Prepping in Operating System

Win10XPE is available here. You should see a download link towards the top of the page. Use 7-Zip or a similar archiving tool to extract Win10XPE. You'll also need a Windows 10 ISO file. As of the time of this writing, 2004 is still the recommended version. It should be available from here. I'm using version 10.0.19041.264, architecture "x64", and the "en-US" language.

Configuring Win10XPE

I started by mounting the ISO. The easiest way to do this is to open the ISO using Windows Explorer. From there, it's just a matter of clicking the "Select the Windows 10/11 source folder" button and selecting the newly mapped drive letter.

[Select ISO]

Adding custom drivers

Custom drivers can be added by copying them in. The easiest way to get to the folder is to click on the "Copy Drivers Here" button. The bottom of the two pictures, shows the drivers for the FTDI-based USB-to-serial adapter that I'm using.

[Custom driver folder] [Custom driver folder]

Adding VCC

Windows 10 XPE requires some configuration in order to autostart VCC, and the VCC Shutdown utility. Additional tweaks are also required in order to get the serial ports to work. These are in the VCC autostart script. The script is included with VCC version 4. Adding it is simple. It's just a matter of copying the script file over to Win10XPE\Projects\MyPlugins\Apps\MultiMedia, then clicking the "Refresh" button in upper right.

[VCC Plugin]

Plugin Configuration

I disabled all of the plugins except "VCC Autostart" and "DirectX." Through testing, I found that the gamepad doesn't work unless I leave the DirectX plugin enabled. Both the FTDI and COM1 fixes work, when it comes to getting both serial ports working, but a delay is required to give them time to re-initialize. Through testing, I found that 5 seconds is required on my system. I'm running VCC in d:\player, right off of the flash drive. The drive letter can vary, depending on how the system is set up. Finally I disabled network initialization and a related 3 second delay, since I'm not using any kind of networking.

[VCC Plugin]

Additional Tweaks

Under the main section of "Build Core" I disabled "Network Drivers" and "MSI Windows Installer", since I don't need either one. Without the network drivers, the final image was a lot smaller than it otherwise would have been.

[Win10 XPE Tweaks]

The default volume of 33 wasn't nearly loud enough. I changed it to 95.

[Win10 XPE Tweaks]

Building / Testing

Building is pretty striaght-forward. Clicking the green "Play" button in the upper-right starts the build process. When that's complete, it's just a matter of saving it all to the flash drive. For this I used Rufus. The recommended settings seemed to work fine. One that was complete, I booted the system off of the flash drive and was able to run my tests.

[Building Win10 XPE]

Making Win10 XPE semi-permenant.

While I keep my music, VCC, and MPXPlay on the flash drive, for easier updating, I have Windows 10 XPE installed on the internal NVMe drive. To get it transferred I used drive imaging software. Any good drive imaging program will work. The example below uses Drive Snapshot. I started by selecting "Backup Disk To File" then saving the image onto the internal eMMC drive.

[Applying Image] [Applying Image] [Applying Image] [Applying Image]

After selecting the "Restore Disk from File" option, and clicking "Next", I right-clicked on the NVMe drive and selected "Restore Partition Structure" and "Restore Master Boot Record ." This sets up the partition structure and makes it bootable. After that, it's simply a matter of clicking "Next."

[Applying Image] [Applying Image] [Applying Image] [Applying Image]

style="border: 1px solid black;" [Applying Image] [Applying Image]

Last Update: 5-29-2024