Posted By Pavel Bansky
Good morning [place your current location here] and welcome to Approaching Embedded Intelligently. My name is Pavel Bansky and I work as a Program Manager in Windows Embedded team. I will be writing posts not only about Windows Embedded Device Manager but also other cool stuff we are doing here in Windows Embedded. Let me start with this Q&A article and stay tuned for more.
Windows Embedded Device Manager 2011 has been available on the market for about a year now. As the number of potential or actual users is increasing, there is a set of frequently asked questions that I hear. Let me go through the top ten of these questions in this article.
Question 1: All our thin clients run Windows XP Embedded, can we use Windows Embedded Device Manager 2011, or is it intended for Windows Embedded Standard 7?
Absolutely, you can use Windows Embedded Device Manager 2011 on your Windows XP Embedded machines with Service Pack 3. WE Pos 1.1, Windows Embedded POSReady 2009, Windows XP embedded SP3, Windows Embedded Standard 2009 are all supported in WEDM 2011, and of course the Windows Embedded Standard 7
Question 2: Does Windows Embedded Device Manager 2011 support Windows Update for embedded devices, in the same way that Configuration Manager supports Windows Update for PCs?
The current version of Windows Embedded Manager 2011 does not support Windows Update for embedded devices. However, you can distribute the updates using Write Filter Handling Advertisement as a regular software distribution packages. Yes, we know it’s not convenient – we are working on it.
Question 3: Do I need the Windows Embedded Device Manager 2011 client on the device?
Yes, Windows Embedded Device Manager 2011 client is required on the client. We are working with major OEMsto ensure the devices are coming with the Windows Embedded Device Manager 2011 client installed.
Question 4: I need to reimage my thin clients with new OS image, can Windows Embedded Device Manager 2011 and Configuration Manager help me?
Yes it can, if your devices support Windows Deployment Services and PXE boot, you can use Configuration Manager 2007 out of the box. Just use the Operating System Deployment feature. If your devices require proprietary solution to do reimaging, talk to your OEM to provide you with a Device Imaging plugin for Windows Embedded Device Manager 2011.
Question 5: I’ve created advertisement or task sequence but changes did not persist on the device after reboot.
When distributing software to write filter protected device you need to create Write Filter Handling Advertisement under the Embedded Device Management node. Also any custom task sequence needs to start with the step Disable Write Filters and end with Enable Write Filters.
Question 6: Is reboot required when performing software update?
Yes, the reboot is necessary to boot Windows Embedded into the write filter disabled state, perform the required changes and reboot back to write filter enabled state. However, when the device is in write filter disabled state (service mode), user are not allowed to login except for users with administrative privileges.
Question 7: My clients are domain joined, will the group policies persist through the write filters?
It is a nature of write filter to not allow any changes to persist to the hard drive or flash memory, this includes also group policies. However, you can create a simple task sequence which will disable write filters, runs gpupdate.exe and enables write filters again. This task sequence can be scheduled to run every night or once a week.
Question 8: Is there a log file or another way to troubleshoot Windows Embedded Device Manager 2011 client on the device?
Yes, there is a Windows Embedded Device Manager 2011 client log file. It is located at \Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Microsoft\EDM\edmstate.txt on Windows XP Embedded and Windows Embedded Standard 2009. On devices with Windows Embedded Standard 7, the file is located in \ProgramData\Microsoft\EDM\emdstate.txt
Question 9: Something went wrong and the device is stuck in service mode lock screen and users cannot log in, what can I do?
You must be very lucky to get stuck in service mode lock screen. However things happen. Login as Administrator and run following commands from Windows Embedded Device Manager 2011 installation folder.
This will bring your device back to normal state.
Question 10: Is Windows Embedded Device Manager 2011 included in Core CAL?
No, Windows Embedded Device Manager 2011 is not part of Core CAL.
If you have a question about Windows Embedded Device Manager 2011 that did not make it into the Top Ten, don’t hesitate to put a comment or send me and an email. I will be happy answer more questions. Also in the upcoming articles I will provide little more details and specific How-Tos on some of the interesting thing we’ve discussed today. Stay tuned!