Try Windows 7 first

Having specified the required solution (as submitted in Round 1 of the embedded Challenge), and purchased (or been given as with the embedded Challenge) the required hardware, the next step is make sure the system can do what is specified. Given that the solution platform is Windows Embedded Standard 7 which is really Windows 7 plus some specialised features (EEFs), my recommendation is to tests things by installing Windows 7 to the system first. This will enable you to test all drivers and additional software before developing the system. This platform can also be used for custom application development; indeed you could install Visual Studio to it and do full insitu development. If this installation is left of the development machine, then you can multi-boot between Win7 and WES7 when resolving issues. Also where there are problems with drivers under WES7 you can use the Driver Store* folder in Win 7 to get the correct driver. That can be the case for some drivers which are not on the WES7 install DVD and not on the board drivers DVD, but were sourced from the OEMs via the internet or Windows Update.

Using Win 7 Driver Store to resolve WES 7 driver issues

*Driver Store: C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository

If WES 7 can’t find a driver during installation, board drivers installation, Windows Update or from OEM driver installs, but it installed OK under Windows 7 you can do the following:

(This requires WES 7 and Win 7 installed on the sane system and the Win 7 installation accessible from WES 7)

  • Run the  WES 7 image
  • Open Device Manager
  • Right click on the driver in question and choose Update Driver
  • Choose Browse (Having previously tried update)
  • Select the Driver Store as above.
    • Note: Will need to browse to it as it will not be c:\.. on WES 7
  • It should then find the required driver if it was successfully installed in Win 7.

Note that when WES 7 is installed to an existing system with defaults, when it boots its drive becomes C:\ and the existing OS’s drive is mapped to another drive letter.


VHD is the the Microsoft Virtual Hard Drive file format as used in Microsoft Virtual PC.  As  of Win 7, these can be created, partitioned, formatted and mounted in Disk Manger and the Diskpart application.  Additionally they can be configured as bootable.  As well, VHDs can be targeted for Operating System Installation.

As an example, I created a VHD file on my work laptop (Win 7) in one of its partitions.  I then installed WES 7 to it and set the system to multi-boot to WES7 and Win 7 using BCDEdit.  (BCDEdit is what you now use to edit the configuration Boot time OS options..You run it from a command prompt).  When I was finished testing WES 7 on my work laptop I deleted the VHD file when in Win 7, and re-edited the boot options with BCDEdit.  This way I was able to test an OS on an existing Win 7 system with no lasting impact.  There was no need create or modify real partitions of the real hard drive.

VHD can therefore be used as a simple way to create a new OS installation on an existing Win 7 system without any lasting impact.
As an initial installation for my Advantech system for the embedded Spark 2010 Summer competition, I will use a laptop hard drive that I have used in my existing WES 7 system . (I have previously created some WES 7 systems on an Intel D945GSEJT board.) I will create two VHDs, one for Win 7 and one for WES 7.

Next: Setting up a USB drive for Installations