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 PostPost subject: HawkPE 37        Posted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 7:02 pm 
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Tue Jun 19, 2007 1:39 pm


Some of you may dislike the custom build bootable "live" iso's. But I found HawkPE 37 a really good one. It has an dos-based Partition Magic 8, nice loaded BartPe and Linux Slax.

Check out the readme:



HAWKPE is a (relatively) new PC repair/installation pkg, available on
the 'Net via the BitTorrent network.  I put it together to make fixing
and setting up PCs easier, much like the Ultimate Boot CD and Hiren's
Boot CD.  I make it available to the rest of the world with hope that
some of the dumb stuff I see daily on the many tech fora/forums I
frequent daily, goes away.  Some may have already downloaded earlier
iterations and and to those early adopters, I'm happy to report new
stuff with this release.  To the uninitiated, HAWKPE is a live
Windows+Linux CD, so that you can install Windows, repair most PC
problems, as well as boot and use a PC equipped with a handful of
useful programs from a completely, self-contained OS+tools disc.  This
README will explain most of what one needs to know about it to make
use of the disc.  There is NO other support for this disc, UNLESS you
already know where it originates from.  EVEN if you know where it
comes from, I only answer certain questions and fixes are ONLY
forthcoming from release to release.  There *is* a change log, which
will be on the disc/ISO to track periodic changes/additions/deletions,
otherwise c'est la vie....

The ISO can be burned with any conventional CD/DVD writing program,
like Nero, Easy CD Creator, CDRECORD, etc.  Actually, HAWKPE has
burning software on the disc, but you have to make the 1st CD to get
it :-^  BTW, if you want to remaster this guy, feel free to get a copy
of UltraISO (or something comparable) and knock yourself out.  Later
in this document, you'll find some remastering suggestions.  The boot
loader used with this edition of HAWKPE is an unmodified verion of
ISOLINUX (3.11).

Once you have a working HAWKPE CD/DVD, you're supposed to see a nice
graphical splash screen with a series of commands above the 'boot:'
prompt.  If you don't do anything (ie. if the thirty-sec timeout
expires w/o any keystrokes) or if you simply hit Enter, bartpe will be
launched.  Otherwise, one can choose another command like: chntpw,
ksink, pmagic, slax, and slaxltop.  Type one of those commands (lower
case only) followed by Enter and you're on your way.

BartPE is a limited version of Windows XP SP2, that runs from a
CD/DVD.  Microsoft offers OEMs an OEM Pre-Installation Kit (OPK),
which permits something similar (WinPE), to make it easier to install
the OS.  Fortunately for us, a *true* hacker named Bart Lagerweij, saw
WinPE and made PEBUILDER ( which permits
non-OEMs to gin up their own BartPE/WinPE discs, with capabilities far
beyond Microsoft's limited vision for WinPE.  For the Windows fixers
out there, this is probably what you're d/l'g HAWKPE for, at least it
should be.  I can't tell you how many times I've heard 'so-called'
techs talk about (on the tech fora) wiping a hard drive just to
re-install XP !  Even before I discovered BartPE, I didn't do it that
way and now that I have HAWKPE I almost NEVER wipe a Windows XP/2K
installation (via formatting), in order to FIX IT !

Anyway, as the initial loader prompt indicates, plug in your USB
devices ASAP.  This is one of the few limitations of my particular
wrap of BartPE (more on this later.)  As soon as the Windows wallpaper
is up, you'll be presented with a MessageBox prompt to load networking
support.  One can do so later, if it isn't needed immediately to
commence repairs.  In the lower left-hand corner, is the 'Go' button
(aka NU2MENU.), similar to the Windows Task Bar's 'Start' button.  All
apps/utils are available (we *hope*) on the menus underneath this
button.  Probably the most important menu pick is 'System:Boot the
Windows Explorer Shell.'  (That is, click the 'Go' button, then the
'System' menu and underneath that click 'Boot the Windows Explorer
Shell'.)  If you don't need to see everything on the Desktop, just use
the menu picks from the initial 'Go' menu.  The most commonly used are
described below.

In order to make the system boot faster and thereby get to work more
quickly, I chose not to load Windows Explorer (and all of the extra
Windows subsystems) by default.  The plugin I used (for Windows
Explorer support) is no longer supported by its author/creator and I'm
stuck w/ it as it is (until something better comes along), so it
doesn't have niceties like multimedia support.  However, I've been
using this config to successfully fix (literally) hundreds of PCs for
over two years and have never found this to be a major limitation,
altho HAWKPE isn't devoid of 'creature comfort' (more on this below.)

ENOUGH with the explanations/justifications, here are the HAWKPE


   Force Install Devices/Force Install USB/Install Devices coax
   certain drivers that simply won't install like good citizens,
   at boot time.  Frequent examples of this 'behavior' are
   certain Intel-based graphic chips.

   Detect CPU+RAM via WCPUID displays the chip-level specs of the
   PC, using the freeware WCPUID util.  YMMV, as this util hasn't
   been updated in some time and may BSOD w/ some of the new
   CPUs, like the dual-core chips.


   This menu is pretty self-explanatory, except that 'Load
   Fileshare Support' launches the networking stack, that is both
   client, then file server support, including default shares for
   any Windows (non-ramdrive) drives.  While it works, it's kinda
   crusty and is due for replacement, hopefully w/ the next
   HAWKPE release.


   NT RegEdit & Remote RegEdit are registry editors that work
   against the registry on the PC under repair, to facilitate
   cleaning spyware.  NT RegEdit is a open-source replacement
   (from Code Project) for Windows' RegEdit which, when
   completed, will be a slick improvement over the ancient
   clunker from Microsoft.  Regardless of the util you prefer,
   one can select an individual user's registry and edit it as

Programs:AdAware SE:

   AdAware SE cleans spyware on the PC under repair.  For reasons
   that baffle other developers as well, it doesn't work w/
   remote registry support, as employed by NT RegEdit and Remote
   Regedit, so it *ONLY* cleans spyware found in the filesystem.
   I've tried to include other anti-spyware cleaners, but as near
   as I can determine, they'll only work w/ another Windows
   Explorer plugin, that is XPE and that decision has already
   been discussed.  IAC, it's a util which can be updated
   (*temporarily*) on-the-fly, so if you do d/l the very latest
   defs from Lavasoft, you can only retain those defs by
   remastering (more on this below.)  Oh yeah, Ad-Aware works


   FileZilla is my (current) favorite open-source (from
          SourceForge) FTP client.  The FileZilla FTP server is coming
          soon.  Watch this space....

   Load VNC Server permits the PC to be remotely controlled w/ my
   (current) fav open-source (from SourceForge) UltraVNC suite.
   In order to use this, one MUST launch network client *and*
   server support, prior to loading the VNC Server.  You can load
   the client at boot time or both the client *and* server from
   System:Network menu, using the 'Load Fileshare' menu option.

   VNC Viewer is the UltraVNC client.  BTW, I think it's the best
   VNC client/server out there (including RealVNC) and among
   other things, includes integrated file transfers !  The Listen
   mode menu pick will start the client and wait till a VNC
   server comes up.

   Pageant/PuTTY/PuTTYGen are part of the open-source PuTTY
   suite, in case one needs to Telnet/SSH to a Linux/BSD/Unix

   TFTPD32 is a combination TFTP daemon/DHCP daemon, which I've
   used sucessfully as a PXE boot server.


   Ghost 8.3 !  Nuff said !  Typically, I pair Ghost up w/ my USB
   hard drive or a network share on my server, to save and
   restore Ghost images.  Have never been able to get it to work
   w/ a CD/DVD burner under WinPE.


   I mention this submenu as a formality, bec I almost never use
   it.  By all reports, BartPE users universally have trouble w/
   CD/DVD burning bec of a lack of DMA support under WinPE.
   Really hard-core hackers have been working on this issue for a
   while w/ little to show.  Blame it on the Redmond crew, as
   they *never* really appreciated the value of WinPE, except in
   the *very* limited capacity of doing an initial install of
   Windows.  Anyway, Nero *does* work, as long as one doesn't
   push it hard.  As always, YMMV.  The 'Set Cache Drive' menu
   pick will assign which *physical* drive is to be used for
   Nero's temporary disk cache.


   All I can say is that it works, as proved by the wxPython
   demos.  The enhancements mentioned above (and others not
   mentioned) are going to be written using Python.  Watch this


   a2Hijack-Free is a variation of the very popular spyware
   cleaning util called HijakThis.  Although it doesn't produce
   logs like HijackThis, it *does* work w/ remote registries, so
   one can clean spyware in the registry of a PC under repair !
   Works very well.

   BGInfo updates the system stats on the desktop wallpaper.

   McAfee VirusScan GUI Wrapper cleans viruses using the McAfee
   cmd-line AV scanner.  As far as I'm concerned, HAWKPE is worth
   the d/l if only for this, NT RegEdit, a2Hijack, Ghost, and
   AdAware !

   TreeSize Pro 3 will provide a capacity-based summary of
   storage utilization on a given drive.  The only thing to know
   is that it needs to be directed to interrogate a particular
   drive after launching it.

   Windows File Explorer is a Explorer-like file management util.
   Better than a43 File Management Utility, both are available
   if the entire Windows Explorer shell isn't needed or desired.

At last, we're back to the HAWKPE boot menu and the next command is
'chntpw'.  For those in the know, this is the Change NT Password util we
all know and love.  It's terse and somwhat opaque with the diagnostic
output from its self-contained Linux, but one simply picks a NTFS/FAT
partition to work on and it loads the corresponding registry to change
the password of any detected NT/2K/XP/2K3 user(s).

The next HAWKPE command is 'ksink'.  I have another project that isn't
on the 'Net called the Kitchen Sink, which is a utility CD containing
a lot of utils/drivers I need everyday.  This is simply the boot image
from it, with a DOS-based CONFIG menu that directly launches two
important utils: DocMem, my fav RAM diagnostic and WipeCMOS, another
invaluable util which (obviously) will clear a PC's CMOS.  You'd be
surprised how many 'squirrely', day-to-day problems that are fixed w/
this tool.  When devices, contained w/ in the PC's case, behave
strangely, purge the CMOS w/ WipECMOS and try it again.  The sole
possible exceptions to this rule are laptops, which often don't use a
CMOS RAM to hold their persistent settings.

One more thing about the ksink command, there's a ten-second menu
timeout, so if the DocMem or WipeCMOS boot configs aren't explicitly
chosen before the timeout expires, you get a DOS prompt....

Moving on to another HAWKPE command, 'pmagic'.  A DOS-based Partition
Magic 8.  No more FDISK !  YAAAAY !

Finally, we're left with the Linux part of HAWKPE: 'slax' and 'slaxltop'.
The last incarnation of HAKWPE used DSL (Damn Small Linux), but it
didn't fit well, except for the size of the distro.  OTOH, SLAX
( fits very well, even if I wish that it took up less
space on the CD.  In spite of that single imperfection, SLAX is great.
The two commands differ in that 'slax' boots the OS, disabling PCMCIA
detection and 'slaxltop' doesn't disable it, if one's using it on a
laptop (for obvious reasons.)

HAWKPE uses the KillBill edition of SLAX, which does KDE, WINE (Win32
emulation), office productivity applications (from KOffice),
multimedia facilities w/ libdvdcss support (a HAWKPE enhancement) to
play protected DVDs, Internet apps, Firefox (another HAWKPE
customization) w/o (sadly) Flash, and read-only support (by default)
for NTFS.  KDE is very Windows-like (for those who care) and a very
responsive, feature-rich GUI.  So, you're effectively carrying around
a complete computer system, esp if you have a USB thumb drive for
storing your data.  In fact, SLAX has some kind of web-based store
house, where one can store one's SLAX personalizations (see their site
for details.)

Things to note about Linux, esp for the newbie:

1)  Linux deals with hdrives differently than other PC OSs.  Linux
*mounts* storage partitions and needs to properly *unmount* the
storage it has used.  This is similar to the way that hdrive-based
Windows installations behave, but one must be aware of the
mount/unmount terminology....

2)  There's another important difference between Windows and Linux,
WRT storage devices:  their designations.  The 1st Windows hdrive is
'C:', the 2nd is 'D:', and so on.  The 1st Linux (IDE) *hdrive* is
'/dev/hda', that is, it references in a special directory called
'/dev', where *ALL* devices are sourced and the actual drive is called
'hda'.  Of course, if you want to access the partition itself and its
files, the 1st partition is '/dev/hda1', the 2nd partition on the 1st
hdrive is '/dev/hda2', and so on.  The 2nd IDE hdrive is '/dev/hdb',
yadda, yadda, yadda....

3)  SLAX (5.1.8, as of this writing) incorporates the
latest-and-greatest (beta) drivers from the Linux-NTFS project.  The
Linux-NTFS project has nearly realized their goal of completely
compatible read/write access to NTFS (3.1) partitions used by Windows
XP/2K3 (YAAAY !)  However, since it's still beta-class software, if
SLAX detects NTFS partitions at boot-time, they will be *mounted* as
READ-ONLY.  If you want to change this (as NTFS driver support is very
mature), you'll need to unmount the partition, then remount it as
read-write.  The operation is normally performed as shown below:

   umount /mnt/hda1
   ntfsmount /dev/hda1 /mnt/hda1 -o rw,force

UNMOUNT partition 'hda1' from its *mount point* '/mnt/hda1', then use
the Linux-NTFS NTFSMOUNT command (BTW, Linux is *CASE-SENSITIVE*, so
beware) to mount '/dev/hda1' (partition one on drive one) to the
auto-magically created (by SLAX) mount point '/mnt/hda1' in read-write
mode, but force the drive to honor this request (since this is still a
beta-class driver.)

4)  Linux has help files called *man pages*, which are accessed from
the cmd-line using the form 'man <cmd>', where <cmd> is the command
one is researching.  To get more info about the 'umount' command (*1st

   man mount

To learn about 'ntfsmount', you'll need to do the following:

   man ntfsprogs

HAH !  The above is typical of the logic of the Linux world; get used
to it !  The 'umount' cmd is explained on the same man page as the
'mount' cmd !  The 'ntfsmount' cmd is documented (along w/ the other
NTFS-related cmds) in the master documentation page for the entire
pkg, which is 'ntfsprogs'.  More often than not, it's one command to a
'man' page, but be prepared to be persistent and GOOGLE your brains

5)  Booting SLAX for the 1st time, you probably didn't notice the text
scrolling up from the bottom third of the display.  Watch it more
carefully during future sessions, as you'll see how Linux configures
itself, which you'll eventually be able to customize, if you need to.
Next, you're presented w/ a login screen w/ some *very* helpful
documentation about launching the GUI: X.  That's right, it's simply
called X.  Anyway, once you're logged in, 'startx' followed by Enter
and we're on our way.  If your video card isn't initially recognized
and you're bounced back to the cmd-line, try 'xconf' to select a
driver that's compatible w/ your display and give 'startx' another go.
Virtually all modern display cards are supported.  Yes, yes, there are
other commands mentioned on the login screen, but other than
remembering 'reboot' and 'halt' to gracefully end the session, you're
on your own.

Actually, once you're inside X and KDE, you're pretty much on your
own.  If you have trouble w/ your display or mouse, you have two
'panic buttons', so to speak.  1st is Ctrl-Alt-Backspace, which kills
X and takes you back to the cmd-line.  Next is Ctrl-Alt-Del, which
kills Linux altogether.  Linux shuts down gracefully, but you're
definitely outta there !

Firefox has a few Slax/Linux related bookmarks; USE THEM.  Know this
you're committed to the work, you can literally make your own flavor
of Linux, using this as a starting point.

6)  When X/KDE exit for good, you'll see a lot of text, some of which
are error messages.  Ignore these completely, *unless* you see truly
errant behavior from your PC.  Linux can extremely verbose in
reporting its internal status.  Good, for power-users who always seem
to be fixing/changing their PCs, potentially unnerving to users who've
never seen anything beyond (opaque) Windows.

7)  Finally, just a reminder to hit Ctrl-Alt-Delete, at the end of your
seesion using Slax.  Or you can use 'reboot' or 'halt' or even hit the
PC's power button, if you have a properly config'd modern PC (most of
do nowadays.)  Just like Windows, this will clean up any outstanding
info that needs to be saved to your PC's hdrive, before moving on.

That's it for HAWKPE, at least for now.  Hell, that's more *enough*
for now !  It's up to *you* to make use of this.  This 'process' has
been underway for over three years and *many* PCs have been fixed and
setup w/ this guy and its predescessors, so an enormous amount of
time, energy and care have been employed to get this far.  Barring
death, infirmity, or imbeciles, there will be future revisions of this
work.  Keep an eye on this space.  Good luck....



I'm running out of time and energy (for the moment), so I'm going to
keep this extremely brief.  If you don't know what '-boot-info-table'
means, you'll have to wait until the next rev for better remastering
instructions.  However, if you *do* grok '-boot-info-table', then you
can take the contents of this ISO and put into a hdrive directory,
let's call it /HAWKPE.  In /HAWKPE/boot/isolinux is the CD bootloader
'isolinux.bin', which is identical to the one I used to make the orig

In order to update the McAfee AV defs, you'll need to d/l them from:

There'll be a file w/ a recent date (relative to you, obviously)
called dat-<somenbr>.zip.  D/l that .ZIP and extract the .dat files to
Programs/McAfee, then goto:

And d/l the latest AdAware defs (also in a ZIP) and extract the
defs.ref to Programs/AdAware.

Burn the contents of your updated /HAWKPE, using something like
'mkisofs', but not Nero, because Nero doesn't have '-boot-info-table'
support, critical to making 'isolinux.bin' work.  The script looks
something like this:

mkisofs -N -V %CDTITLE% -b boot/isolinux/isolinux.bin -d -iso-level 4 -no-emul-boot -boot-load-size 4 -boot-info-table -o %CDFILENAME% HAWKPE

Actually, that's the *exact* script I use to gen this ISO, but if you
have access to UltraISO, you can open the ISO, make the changes
detailed above, and burn an up-to-date copy of HAWKPE.  This is also
doable under Slax, but next time....

Adding/removing programs from the BartPE end of HAWKPE is *definitely*
way beyond the scope of this document.  Permanently.  You need the
PEBUILDER utility, then the app plugins, then some patience to
assemble and *test* your own BartPE disc.  FWIW:

will give you a leg up, on a BartPE disc of your own.

One last thing: I didn't mention changes to Slax, since there isn't
much I can do w/ Slax, due to size constraints.  In theory, I could
trim Slax back, to make it smaller and create more room for custom
features, but that's not where *this* project is going.  I like Slax
just the way it is.  In the future, this might cause problems, but
we'll cross that bridge when we arrive.  If *you* want to, you can
burn the ISO to a DVD and therefore have *much* more space to add
*anything* your little ol' heart might desire.  Or download a Slax ISO
(they're really small) and make a heavily, customized stand-alone Slax
disc.  Later:    The Hawk

If you are interested I could upload it.


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 7:50 pm 
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Sun Aug 27, 2006 11:03 am



Favourite OS
Windows 7 Ultimate
I highly doubt that you will be able to upload that to Andy's server as it includes Commercial software like Nero, Ghost 8.3 and McAfee VirusScan GUI Wrapper.

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 8:21 pm 
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Tue Jun 19, 2007 1:39 pm

It doesn't have to be uploaded on andys server.. :wink:

I only want to do a fever if someone is interested :P

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 6:20 am 
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Sat Feb 24, 2007 4:14 pm


United Kingdom

Favourite OS
Server 2012 R2
Actually, its a lot like WinPE Ultimate Edition thats on the server, although its uncertain whether that should be on there either...

BuildFeed - the ultimate collaborative NT build list - Windows Longhorn - a look at a defining Microsoft project

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 8:22 am 
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I manage two preinstallation based projects.
--and one is bartpe based..
it uses WinBuilder if you've ever read about it.
The link is the actual script set.

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