\Drivers on your DV8P and copy it to the Reflect USB rescue media \Drivers folder.
    You can also find the driver files in the system32\driverstore\filerepository\pmicxxxxxxx folder. Copy the four pmic files to the USB \Drivers folder. There may be more than one pmicxxxxx folder. Choose any one.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2014
  2. Ipaqman

    Ipaqman Scribbler - Standard Member

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    A Shorter Guide to WIMBooting your DV8P to save space
    Version 1.7 - match full instructions

    === Disclaimer - I do not claim that this works at all. Use at your own risk ===

    This condensed set of instructions will leave your Windows as is and provide a recovery to this current Windows state.

    === Prerequisites ====

    A charged DV8P with an intact WINRETOOLS partition with all partitions backed up.
    16 GB USB flash drive (recommend high speed drive such as PNY Turbo)
    OTG cable

    === Section One ====== Download files

    Download WinPE_DV8Pv1.2.zip.
    https://onedrive.live.com/redir?res...391&authkey=!AB3t3EFM_ttP_qA&ithint=file,.zip[
    Download Windows8.1-KB2919442-x86.msu.
    Download Update for Windows 8.1 (KB2919442) from Official Microsoft Download Center
    Download Windows8.1-KB2919355-x86.msu.
    Download Windows 8.1 Update (KB2919355) from Official Microsoft Download Center

    Extract the contents of WinPE_DV8Pv1.2.zip => rufus.exe, WinPE_DV8P.iso.

    === Section Two ====== Build WinPE USB drive

    Plug in the USB drive.

    Run rufus.exe.
    Select the USB device, File system = NTFS.
    Click on the CD icon to find and select the extracted WinPE_DV8P.iso. Set Label = WinPE 5.1
    Click Start. Confirm.
    Click Close.

    Copy the *.msu files to the WinPE USB drive (required).

    Test the WinPE USB drive by booting to it.
    Reboot back to Windows.
    The first USB boot runs a test script. Subsequent boots run the full WIMBoot script.

    === Section Three ===== Set up Windows for WIMBoot

    Make sure that your Windows is updated to Windows 8.1 Update 1. Update 1 shows a Windows Store Icon on the task bar.

    Turn Encryption off, because if you do not, the script to convert to WimBoot may fail.

    Run CleanImage.cmd as administrator.
    Run Command Prompt as administrator and run sysprep\sysprep.exe /oobe /shutdown.

    === Section Four ==== WIMBoot your DV8P

    Plug in the WinPE USB and boot to it. If you accidentally restart Windows, do the sysprep step again.

    The WinPE USB Boot drive will start the WIMBoot process.

    When it is all done, reboot to Windows.

    Set up Windows as your previous PC settings but sign in as a temp local account. Sign out and sign in as your previous MS account. Delete the temp local account.

    Select Command Prompt and Run as administrator.
    Run:
    reagentc /enable

    === All Done ===
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2014
  3. Parastie

    Parastie Pen Pal - Newbie

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    This still keeps the original recovery partition on the drive?
     
  4. Ipaqman

    Ipaqman Scribbler - Standard Member

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    In short, here is what MS says about WIMBoot :
    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.

    This is like running Windows from all compressed files. However, the actual compressed files are kept in the recovery partition and and not on the C: drive. When Windows opens a file, it sees a file pointer on the C: drive and retrieves and uncompresses the file from the WIM file in the recovery partition.

    So a fully installed Windows C: drive uses up about 1GB of space in this new WIMBoot scheme.

    If you need to re-install Windows, Windows use the recovery partition to install Windows on the C: drive with these file pointers.

    So the WIMBooted system does not waste space with a recovery partition. It is actually running from the recovery partition. Instead of having two copies of every Windows file, there is only the one compressed file and a pointer to that file.

    This scheme may bring up performance questions in your mind. I ran PCMark 7 before and after WIMBooting and got the same or better score. I was surprised and pleased. Due to performance requirements, WIMBoot is limited to solid state storage devices where track seek time is insignificant.

    Google the term WIMBoot and you will find detailed information about it.
     
  5. Parastie

    Parastie Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Yes I know that, but I mean the stock dell restore partition. Is that still on the computer after this? That takes up a lot of space.
     
  6. Ipaqman

    Ipaqman Scribbler - Standard Member

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    No, the original drive is cleaned off and four new partitions are created. The recovery partition size is calculated based upon the winre.wim size and the new install.wim size. The rest of the drive is taken up with the UEFI partition needed for booting from UEFI to NTFS, the 128MB mandatory partition, and the C:\ drive partition. The UEFI partition is named System, the next one is named Other, the recovery partition is named Images.

    If you plan to WIMBoot your current C:\Drive as I just did, you do not need the original PBR images partition. You only need that PBR partition if you want to re-install Windows before starting this procedure. Then it is no longer needed. The WINRETOOLS partition has the winre.wim file in it.
     
  7. sound beacon

    sound beacon Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I deleted my recovery partition (I did create a backup of the drive before hand but would prefer not to restore it if not needed).

    From your explanations above I assumed the WINRETOOLS partition would be created during this process (meaning I shouldn't need an intact WINRETOOLS partition as a pre-req to do this).

    What are my options since I deleted the original recovery/winretools partition?
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2014
  8. Ipaqman

    Ipaqman Scribbler - Standard Member

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    If you recover the WinRE.wim from the backed up WINRETOOLS partition, you can copy that to the WinPE USB root. I presumed that some users might be running a non-stock Windows. If you backed up the WINRETOOLS partition via Reflect, you can double-click on the image file and Macrium will allow you to open the partition as a drive. Then you can copy the WinRE.wim from \Recovery\WindowsRE\WinRE.wim.

    If you find a Windows 8.1 Update 1 WinRE.wim, you can just copy that to the WinPE USB \Images folder.
     
  9. sound beacon

    sound beacon Pen Pal - Newbie

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    The WinRE.wim file in my backup is from before I installed Update 1. Will that cause any problems?

    Also, if I follow the steps in option 2, (reusing my current os install) will I still gain space? I am going to assume starting with a fresh install will give me the most space?
     
  10. Ipaqman

    Ipaqman Scribbler - Standard Member

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    This procedure is designed to handle a 8.1 WinRE.wim and a 8.1 update 1 WinRE.wim.

    If you have a WinRE.wim, copy it to the WinPE USB drive root. The process will handle both.

    Actually, you should gain more space from a current Windows install compared to a stock Windows. This is probably due to having your installed components also compressed.

    BTW, I found a bug where I waste space in install.wim by leaving the C:\Images folder full of wims.
    I am fixing that in BuildWinRE.cmd. I also have a fix that I am testing now which saves an additional 0.6 GB for those who have the wasted space in the install.wim.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2014
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