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Chaudry

Universal Image of Windows XP

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How can create a Universal Image of Windows XP so that it will work on all Brands of Desktops ?

An image is always bound to certain hardware, so the image won't work on all machines you deploy it to. It would be better to make an unattended installation. Unattended installations are not hardware bound because, as the name already suggests, it installs instead of restores an image. You can use standard, free Microsoft tooling to create unattended setups. If you want to make an "advanced" unattended installation, look into HFSLIP and DriverPacks. Click here for a good starting point on making unattended setups. Good luck!

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How can create a Universal Image of Windows XP so that it will work on all Brands of Desktops ?

An image is always bound to certain hardware, so the image won't work on all machines you deploy it to. It would be better to make an unattended installation.

Tha's not entirely true. An image is bound to the hardware drivers that you have in your image, just as an unattended installation. There's no difference there, if you use Sysprep.

However, if you want to make an image that works on ALL desktops you also need ALL drivers. Sounds like loads of work...

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Your best bet is to use:

RyanVM's UpdatePack

My RVM Integrator

My Windows XP PowerPacker

With Bashrat's DriverPacks

This would be a much more universal disk. With this method you can have every version of XP and different winnt.sif files for each version... to allow boot options for many different settings. and it would work on pretty much any type of hardware... installing almost all of the drivers.

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There are two main difficulties in creating such image: mass storage drivers and system HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer). If any of these two is not right you'll get BSOD.

All other additions (other drivers, hotfixes, tweaks, etc.) can be applied after system boots succesfully on a new computer.

There is a tool OfflineSysPrep for PE environment that can help solving HAL problem and the creator is working on mass storage drivers issue.

Mass storage drivers may be added manuall to the regestry of a system before clonning. A very good description of this method is done by ilko here. Only SYS files plased in system32\drivers folder and a couple of regestry entries will do the thing for the first succesfull boot (after that install regular drivers).

I found on Chinese Internet (described by Climbing) that ntldr from Longhorn (beta) is capable to detect and install during the boot the right hal (adding /DETECTHAL switch to boot.ini and placing a very simple dtecthal.inf file in INF folder).

Edited by Oleg_II

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