Working With a Hewlett Packard Thin Client


These instructions in .PDF form with embedded links to the files and copies of the batch files mentioned below can be downloaded from the following link:
Working with an HP Thin Client



Getting Keyboard Control

     The first step in setting up the thin client (TC) is being able to access the system bios. To do this you’ll need to have a working keyboard. The TC’s have a PS2 connector on the back with a picture of a keyboard beside it. The TC bios settings allow this PS2 connector to either support a PS2 keyboard as the picture would indicate or to support a PS2 mouse. Which one of these is supported when you get hold of a TC will depend on how the previous owner had the bios setup.

     If the previous owner had the PS2 connector setup to support a PS2 mouse then you must use a USB keyboard to gain control of the bios settings by pressing F10 during boot up. PS2 to USB adapters will NOT work. You must use a USB keyboard if the PS2 port has been set to support a PS2 mouse. After you have successfully entered the bios setup you can change the PS2 connector to support a PS2 keyboard. You can leave the bios settings enabled to allow a USB keyboard and USB mouse both enabled and you will from then on be able to use either a USB or PS2 keyboard.

     You can control bios settings with a keyboard alone (i.e. the mouse doesn’t have to work) but a working keyboard is necessary and that is why I recommend allowing both USB and PS2 keyboards.

Reflashing with the Latest Xpe Operating System

    1) Download onto your desktop computer HP’s XPe factory image for T5710 (was SP36064.exe at the time of this writing). For the t5700 SP29705.exe
    2) Connect your USB disk-on-key (DOK) (I used a 2Gb “Kingston Data Travler R101”) to a USB port on your desktop computer.
    3) Execute the file you just downloaded somewhere on your desktop system and when it asks select “USB Format” and your USB DOK as the destination.
    4) Restart your TC and during power up press F10 to enter the bios settings.
    5) Select USB as the first boot device and save the bios settings.
    6) Power down the TC.
    7) Insert the DOK into any USB port on the TC.
    8) Power up the TC.


     At this point the TC should go through a power up sequence and eventually begin to flash it’s internal memory from the data contained on the DOK. Be patient this takes quite a while to perform.

     After the re-flash has completed you will be prompted to remove the DOK and cycle the power on the TC. I recommend at this point you during boot up you press F10 and change the bios back to so the first boot device is the ATA. Then save the bios setting and allow the TC to continue to boot. Once you have done that the TC should boot up into XP embedded and perform an auto logon into the “User” account.

Gaining Administrator Access

    1) To gain access to the Administrator account so you can make changes you’ll need to hold down the shift key and go to the Start button and select log off. Keep the shift key depressed and the TC will then present you with a normal log on box.

    2) In this logon box enter Administrator as both user and password. The TC will then log in as Administrator.

    3) Next go into control panel and go to the "HP Login Manager". Change the Default User Name to Administrator and the Default User Password to Administrator as well. Just leave the Default Domain blank for now and click OK.

    4) Now go to the EWF Configuration in control panel and select “Commit Data to Volume”. This will make the changes to logon on as Administrator persist; otherwise if you just rebooted the TC would revert to the setting you had at the last boot up. This is what EWF is all about. Any changes you make are just temporary when EWF is running and do not get permanently entered into the c: flash drive’s data unless you instruct EWF to do so by committing data to the volume.


     Ok so we have now set the TC to auto logon as Administrator and made the settings permanent. Now you can go to the start button and select restart. The TC should restart and log back on as Administrator automatically.

Disabling EWF During Changes

     While EWF is great it can be a pain if your making several changes to have to commit each one and reboot in between them. To make life easier we’ll just disable EWF temporarily. Go to control panel and again to the EWF Configuration and this time select “Disable EWF”. The TC will ask if you wish to Commit the Data to the Volume. Select YES and you will then be prompted to reboot again.

     Once the TC has rebooted you’ll notice the little lock icon near the clock is now and open meaning EWF is disabled.  Alternatively you can run the batch file disableEWF.bat I have included in the zip by just double clicking on it or entering the command in a CMD window.

    disableEWF.bat

      ewfmgr.exe –commitanddisable –all

Removing Some things to free up space

The HP flash image includes several programs which probably will be of no use to you and take up precious space on the internal flash drive. The list below are the ones I suggest you may want to remove.

     If your TC is currently connected to the internet you can just navigate to the above links and select run to install them onto the TC directly. If not you can download them from your desktop onto you DOK and then transfer the DOK to your TC and execute them from there to load them onto the TC.

     Executing them is a two step process. First the above linked utility files must be installed onto the TC and then the utilities have to be executed on the TC to perform their jobs of removing the programs from the TC.

    Each of the utilities once installed onto the TC they will be located in directory “C:\Program Files\Altiris\eXpress\Deployment Server\RIPs”. You will need to navigate to each utility and execute it from there.

     Once the removal process is completed, you can delete the utility files linked above to save space. Also note in the C:\Program Files\Altiris\eXpress\Deployment Server directory you’ll find Documents and Scripts sub directories. You can also navigate and delete the files contained there to save more space.

Customizing Your Installation

      Next you’ll probably want to customize your TC by adjusting settings the way you prefer. I at this point set my screen resolution to my desired settings. Adjust the taskbar the way I prefer and drag things I use frequently onto the desktop for easy access and delete desktop shortcuts don’t use.

     One of the great things recommended to me (by HolmanGT) was Team Viewer this wonderful utility allows you to remotely control and view the desktop of your TC. Once installed you can remove the mouse, keyboard and monitor of your TC and just run it remotely. Team Viewer has a small footprint and works great. It is free for personal use and I highly recommend it for professional use as well. When you install it select it to start with windows and give it a password. Later you’ll also want to go into it’s “Extra” settings and adjust it to your liking.

     The windows Time Update is disabled by default so your clock won’t automatically get reset. I would also suggest you go into control panel and select “Administrative Tools” then select “Computer Management” the “Services and Applications” and finally “Services”. Scroll down to “Windows Time” and right click on it and select “Properties”. Set to “Startup Type” as Automatic and click on the “Start” button. Then click on “OK”.

     After you have enabled the Windows Time service, you will want to set your clock. Right click on the clock in the task bar and select “Adjust Date/Time”. Make the necessary changes to set the clock to the current date and time and select your time zone. The time doesn’t have to be exact but must be close for the automatic setting later to function. Once you have the clock set then go to the “Internet Time” tab and check the box “Automatically synchronize with and Internet time server”. I leave my Server: set to “time.windows.com". Then finally click on the “Update Now” button which will automatically accurately set your clock and in the process test your settings.

Re-Enabling EWF

     Ok once you have everything the way you like it, go back into control panel to the "EWF Configuration" and select “Enable EWF”. You’ll note the little lock icon changes to yellow but is still open. You’ll then be prompted to reboot. Select yes and allow the TC to reboot.

     Once the TC has rebooted your changes should be intact and the little lock icon near the clock should be green and closed. Now your TC configuration is complete.

Creating Your Own Flash Image

     Now that you have your TC all setup the way you like it you may want to create a flash image with your configuration settings. This would allow you to re-flash the TC later and not have to go thru the process above since your flash will already have your changes incorporated. There is a utility in control panel to do this but I was never able to get it to work correctly.

     I use the following steps to create my own flash image and it works. The zip file located HERE contains the instructions your reading and some batch files to assist you in performing the following:

    1) Insert your DOK.
    2) Rename the autoexec.bat file located in the root directory of your DOK to autoexec.bak
    3) Either copy the two batch files capture.bat and restore.bat to you DOK root directory or create them there with the commands shown next:
    capture.bat

      @echo off
      echo. Capturing Image from C: to USB DOK- Please Wait...
      IBR.EXE -dok -buffer:127 -o:1 -y HD1 flash.IBR
      echo. Capture Completed....
      exit

    restore.bat

      @echo off
      echo. Restoring Image from USB DOK to C: - Please Wait...
      IBR.EXE -dok -buffer:127 flash.IBR HD1
      echo Restore Completed - Remove the USB DOK Now and reboot!
      echo.
      echo After rebooting run ebableEMF.bat using the "Run" command from the "Start" button.

    4) From a command window execute the following commands or run the batch file I created named prep4flash.bat which will execute these commands for you:
    prep4flash.bat

      ewfmgr.exe –commitanddisable –all
      Net stop EwfStatusSvc
      Rundll32.exe ewfdll.dll,EwfDeletePartitions
      REG DELETE HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\ControlSet001\Services\ewf\Parameters\protected\Volume0 /f

    5) Go to the “Start” button and select “Shut Down” when prompted select “Shutdown”.
    6) Make sure your DOK is inserted in one of the USB ports and turn the TC power on.
    7) The TC should boot into Free DOS just hit enter a couple of time to accept the date and time and you should be at a c:\ prompt. Note this is really now the DOK and not the internal flash drive which becomes c: during a normal boot up.
    8) Once at the c: prompt type “capture”. This will start the capture.bat file and begin the process of copying the TC’s internal flash drive data to a file located on your DOK which will be named flash.ibr when complete. This is a long process! Once complete you’ll be prompted to remove the DOK file and cycle the TC power.
    9) After you have removed the DOK and switched the TC’s power button back on the TC should reboot into windows as before.
    10) Now we need to re-enable the EWF. To do so you can just run the enableEWF.bat or execute the following command in a CMD window:
    enableEWF.bat

      C:\windows\system32\rundll32.exe c:\windows\system32\ewfdll.dll,ConfigureEwf

    11) Now navigate once again to control panel and the “EWF Configuration” select “Commit Data to Volume” and afterward allow the TC to reboot.

     Once the reboot has completed the little lock icon near the clock in the task bar should be green and indicate closed. This completes the creation of your own flash image process.

Restoring Your Own Flash Image

     If you wish to install your flash onto another TC or for some reason need to reflash your TC to the same condition you can easily do so by following the few next steps:

    1) Insert your DOK into one of the USB ports.
    2) Reboot the TC.
    3) During boot up Press F10 to enter the bios setup and make the first boot device the USB.
    4) Save your bios settings and allow the boot to continue.
    5) The TC should boot into Free Dos from the DOK so just hit enter a couple of time to accept the current time and date.
    6) At the c: prompt type “restore” which will execute the restore.bat file and copy the flash.ibr file you created earlier to the TC’s internal flash drive. This takes a long time but once completed you will be prompted to remove the DOK and cycle the TC’s power to reboot.
    7) I recommend you intercept the reboot by pressing the F10 key and change the first boot device back to the ATA.
    8) Then save the bios settings and allow the boot up to continue.
    9) Once the TC has booted back up from it’s internal flash into windows either run the batch file enableEWF.bat or in a CMD window type the following:
    enableEWF.bat

      C:\windows\system32\rundll32.exe c:\windows\system32\ewfdll.dll,ConfigureEwf

    10) Now go to control panel and select “EWF Configuration” and “Commit Data to Volume”
    11) Reboot the TC

     Once the TC has rebooted in windows the little lock icon should be green and closed (locked) indicating EWF is enabled. This completes the re-flash process.