Regarding IT

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Inside the HP Quick Play partition

An interesting side-effect of getting the Recovery Console to work is that the Recovery Console can actually mount the HP QuickPlay partition! The 1st partition is the "user" Windows XP Operating System, the 2ndis the hidden Recovery partition, and the 3rdis the QuickPlay partition.

This notebook is a showcase for Windows technology. The Recovery partition is made using Windows Preinstallation Environment (WinPE), QuickPlay is made possible by Windows XP Embedded (Win XPe).

Using the Recovery Console, one can have a look at the QuickPlay partition's boot.ini file:

[boot loader]
timeout=0
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Embedded" /fastdetect /maxmem=256


Starting and stopping QuickPlay actually sets XPe to hibernate, and by limiting the amount of RAM and the applications running, QuickPlay manages to boot faster and conserve battery. Good stuff.

A closing comment - it's really easy to make a WinPE-type of bootable CD using Bart's PE Builder and CDShell. Both work as advertised and are free, but require some pretty technical knowledge.

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