The DiskPrep powertoy is a useful utility to configure different type of flash storage to launch Wi...
DiskPrep is a Windows Embedded Compact power toy developed from Microsoft, available for download freely from the following URL:
The DiskPrep utility can be used to configure different type of storage device with BIOSLoader, a bootloader for x86 device, to launch Windows Embedded Compact OS run-time image and Ethernet bootloader with customizable splash screen.
DiskPrep can be used to configure flash storage with BIOSLoader to launch OS run-time images from older version of Windows CE, including CE 6.0, 5.0 and 4.x.
The DiskPrep utility can configure the following storage devices:
· IDE hard disk and IDE flash storage (such as EmbedDisk).
· Compact Flash storage
· SD memory card
· Micro-SD memory card
· USB flash storage
Using DiskPrep, we will go through the steps to configure a compact flash storage, for x86 device, to launch NK.BIN, a Compact 7 OS run-time image file, with 10 seconds delay and option to launch EBOOT.BIN, an Ethernet bootloader, and an alternative NK2.BIN:
· After power on, delay 10 seconds and launch NK.BIN
· Before the 10 seconds delay timed out, press “1” to terminate the delay and launch EBOOT.BIN
· Before the 10 seconds delay timed out, press “2” to terminate the delay and launch NK2.BIN
To configure the Compact Flash storage card, an USB to Compact Flash storage card adapter is needed. Most of the USB to Compact Flash storage card adapter available in the general market work well, including many of the USB to Multi-card reader/writer with Compact Flash as one of the features. The exercise is this section is created using an USB to Multi-Card Reader/Writer from Sony, model MRW62E.
For device that is able to boot from other form of flash storage, such as SD and Micro-SD, the same instruction provided to configure compact flash storage works with these flash storage devices.
· A working NK.BIN OS run-time image built in release mode with KITL disabled.
· A second NK.BIN OS run-time image built in release mode with KITL disabled, rename the NK.BIN to NK2.BIN.
· A working EBOOT.BIN Ethernet bootloader for the target device.
Configure the Compact Flash with DiskPrep
Work through the following steps to configure the compact flash:
1. Place a copy of the NK.BIN, NK2.BIN and EBOOT.BIN files to a known location, such as the following:
2. Attach the flash storage device to the development PC via the adapter.
3. After the development PC detected and recognized the flash storage, launch the DiskPrep powertoy (Diskprep.exe), with administrator privilege, and bring up the DiskPrep program screen, as shown in Figure 1.
4. From the Disk Selection drop down list, select the detected flash storage.
5. Select FAT, FAT32 or exFAT file system.
For flash storage device larger than 2 GB, use FAT32 or exFAT.
6. On the BOOT.INI pane, select the following options:
· Place a BOOT.INI file on the disk
· Physical Video Mode: 640 x 480
· Bit Depth: 16 bpp
· Use “CEPC” as device name prefix
· Set to load file named: eboot.bix
7. Click on OK to format and configure the flash storage.
All of the existing file and data on the flash storage will be wiped clean.
8. The following screen is shown after the flash storage has been successfully configured, as shown in Figure 2.
The previous steps formatted the flash storage, configured the storage with BIOSLoader and placed the following files on to the flash storage:
· BLDR (This is the BIOSLoader)
· BOOT.INI (This is the boot configuration file for BIOSLoader)
· SPLASH.BMX (This is the splash screen, launched by BIOSLoader during boot up)
Next, we need to work through the following steps to copy the EBOOT.BIN, NK.BIN and NK2.BIN files on to the flash storage and modify the BOOT.INI configuration file:
1. With the compact flash still attach to the development PC via an adapter, copy the following files on to the flash storage:
2. Use a text editor, such as Notepad.exe, to edit the BOOT.INI file on the flash storage, and replace the content with the following:
# Boot delay (in seconds) in which to select the alternative image
# Default file to launch after delay timed out
# Alternative image – Press 1 to terminate delay and launch this file
# Alternative image – Press 2 to terminate delay and launch this file
# Video Setting:
# Physical screen width, must be >= DisplayWidth
# Physical screen height, must be >= DisplayHeight
# Display Depth, possible values are 8, 15, 16, 24, 32
# Display width
# Display height
# COM Port to pass in BootArgs (Functionality must be supported by
# loaded program [eboot/nk..etc] for argument to have an affect)
# 0 - Suppress
# 1 - COM 1
# 2 - COM 2
After completing the above steps, the following files are now on the flash storage:
You can replace the boot up splash screen, SPLASH.BMX, with your own graphic.
You can use the Windows CE Splash Generator, available for download from the following URL, to convert BMP, PNG, GIF and JPG graphic to use as the splash screen.