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  • Birthday 11/20/1951

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    Windows 8.1 x64

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BYTE-ME's Achievements



  1. Not sure. I had not tested the procedure on Windows 7, so to be on the safe side I limited my advice to Windows 8.1. and 10 since 7,8 and 10 have different versions of DISM. Also, I see there are some spelling glitches in my gif's I need to fix when I get a chance
  2. Nine step unattended Windows 10 Guide v. 07.22.2021 What you will need: An internet connection, if you don't have a genuine Windows 10 ISO, and the Microsoft media creation tool. A working Windows 10, Windows 8.1 or Windows 7 installation on a PC, with at least 10GB of free disk space that you will use to create the unattended Windows 10 setup. A USB 3.0 drive with 16GB or more of storage capacity. NTLite, Win Toolkit or DISM++ all of which provide a GUI for Windows's DISM utility to tweak Windows 10 by removing or adding components and integrating Windows updates, drivers etc. before creating the unattended install. An archive utility like 7-zip or WinRar and the bootdisk creation utility, Rufus . A strategy for your unattended install. Working backwards by starting with number six, you need a strategy if you don't want to waste a lot of time experimenting with Windows' setups. There are at least three ways to go: (1) a basic setup that installs stock Windows 10 but may not be ready to use when setup is completed because it lacks some critical NIC or video driver; (2) basic install with a few additional components like legacy DotNet, XPS Document viewer (to print and manipulate so-called "secure" .pdf forms that otherwise can't be printed or saved) unneeded Windows components removed for your specific work or play environment and integrated drivers for any hardware missed by a stock setup and (3) a de-bloated and fully customized Windows 10 install that's tweaked and ready to use as soon as you log on to your desktop. In most cases, especially if you are installing Windows on multiple computers with similar hardware at home or in a small office, I recommend you use strategy No. 2. Afterwards, you can tweak Windows 10 to your specifications, then make an image of the install to clone to the additional computers. Generally speaking, imaging is much faster at installing Windows than unattended installs. Unattended installs are best saved for new, unfamiliar PC upgrades that you need to customize. Therefore, you want to create the most universal setup you can so there won't be any hiccups. Use the Windows media creation tool to make a Windows 10 *.iso on your PC. After the *.iso is created, use a file compression utility like 7-zip or WinRar to extract the ISO to a folder on your PC. In most cases, you simply right-click on the Windows.iso file, choose your archive manager from the context menu and let WinRar or 7-zip extract the ISO to a folder on your PC with the largest amount of free disk space, e.g. D:\Folder1. Now you need to convert the encrypted install.esd file inside the Windows "sources" folder you just extracted to a file called install.wim. This will enable you to modify your Windows 10 setup. There are lots of ways to do this. Here are instructions using the freeware DISM++ : Launch DISM++ | choose "Toolkit" from the left hand column | choose "ESD to WIM Conversion" (the text may be truncated) from the panel on the right hand side | enter the path to the install.esd file inside the Windows sources folder you just extracted, e.g. D:\Folder1\sources\install.esd | in the second field, put the path for the converted file, e.g. D:\Folder1\sources\install.wim. After the conversion is finished, delete the original install.esd file or move it to another folder outside of D:\Folder1. Now create an additional folder, call it "D:\Mount" (Wiin Toolkit may automatically create a mount folder on your system drive). After creating the folder launch NTLite, Win Toolkit or DISM++ and follow their instructions to mount the install.wim file to the "D:\Mount" folder and, then, follow their instructions for adding or removing drivers, third party software and other components, etc.. After you finish, save and unmount your Windows 10 image (Win Toolkit does this automatically, DISM++ needs manual attention). Now it's time to automate the install. You need to create three special text files to automate the Windows install: Autounattend.xml, the Windows answer file that contains setup instructions, pid.txt that contains the generic product ID that authorizes the installation to proceed and the ei.cfg, which tells setup which of the nearly one dozen versions of Windows 10 (i.e. Enterprise, retail, etc.) you are installing. Go here for details on how to create the pid.txt and ei.cfg files. For Autounattend.xml you can create one online or use the annotated one in the AutoFiles.7z archive in the last paragraph of this post. Finally, place the Autounattend.xml file at the root of your USB as shown in the picture below. Then place the pid.txt and ei.cfg files inside the sources folder. Finally, you can optionally create a batch file to register windows and auto-setup networking information once Windows is setup. Although you can now copy the modified Wndows image to a cleanly formatted USB drive, I like to use DISM++ or Win Toolkit to compress the Windows files in D:\Folder1 and create a new modified Windows.iso. Then, insert your USB drive, fire up the boot drive creation tool, Rufus, select your newly created Windows.iso, chose GPT install and NTFS formatting and let Rufus copy the iso files to the USB disk. And you are done. Download pre-configured autounattend files here AutoFiles.7z Following these instructions will create an automatic Windows setup that will only require user intervention to partition the hard drive and register Windows after setup is completed. Because I dual boot with Linux, I have wasted countless hours trying to completely automate Windows setup so that I could boot the setup USB and go have coffee. But I've found it is better to invest that time in customizing and then imaging a Windows installation so that you can clone it to another computer. So that's it; any corrections, oversights or other forum input is welcome.
  3. @vinifera. Yeah, I hate to sound like one of those "Hey, get off my lawn" geezers but seriously when is MS going to act like a grownup? I guess it's too easy to chase the low hanging fruit and just change OS eye candy just to induce upgrades. "Windows 19, anyone? We've redesigned the taskbar and have brand new icons, this time in grayscale!!!"
  4. Oh well. Windows will remain king of operating systems for the foreseeable future no matter how crappy it is, since it is so embedded into the enterprise. I know the company doesn't give 2¢ about what most consumers think, but I think four things would improve the OS and widen its appeal: (1) better integration with cellphones now that mobile has become as ubiquitous as Windows, i.e. make phone/PC file transfers and syncing contacts, calendars, texts and emails easier and more seamless over Bluetooth or USB cable, something like MyPhone Explorer does; (2) Re-introduce and improve the Resilient File System (it was deprecated in Windows 10) to add integrity checks, protection against data degradation, handling of long paths, storage virtualization, and built-in hard drive redundancy and disk failure protection, especially now that Microsoft is requiring higher PC hardware requirements to install Windows 11. (3) Add an Android-like cast feature to display content on televisions and other devices and, finally, (4) dumb-down networking so that opening Windows' network connections for the first time displays a wizard to enter, lookup and save IP/DNS addresses and passwords for your LAN and for your ISP provider like many email clients do wizard setups for setting up email.
  5. @ Tripredacus. Thanks for the explanation of the WAN Miniports. I finally broke down and wrote an Autoit script that shuts off my network adaptors before my PC reboots or goes to sleep. Lot of chit chat with Microsoft going on before and after login .
  6. So....I finally threw in the towel on Windows 8.1 and upgraded to Windows 10 this month after I bought a Z590 motherboard and discovered I could not install my Qlogic PCI-e network card or even the motherboard's onboard NIC without installing Windows 10. I found it odd that I could get network access with a USB network adaptor on Windows 10 and that my PCI-e video card worked but that the Qlogic NIC that worked fine in Windows 8.1 on my previous motherboard, was now nothing more than a doorstop without Window 10. The second surprise came after installing Windows 10 and I found eight different WAN Miniports listed in Device Manager and eight entries for my dual port Qlogic card. My suspicion is that this is all designed for telemetry connectivity and to keep Windows 10 connected to the IOT. So I thought to myself, I can stop this: just don't install network drivers until Windows 10 is fully cleanly installed. But that wasn't easily accomplished, at least on my motherboard, because you can't turn Wifi off in the BIOS!!! So then I shut off the WiFi access point at my location which, fortunately, is remote enough that there are no other accessible WiFi networks nearby. Finally, I was able to cleanly install and register Windows 10. I then quickly installed my network firewall and WAU Manager and was able to patch Windows 10 in a controlled way (no 200MB worth of logitech mouse driver addons or 750MB worth of Nvidia telemetry apps, not to mention that I can wait until the dust clears on the Microsoft patches that have introduced new bugs) while I tried to hunt down and close off Windows 10 telemetry hidden in service settings, scheduled tasks and other startup routines. So far, I'm not as pessimistic as NoelC about accomplishing this successfully. But, then again, I'm not using Windows store apps like Weather, email etc., I also uninstalled Windows Explorer and Edge and I am not letting the OS update at will, thanks to WAU. My other gripe is that Windows 10 has a 33% bigger footprint than Windows 8.1, making imaging the OS take one-third longer. Yes, Windows 10 is a hot mess.
  7. Been using Notepad3 for years. Great piece of software. I wish it were a little more robust with columar search-and-replace or end or beginning of line search and replace, then I could get rid of my other editor that does those things: emedit.
  8. Download fixed. Thanks for head's up.
  9. There is no listing of all 200 tweaks per se. The setup only installs seven new Control Panel applets shown in the online screen shot and a half dozen new desktop context menu shortcuts, also shown in the screenshot. But, after installation, if you click on the "Tweaks Guide" link in the start menu you will see a guide to detailed instructions on installing the the other tweaks. The setup package is uninstallable, so you can read the tweaks guide and keep it and uninstall everything else. Hope that helps.
  10. Updated to v 10.0 February 8, 2021.
  11. Yes! I got that message on one of my Windows 8.1 workstations yesterday after upgrading to DotNet 4.8. This is crazy.
  12. Yes, commericial video ads on PCs and text messages to your phone when you logon will be the next big "innovation". I can hear them now: "Let's see how we can monetize 2-factor authentication."
  13. Looking at the recent list of removed or deprecated features in Windows 10 got me thinking about why I almost never upgrade Microsoft products anymore. Microsoft, and many aother developers, increasingly seem to want more money for less functionality. What happened to improving the ReFS file system and making it ready for prime time? Countless other useful features are discussed but rarely implemented. there have been nearly a half dozen iterations of Microsoft Office since 2007 yet they show little real innovation. As a result, I still use Word and Outlook 2003 to retain the ability to pipe RSS feeds into Outlook or create a Microsoft word letter inside Outlook with the address field automatically populated with the Outlook contact of my choice. All this was removed from later versions of Word and Outlook The knee jerk response to security challenges today is to deprecate, not fix features. I get that security is a big issue these days. But eliminating useful features is not the way to combat the issue. Remember when you could launch an application with a webrowser hyperlink? No can do in 2020. Why can't developers work on better ways to insure that only the user's commands are executed and not the instructions of some malware or hacker. This can't be rocket science.
  14. Updated to v 8.5 July 17, 2019

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