What is the difference between WinPE 1.6 and the 2.1 version? Do I need to download the latest?

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Article ID: 178403

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Deployment Solution

Issue/Introduction

 

Resolution

Question
When I went to update my Deployment Server to 6.9 SP2, I noticed a new version of WinPE and Linux/FreeDOS automation environments.  Do I need the new version?  What is the difference in the versions?

Answer

WinPE:

There are two major versions of WinPE, and then possibly smaller changes.

First, WinPE is essentially a "lite" version of one of Microsoft's released products.  That means it's Windows Preboot Environment, or WinPE.

The original WinPE we worked with was version 1.6, which is a version of Windows XP.  Thus, the drivers needed to work with it must be made for Windows XP.  This was what we worked with in the DS 6.8 world.

In DS 6.8 SP2 and forward, we introduced WinPE 2.0, which is a lite version of Windows Vista.  Thus, the drivers needed to work with it must be made for Vista.

On the Download page, you will always see a version of the product dated or versioned or named relative to the currently released product.  This is by design, but does not necessarily indicate that the WinPE has been updated.  For instance, since compiling the WinPE 2.0 package for DS 6.8 SP2, the WinPE has not been updated at all.  That means that past versions can be used with current downloads.

Linux & FreeDos

FreeDos has essentially never been modified.  It is a version of DOS to compete with MSDOS but which is completely free of licensing agreements.  MSDOS technically must come from a licensed version of Windows98 and can't be shipped with our product, but FreeDOS has no such limitations.

Linux is also free, but unlike FreeDOS, has been modified a few times to add driver support and correct bugs.  If you use Linux as an automation environment, it is best practice to always download the associated .frm file when upgrading your version of Deployment Solution.