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  1. wow dont know how i missed that one: I dont have repair [R] option at install, why, and how can I get it back? In the Unattended - General page, the Unattended Mode, set to 'Prompt repair'. Thanks - prog
  2. Basically the thing is I need to access Recovery Console from my nLited CD, becuase it has mass storage drivers on it. For this reason using the original Retail CD which does in fact have recovery console, will not work. Why is it after I nLite I lose the Recovery Console (the "r" option before the disk/partition selection screen)?
  3. If anyone is reading this and finds my advise logical and is going to attempt this there is something you should heed concerning the setup of these partitions with different cluster sizes. The cluster sizes I gave are what I use, ymmv, but I do advise you do not use 64K clusters as like I said I have gotten errors 3 times now on multiple PCs. You may be wondering.."how am i going to change these cluster sizes"...you probably know that with Disk Management utility in Windows you can format any partition with whatever size you want....but...what about C:\, if you are like most people you have a 4K cluster size on C:\. In the good ol' days with fdisk they let you change the cluster size, but with the XP install, you were stripped of that privilege Any of the formatting options you pick at the Partition selection screen will result in the default (4K) cluster size. "Can I use Partition Magic" Nope, try it. If you use partition magic you will get disk read errors. You could however use it to size the partitions if you wanted and then follow the steps below. "there is a format utility in recovery console...i can just use that." No you cant, for some reason Microsoft deemed the ability to change cluster sizes unimportant and in the recovery console the "/A" paramater is missing from Format. Solution: 1) Download Bart's PE (preinstalled environment) and follow the instructions for creating a boot CD...it is very simple and self explainitory. 2) Boot the CD and when you get in open CMD and "format C:\ /FS:NTFS /A:16K /X" (16K cluster size or whatever you feel is right for you) - You are not done yet, as using this method appearantly destroys the MBR. 3) Put your Windows CD in, boot it, and when it asks you to "press r", press it launch the recovery console. 4) Once into the recovery console issue the following "FIXMBR" and "FIXBOOT" Now you are good to go and you can install Windows properly without any errors.
  4. You just described the exact problem. Every single program by default looks for your System's Program Files Dir, HOWEVER...this is NOT necessarily C:\Program Files. For example, many people let Windows XP install on C:\ and then install their Applications and Games on D:\ or perhaps even install Apps on D:\ Games on E:\. However, If you had created a UA install, say with nLite, and modified it so that the Program Files dir was D:\Program Files, ALL the default programs that are installed with XP will have gone to this directory AND all future installs will automatically go there. This means you no longer have to manually switch the install directory on EVERY single application you install AND this means that if someone sits down on your computer and wants to install something upon which they fly through the install hitting next next next, it wont have slopped up your pretty OS partition. This is precisely what we want to right off the bat fix with our Vista installs, not to mention many other advantages such as allowing for small OS partition, fragmentation preventation, generally keeping your system cleaner, etc. I am not running Vista right now because of our little problem, but if I remember correctly after I got done wiht the install, the amount of space it ate was like 4-5GB, thats outrageous (You can get a modified XP install down to about 400MB with virtually every feature you need still intact including necessary drivers). Just imagine in the future with big OS updates like directX and what not. On my XP machine my OS partition is 5GB, just to be safe with Vista I would probably make it 15GB just to be safe...even if we are able to move Program Files dir. Heres a quick low down on my model for partition setup: ------------- C:\ Stores only one directory, Windows. Also manages page file Size: 10GB (I would go 15GB with Vista) Cluster Size: 16KB ------------- D:\ Stores Programs files and Documents and Settings (obviously this will change to Users and include ProgramData with Vista) This partition stores Size: 60GB Cluster Size: 8KB ------------- E:\ Stores all other data for that local machine. Everybody's data directory structure varies obviously. Size: Whatever is left, bout 100GB for me Cluster Size: 4KB (default) ------------- This is actually somewhat controversal as I have never, ever, EVER seen a single person suggest this cluster size setup on any forum and as a matter of fact, to even set your drive up like this requires a somewhat tricky procedure. I have however seen some people recommend using 64KB clusters, this used to be my philosophy back with 98, to go with the largest possible size, however, using clusters larger than 32KB can potentially be dangerous!! I have used 64KB clusters and THREE times I had gotten disk errors which had to be corrected with CHKDSK which can be somewhat of a hassle and should be avoided. Why did I pick those sizes? Do a search on your various drives and analyze the sizes of all the files on each partition, IE, search for files <4K, <8K, <16K, <32k. This will differ slightly for everyone but what I found was that the amount of files that are just under 16K for the Windows drive is the majority, not only that but a large majority are greater than 8K but <16K, implying for maximum performance point would be 16K. Same thing on D:\, except I found 8K was the better spot than 16K. And as far as E:\ goes I kept it default because IMO the performance boost of modified cluster sizes pertains best to OS (especially booting) and Program files and I also wanted to maximize the amount of storage. Hope this is illuminating.
  5. Vista released to RTM, pray for new BDD. Hey Mcore, I am with ya man. I have never even seen a single guide discussing the benefits of seperating your windows directory and programs files on different partitions, which to me is somewhat strange considering that the benefits are actually quite dramatic. It's like when after a year or two without a reformat your computer starts to get a tad sluggish, no matter how clean you try to keep it - this is a large part of the solution. The community for customizing unattended installs is continuing to grow; however to me, the single and most important thing in any install is seperation of these folders; and I think this is something that is often overlooked. Especially in the nLite community, everyone has their own reason on why they want to customize their install, remove unnecessary programs, create an image so they dont need to a RAID driver on a disk and FREAKING INSTALL A FLOPPY DRIVE, have registry and other tweaks preinstalled, etc, etc, but to me probably the single most important thing is this feature. It's such a serious thing to me that I will NOT upgrade to Vista if I cannot use Multiple Partitions in the install. Assuming we can ever get this resolved I intend to write a short guide on why people should do this and how it can really improve the performance and administration of your PC.
  6. this is a fairly crucial problem here.. i sent my feedback to Connect a while back and got a generic response. the business edition RTMs today doesnt it...? i sure hope we can get this resolved...im already dreading switching from xp anyways.
  7. yeah i cant find any other way to do this. i sent some feedback to Microsoft Connect, hopefully they'll shed some light on this.
  8. Has anyone looked into alternative methods than using WAIK? I know there was some fairly simple procedure to do this for XP...but I always just used nlite. I'll bet if we looked around we could find a way to modify the image itself and repackage it or something.
  9. Thanks for the update Mcore. I agree this is in no way a good thing. Of all the things I found most beneficial when I started getting into unattended installs was moving the *PROGRAM FILES* directory. It is just a matter of fact that it makes sense to seperate all of your program files/data and user data from the operating system files. I haven't done an analysis of standard file sizes for Vista OS files yet but I did so in XP and that factored in to the cluster sizes I used on my NTFS partitions. For instance: C:\ 16kb clusters D:\ 8kb clusters E: default (4kb) Not only does this measure prevent against fragmentation, it also speeds up performance and you never get your OS partition messy. I sure hope we can get something done about this because it is truely a crucial part of the image.
  10. Wait...so has anyone successfully moved the location of Program Files? I don't see the option in this version of WSIM? Has the XML parameter changed?
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