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eggbert

Some questions about universal imaging, sysprep etc...

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I have been trying to get my head around building a universal XP image and have a few questions:

Sysprep: What settings are best for sysprep, considering I just want to use it for the purpose of making a universal image, nothing else? Also what command line arguments do I need to use?

HAL problem: I understand the HAL problem but just wonder what is the best way to handle it? Will the 'haldetect.vbs' script do the job and how do you actually initialize this from sysprep? Or is it best to use something like mysysprep?

Mass Storage Problem: I can see why it would be a problem trying to ghost onto say a SATA controller that wasn't supported in XP (i.e. you have to press F6 when installing windows) but XP does work with most hard drive controllers 'out of the box' so why is this a problem when ghosting? Doesn't sysprep strip out all the chipset drivers anyway when it runs?

Driverpacks: Is it best to integrate the driverpacks into the installation CD i.e. using driverpacks base or to do it later using sysprep?

I386 folder: Why do you need to put \i386 in sysprep, aren't all the files from the cd copied to the hard drive when yo install windows. Also if you use the driver packs does this mean you won't need the i386 folder?

Hope these make sense, my head hurts.

Edited by eggbert

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I'll try to tackle some of these for you.

Sysprep: Use setupmgr.exe to make your sysprep.inf file. This will allow you to cover most of the basic settings. I just use the GUI for syspreping, no command lines. I check mini-setup and click reseal.

HAL: I tackle the HAL by forcing the "Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI)" driver before I sysprep. This way the image will work on any HAL platform. After I apply my image (Ghost) I scan the system to see if another HAL needs to be loaded and add the correct entry to the unattended portion of the sysprep.inf file. (I'm not sure what the 'haldetect.vbs" script does, but it should be something similar.)

Mass Storage: Sysprep does not strip out all of the chipset drivers. The reason you have to use the BuildMassStorage section is because Windows needs to read extended portions of the hard disk during the boot loader. If you have not included mass storage drivers this extended section cannot be read causing the dreaded 0x7B BSoD.

I don't use driverpacks bc I have a limited/known set of hardware platforms. I just add the drivers to the build before sysprep and use the sysprep driver scanner tool to add the paths to infs to the registry.

I386 folder: The i386 folder isn't necessarily needed. If you want to add a cmdlines.txt or add files through the $OEM$ folder then you can use it, but it is not mandatory. Keep in mind that the entire sysprep folder will be deleted.

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I'll try to tackle some of these for you......

I don't use driverpacks bc I have a limited/known set of hardware platforms. I just add the drivers to the build before sysprep and use the sysprep driver scanner tool to add the paths to infs to the registry.

Sorry I'm new to the sysprep scene, could you give me details on "add the drivers to the build before sysprep"?? Usually drivers files are in compressed .exe or .zip format when I d/l from manufacturer web site, what should I keep after extracting?

Edited by evila

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I usually extract the .exe and find the .inf files. If you open a driver .inf it will have a section labeled [sourceDiskFiles]. The files listed in this section are the only files needed for the driver. So I delete all the extraneous files and only keep the ones needed, making sure I keep the folder structure intact. I then place all these files in a folder (C:\drivers) and add a them to the devicepath registry entry using the sysprep driver scanner tool.

Oh and don't delete any of the .cat files, they are the security descriptors for the drivers.

Edited by zorphnog

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