Basically, MS has declined to renew any WinPE licensing agreements once they expire. We're lucky in that ours doesn't expire until August. I'm working to make replacements for the Windows Repair CDs that are Linux-based, and there is no point in creating a EasyBCD WinPE CD that will be legally defunct in less than a year (now less than six months!).
Yeah. MS told me they were terminating the PE licensing deals globally. I'm not sure how they figure that's in their best interest... *shrug*
As for the Linux thing... I'm working on it - I have the basic partition repair and boot recovery done now, registry and sanity checks left. Doesn't look like System Restore will be possible, since Vista+ use VSS for System Restore and Linux doesn't understand that.
Yep; that's already in the works. Fortunately MS hasn't done away with those (though I don't know that it's necessary with the new whole-disk snapshotting via VSS). I believe this is what's known as "last good configuration" at boot time.
With XP, you could actually access the entire SR backups and manually restore those from a Linux live CD, once upon a time.
Honestly, who cares? Just make a version that RUNS in WinPE & let the end user deal with it. There is NO need to distribute WinPE as whole (any mug can make one if they want to, or pick one up from WAIK & edit)
EasyBCD isn't really .NET, though it did start off that way. A lot of the new code is C/C++ with its own dependencies.
Like I said, for me it's not worth the effort of fixing up a WinPE-based EasyBCD when the "ROI", so to speak, is only people who make the WinPE CD themselves. So it's not a matter of rewriting EasyBCD in another language, it's a matter of creating a BCD modification tool from scratch that will run on Linux.
I am disappointed to see that a year after i first read your posts on this forum regarding this topic, that you sound less enthusiastic now that you did a year ago.
We manage over 15,000 end user machines and about 300 physical servers.
We have seen a clear trend over the past 4 or so years with the move from non-MS boot disks to the vast majority being based on WinPE 2.0+. Most moved to WinPE 3.0 when it was released due to the significant advantages it offers to vendors who already offer Windows based tools porting their tools to a pre-boot environment, and the benefits for creating and managing WinPE disks through the WAIK/ADK system of importing modules.
Rather than having (hundreds of) proprietary boot disks for each different system/server (recovery disks and support tools etc.), we have managed to consolidate nearly all the tools from WinPE based disks into a single master boot disk that our engineers and technicians use dozens of times a day.
Most importantly, the new ADK creates WinPE 4.0 bootable media. WinPE 4.0 is currently the only pre-boot media fully compatible with the new UEFI BIOSs (in other words, UEFI devices which do not support legacy BIOS mode are likely NOT to be able to boot from WinPE 3.0 and older - for example this is the case on some Windows 8 tablets, devices which can only boot from their single USB port).
Separately, UEFI also introduced a new feature called Secureboot which limits which operating systems the UEFI will allow the device to boot from (GPT i think).
What I feel this means to you and your business is that the Linux bootable distro you talk of will become obsolete/unusable by many/most customers probably before it is released.
There are already customers crying out for the ability to use your tool to fix boot issues, from a WinPE environment. I expect with WinPE 4 many of the pre-reqs can be included using the tools to import those modules, for example netfx, WMI, scripting/Powershell.
Mahmoud - Have you even tried booting from a CD/USB with WinPE on it, and running EasyBCD and seeing whether it works? I am certain the work involved to iron out any issues would be easier than complete a re-write for Linux. WinPE licensing is completely irrelevant. Customers will create their own WinPE media, they just want to be able to copy EasyBCD to the same media, and run it without issues.
I hope this helps you continue the great work on EasyBCD.