1.1.1. About Active@ Boot Disk operating system

Because the Active@ Boot Disk ISO image has been created using the Microsoft Windows PE (Pre-installation Environment) 3.1 operating system, you have access to many new Windows 7 SP1 features using the Windows 7 user interface.

The bootable image contains a variety of plug-ins, drivers and other 32 bit applications.

Here are some more advantages in Windows PE 3.1:

  • You can use the new Windows 7 style standard dialogs, like File Open, Save As, and so on.
  • Security Updates: Support for SSL (Secure Socket Layer) is included.
  • PnP (Plug and Play) support: Hardware devices can be detected and installed while Windows PE is running. This supports any in-box PnP device, including removable media and mass-storage devices. This means that you can plug in a mass-storage device to use for data recovery or data backup.
  • Automatic writable RAM volume: When booting from the CD/DVD drive, Windows PE automatically creates a writable RAM disk (drive X:) and allocates 256MB of the RAM disk for general-purpose storage. By using compressed NTFS, the 256MB is addressable up to almost 500MB. This drive space may be used to recover files or folders.
windows 7 boot disk

There are two Active@ Boot Disk packages being distributed.
One is a public evaluation DEMO that can be also activated with a registration key. DEMO package contains a standard WinPE 5.1 set of packages.
This is a minimal size configuration. Another package has been supplied to clients after purchasing a registration key.

This full package contains additional packages installed: WinPE-NetFX (.NET Framework version 4.5), WinPE-Dot3Svc (IEEE 802.X authentication protocol on wired networks), WinPE-RNDIS (network support for devices that implement the Remote NDIS specification over USB), WinPE-PowerShell (PowerShell console), WinPE-StorageWMI (PowerShell cmdlets for storage management), WinPE-Scripting (multiple-language scripting environment for automating system administration tasks, such as batch file processing), WinPE-WMI (subset of the Windows Management Instrumentation providers that enable minimal system diagnostics), WinPE-SecureStartup (provisioning and management of BitLocker and the Trusted Platform Module - TPM), WinPE-EnhancedStorage (enables Windows to discover additional functionality for storage devices, such as encrypted drives, and implementations that combine Trusted Computing Group (TCG) and IEEE 1667). It requires ~150MB more disk storage space and consumes ~150MB more RAM when boot up than the smaller package.

windows 7 boot disk

After the Windows PE operating system and Active@ Boot Disk have started, the boot CD/DVD can be removed from the drive. A new CD/DVD can be inserted into the drive and you can read from it or burn data to it.


1.2 Requirements for Using Active@ Boot Disk

To use Active@ Boot Disk, you must have the following:

  • Pentium II processor or higher
  • 512MB or more RAM
  • A CD/DVD drive or a USB mass storage device to boot from

In addition to the above, you must be able to start the computer and you must have access to the system board BIOS setup.


1.2.1 How the system RAM is used

The ISO for Active@ Boot Disk was created from Windows PE (Pre-installation Environment), a lighter version of Windows 7.

When booting from the CD/DVD drive or from a USB storage device, Windows PE creates a writable RAM volume (X:) and places itself in this drive for loading.

While Windows 7 is booting up, it loads itself into RAM. After Windows has started, the boot CD/DVD may be removed from the drive or the USB flash card may be removed from the USB port. Starting with 512MB of RAM, all that is left is about 215MB of available space to work with.