topbanner_forum
  *

avatar image

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
  • November 16, 2018, 06:11 AM
  • Proudly celebrating 13 years online.
  • Donate now to become a lifetime supporting member of the site and get a non-expiring license key for all of our programs.
  • donate

Last post Author Topic: Custom WinPE build  (Read 2199 times)

ichimitch

  • Participant
  • Joined in 2013
  • *
  • Posts: 13
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Custom WinPE build
« on: August 06, 2018, 07:08 AM »
Using the Win10PE SE tool (available here: http://win10se.cwcodes.net) I have been trying with frustratingly little success to create a custom WinPE build to act as a lightweight OS for an arcade cabinet.

I experimented a little with someone else's custom WinPE build called "Bob.Omb's Modified Win10PE" (available here: https://goo.gl/bs3rUA). Using that build and a few downloaded .dll files I was able to run frontend Launchbox (available here: www.launchbox-app.com) as well as a number of emulators.

The problem with using Bob.Omb's build is that it was intended to be used as recovery media and is loaded with a tonne of applications for recovery purposes; but it did show me that what I want to achieve IS possible. Seemingly though, I'm very out of my depth :( Which is why I am here. If anyone out there would be willing to take on this WinPE build for me I would pay for your efforts, if I'm able to match what you think it's worth.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2018, 11:34 AM by ichimitch »

Shades

  • Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 2,390
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Custom WinPE build
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2018, 06:09 PM »
It must be Windows? If emulation of games is the only thing required, I think you can get much more quickly a linux-based bootable environment where you can select the type of emulator (Amiga, MegaDrive, SNES, etc.) and then use the emulator software to look for the ROM you want to play.

This is a LifeHacker link with instructions on how to create such a system with Lakka.

Another simple (but time-consuming) way to attack this problem is to create the PE environment that did work for you onto a pendrive, strip that one from all the apps/tools you don't think you need and recreate an iso file from what remains. A tool called: Folder2Iso could be of help.

Or get a Raspberry Pi device (about 30 USD) and use the emulation station software with it. This works also with Linux and Windows machines, but those kinda  defeat the whole purpose.

In any case, what you want has been done already and can be attained for a relatively small amount of money and a bit of (hobbying) time. There are worse ways to spend a Saturday :)

ichimitch

  • Participant
  • Joined in 2013
  • *
  • Posts: 13
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Custom WinPE build
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2018, 04:59 AM »
I'm set on Windows for one reason only: to use Launchbox as the frontend for my cabinet.

Launchbox is by far the best frontend out there IMO (https://youtu.be/Wdp9IB5pl2Y) however it's only available for Windows. The devs say they will create a Linux version one day but they've been saying that for years now so I won't hold my breath.

The problem with using a full OS for a dedicated arcade cabinet is the amount of unwanted background processes. So I set out to create a WinPE build which contains only the essential framework for Launchbox and emulators.

After nearly 40 hours of wrestling with it I had a breakthrough today. Now I have an OS which is light on resources and has absolute minimal chance of some background task ever interfering while the emulators are running. Next step: add Launchbox.

I dare say this cabinet will be one of a kind :)
« Last Edit: August 07, 2018, 05:20 AM by ichimitch »

Ath

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 3,288
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Custom WinPE build
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2018, 09:06 AM »
You seem to run it on a quad-core CPU with HT. What horrible amount of media do you need to run simultaneously that can't be handled by a normal Windows? Or is it a whoofully inefficient/old system?
And there are ample recipes for stopping any unneeded Windows services, might that be a bottleneck.
IMHO, you are hunting for ghosts.

Btw, do you have a solution for the (free and forced, but usually undesired) reboot after running Win PE for 72 hours?

wraith808

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 9,814
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Custom WinPE build
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2018, 09:08 AM »
I'd not heard of the Launchbox project!  I'll have to look into that.  Are you making your WinPE build public?  I'd love to take a look at what you've done.

You seem to run it on a quad-core CPU with HT. What horrible amount of media do you need to run simultaneously that can't be handled by a normal Windows? Or is it a whoofully inefficient/old system?
And there are ample recipes for stopping any unneeded Windows services, might that be a bottleneck.
IMHO, you are hunting for ghosts.

Btw, do you have a solution for the (free and forced, but usually undesired) reboot after running Win PE for 72 hours?

It seems to me that he's running games.  In a console cabinet.  Which means he's probably running one of those book sized machines.

Ath

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 3,288
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Custom WinPE build
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2018, 09:20 AM »
It seems to me that he's running games.  In a console cabinet.  Which means he's probably running one of those book sized machines.
Yes, on a system with 16GB of memory (as it seems) and a quad-core, if that won't perform properly, what else will?... As said, I think he's hunting for ghosts. Overclocking, or selecting a higher frequency CPU, will add more bang than running Win PE with all it's limitations.

Deozaan

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • ***
  • Points: 1
  • Posts: 8,563
    • View Profile
    • The Blog of Deozaan
    • Donate to Member
Re: Custom WinPE build
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2018, 09:45 AM »
Interesting project, ichimitch.

Please document your progress and share the information on how you achieve your results, so others can benefit from your experience. :Thmbsup:

wraith808

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 9,814
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Custom WinPE build
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2018, 10:49 AM »
It seems to me that he's running games.  In a console cabinet.  Which means he's probably running one of those book sized machines.
Yes, on a system with 16GB of memory (as it seems) and a quad-core, if that won't perform properly, what else will?... As said, I think he's hunting for ghosts. Overclocking, or selecting a higher frequency CPU, will add more bang than running Win PE with all it's limitations.

Even on a 16 GB machine, windows processes can interfere and make your gaming experience less than optimal.  If he can get this out of the way as a possible impediment, and then move on to doing things with the hardware if necessary, I'd see it as a useful step, personally.

Shades

  • Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 2,390
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Custom WinPE build
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2018, 01:43 PM »
It seems to me that he's running games.  In a console cabinet.  Which means he's probably running one of those book sized machines.
Yes, on a system with 16GB of memory (as it seems) and a quad-core, if that won't perform properly, what else will?... As said, I think he's hunting for ghosts. Overclocking, or selecting a higher frequency CPU, will add more bang than running Win PE with all it's limitations.

Even on a 16 GB machine, windows processes can interfere and make your gaming experience less than optimal.  If he can get this out of the way as a possible impediment, and then move on to doing things with the hardware if necessary, I'd see it as a useful step, personally.

And that is more often caused by I/O interrupts that make the processor "hick-up". A reason is usually a sub-optimal hardware mix, no matter how over provisioned.

If an absolute bare-bones Windows installation is what you after, you should look at how musicians set up their Windows-based studio. Those persons have a much better understanding of what hardware combinations work and all the services/functionality you must strip from Windows that create these processor "hick-ups". Normally you barely notice interruptions in the flow of information that your eyes/ears receive from the computer, but when the soul purpose is to record the best quality sound without any interruption from either hardware or software, you install only the bare minimum of extra software and strip all surplus from that computer.

Persons that have such a computer usually keep it out of any network, disable all Windows updates and won't patch any software unless absolutely necessary, as such a state is difficult and often expensive to attain.
Which is why it is often easier to not use Windows. A Raspberry Pi computer is much more limited in hardware capabilities, but it is hardware that has proven to work very well together. Then there are special Linux-based operating systems for it. Hardware and software that work in tandem.

After taking a brief look at Launchbox and Kalla, my personal preference would be Kalla, because of its cleaner, deceivingly simpler look. While Launchbox appears to have more expansion options, Kalla works with PC's, Mac's and raspberry Pi or similar devices. If looked at pure gaming experience, I think both systems are pretty evenly matched.

Hirens BootCD is under new management and made a new PE disc based on Windows 10. This can be easily adjusted to your needs. I created a bootable pendrive, then added my whole portable apps collection to it (about 12GByte) and 70% of those worked right out of the gate. With looking/applying missing dependencies that is now up to 90%. Just to indicate that adding, but also removing tools/apps, is quite simple with this boot CD. The Hirens BootCD is also only half the size (1.3GByte) than the Bob.Omb's Modified Win10PE boot CD (2.6GByte), while both have very similar feature sets and functionality.

ichimitch

  • Participant
  • Joined in 2013
  • *
  • Posts: 13
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Custom WinPE build
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2018, 08:00 PM »
I was testing the build on my laptop. As I used the laptop to compile the build.

The target machine is an old Core 2 Duo with 2gb RAM. The intention is to be able to turn old machines (which would otherwise only going to a computer recycling company) into arcade machine guts.

I was unaware of the 72 hour reboot with WinPE. However I'm using tools developed by TheOven.org to compile my build. They have a very strong community writing scripts to implement all kinds features PE was never intended to have (and in fact designed by MS not to have). They have most likely already taken care of this issue but I will be inquiring on their forum.

If "hunting for ghosts" means building an OS build which is TOO efficient, I think that's a silly point to make. I'm a pessimist but even I think that's being needlessly negative.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2018, 02:40 AM by ichimitch »

ichimitch

  • Participant
  • Joined in 2013
  • *
  • Posts: 13
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Custom WinPE build
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2018, 08:13 PM »

If an absolute bare-bones Windows installation is what you after, you should look at how musicians set up their Windows-based studio. Those persons have a much better understanding of what hardware combinations work and all the services/functionality you must strip from Windows that create these processor "hick-ups". Normally you barely notice interruptions in the flow of information that your eyes/ears receive from the computer, but when the soul purpose is to record the best quality sound without any interruption from either hardware or software, you install only the bare minimum of extra software and strip all surplus from that computer.


Thanks. Do you know where the best place would be to look for examples of this? A link to a forum maybe?

After taking a brief look at Launchbox and Kalla, my personal preference would be Kalla, because of its cleaner, deceivingly simpler look. While Launchbox appears to have more expansion options, Kalla works with PC's, Mac's and raspberry Pi or similar devices. If looked at pure gaming experience, I think both systems are pretty evenly matched.

I hadn't heard of Kalla. I tried to search for it but didn't find it. Do you have a link?

I've already put a lot of time into doing things a certain way but as they say "Don’t cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it."  I'm open to the idea there's a better way.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2018, 08:44 PM by ichimitch »

ichimitch

  • Participant
  • Joined in 2013
  • *
  • Posts: 13
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Custom WinPE build
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2018, 08:26 PM »
I'd not heard of the Launchbox project!  I'll have to look into that.  Are you making your WinPE build public?  I'd love to take a look at what you've done.

I've been following Launchbox since they started out. The community has grown a lot and have created a lot of custom themes for the 'Big Box' mode. Big Box being the mode intended for usage in a cabinet setup; which is now unfortunately a paid feature. The standard mode for desktop use remains free.

I have a premium license but it was much cheaper when I bought it. I think back then it was $20. Now they're asking for $50 :(  They do occasionally run promotions, though. So if you follow them on social media or join the mailing list you might pick it up discounted.

I will absolutely make my WinPE build public if I get it to a place where I'm happy with it. I'm feelling pretty frustrated with it at the moment... but I believe it's worth persisting with. Thanks for the kind words.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2018, 09:00 PM by ichimitch »

wraith808

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 9,814
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Custom WinPE build
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2018, 09:45 PM »
The target machine is an old Core 2 Duo with 2gb RAM. The intention is to be able to turn old machines (which would otherwise only going to a computer recycling company) into arcade machine guts.


That's what I thought might be the case when you said it was for a console- that it was one of those book type machines.  I have one sitting here that full windows was just too much for when I was looking at doing it.  I just haven't had the time to get it up and running, so your efforts are really interesting to me.

ichimitch

  • Participant
  • Joined in 2013
  • *
  • Posts: 13
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Custom WinPE build
« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2018, 10:21 PM »
I just got feedback from Jason Carr, the lead developer of Launchbox. He thinks the reason I'm having difficulties is because I need pretty much every DirectX library ever. Not just DirectX 11. Trying to include those libraries in the build now. Progress :)

Stoic Joker

  • Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2008
  • **
  • Posts: 6,479
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Custom WinPE build
« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2018, 06:54 AM »
Sounds like a job for Windows 10 IoT Edition, as it's already stripped down to run on minimal (pie class) hardware.

ichimitch

  • Participant
  • Joined in 2013
  • *
  • Posts: 13
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Custom WinPE build
« Reply #15 on: August 08, 2018, 07:29 AM »
I was reading about IoT edition literally moments before your post. It does sound worth a shot! I'm having a difficult time locating the version for x86, though... perhaps the "Minnowboard" version will work on other x86 hardware.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2018, 07:55 AM by ichimitch »

wraith808

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 9,814
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Custom WinPE build
« Reply #16 on: August 08, 2018, 07:46 AM »
I was reading about IoT edition literally moments before your post. It does sound worth a shot! I'm having a difficult time locating the version for x86, though.

Why are you looking for x86?  Core 2 Duo proecessors are 64 bit processors, and the 64 bit version will run 32 bit programs just fine.

ichimitch

  • Participant
  • Joined in 2013
  • *
  • Posts: 13
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Custom WinPE build
« Reply #17 on: August 08, 2018, 07:56 AM »
IoT is mainly for single board computers, like Raspbery Pi. I mainly said x86 to differentiate from the ARM build but I also don't think IoT has a 64bit version, from what I've seen so far.

I followed this guide to run Windows IoT from a VM. That's a start.
https://www.newventu...in-a-virtual-machine

If nothing else, this opens up the possibility to run Launchbox from SBC systems.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2018, 08:58 AM by ichimitch »

Shades

  • Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 2,390
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Custom WinPE build
« Reply #18 on: August 08, 2018, 11:22 AM »
The link to Lakka. It is still a http website, in case your chrome browser starts to whine about that.

wraith808

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 9,814
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Custom WinPE build
« Reply #19 on: August 08, 2018, 11:47 AM »
IoT is mainly for single board computers, like Raspbery Pi. I mainly said x86 to differentiate from the ARM build but I also don't think IoT has a 64bit version, from what I've seen so far.

I followed this guide to run Windows IoT from a VM. That's a start.
https://www.newventu...in-a-virtual-machine

If nothing else, this opens up the possibility to run Launchbox from SBC systems.

Ah... I get it now.  It's not built for desktop architecture.  But VirtualBox can emulate that.  The more you know!  You're getting me interested in delving into this now... thanks for updating us on your progress!

UPDATE: I found this quote in the docs for IoT:

Windows IoT Core is a version of Windows 10 that is optimized for smaller devices with or without a display that run on both ARM and x86/x64 devices.
(from https://docs.microso...ore/windows-iot-core)

But I can't find the build for it.  Strange!


ichimitch

  • Participant
  • Joined in 2013
  • *
  • Posts: 13
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Custom WinPE build
« Reply #20 on: August 08, 2018, 01:05 PM »
Yeah seemingly the hardware IoT will run on is very limited

ichimitch

  • Participant
  • Joined in 2013
  • *
  • Posts: 13
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Custom WinPE build
« Reply #21 on: August 08, 2018, 01:11 PM »
The link to Lakka. It is still a http website, in case your chrome browser starts to whine about that.

I'm really not into Lakka. It doesn't support box art, music clips, video clips, attract mode... Any of the stuff Launchbox has. Just a PS3 style XMB menu :/ Just not very arcadish. More of a console interface.

OH! I just realised what's happened. In your last post you said "Kalla" and I thought it was a different frontend of some description but you meant Lakka. I'm on the same page now.

wraith808

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 9,814
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Custom WinPE build
« Reply #22 on: August 08, 2018, 01:17 PM »
And that is more often caused by I/O interrupts that make the processor "hick-up". A reason is usually a sub-optimal hardware mix, no matter how over provisioned.

I've seen it quite often be something other than I/O and hardware.  There's only so much a processor can do at any given time, and only so many resources.  That's the bottleneck that I'm talking about.

Deozaan

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • ***
  • Points: 1
  • Posts: 8,563
    • View Profile
    • The Blog of Deozaan
    • Donate to Member
Re: Custom WinPE build
« Reply #23 on: August 08, 2018, 07:26 PM »
UPDATE: I found this quote in the docs for IoT:

Windows IoT Core is a version of Windows 10 that is optimized for smaller devices with or without a display that run on both ARM and x86/x64 devices.
(from https://docs.microso...ore/windows-iot-core)

But I can't find the build for it.  Strange!

If you have a Raspberry Pi, their NOOBS (New Out Of the Box Software) package includes an installer option for Windows 10 IoT. Or if you can get VirtualBox to emulate a Pi, you can try NOOBS on that.

wraith808

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 9,814
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Custom WinPE build
« Reply #24 on: August 08, 2018, 07:32 PM »
UPDATE: I found this quote in the docs for IoT:

Windows IoT Core is a version of Windows 10 that is optimized for smaller devices with or without a display that run on both ARM and x86/x64 devices.
(from https://docs.microso...ore/windows-iot-core)

But I can't find the build for it.  Strange!

If you have a Raspberry Pi, their NOOBS (New Out Of the Box Software) package includes an installer option for Windows 10 IoT. Or if you can get VirtualBox to emulate a Pi, you can try NOOBS on that.


I guess that could have been taken multiple ways.  I meant I can't find the installer for x86/x64 devices.  The installers for other processors are on that page.