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Microsoft Windows NT Embedded 4.0. A Technical Overview Microsoft Corporation. Agenda. Authoring Tools Embedded-Enabling Features Run-time configuration enforcement. Windows NT Embedded allows you to efficiently create reliable and economical mid-range and high-end embedded solutions.

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Microsoft windows nt embedded 4 0

Microsoft Windows NT Embedded 4.0

A Technical Overview

Microsoft Corporation


  • Authoring Tools

  • Embedded-Enabling Features

  • Run-time configuration enforcement

Windows NT Embedded allows you to efficiently create reliable and economical mid-range and high-end embedded solutions

Authoring tool set
Authoring Tool-Set

  • Host/Target approach

    • System/Application capabilities are defined on the Windows NT host through the authoring tool

    • “Build” process generates the target system run-time image

    • Image is a configured system - ready to run

  • Advantage - Configure-To-Build

    • Core OS binaries are unmodified (Windows NT4+SP5)

    • Application compatibility is maintained

    • System upgrades/updates are simpler

Target designer
Target Designer

  • Enables developers to easily define and generate custom target runtime images for embedded devices

    • Selectable target operating-system features

      • Automatically tracks component inter-dependencies

      • Workstation, as well as Server-class features

    • Extensible environment for the inclusion of additional components

      • e.g. in-house (app), 3rd party (apps, drivers)

    • Generates a bootable system

      • Unique SIDs, correct PID

Component designer
Component Designer

  • Enables developers to package operating system features or applications into components which can be used in Target Designer

    • Define component interdependencies

    • Author registry information

    • Define placement in the Target Designer component tree (namespace)

    • Component definition is imported into TD

Embedded enabling features
Embedded-Enabling Features

  • “Headless” Support

    • Allows a Windows NT Embedded system to run without any mouse/keyboard/video hardware.

    • Null VGA video driver removes hardware dependency

    • All Win32 apps run unmodified

    • All GDI calls behave as expected

      • Screen bitmap retained (e.g. GetPixel())

    • N.B - BIOS must be capable (e.g. no kbd)

Embedded enabling features1
Embedded-Enabling Features

  • Flash Media Support

    • Allows an Windows NT Embedded system to boot and operate without a physical disk drive. Flash will be exposed as a block mode device for file systems.

      • M-Systems DiskOnChip2000 is the supported hardware

      • NTFS and FAT support

        • Compression, Security

      • Maximum capacity - 144MB (uncompressed)

      • Automatic, transparent wear-leveling

Embedded enabling features2
Embedded-Enabling Features

  • Write Filter Driver

    • Redirects disk writes to an in-memory cache

    • Underlying media appears R/W to applications and system

    • FAT only at this time. NTFS is being investigated for inclusion.

Embedded enabling features3
Embedded-Enabling Features

  • CD Boot Driver

    • Supports the El-Torito bootable CD-ROM format.

    • Boot and run Windows NT from CD

    • Used in conjunction with the Write Filter driver

    • Allows the CD to be viewed as a standard block device

      • e.g. no CDFS

Embedded enabling features4
Embedded-Enabling Features

  • Flexible Page File Support

    • WinLogon and registry modifications

    • Configuration may include pre-defined paging files

      • fixed size

    • Run without a paging file

      • Profile dynamic memory usage

      • Application Developers must Size RAM appropriately

Embedded enabling features5
Embedded-Enabling Features

  • Network-related features

    • Participating in a domain

      • Workstation, server

    • Cloning

      • Unique SIDs for multiple images

    • Broad spectrum of Windows NT technology


Embedded enabling features6
Embedded-Enabling Features

  • Remote Management infrastructure

    • Option 1 - text-mode

      • remote command prompt

        • TCP/IP (Telnet) with authentication option

        • Modem/Serial

          • Logon required - impersonates user credentials

    • Option 2 - graphical

      • remote application GUI

        • TCP/IP only

Embedded enabling features7
Embedded-Enabling Features

  • Enhanced support for error-reporting

    • Automatic handling of error dialogs

    • Global logging of all error dialogs and message boxes.

    • Modification to USER32.DLL

      • Only available on Windows NT Embedded systems

Run time configuration enforcement
Run-time Configuration Enforcement

  • Only load executables configured for the target

    • Assures machine configuration

    • Enables more flexible licensing

  • Configuration is identifiable as Windows NT Embedded

    • Not a retail system

    • Triggers enforcement mechanism

Summary benefits
Summary - Benefits

  • Full Win32 compatibility

  • Familiar development environment

  • Rich operating system services and peripheral support

  • Huge 3rd party presence

  • Commodity PC hardware

  • Reduced time to market

  • Excellent platform for complex application systems!