Create a Bootable Compact 2013 Disk (Compact 2013)


To create a boot disk for Windows Embedded Compact 2013, whether a physical disk, virtual disk, or USB flash drive, you must run Cesys.exe from the command line.


You cannot simply copy a boot loader file to the disk. Likewise, you can’t use the disk formatting option to make a boot disk or a DOS system disk. Unless you use Cesys.exe, the Compact 2013 disk will not boot correctly.

Whenever you create a run-time image for an OS design, Compact 2013 creates a boot loader in the flat release folder for that OS. This boot loader is always called wceldrC. To create a bootable disk that contains a Compact 2013 run-time image, use Cesys.exe to embed the wceldrC boot loader for that run-time image onto the disk, then add the run-time image file to the disk.

Add a boot loader to a disk

Use the procedure in this section to create a Compact 2013 boot disk. The procedure is the same for any type of physical disk, virtual disk, or USB flash drive.

To be used as a boot disk, your disk must meet the following criteria:

  1. It was initialized with a single partition that uses the Master Boot Record (MBR) partition style.
  2. It has a simple volume with no files or volume label.
  3. It is formatted for the FAT or FAT32 file system with the default allocation unit size.
  4. Its primary partition is set to active.


If the volume label contains any characters or the disk previously had files on it, Cesys.exe will not run correctly. Remove the partition and recreate it.
If you are using preformatted storage, such as a USB flash drive or a floppy disk, remove any pre-installed partitions from the disk.

To add a boot loader to a disk

  1. Attach the disk to the physical computer where you run Platform Builder, and make a note of the drive letter.

  2. In Platform Builder, open the OS design you want to use on the disk.

  3. On the Build menu, select Open Release Directory in Build Window. This opens a command window in the flat release folder for the OS design.

  4. In the command window, call Cesys.exe by using the following command:

    %WINCEROOT%\platform\{Platform}\src\boot\tools\bin\i386\cesys V: wceldrC -f


    • %WINCEROOT% is the Compact 2013 root folder (the default folder is c:\WINCE800)
    • {Platform} is the root folder of the BSP used in the OS design you are creating the boot disk for
    • V is the drive letter of the disk you want to modify


    Be sure you call the correct Cesys.exe file for your hardware platform. For generic x86 architecture, use CEPC as the BSP folder.

When Cesys.exe successfully installs the boot loader, the system displays the message Boot Loader transferred to drive V.

Add a run-time image to a boot disk

After you embed the boot loader on the disk, you can manage and edit the disk normally, performing such actions as changing the volume label, creating folders, and adding or deleting files. To add the run-time image to your boot disk, use any disk manager to copy the run-time image file NK.bin from your release folder to your disk.

Troubleshoot creating a boot disk

If you encounter any problems while trying to add a boot loader and run-time image to your disk, check the following table for the error message or symptom you are seeing.

Error message

Cause and solution

Cannot obtain exclusive access to drive

Cesys.exe cannot access the disk.

  • Close any programs or processes that might be using the disk, including your disk manager, file manager, and any hypervisor software.
  • Make sure the disk is properly initialized, formatted, and attached to your computer.

Incorrectly formatted bootstrap code

Cesys.exe can access the disk but it cannot embed the boot loader.

  • Make sure the volume label on the disk is blank and that no files were placed on the disk. If necessary, remove any partitions from the disk and recreate a single partition.
  • Make sure the disk is formatted correctly and the primary partition is marked as active.
  • Make sure you are using the correct Cesys.exe file for your platform.

The following error messages:

  • ERROR: No bootable OS found!
  • Insert boot disk.

The boot disk contains a boot loader but does not contain a valid run-time image.

  • If you’re using the boot loader file wceldrC, make sure the image file is named NK.bin.
  • Make sure the run-time image and the boot loader were created from the same OS design project.

See Also