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Is there any way to make Windows XP installation write protected? And all changes would go to the RAM directly? That would cause that after every reboot things would be fresh all the time while loosing all the changes.

The reason is that. That Windows XP would be just an RDP client. So, no intensive work would be made there.

This way I could be somehow more secure on any hardware resets, restarts, shutdown. I mean it wouldn't be corrupted.

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Sounds like you want(ed) SteadyState. –  slhck Mar 3 '12 at 13:52
    
@slhck Thanks! I think that's what I need. Sadly, it's discontinued. –  bakytn Mar 3 '12 at 14:11
    
Alternatives include Returnil and Deep Freeze –  Andrew Lambert Mar 3 '12 at 16:12
1  
You can still download steady state even if it's discontinued. download.cnet.com/Windows-SteadyState/… –  Nifle Mar 3 '12 at 18:28

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I've not done this myself but this method was fairly common on early CF card based carputers. I seriously recommend doing a lot of testing and backing up before going this route, even if its reasonably well documented. Bad Things Could Happen messing with critical system files, and setting up a frankensteined windows install.

Its going to need stuff from windows embedded, but you can, in theory use the EWF or enhanced write filter from XP embedded on windows XP to make a read only windows XP system

Instructions based off here and wikipedia

Download this and mount (with some ISO mounter) or use winzip to extract the files. You will need to copy ewfmgr.exe to \windows\system32 and ewf.sys to \windows\system32\drivers from the rep directory. Wikipedia also indicates you need to replace ntldr with ewfntldr

You will also need to create some registry entries - taken from here

Key Name: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\ewf\Parameters\Protected\Volume0

Name: Enabled
Type: REG_DWORD
Value: 0

Name: Type
Type: REG_DWORD
Value: 0x00000001 (1)

Name: ArcName
Type: REG_SZ
Value: multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)

Note The entry ArcName is the boot Arc path volume that you want to protect. Change the boot Arc path to protect a different volume on the system.

Key Name: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class{71A27CDD-812A-11D0-BEC7-08002BE2092F} Name: UpperFilters Type: REG_MULTI_SZ Value: EWF

Note This key may already exist with the value of volsnap. If the value of this key is volsnap, add EWF to the value. EWF must be on a new line. For example:

 Value: volsnap
       EWF

You risk running out of ram - you can use a management utility for it, or type in ewfmgr c:

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I am accepting this answer not because I tested and it worked. But because it's very informative. I don't want to accept my own answer :D –  bakytn Mar 4 '12 at 14:15
    
XD. I read about this years ago. Haven't gotten a scenario where i needed it. Seems to be a wonderfully ugly hack that needed sharing ;p –  Journeyman Geek Mar 4 '12 at 14:17
    
It is needed in Thin Client environments where you basically launch only one application (VDI client for example) and don't want to mess with all OS changes. Thanks! –  bakytn Mar 4 '12 at 14:24

After doing some research I found out that it is not possible with standard components. You need to install third party software/drivers which would help to accomplish this.

One can use Microsoft SteadyState or use other programs.

Microsoft SteadyState has been discontinued couple of years ago but still can be found somewhere in the Internet (for example here: http://download.cnet.com/Windows-SteadyState/3000-18512_4-11127965.html)

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