The Asus Eee mini-laptop doesn't just run Linux; it can also run Microsoft's Windows XP Embedded (XPe). An interesting new post on the Embedded Windows team's blog tells how to create a USB-based boot disk that lets the Eee boot a custom-tailored XPe installation whenever desired.
Asus's two-pound Eee mini-laptop first shipped last November, running Linux via a 4GB SSD (solid-state disk). It's now available with Windows XP as well, still running from the SSD. In addition, an upgraded version with a nine-inch screen, the Eee PC 900, will ship with XP this summer.
According to Garg, the process begins via a download of the Windows Automated Installation Kit (AIK), which includes the Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE). Usually used for troubleshooting and repair purposes, Windows PE is a pared-down Windows environment that can easily be run from a CD-ROM or -- in this case -- USB device.
A second step in the process is obtaining Microsoft's Windows Embedded Studio and, in particular, a tool called Target Analyzer. Once AIK and Target Analyzer (Tap.exe) have been obtained, the following steps need to be performed, using an Windows XP or Vista desktop computer that has a USB drive connected to it:
- Format the USB drive and make a bootable partition on it
- Use AIK tools to create a Windows PE image
- Copy the Windows PE image to the USB drive
- Copy Tap.exe to the USB drive
Microsoft, Asus, Windows XP Embedded, XPe, EeePC, Eee PC, Asus Eee PC, Eee PC 900, Installation