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Understanding "wim" files


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Last year I studied unattended installations and slipstreaming and learned enough to slip stream an XP cd, and even a Vista installation. The way I remember things the Vista "wim" file called on an unattend.xml file as well as some others. Catalog files?

Anyway, I've been investigating how Dell slipstreams their OEM copies of Vista. I thought that all the customizations would be under a directory named $OEM$ on the setup CD.

If I wanted to use a Dell OEM cd to install OEM Vista (legally?) on the original Dell PC, with the original install.wim without any slip streaming or customizations what would I do. I already tried renaming the $OEM$ directory. I guess I need to change more answer files? Or are all the changes in the setup cd's install.wim. So is it impossible?

Again, my aim is just an experiment to "see" how a completely unfettered copy of Vista installs on a Dell, and rebuild an image driver by driver........

Thanks.......

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Thats not true ive got dell vista home premium dvd exept for $OEM$ folder the only difference from rtm is a few added drivers in install.wim and PID.txt in sources the boot.wim 2 has pid.txt in sources and boot.wim 1 has dell folder .

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Thats not true ive got dell vista home premium dvd exept for $OEM$ folder the only difference from rtm is a few added drivers in install.wim and PID.txt in sources the boot.wim 2 has pid.txt in sources and boot.wim 1 has dell folder .

correct :rolleyes:

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I already tried renaming the $OEM$ directory. I guess I need to change more answer files?

My answer was based on the above line. I interpreted it to mean eliminating $OEM$ from the install still made the install "DELL" like and not clean.

Did I read it wrong?

Edited by jaws75
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I already tried renaming the $OEM$ directory. I guess I need to change more answer files?
My answer was based on the above line. I interpreted it to mean eliminating $OEM$ from the install still made the install "DELL" like and not clean. Did I read it wrong?

Yes, I guess I didn't explain my questions too well. Here's what I've done so far.

I got the computer, new, out of the box and started it and reviewed all those "helpful" Dell apps that were loaded on the special one-time only "customized" just for me software . Actually, this software setup included the Office software I purchased as well.

Then I peeked around and looked at the Dell recovery partition and a tool set that included a factory.wim file and a "pcrestore.exe." I would guess you guys know what and how they compiled the "pcrestore.exe" file. And curiously, imagex and dlls are there also.....

OK, so I tested the factory restore and backed the recovery partition up to a DVD. (most of it, some long file names wouldn't write to the DVD, but as far as I know - it all works anyway, since I tested it out.

Anyway, the gist of this thread is to discover how to load the Vista, making it "clean" of any Dell crap-app related scripting yet retaining at least some of the the slipstreaming if possible. Stuff like vista-product selection, code pages, key number, locale etc....... That's as far as I got, when I studied how to use image manager to make a Vista install.wim.

So for right now, I copied the OEM DVD to a drive, and wanted to run a setup that ignored any OEM scripting, yet used the install.wim and license info from the legal DVD.

In a best case scenario, I could learn how to take the original factory.wim and strip it of the Norton trial ware and the Dell spyware, add all the latest Vista patches and defender updates, and maybe Firefox, and then create my own custom Dell factory restore DVD, complete with a sysprep pass........

I guess I should go start studying the Vista DVD build thread, I was hoping I had enough brain left just to take a few directions, but maybe not......... Thanks.

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and as urie and me have figured out all you need is the Dell.xrm-ms placed correctly and an xml file with key and it will install fully activated without needing to do that backup restore stuff as pointed in that link. :no:

And you don't even have to mount image for that to happen...

use it to get your install key and xrm-ms file is about all you need it for or i can point you to something else will get it for you but since its on outside of case then you ok. keyfinder.exe by magical Jelly Bean will get it or WinKeyFinder

As far as getting the extra apps like office out of the original that might take a bit. Do you have a separate cd/dvd for office? perhaps a directory in the restore paratition or dvd?

each OEM I purchase is short lived because of all the Crapola they add like games which eventually you have to pay for, their logo is ok by me but just the other junk takes breathing room away.

If you not wanting to remove junk via Vlite then take a look at my sig and the VistaUA app and it will do all of this for you including OEM activation. Not the Office you have though but may be able to overcome that with your key.

It does work with Vlite BTW but when you do that means a lot

Edited by maxXPsoft
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If you not wanting to remove junk via Vlite then take a look at my sig and the VistaUA app and it will do all of this for you including OEM activation. Not the Office you have though but may be able to overcome that with your key.
Thank you, I need to take a look at what others have done, I know all these things have already been worked out by many others many times....
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