Calling All Users of CDDVD Boot!

I’m one of the Program Managers working on the Windows Embedded team and am investigating the various deployment/boot scenarios that we would like to support moving forward.  CD boot is something that we released for XP Embedded to satisfy some of our customers in the Gaming and Medical industries who, at the time, were using it due to regulatory needs.  Other users also picked it up to create a more cost effective and stateless system.  However, today the Windows OS is larger and more complex, and supporting the same scenarios as XPe with respect to CD boot can prove to be technically challenging.  Also, with the proliferation of flash memory such as SD Cards, Compact Flash and USB keys, the scenarios supported by CD/DVD boot are now easily supportable using flash as the primary storage of the system.

That being said, I’m writing this post to gather more data about the use case scenarios for CD/DVD Boot that our customers are using today and if these scenarios would still be valid in a couple of years, or if we should spend more time developing technologies such as boot from USB, SD, Compact Flash, remote boot, etc..

MY ASK OF YOU: If you have any CD/DVD boot scenarios in your device development or are in the Gaming/Medical field I’d love to hear your feedback.  It’d also be great to know if you were using CD/DVD boot and migrated on to other technologies.

Also, if you have other comments or questions on our boot EEFs, feel free to shoot me a mail at


- Punit

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Comments (4)

  1. I’m using CD Boot to boot a Windows PE image I built from the Windows XP Embedded Studio disks. I had a problem using TAP.EXE on the booted image because TAP doesn’t run on Windows Vista. If the tools are compatible with the Bootable CD, that would be great.

  2. Punit Java says:

    Hey Brad,

    When I talk about CD/DVD boot support, it is with reference to the Windows OS.  Windows PE is a lightweight version of the OS designed for deployment scenarios, and will support on CD/DVD as well as USB boot for the forseeable future.

    With respect to TAP.exe, it should run on Vista OS provided you are using a version shipped with Feature Pack 2007 or later.  With earlier versions of tap.exe there was an OS versioning check that we removed.

    Hope this information helps.

  3. EmbeddedDoD says:

    Hi, Punit; I work on an embedded system that is on a DoD-secured network; moving material (such as a new XPe image) from an unclassified system to a classified target system can only be done via readonly media such as CD or DVD; a USB memory stick is explicitly not allowed. So, being able to boot from a CD enables us to create a new image, put it on the CD, then boot the target device from the CD and copy the new XPe image onto the target. It’s a small image, CDs do just fine.

    Other industries may have similar requirements that certain data transfers can only go one way, and using bootable readonly media is an acceptable part of that process.

    Thanks for your work on CD-bootable XPe; it’s a good help.

  4. Hi EmbeddedDod,

    With the release of Vista came a new set of tools for deploying OS images.  Your scenario sounds like it would be a good match for Windows PE, which as I mention above is a lightweight OS that is capable of booting off a CD.  

    WinPE also allows you to load your own custom drivers, scripts, etc. which you can use to copy the bits onto, and configure the classified target system.

    You can find the toolkit here:

    Feel free to e-mail if you still have questions.



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