Question RE WinPE selection & W10 "compactOS" installation


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zgrayfox
zgrayfox
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Dell XPS 8700 originally W7 Pro, updated to W10 Pro and now running W10 Pro Anniversary Edition (on slow update cycle)
Macrium Reflect 6.3.1875

When recently bebuilding my rescue media (it had been awhile) I was surprised , to see a dialog box indicating WinPE 10 was "required" for "compactOS" installations.  I determined what a "compactOS" installation was and that my W10 installation was indeed a "compactOS" installation.  (Not sure how/why microsoft choose this since the MBR system disk is 2Tb with 90% free).  Note that a W10 installation can be toggled between "compactOS" installation and "normal" installation.

My question for MR is why the requirement and what are the ramifications if the rescue media is not winPE 10 (for example winPE 5 which was previously used for my rescue media). 


jphughan
jphughan
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I'm curious to hear the answer to this as well, but my guess is that something about the Fix Boot Problems and or ReDeploy functions will fail if you don't use WinPE 10 when working with a CompactOS installation. Those functions might have a dependency on underlying Microsoft commands the older versions of which might not know how to work with compressed system files.

Although as you observed, I'm more curious as to why your system has a CompactOS installation in the first place!  I'd personally turn it off under your circumstances in the hopes of gaining some performance.

Edited 23 July 2017 5:42 PM by jphughan
Nick
Nick
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Hi 

Thanks for posting.  It is very strange that you have a Windows 10 Compact install with so much available disk space.  Compact installs are quite rare and generally only provided when local storage is at a premium, such as found on some small tablet PC's.  

PE versions before PE 10 are not able to read compacted files on the Windows 10 system partition, so, browsing the file system in PE explorer and running 'Fix Boot Problems' will be problematic. Straight restores should be fine but upgrading to PE 10 is the best option.

Kind Regards

Nick - Macrium Support

zgrayfox
zgrayfox
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@Nick
Thanks for your response.  I have upgraded my rescue media to PE 10.

I agree it is strange that this system has a W10 compactOS installation.  The history of the system...

Original system W7 Pro
Online upgrade to W10 Pro July 2015
Online update to W10 Pro November 2015 release
 - Switched the update cycle to what MS now calls "Current Branch - Business" (CBB)
Online update to W10 Pro Anniversary Edition occurred in January 2017

Storage hardware consists of a single MBR 2TB HDD with a 32GB SSD configured as cache for the HDD. The storage utilization has never been more than 10-15% of capacity.

I have no idea what might have triggered the "compactOS" W10 installation.







jphughan
jphughan
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I'm betting it was the 32GB cache, but I don't know how exactly that would have happened.  The correct configuration for that is for your BIOS settings to put your SATA controller into RAID rather than AHCI mode, since in AHCI the 32GB cache just appears as a completely independent disk.  Then the Intel Smart Response application manages caching behavior.  Pro tip there, by the way: By default the cache is only used in order to accelerate READ operations, but you can configure it to also accelerate WRITE operations, so writes get sent to the SSD and are then considered completed as far as the OS/application is concerned, and then the SSD writes that data back to the HDD during an idle time.  That's not enabled by default because there's technically a risk of data loss, but you may consider it sufficiently remote that the performance benefit is worth it.  I did a write-up about this a while ago as part of a Wiki for the XPS 15 9530 if you're curious, and if you want to enable Maximized Mode (assuming that's still what it's called), then you should find an option to do so in the Intel Rapid Storage application: http://xps-15.wikia.com/wiki/Increasing_caching_(aka_Intel_Smart_Response)_performance

Edited 24 July 2017 6:10 PM by jphughan
zgrayfox
zgrayfox
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@jphughan
Thanks for your comments - I also suspect that the 32GB cache somehow resulted in the compactOS installation. I skipped some of the details in my earlier post, the system is a Dell XPS8700 desktop and the 32GB mSata cache is configured with Intel's Rapid Storage Technology application (the BIOS setting is for RAID).  I also appreciate the information RE Enhanced vs Maximized mode.

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