Task: Install Windows Embedded Standard 7 to the Advantech AIMB-212 (Intel Atom N450) 1.66 GHz Mini-ITX Board
.. As supplied for round 2 of the Microsoft embedded Spark 2010 Summer Challenge: Build a Media device using WES 7.

  • Creating an x86 (32 bit) installation
  • Using a USB Memory stick as the installation media.  (See previous blog on how to set this up).
  • Using a SATA Laptop Hard drive as the installation media.

Initial functionality: Windows Media plus a USB HDMI Digital TV tuner.
Also adding a Wacom MultitouchTouchpad and a Winstars USB 2.0 HD Video/Audio adapter.

Step 1: Windows 7

As discussed in previous blog, I install the desktop version of the operating system first.
That is with XP Embedded, I install XP.  With WES7 I install Windows 7.
I then make sure all of the required drivers, including 3rd party devices (in this case the USB TV device) work on the system.


I am using a hard drive from another embedded system (also WES 7) that has some existing partitions, and some spare space.
      I am actually leaving it mounted in the other box for now.  Just connecting the Sata and drive power cables to the kit board.
I ran into a problem when trying to boot from the USB device:
“Windows cannot be installed to this disk space.  The selected disk has the maximum number of partitions of this type.”
My disk has, the boot partition plus three others.
Solution: I will use the second partition on the drive.

  1. Create a bootable Win 7 USB key
  2. Boot from that.
    1. Make sure in BIOS that USB has priority over the HD
    2. I had to also make the USB drive the first listed drive
  3. Go through a normal Win 7 installation
    1. In my case select my second partition
    2. For a new drive select half or less of the space (the other half will be a WES 7 partition).
  4. Install the Chipset Drivers from the board CD
  5. Install the VGA Driver from the board CD
  6. Install the Network drivers from the board CD
  7. Install the Audio drivers from the board CD.
  8. Install any other installed hw drivers
  9. Do a Windows update
  10. I then installed my USB TV Dongle, and other peripheral devices.
  11. Test the device functionality including Media Player, Windows Media Centre, and in my case the USB TV (via Windows Media Centre)
  12. Browse to C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository
    • If there are any driver problems with WES 7, point the Driver Update Dialog to here (via Device Manager)

Step 2: About Installing WES 7

WES 7 comes with 3 DVDs:

  • 32 bit IBW (Image Builder Wizard)
  • 64 Bit IBW
  • The ICE Toolkit (Image Configuration Wizard)

For this installation, I will use the 32 bit IBW.  I don’t think 64 bit is needed for media.  Also, its possible that some drivers/software might not be available for 64 bit.
I welcome comment on this.

IBW facilitates the installation directly from the DVD.  It’s like a normal Windows installation, just more options.  Its simpler that XP Embedded because it will automatically run TAP and determine the required drivers,  you don’t separately build the OS and need to transfer it to media etc etc.  ICE is where you want to fine tune what is required for your system.  You end up running ICW anyway, just using the Answer file from ICE.

So I recommend, at least for a first or rapid prototyping./one of build, use ICW.

You need to make decision about which template you will use.  This specifies in a macro manner what additional software, tools and drivers are installed.
The standard templates are:


There are some additional package templates at:

Step 3: WES 7 Installation

  1. Create a bootable WES 7 USB key
  2. Boot from that.
  3. First Dialog: WES7
  • Build Image
    • This launches ICW`Deploy
  • Answer File
    • This is for if you have created and answer file with ICE
  • Note  the Launch PE Option
    • This gets you to the PE environment that you used to get with XPE Install Disk 1
    • Use this in an advanced build where you want to use a VHD to install to (See a prior blog .. I’ll do something on this in a later blog)
  • Choose Build an Image
  1. License
    • Accept license terms, look at them if you must
  2. Choose How to create your image
    • Choose a template
      • I use IE/WMP/RDP
      • I’ll try Set Top Box later some time
    • View what the template entails if you wish.
      • You can customise this later
  3. Choose a language and other preferences
    1. Usually just need to set the Time and Currency to English(Your Country)
  4. Summary of Drivers And Features
    • You can expand upon:
      1. Drivers
        • Inbox Drivers
          • Drivers that the installation found from TAP that it has, plus required WES 7 drivers
        • Unmapped drivers
          • Drivers found from TAP not “in the box”
          • It has already run TAP and generated a PMQ file
          • You can click on Modify drivers and indicate where on the system the drivers are (if they are there) later in this install.
          • Otherwise just do the installation and manually install them post build .. this is what I do.
      2. Feature Packages
        • Components from the chosen template and required by WES 7
    • Just select Modify Features so that you can customise the image later
      • Don’t select Modify Drivers
    • Note the estimated Footprint.  Make sure you have a big enough drive.
      • Speaking from experience, it shows typically as about 1 Gig but it will be significantly bigger that after you install everything.
  5. Select the packages to include in your image
    • Expand the Feature Packages add any that you want or remove any not wanted
      • .Net Framework
        • I added .NET 3.5 (Both)
      • Boot Environments
        • I added Enhanced Write Filter (needed for HORM)
        • Deselect Windows Boot as the two are mutually exclusive
      • Devices and Printers
        • I added all of these
      • Embedded Enabling Features
        • This is a major difference between WES 7 and Win 7
        • More on these in later blog
        • Add only the ones you want
        • As you trial WES 7 , you can learn about these and come back and build new images using some of these features
      • Fonts
        • I added TrueType
      • International
        • IMEs etc here if you want
      • Graphics and Multimedia
        • Add what you need
      • IIS
        • Add it if you want your box to also be a web server/web service
      • Management
        • System
          • add any that you might want
        • Windows update
          • As a hobbyist you must add this.  Useful for resolving driver etc problems.
          • But only a commercial system, you might not
        • Others
          • Add any you want
      • Media Centre
        • Yes I added this!
      • Networking
        • Base
          • I think some of these are needed for Wi-Fi
        • I added Telnet Server, but you might not
        • I added Bluetooth
        • I added Network and Sharing
        • I added Windows Firewall and Wireless Networking
      • Security
        • I added Windows Security Center
      • User Interface
        • I added Help (First 2 but not Remote Assistance)
        • I added Speech API then deselected the languages I didn’t want
        • Windows Shell: I added all of these
        • I then added:
          • Accessibility
          • Mobility Center and SlideShow
          • Natural Language 6
          • Photo Viewer
          • Tablet PC support
          • Windows Search
    • Choose any additional languages required
      • I seem to remember that English must remain.
    • Then Resolve Dependencies
      • This used to be a pain in XPE (esp. earlier versions), so much easier now!
  6. Note that the image size (this one) is about 2.7G.
    • Make sure you have space!
    • Hit [Next] and [NEXT] again
  7. Choose your install partition
    • Choose from:
      • An existing one (Note its contents will be lost)
      • A new one from unallocated space
      • Or a previously mounted VHD
        • You do this at the start “Launch PE” option
        • Topic for another blog
    • Format it

AND You are way!  Good luck, I hope it works

Step 4:  First Boot

  • When the installation finishes and it boots for the first login (where you specify the username, password and computer name), it asks for a key.
    If you don’t enter one, the image is good for 30 days.  If you enter a valid trial key, you get 180 days. 

Get one from www.windowsembedded.com/evalkey

Note that non trial keys are not available except to Microsoft Embedded OEMs.  They can’t be distributed like non embedded Windows keys.  The bit that says that you have to purchase a key after 180 days is a bit misleading

Step 5: Board Drivers

  • Install the Chipset Drivers from the board CD
  • Install the VGA Driver from the board CD
  • Note that you can only get 1024x768 resolution initially.
    • Set the display to single, as in your monitor.
    • You’ll get the higher resolutions then
    • It defaults to the LVDS display cloning the main display which restricts the main display resolutions.
  • Install the Network drivers from the board CD
  • Install the Audio drivers from the board CD.
    • Requires a reboot
  • Install any other installed hw drivers
  • Do a Windows update
  • I then installed my USB TV Dongle, and other peripheral devices.
  • Test the device functionality including Media Player, Windows Media Centre, and in my case the USB TV (via Windows Media Centre)
  • Browse to E:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository to resolve any driver problems as previously discussed
    • Where E is the drive for the Win 7 installation as it is mounted for WES 7aero


  • My Advantech System (on left) using mounted hard drive from my Intel Embedded System


    1. My system barely supported the USB TV device.  I had to turn on Virtual Memory as with WES 7 it seems to be off by default.  For many embedded systems this makes sense.  I’m going to upgrade the memory to 2Gig.
      With the VM setup it worked fine with a 1280x1024 monitor.