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About baliktad

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    Stellar Underachiever

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  1. You should not be copying files from the SoftwareDistribution folder from one machine to another. That's a totally hacky solution and will break if you are using a new operating system, service pack, language, or architecture. Instead, use the following method: 1) Install the latest Windows Update Agent. For assistance downloading the most recent version, please refer to this Technet Article. Depending on your usage, you will probably want to automate the installation by adding the parameters "/quiet /norestart" 2) Opt-in to Microsoft Update with this simple script (source: MSDN Article): Set ServiceManager = CreateObject("Microsoft.Update.ServiceManager") ServiceManager.ClientApplicationID = "My App" 'add the Microsoft Update Service, GUID Set NewUpdateService = ServiceManager.AddService2("7971f918-a847-4430-9279-4a52d1efe18d",7,"") Just save that text as "muoptin.vbs" and then you can run cscript muoptin.vbs for an unattended setup.
  2. Remove Online Stores tab from WMP10

    I noticed the default store seems to be showing up lately as Napster. I just blocked napster.com at the firewall and now Online Stores just shows up blank. Just the way I like it. You can probably do this same thing on your home router or with just a HOSTS file.
  3. Media Center Edition?

    This statement is patently false. If you don't know what you're talking about, don't proclaim to be authoritative. Media Center will install just fine as long you have all MCE source files (need both disc 1 and disc 2, but these can be combined on one DVD or network install point) and a MCE key. There is no need to modify anything in the [Components] section of your unattend.txt/winnt.sif Well at least you got that part right.
  4. For some license types, Microsoft disallows internet activation completely. They publically admitted to doing this early last year. This affects you if you have an OEM machine and you're using the key from the sticker on the side of the box. You'll just have to call every time, as internet activation is simply not available. However, if you do have an OEM machine, use the oembios.* files and the SLP key your OEM used - this also disables activation on machines from that manufacturer. I also suspect, but cannot confirm, that Microsoft has the capability to flag suspect keys as "potentially shared" if you attempt to activate too many times via the internet. If you cross that threshold, they will only allow phone activations for that key - to prevent against those people who share retail keys amongst friends or multiple computers without realizing this is not allowed. Again, this is all speculation and I have no confirmed proof this is the case, but it's why I advocate method #1 below - only activate when absolutely necessary!
  5. There is no "magic" way to get out of activation. Here are the possible solutions: 1. Only activate when absolutely necessary. Microsoft gives retail users a 30-day grace period after you install to use Windows and change all the hardware you want. No questions asked. Take advantage of it and use Windows until day 29 or 30. You'll probably want to suppress Windows Activation notices so you don't get pestered all the time. Note that this script does NOT get you out of activating! Your grace period still ends after 30 days - the script just ensures Windows won't annoy you in the meantime. 2. Use Sysprep for images. This lets you install Windows XP once, make an image and store it as long as you want. When you restore the image to disk, your 30 day counter starts over. Useful for lots of hardware testing without the pain of reinstalling Windows. Note: this is also not a way to get around activation, Microsoft only lets Sysprep reset the activation counter 3 times. 3. For longer periods of testing, consider getting an MSDN subscription. Prices are very reasonable considering all the software you get: $700 gets you perpetual (valid forever) licenses to every Microsoft operating system ever made, plus monthly updates for a year. Look for better deals on ebay, etc. MSDN OS licenses allow you 60 days before you must activate. 4. If MSDN is too expensive and you only care about Windows XP, you can buy a volume licensed copy of Windows XP for under $200. Note it's an upgrade only, so you still need some other licensed copy of Windows to qualify for this price. This is a completely legitimate way to acquire a copy of Windows that will never require activation. (Note: Volume license agreements require purchases of 5 or more licenses to start, but not necessarily all Windows. Media and license fees charged by the reseller are not included.) 5. Lastly, exercise your rights! If you do indeed honestly own a validly-licensed, genuine copy of Windows XP, you are entitled to activate as much as you want. Understand the license terms first though: Remember OEM copies of Windows are forever married to the box on which they're first installed or distributed with - no borrowing unused copies from work or swapping licenses amongst machines! Retail versions of Windows XP can be transferred to a new machine, but are only ever licensed for a single machine at a time, so be sure to uninstall or format if you're using on a new machine. As long as you are legit, Microsoft will activate you via internet or phone. You can also automate internet activation if you don't like clicking buttons. Again, this is not a way to get out of activation, just a way to simplify the process. That said, I have found through nearly 5 years of experience that those that complain about activation fall into 2 categories: 1) Those who dislike it on a theoretical level. They may or may not own a copy of Windows, but they dislike the very idea of having to activate with Microsoft. Once they try it and see how simple it is, they're satisfied. Activation really is easy, and Microsoft has no problems activating you multiple times. The hardware changing algorithms are also very lenient. If all else fails, you can always call up the activation center (free call 24/7 from anywhere in the world) and explain your situation. They always activate validly licensed users. 2) Those who do not actually own a validly licensed copy of Windows. This may be an intentional pirate (knowingly downloaded Windows illegally on a p2p service, etc.), an innocent victim (corrupt reseller sold a computer with a pirate copy of Windows), or mis-licensed user (using an OEM license on a different computer, for example). For these people: you're not legit. You have no room to complain. Microsoft hasn't changed its OS licensing rules in a decade, but is now choosing to enforce those rules via activation. Either buy a legit copy of Windows or use something else.
  6. Try http://www.appdeploy.com/packages/ for this idea taken about 2 generations farther.
  7. You'd think if they release a rollup, users would read ALL the documentation. Or heck, even the summary. Right there at the very top of the page Microsoft explains exactly what this rollup contains, and why: Software engineering is an extremely complex process, and it's highly unlikely Microsoft will "cave" to "demand" because there just isn't any. Companies have spoken: they're not interested in distributing another service pack. No SP5 will be released, and an Rollup 2 isn't on the horizon either. Look at the history of NT4, it's about to repeat.
  8. XP, Office 2003, Ghost

    I'd just like to point out Microsoft's Support Policy concerning OS's deployed by disk duplication. Some choice words: "Microsoft does not provide support for computers that are set up by use of SID-duplicating tools other than the System Preparation tool. If an image was created without the use of sysprep, Microsoft does not support the running of Sysprep after the image is deployed as a way to bring the computer back into compliance." Some people may say, "I don't need Microsoft support, I'll just use this third-party tool that I like better." The issue is larger than just support. When Microsoft says something is supported, it's essentially a guarantee that it works. (And if it doesn't, Microsoft will work with you to make sure it does.) When Microsoft draws a line in the sand and says "This is not supported," they really do mean that. You have no guarantee. I don't know about you, but anecdotal evidence does not a support policy make, so I'm very reluctant to use unsupported software, even if there are many claims of "it's always worked for me." I strongly suggest everyone use Sysprep (and NOT some alternative SID-changing tool) for disk duplication. It's free and included on your XP CD.
  9. the most idiotic idea ever

    1. Set up standalone CD player. 2. Start Windows install on computer. 3. ??? 4. Profit! (sorry, bad slashdot humor kicking in) Remember, there are no stupid questions, only stupid people.
  10. XP, Office 2003, Ghost

    Jelorian, I recommend you start reading the deployment documentation that's included with every Windows CD. Look on your CD in the \SUPPORT\TOOLS directory and open the file deploy.cab. If you open the file deploy.chm, you'll find a topic heading entitled "Preparing the Installation for Deployment" that contains the information you are looking for. I'll summarize here: Sysprep is a tool provided by Microsoft to help when duplicating disk images via Ghost or another 3rd party tool. Its purpose is to 'generic-ify' a Windows installation so that (among other things) you don't have computer name or SID conflicts on your network. The process, briefly, is: 1) Install Windows, patches, drivers, and applications, and customize to your liking. 2) Run Sysprep. This cleans out some machine-specific information and shuts down the computer. 3) Image the hard drive. Usually this involves booting up with another OS (floppy boot, CD boot, network, etc.) and executing your imaging software (Ghost, etc.) to make an exact copy of the hard drive. 4) Deploy that image to multiple computers. The sysprep process tells Windows to start up in a special setup mode at next boot, which will prompt for information like computer name and cd key (this can be automated as well). This ensures that each copy of Windows is unique with a minimum amount of effort. Extensive documentation is availabe in deploy.chm and ref.chm. Any further questions can be posted here.
  11. First things first. You cannot mix licenses, license types, cds, cd keys, admin install points, activation codes, or ANYTHING having to do with licensing. Period. Let's start with what you have: 1) An Office 2003 Professional OEM license for each computer. You didn't say otherwise, so I'll assume that you have a hologram CD and valid cd key for each license. 2) An MSDN subscription that includes one copy of Office 2003 Professional Enterprise Edition. OEM Office licenses are tied to the original computer they came with. MSDN licenses can be installed on any number of computers but can only be used by a single user. I'm going to assume that you want to get your OEM copies installed on each computer, so get rid of your MSDN media, network install point, and cd keys. Forget you even own an MSDN copy. OEM copies of Office support the following: - Custom Installation Wizard (transforms) - Quiet Install (/q) OEM copies of Office do NOT support the following: - Custom Maintenance Wizard - Admin Install Points Armed with this knowledge, what you should do is use the Custom Installation Wizard to create a transform with your customizations. You can COPY the OEM Office CD to a network share (literally copy, do not create an admin install point) and run your installs directly from the network like so: \\server\share\Off2003\setup.exe TRANSFORMS=\\server\share\Off2003\Custom.mst /qb If you have access to the OEM Preinstallation Kit, it includes a tool to reset the cd key after you've done your deployment, so you can type each machine's unique key in order to activate. If you don't have access to the OPK, you'll need to specify each computer's unique key at install time by using a command line parameter like so: \\server\share\Off2003\setup.exe TRANSFORMS=\\server\share\Off2003\Custom.mst PIDKEY=XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX /qb Please run the command line exactly as specified; do not include dashes in your cd key. I hope this helps, feel free to read the online copy of the Office Resource Kit for lots more information. Lastly, your company may want to consider acquiring a copy of Office 2003 through standard volume licensing channels. When you purchase Microsoft software under a volume license, the Product Use Rights grant you the right to use the volume license software and keys in place of other identical products. This means that you would be able to use the volume license copy of Microsoft Office Professional in place of the OEM copies. Makes for much easier deployment all around.
  12. If you want to create .msi's from scratch, the Wix Toolset is what you need. It's for people who want total control of their MSI. Totally open source, free, and easy to use once you grasp some of the basics. Even has tools to "decompile" existing MSI's so you can then build them the way you want. If you just want to repackage or reauthor MSI's and can't be bothered to do a little reading, Installshield sells a very expensive 'point and click' product AdminStudio that can help you.
  13. What did you use to make your .iso (or burn directly, if you didn't make an .iso first)? If you use cdimage, add -d to the command line so it doesn't force all filenames uppercase on the media. Otherwise, please tell us a lot more about your situation: exactly how you created your setup share, what .iso-creation and cd burning software you're using, how you're initiating the the install, exactly what folders are capitalized, and anything else that changed since last week ("nothing" is not a valid answer - if the results changed, SOME part of the process changed, guaranteed).
  14. Office 2003 Local Caching

    You don't need to do much of anything. I said "associate" when I meant "associated." Here's all you need: ohotfix.exe ohotfix.ini ohotfixr.dll all of your .msp's Put them all in the same directory. Run ohotfix.exe. Done. The only change you might possibly want to make would be to get rid of the completion notice at the end that tells you you're done. I rather like it, but if you don't want it, open up ohotfix.ini, find the line that says "ShowSuccessDialog=1" and change it to "ShowSuccessDialog=0"
  15. Office 2003 Local Caching

    Yes, copy the contents of your Office CD directly. Add your MST, and use setup.ini to point to it so that it's used by default when you run setup.exe Download all the patches you need, SP1 and any applicable post-SP1 hotfixes. Once you extract them, you should end up with an .msp for each one. Dump them all in the same director with ohotfix.exe (and associate ohotfix.ini and ohotfixr.dll). Ohotfix will take care of applying all the relevant patches in the right order. You shouldn't need any switches, as all options are specified in ohotfix.ini. Just open it up, each parameter is clearly explained. Client updates should be fine as long as you use Local Cache, no need to use the full file update unless you encounter a problem with a corrupted Local Cache or something.