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Everything posted by ZenCoder

  1. Someone correct me if I am wrong, but ... the ones that are crossed off are no longer needed as they are covered by a newer OEMBIOS file for that manufactuerer. I think they just keep adding and adding detection for new BIOS without removing detection for old ones. PS I also wish someone were to summarize this stuff into a nice article/tutorial format. I myself gave up. I just switch to the correct OEMBIOS files in safe mode after installation.
  2. Thanks. I will give that utility a try. To be safe I extract the OEMBIOS and CD key from the original installation whenever possible. I will start matching the keys to the manufacture in case MS changes the rules again. Quick PS edited MSDN iso to make it OEM and it is working as expected, I feel more comfortable starting out with a 100% stock disc vs one customized by an OEM
  3. That explains it. I guess I was confused because MS only sells OEM versions of MCE 2005. So I never though to check to see if it was retail vs OEM. Thanks. You can take both CD and turn them into a DVD without editing any files. If the 2nd CD is in the same disc as the first it just works.
  4. Thanks I am comfortable using Knoppix, and using to to replace the OEMBIOS files is a lot better option than burning another custom disc. NEW QUESTION Any reason why a custom MCE 2005 disc make from a MSDN download wouldn't work with SLP? I am just wondering is there is something different about Media Center when it comes to SLP or something different about discs from MSDN? I don't see many systems running Media Center, so I haven't had much oportunity to answer these questions for myself.
  5. I normally am able to extract the system's OEMBIOS from the hard drive, so I always know I am using the right set. However sometimes that simply isn't an option (dead HD, improper reinstal ...) My problem is that there is often more than one set of OEMBOIS for each manufacturer at oembios.net. 1) Is there a way to try a different OEMBIOS without reinstalling Windows XP? 2) If not is there an easy way to see if an alternative OEMBIOS will work so I don't waste time trying another wrong OEMBIOS set? 3) I tend to use the same SLP key for each version of windows. Do you think this might cause problems down the road. Think Microsoft will someday decide that I am using an HP XP Home SLP key for a Dell XP Home OS and decide to label the system as pirated?
  6. Neat, you can trick the OEM's F whatever partition booting utility to boot something other than their recovery program. Personally I quick using Ghost when (in my option) True Image surpassed it in terms of quality, performance and features. True Image already has support for launching at boot time by pressing F11.
  7. Yes I tried F11, but that option exists as a program in the MBR and was as I said absent from the system. --- Checking out the recovery partition from linux it looks like nothing more than a stripped down version of Windows XP, maybe a modified version of Windows PE? So up in some boot loader software and added the recovery partition as an option. My guess was on the money and it completely restored everything to the factory defaults including the F11 boot utility which will come in handy next time someone needs to restore the system. Anyway its 100% restored to original condition and I didn't have to pay HP and wait 5-7 days or install everything from scratch. -- So if you are in a similar situation check out the hard drives with a Knoppix DVD and see if the recovery partition looks bootable, then install a boot loader to boot it. The F11 utility seems to be nothing more than a OS selector with only one choice - the recovery partition.
  8. Unfortunately its not actually in the BIOS, its a boot time utility which was removed during the vista install. Also as I mentioned HP Tools is not present. What I didn't mention is that Vista is broken to the point that there is no USB, no internet. I was hoping there was a bootable CD/DVD or floppy that can be used to run the recovery software. The laptop doesn't have a floppy, but I can make a bootable CD that emulates one.
  9. I am trying to repair someone's HP DV2000 laptop. It came with Windows XP MCE, but someone attempted to upgrade it to Windows Vista and it went badly. Anyway the owner doesn't have restore discs, so normally I would just take a generic OEM CD and add the appropriate OEMBIOS files. However I notice that the recovery partition is still there, just no HP recovery software installed, either in windows or as a boot time utility. I was wondering if it was possible to simply reinstall the recovery software and recover from the recovery partition?
  10. I am trying to build a collection of OEMBIOS and SLP keys for System Lock Preactivation when reinstalling on a Royalty OEM. http://www.oembios.net has the OEMBIOS files. Microsoft publicly lists SLP keys, http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb457078.aspx , for Windows XP Professional 32 bit Windows XP Tablet PC Edition Windows XP Professional x64 bit But not for Home or Media Center edition! I extracted a working SLP key for XP Home from a Dell I had to repair, but so far no luck so far on Media Center 2005. --- Anyway .... I am curious if Microsoft (or anyone else) has a more complete list. I am even more curious as to why Microsoft didn't included some but not all versions of XP.
  11. Thanks, I will play around with the options you have suggested. My operating procedure to make zero changes until I am ready to start repairs. So its Run non-invasive scans and tests-> Give Estimate and Options -> Full HD Backup -> Repairs -> Offer Restore to original Condition if they are not 100% satisfied with my work and my price. The non-invasive virus scanner doesn't have to be perfect. I'll either be doing a clean install or updating all the security software at a later point anyway.
  12. Currently I tend to just do a backup image and then scan than on another PC. If I have to open the case I sometimes connect a IDE to USB Adapter and a Molex Power brick to scan the system with another PC. However there are many cases where it would be best just to scan from a Boot CD. I know several free options available but haven't personally tried any. I am hoping to skip the trial and error and benefit from someones else's expertise.
  13. I prefer Perl style regular expressions. My favorite editor for monkeying with text is UltraEdit 12.10a. However when I try complex Perl Regular Expressions on large text files UltraEdit gets all buggy. Not only does my regular expressions not work as desired, when I undue the replace operation multiple lines disappear and others are slightly garbled. Then Ultra Edit usually ends up crashing. I am not 100% sure my syntax was correct, but thats no excuse for corrupting the file when undoing the operation and or crashing the program. Its other two Regular Expression options work fine.
  14. Thanks, it would have taken me awhile to figure all this out on my own.
  15. I am just starting playing with AUR this week, so I am have little clue what I am doing. Answer as many or a few of my questions as you see fit. If the answer is in the product manual and I missed it feel free to tell me to RTFM 1) By "Uninstall non-general hardware" I take it you mean open up device manager and uninstall the drivers for the hardware, as obviously some of the devices can't be uninstalled and still do a backup. Should I get device manager to show devices not present in the system so I can uninstall the drivers there as well? How do I know which ones are non-general. For example should I uninstall the drivers under System Devices that mention a brand other than Microsoft? Are there any seemingly standard drivers that are actually specific and need removed like ACPI devices? --- 2) After uninstalling the drivers do I just shut the system down and create an image? 3) Does running sysprep help or is it just a way to change the SID and CD-Key? 4) What drivers if any should I specify as forced drivers? 5) I have a driver pack with drivers for almost all system software. Will it hurt or help to let AUR search that directory for drivers. 6) Would it help to do a clean install on another drive, then point AUR to the clean installs Windows folder as a place to search for drivers. 7) Would it help to restore the OS to a VMWare Virtual Machine then re-image it. 8) For deploying new PC, would it help to install in a Virtual Machine then image from there? ---- Again I apologize for asking so many questions, but I am just starting to play with their software.
  16. I am working on building my install skills I can write winnt.sif files, slipstream hotfixes, add driver packs, change the OEMBIOS files for System Locked Pre-installation, create AutoIT scripts to automate program installations..... But what I would really like to do is create a set of master images that together with Acronis Universal Restore or Snap Deploy can be used to clone a XP installation. Unfortunately I am not having much luck getting UAR restored system to work. I got it to work between systems which are similar enough not to require it. I got it to work from a backup image to a virtual machine. Today I made several attempt to move an installation from a Asus K8V SE Deluxe (VIA chipset) to an Abit NF7-S2 (NF2 Chipset) Anyway there is some much I don't know that I have no clue where to begin. Does anyone have any tips, tricks, or know of any links, guides available? Does anyone even use AUR or Snap Deploy or Norton's equivalent with any success, or should I just work on writing better AutoIt scripts?
  17. I am seeing this a lot. Before WGA a lot of lazy repair techs just did all re-installs using an XP Corp disc to save time. Right now I know about 3 home users and one business who one legal copies of XP, but have pirated versions installed. ---- 1) Are there methods to covert an XP Pro Corp to a XP Home OEM so that the system is once again legitimate, without having to do a repair install? Will a repair install even work? 2) Are there easy methods to covert a XP Pro Corp to a XP Pro OEM so that the system is once again legitimate? --- 3) Will a business actually get in trouble for running XP Pro Corp when they have a legal COA, disc, documentation for XP Pro Retail/OEM for that system? (The business doesn't own volume licenses, each system should be Pro OEM not Pro Corp) The business in question believes that as long as they have sufficent licenses for every install they are covered, even if someone was lazy and installed Pro Corp instead of Pro OEM. I really don't know how software audits work so I can't advise them one way or the other, except I told them to make sure the next time someone needs to reinstall windows, the do it properly so they don't have to worry. --- --
  18. I would temporarily remove the switch from the equation and connect the server to the router. Either it will make a difference or it won't and in either case you will have learned something.
  19. I chose to use UltraVNC + free dynamic IP service. I have to remotely access PCs about 4-7 times a week, and of all the solutions I tried its my favorite. UltraVNC lets you connect through a webbrowser, has optional encryption, and does file tranfsers. Plus you can restart the remote PC and then use it to log back into a user account. Plus you can share control with a remote user for remote tutoring. You can also setup a Single Click UltraVNC program. One click on the program connects the PC to your VNC viewer. Great for setting up UltraVNC remotely when the client can't figure out how to install UltraVNC or configure their Router/Firewall to accept incomming connections.
  20. I want to buy a USB 2.0 Ethernet adapter. I would like for it to be compatible with Acronis True Image 9 Workstation. The True Image Recovery CD uses Linux, and so far my best bet is to simply chose the USB 2.0 Ethernet Adapter that seems the most compatible with linux. However I am hoping to find someone who has used a particular adpater and knows for certain it works with the True Image 9.x Recovery CD. Thanks
  21. Tools exists if that will reveal your Microsoft Products CD Keys, so practically speaking you can recover the CD-Keys and write them down in case you ever need to them again (hard drive failure for instance). In fact doing so would probably be a very good idea. As far as the licensing, if you purchased the software from a legitimate source its licensed. Proving it in the event of a software audit is another matter. I have no clue how software audits work. However if you ordered the PC's and Office at the same time from Dell it should show up on the system summary when you enter the PC's Dell Service Tag. It may not say office though, just that the system had xxxx software kit installed.
  22. I prefer True Image 9 to Ghost 9 or 10. Ghost 2003 is nice for older systems with low memory. Dantz Retrospect 7.5 for my personal files. Scheduled backups stored on 400 GB Raid 1 array, and moved to DVD+RW every once and awhile. I usually attempt to teach people how to use backup software after I rebuild their software from scratch. A few actually learn and I don't see them again unless they have bad hardware or need tutoring. --- SUCCESS I downloaded a English DELL XP Home CD got the SLP CD-KEY from the Winnt.sif file and installed with using the CD I created earlier using the OEMBIOS I downloaded from the link provided to me by Bezalel. It worked perfectly XP Home installed, didn't need activated and valided, so the system is 100% legit and 100% working. I will have the rest of the software in before Friday. With the OEMBIOS site and SLP keys for XP Home and XP Pro I should be able to create Royalty OEM CDs that install, preactivate and validate for any Royalty OEM CD. ---
  23. Good to know, however I never owned a PC I didn't build myself, and I build the PCs of all my friends so it still might take me awhile to track down a valid SLP CD-Key for XP Home. Do any of the OEMs happend publish a list of their slp keys? People "share" the pro versions because they let someone illegally upgrade a Royalty OEM PC from Home to Pro and still validate. People are less interested in distributing the Home CD's. Fastest method still might be waiting for owner to cough up detailed registration information and waiting for Dell to ship me a free CD. ----- Microsoft publishes a list of generic CD Keys, I just had to search for generic rather than SLP! Nevermind those are test keys for people to use to do test installations of Windows XP.
  24. I already have working OEMBIOS files, I think I can convert any nearly any OEM CD to a Dell CD. The problem is I don't have the Dells preactivated factory key for XP Home. Someone else previously "fixed" the PC using a pirated CD-Key and activation hack, so I the CD-Key I recovered is worthless. I got a XP Home SP2 CD with Dell OEMBIOS ready and waiting, all I need is Dells Volume Home CD-Key, which will be in the winnt.sif file on the XP Home SP1 Dell will send me. I am trying to download a Dell XP Home CD before then or find the CD-Key somewhere else, so I don't have to wait several days for the CD to arrive. -- At least know exactly what hoops I need to jump through to do a clean install of a Royalty OEM PC. Factory CD-Key for that OS version + compatible OEMBIOS files + standard install CD = Working Branded Install CD I even got batch files to extract the CD-Key and OEMBIOS files.
  25. Dell will ship me free replacement XP Home SP1 CD once, but the need the service tag, original owners name and original registration phone number. I got all but the owners phone number at the time of purchase. The owner should get back to me with the phone number. I make my own Dell XP Home SP2 CD by added the OEMBIOS files to a standard XP Home SP2 OEM CD, but it wouldn't preactivate. The CD-KEY is the problem, someone previously reinstalled XP Home with an invalid CD-KEY then used an activation hack. I managed to download some Dell OEM CDs off the internet, and they work install, preactivate and validate just fine. Unfortunately the versions are Dell XP Pro SP2 and Dell Home Edition SP2 Japanse version. I am still trying to find a copy of Dell XP Home SP2 English. I was hoping to have this box 100% working and 100% legal and out of my house by Friday. BTW both Pro and Home Japanes install, preactivate and validate just fine. I hate when its you have to jump through a bunch of hoops to not cheat microsoft. They need to fix it so that no matter what is always harder to pirate software than it is for honest people to activate.

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