Windows XP OEM Preinstallation Kit Design Notes

Microsoft® Windows® Family of Operating Systems

Hard Disk-based Recovery Solutions
Version 2.01 March 19, 2003 This white paper includes the licensing and technical requirements for a hard disk-based recovery solution. System builders may offer a hard disk-based recovery solution, but Microsoft is not developing new technologies or new software tools at this time for system builders to include in this recovery solution. Software is available from third-party companies to help system builders create a recovery solution, or you may use the Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE) to create a recovery solution. Recovery solutions using removable media are not permitted under the terms of the Microsoft OEM System Builder License (http://oem.microsoft.com/worldwide/script/509511.asp).

The information contained in this document represents the current view of Microsoft Corporation on the issues discussed as of the date of publication. Because Microsoft must respond to changing market conditions, it should not be interpreted to be a commitment on the part of Microsoft, and Microsoft cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information presented after the date of publication. This white paper is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, AS TO THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT. Complying with all applicable copyright laws is the responsibility of the user. Without limiting the rights under copyright, no part of this document may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), or for any purpose, without the express written permission of Microsoft Corporation. Microsoft may have patents, patent applications, trademarks, copyrights, or other intellectual property rights covering subject matter in this document. Except as expressly provided in any written license agreement from Microsoft, the furnishing of this document does not give you any license to these patents, trademarks, copyrights, or other intellectual property. Unless otherwise noted, the example companies, organizations, software, hardware, domain names, e-mail addresses, logos, people, places and events depicted herein are fictitious, and no association with any real company, organization, software, hardware, domain name, email address, logo, person, place or event is intended or should be inferred. © 2003 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Microsoft, Windows, and Windows NT are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States or other countries or regions. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Contents
Hard Disk-based Recovery Solutions.......................................................................................1 Benefits of Hard Disk-based Recovery Solutions.................................................................1 OEM System Builder Licensing Requirements....................................................................1 Deciding Which Tools are Right for You...............................................................................3 Using Windows PE to Create Your Recovery Solution.............................................................3 What is Windows PE?..........................................................................................................4 Benefits of Using Windows PE.............................................................................................4 A Process to Create a Windows PE Recovery Solution.......................................................4 Using Third-Party Hard Disk-based Recovery Solutions...........................................................8 Benefits of Third-Party Recovery Solutions..........................................................................8 An Example of a Third-Party Recovery Solution..................................................................9 Resources for Third-Party Recovery Solutions...................................................................11

Hard Disk-based Recovery Solutions
The Windows hologram CD is one form of a recovery solution, but many OEMs want to offer a recovery solution that also restores the customizations they have made to the Windows operating system. System builders have the option of offering their customers a hard disk-based recovery solution for Windows, including Windows 98, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003. Because many factors can cause computers to fail and lose valuable information, a recovery plan is an essential ingredient for customer service and support. Some causes of computer system failures include: • • • Power surges and outages Inadvertent end-user errors Computer viruses

A hard disk-based recovery solution provides a way for end users to restore the Windows operating system to its initial state. At a minimum, your recovery solution must: • • • Provide a simple way for novice users to recover from system failures. Provide documentation that gives users a step-by-step approach to recovery. Enable a non-destructive recovery model that prevents loss of data.

Benefits of Hard Disk-based Recovery Solutions
Hard disk-based recovery methods offer advantages to system builders. This type of recovery solution is: • • • • Easy to update: you can change the recovery image at any time. Easy to integrate: you can include the recovery image at the end of your manufacturing process. Easy for end users: they do not need to keep or store recovery CDs. Easy to manage: there is no need to create, manage, and track master recovery CDs and DVDs.

This paper provides a high-level roadmap to help you identify which solution is best for your needs. The remainder of this paper provides an explanation of the licensing requirements for OEM system builders, some key considerations for deciding which tools for recovery are right for you, a scenario for using Windows PE to create your own recovery solution, and a scenario for using third-party recovery solutions.

OEM System Builder Licensing Requirements
Offering a hard disk-based recovery solution does not change any requirements of the Microsoft OEM System Builder License that is located on the side of each Microsoft System Builder Pack, as detailed in the OEM Preinstallation Kit (OPK) documentation that applies to that specific version of Windows. Even when you create a hard diskbased recovery solution, system builders must still distribute the Microsoft-branded Windows hologram CD-ROM and applicable components (such as the software manual) with the computer on which the operating system is installed, and attach the Certificate of Authenticity (COA) label to the computer chassis. You must meet the following requirements when implementing a hard disk-based recovery solution.

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• •

System builders are prohibited from creating recovery solutions that are stored on removable media, because this is a violation of the Microsoft OEM System Builder License. A full version of the Windows operating system is provided on a CD-ROM in the Microsoft System Builder Pack for each end user. The CD-ROM and all associated media must be transferred to the end user when the end user accepts delivery of the computer. The hologram CD-ROM is the removable recovery media for system builders. System builders are not permitted to create their own recovery media. The Microsoft OEM System Builder License does not permit reproduction of Microsoft software. Any unauthorized reproduction of Microsoft software, including recovery media: • Infringes Microsoft’s copyright. • • Is illegal. Can result in civil and criminal liability.

• •

The Microsoft operating system software on the hard disk-based recovery solution may be used only to restore the Microsoft software preinstalled on the customer system hard-disk drive. You must provide documentation to the end user indicating that the Windows software included in the hard disk-based recovery solution is provided only for the purpose of restoring software on the hard disk of that specific system. The Windows operating system software included in the recovery files of the hard disk-based recovery system must be identical to the Windows object code preinstalled on that specific hard disk, including any initial end-user startup sequence and OEM support information. You may include in the recovery solution any OEM customization as allowed by the relevant OEM Preinstallation Kit (OPK) for that Windows operating system. Alternatively, you may decide to provide a more generic installation as your recovery files, provided that those recovery files fulfill the requirements of the relevant OPK. For the sole purpose of hard disk-based recovery, you may include one copy of Windows PE on the hard disk drive of each computer distributed to an end user. Do not give Windows PE on separate media to the end user. The loader prompt in all Windows PE-based recovery solutions must include the text “Powered by Windows.” To customize the loader prompt, add the following entry to the [InfChanges] section of the CONFIG.INF file, located in the \winpe folder on the Windows XP OPK CD or the Windows Server 2003 OPK CD.
[InfChanges] loaderprompt = txtsetup.sif,setupdata,"Loading <your recovery application name>. Powered by Windows"

• •

You must ensure that the hard disk-based recovery solution works efficiently and provides a positive end-user experience. As specified in the Microsoft OEM System Builder License, system builders are required to provide end-user support for the OEM Windows software that they distribute to end users. For specific details, see Section 9 of the Microsoft OEM System Builder License. For the recovery of a Windows operating system, you must provide an online EndUser License Agreement (EULA) identical to the original EULA, and the end user must be required to accept the terms of such EULA in order to proceed with using the hard disk-based recovery solution and using the recovered Windows operating system. To satisfy this requirement, you must create a process that copies the EULA text (located in the \i386\EULA.TXT folder on the Windows OPK CD for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003) to the recovery partition, and then displays the EULA with a prompt to accept before enabling the end user to proceed with recovering the operating system.

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For more information, see: http://oem.microsoft.com/worldwide/script/509511.asp.

Deciding Which Tools are Right for You
This section provides some key considerations to help you decide whether to create your own Windows PE recovery solution or to acquire a third-party solution. Essentially, you must make a “build vs. acquire” decision. There are advantages and disadvantages to each approach. The final decision depends on your unique needs and your manufacturing process. When customers buy a computer, they want to know that it contains an easy way to recover from system failures. The method that you choose to provide a hard disk-based recovery solution can have a great impact on customer satisfaction. If you need a custom recovery solution, then you may prefer to create your own recovery solution, based on Windows PE. If the same recovery process can be applied to all the computers that you distribute to end users, then you may prefer to acquire a third-party recovery solution and integrate the third-party solution into your manufacturing process. The main advantage of building your own hard disk-based recovery solution is that you can control the process from beginning to end, and you can modify the recovery process for different types of computers that you distribute to end users. For example, you may need a more sophisticated recovery model for business users, while end users may only need a simple non-destructive recovery method. If you find that none of the third-party imaging solutions meets your needs, then you may prefer to build your own. The main advantage of acquiring a third-party imaging solution is that you do not have to invest the time and money to build a recovery solution. If the third-party imaging software can be installed easily onto your new computers as part of your overall manufacturing process, you may save time and money. For example, some third-party software automates steps, such as disk partitioning, installing Windows PE onto the hidden partition, and installing a recovery application that uses Windows PE. If you build one-of-a-kind computers for your customers, you may be able to apply the same recovery solution to all of them. Additionally, some vendors offer easy-to-use dialog boxes that provide the end user options for different types of recovery. Here is one way to approach the problem: • • • • Define your requirements for a hard disk-based recovery solution before evaluating alternative ways to implement the solution. Identify alternative solutions: build your own, acquire a third-party solution, or a mix of both. Conduct a cost/benefit analysis. Compare the costs of each vendor software program against the cost of building your own. Weigh the benefits against your prioritized list of requirements. Choose your recovery solution and plan for implementing the solution into your overall manufacturing process.

If the third-party solutions cover 80 percent of your needs, then the final decision may be to use third-party solutions primarily and to use a custom recovery solution when necessary.

Using Windows PE to Create Your Recovery Solution
This section provides an overview of using Windows PE to create a recovery solution. An example shows you how Windows PE can be used for disaster recovery from a

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hidden partition on the hard disk. The example provides a high-level roadmap of what you must do to create a hard disk-based recovery solution using Windows PE.

What is Windows PE?
Windows PE is a hardware-independent Windows environment primarily used for network preinstallations of Windows. Windows PE may also be used for hard disk-based disaster recovery. Using Windows PE, you can automate the configuration of hard disks during your preinstallation of Windows. For more details, see the Windows PE topics in the Windows OPK User’s Guide for Windows XP or Windows Server 2003. Windows PE contains a subset of the Windows operating system: a subset of the Win32 API, network access and support for standard network drivers, support for all massstorage devices that use Windows 2000, Windows XP, or Windows Server 2003 drivers, support for creating, deleting, formatting, and managing NTFS file system partitions, and support for the Preboot Execution Environment (PXE) protocol. The Windows XP OPK CD and the Windows Server 2003 OPK CD are both bootable Windows PE CDs. You can copy Windows PE to a hidden partition on the hard drive to use for your recovery solution.

Benefits of Using Windows PE
The benefits of using Windows PE for recovery include: • • • • Recovery solutions no longer require MS-DOS operating system. Recovery solutions can use the Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 drivers and no longer require 16-bit device drivers. Recovery solutions can restore the operating system faster using the Win32 API. Recovery solutions require fewer reboots than MS-DOS-based methods.

A Process to Create a Windows PE Recovery Solution
Creating your own customized, hard disk-based recovery solution using Windows PE requires a fair amount of effort. At a minimum, your recovery solution must: • • • • • • Detect that something is wrong with the operating system on the active partition. Prompt the end user to begin the recovery process. Boot from Windows PE on the recovery partition. Copy the recovery image from the recovery partition to the active partition. Instruct the end user to restart the system. Boot from the recovered active partition.

The following flow chart shows a general process for using Windows PE to create your own hard disk-based recovery solution. Implementation details depend on your manufacturing environment.

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Using Windows PE for Hard Disk-based Recovery

Here is an explanation of the steps in the flow chart.

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1. Create active and recovery partitions on the hard disk drive of the destination computer. In most recovery scenarios, you partition and format the hard disk drive to prepare it for the recovery image during your preinstallation of Windows. Hard disk-based recovery typically requires at least two partitions: • • A recovery partition containing an image of the operating system partition An active partition with a bootable version of the OEM-preinstalled image of Windows

In the event of an operating system failure, the image on the recovery partition is used to replace the damaged image on the active partition. Note A recovery partition may or may not be assigned a drive letter. It may be hidden from the end user to prevent inadvertent corruption of the recovery partition. Some customers may notice a discrepancy between the stated size of the hard disk and the size reported by Windows if the recovery partition is hidden. If you explain this as a feature of your recovery solution, you may prevent some customer support calls. One method to create recovery and active partitions is to create a script using the DiskPart.exe command-line utility. DiskPart enables you to partition hard disk drives and perform disk management functions. Disks, partitions, and volumes can be manipulated as part of the recovery process. Here is a sample script that creates a recovery partition and an active partition using DiskPart. The active partition is assigned the letter C, while the recovery partition has the letter D assigned and is hidden (ID = 12). From the command prompt, run the following script:
DiskPart /S partition.txt REM select disk Select disk 0 REM create recovery partition (type 12) of size 1000 MB Create partition primary size = 1000 ID = 12 Assign letter = D REM create primary operating system partition for remainder of drive, REM make it bootable, assign drive letter C Create partition primary Active Assign letter = C Exit

Once created, partitions can be formatted from Windows PE after DiskPart concludes. For more information about DiskPart, see the “DiskPart Scripting” and “DiskPart Commands” topics in the Windows OPK User’s Guide for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. “Disk Management” in the Microsoft Windows XP Professional Resource Kit also provides useful information on managing hard disk drives. 2. Prepare the recovery partition. You need to enable Windows PE to boot from the recovery partition (drive D) that you created in the previous step. You can place a customized version of Windows PE on a hard disk drive, which can be useful for either preinstalling Windows or creating a hard disk-based recovery solution. See the topics “Creating Bootable Windows PE Media” and “Creating a Customized Version of Windows PE” in the Windows OPK User’s Guide for Windows XP or Windows Server 2003.

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3. Preinstall the Windows operating system on the active partition (drive C). This step assumes that you have prepared your configuration set with all necessary customizations, according to the “Preinstallation Requirements and Customization Guidelines” topics in the Windows OPK User’s Guide for Windows XP or Windows Server 2003. Preinstall the operating system and make any other customizations. For more information on using Windows PE in a network preinstallation environment, see the Windows PE topics in the Windows OPK User’s Guide for Windows XP or Windows Server 2003. 4. Create your recovery image. During this step you can use an imaging tool or the xcopy command-line command to copy an image of the active partition on drive C and store that image on the recovery partition, drive D. The recovery process uses the image stored on the recovery partition to restore the operating system on the active partition from a system failure. 5. Create your recovery process. This step requires the most effort on your part. At a minimum, your recovery solution must provide the following features. a. Detect a problem and prompt the end user to begin the recovery process. The recovery process needs to check for a problem when the Windows operating system starts. If nothing is wrong, then the process does nothing. If the recovery process detects that something is wrong, then the process displays a prompt that informs the end user that the operating system failed to boot and asks the user to begin the recovery. b. Display a recovery user interface. After the system boots, there must be a user interface that guides the end user through the recovery process. c. Display EULA. As required in the Microsoft OEM System Builder License, you need to display the End-User License Agreement (EULA), and prompt the end user to accept the EULA. Create a process that copies the EULA text, located in the \i386\EULA.TXT folder on the Windows OPK CD for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003, to the recovery partition, call the EULA from the recovery process, and then display the EULA with a prompt to accept before enabling the end user to recover. d. Boot Windows PE from the recovery partition. Your recovery process must provide a method to boot Windows PE on the recovery partition. Create a method to make the recovery partition (drive D) the active partition (currently, drive C) in order to boot from the recovery partition. You can have only one active partition on a hard disk at any time. DiskPart provides one way to switch the active partition to the recovery partition. From the command prompt, run the following script:
DiskPart /s changeactivepartition1.txt Sel vol c Inactive Sel vol d Active Exit

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where changeactivepartition1.txt is the name of your script file that contains the commands to switch the active partition from the C partition to the D partition. If you run DiskPart with scripts, you need to pause for 15 seconds before running the next DiskPart script. Otherwise, you may encounter errors. After you have set the recovery partition (drive D) as the active partition, your recovery process needs to boot Windows PE from the now active partition (drive D). e. Copy the recovery image from drive D to drive C. Because the recovery image on the D partition (now active) has an uncorrupted image of the Windows operating system, copy the uncorrupted image on the D partition and overwrite the corrupted image on the C partition. f. Reset the C drive to the active partition. After copying the uncorrupted recovery image from the D partition to the C partition, you need to reset the C partition to the active partition. Using DiskPart from the command prompt, run the following script:
DiskPart /s changeactivepartition2.txt Sel vol d Inactive Sel vol c Active Exit

where changeactivepartition2.txt is the name of your script file that resets the active partition from the D partition to the C partition. Remember to wait at least 15 seconds between running DiskPart scripts. g. Restart the computer using the C partition as the active partition. When the process completes, provide a prompt that tells the end user that the recovery was successful and to restart the computer. The computer starts with the C partition as the active partition, and the operating system is restored to its original state. 6. Test your recovery process. Before you prepare the computer to ship to the customer, run a test to ensure that the recovery process functions according to your design. 7. Prepare the system for delivery to the customer. Run the Sysprep –reseal command at the end of your process to reset the system clock for Windows Product Activation, and shut down the computer. You must provide documentation that guides end users through the recovery process.

Using Third-Party Hard Disk-based Recovery Solutions
This section includes some of the main benefits of third-party recovery solutions, along with a typical scenario for using third-party imaging software for your recovery solution. If a vendor recovery solution meets your needs, it can be faster and easier to implement than a custom solution; however, conduct a careful analysis before making such a decision.

Benefits of Third-Party Recovery Solutions
In general, the case for licensing a third-party solution for recovery can be compelling if these conditions exist:

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• • • • • •

Creating your own solution is costly. Creating your own solution is time consuming. The costs to support and maintain your custom software are prohibitive. In-house staff lacks expertise to build a recovery solution. Licensing a third-party solution decreases your time to market. Licensing a third-party solution is easier to integrate into your manufacturing process.

An Example of a Third-Party Recovery Solution
Some third-party vendors include disk management functions with their tools, which makes it easier for you to create a recovery solution. Other vendors require you to format the hard disk drive and create a hidden partition to store the recovery image. Therefore, the steps to integrate a third-party recovery solution into your manufacturing process can vary widely. The following flow chart shows an overview of how to integrate a third-party hard diskbased recovery solution into your manufacturing process.

Using Third-Party Imaging Software for Hard Disk-based Recovery

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Here is an explanation of the steps in the flow chart.

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1. Evaluate and acquire a third-party hard disk-based recovery solution. 2. Design your recovery solution with the third-party software program. You must include the Windows EULA and prompt the end user to accept the EULA before the end user proceeds with the recovery process, as explained in the “OEM System Builder Licensing Requirements” section of this white paper. Ask your third-party vendor if their tools automatically enable the Windows EULA prompt. 3. Design how to integrate the imaging software into your manufacturing process. Some vendors make this step very easy by allowing you to add the recovery program at the end of your preinstallation process. Ensure that you understand how the third-party imaging software can be integrated into your manufacturing process. Preinstall the recovery application software and follow the prompts. 4. Perform any preliminary steps. For example, use Windows PE and DiskPart to create recovery and active partitions. Note that some vendors automate these steps for you in their solution offering. 5. Preinstall Windows to the primary operating system partition, and do your normal customizations, such as adding your company logo. 6. Create an image of the Active partition: Use the imaging software to create an image of the contents of the active partition. Some vendors automate this process by making it part of the recovery software installation. 7. Write the recovery image to the recovery partition. Some vendors automate this process by making it part of the recovery software installation. Perform any other functions required by the third-party imaging software. 8. Create or modify the recovery documentation so that users know what to do if their Windows system stops responding. 9. Prepare the operating system for delivery to the customer: Run the Sysprep – reseal command at the end of your factory processing to reset the clock for Windows Product Activation, and shut down the computer.

Resources for Third-Party Recovery Solutions
Microsoft Licensing, Inc. does not endorse or recommend vendors that can provide hard disk-based recovery solutions, but the following vendors may offer to system builders software and solutions for hard disk-based recovery. Please make your own independent analysis regarding these or any other available vendors. Disclaimer: This is not a comprehensive list and should not be considered as an endorsement of any of the named parties or services. • • • • • • • • • • • SoftThinks: http://www.pcangelle.com/ Symantec: http://www.symantec.com Paragon Software: http://www.drive-backup.com/ Accurate Data Recovery: http://www.a-data.com/ ACR Data Recovery Services: http://www.atl-datarecovery.com/ ActionFront - Data Recovery Labs: http://www.datarec.com/ Advanced Data Solutions: http://www.adv-data.com/ CBL Data Recovery Technologies USA: http://www.cbltech.com/ Data Recovery Group: http://www.datarecoverygroup.com/ Data Recovery Services: http://www.datarecovery.net/ DriveSavers Data Recovery: http://www.drivesavers.com/

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© 2003 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. —