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leass_lp

Windows XP SP3 + Applications + me = impossible?

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First of all, sorry for my english, I'm Argentinian. About the formatting of the text: I tried to make it more "readable". Sorry if it isn't.

This is my situation:

I want to deploy my XP SP3 with:

- All the hotfixes, drivers and microsoft apps1

- and configured the way I want2

- and also with my applications already installed but, (really important) I need them to work in any drive letter I choose to install my system3

My original project was to put this on a dvd and try to partition by command line before windows setup so I could automate the text-mode part, but I couldn't find a program that did that.

I was thinking about a live cd with partition magic and an AutoIt script (method I don't trust very much, I can't trust such an important task as partitioning the disk)

I don't know how to boot to any environment to run my commandline application and call the windows setup either...

1) Hotfixes and MS apps

I need Internet Explorer 7, Windows Media Player 11, Windows Installer 4.5, .NET Framework 1.1, 2.0, 3.0 and 3.5 (I never knew if they were cumulative or not), Windows Live Mail, Windows Live Messenger 8.5, and so on...

I started putting Service pack 3 in my original XP CD with no SP's and tried to test it in an early stage... WMP11 and IE7 worked fine, .NET 1.1 failed, and something happened to the Windows Installer 4.5, it was damaged* after setup ended.I haven't already tested the other frameworks and the windows live apps

*I tried Start Menu => Run => msiexec /? and the help dialog appeared, with no text in the OK button or in the textbox where I should see the parameters help text...

Screenshot here:

msiexecrarorw0.th.jpg

I forgot something really important. To say that I integrated the Windows installer 4.5 with nLite after service pack 3 (/integrate method) and wmp11 (wmp11 integrator method). Then I integrated PowerShell, Internet Explorer 7 and a silverlight plug in with nLite too.

Drivers

I am just going crazy here, I have to install drivers for:

- the motherboard Biostar M7VIG 400 (S3 graphics, C-Media AC 97) => The problem with this is that I not only need the driver itself but also the applications the original driver package installs.

- a terrible sound card, it's a C-Media CMI8738/C3DX PCI, almost the same problem as above.

2) For example:

- in folder options, show full address in explorer windows' title, show all hidden and ssytem files, etc

- my keyboard layout set and no other one, so I don't have to delete them after windows is installed and shows that uly language bar in my taskbar

- Internet explorer 7: my search providers (google microsoft youtube), my start page, and so on

- a red one: I want windows setup not to install the Windows Messenger, not to remove it from i386

- the screen resolution set to 1600 * 1200 after installing the graphic card driver.

- windows live messenger emoticons (I think I can deal with this :P) and set it to connect automatically and without the annoying MSN Today

(I still haven't found how to do changes in the registry and to make them work, I always set something and try to look the changes with Regmon and snapshot and other apps but when I put them in the reg they just refuse to work... maybe Windows doesn't like me :P )

3) I was thinking about using ImageX after I surpassed this obstacles (I read somewhere that this image doesn't need to wipe the destination partition, and that's exactly what I need4

It gives me the chance to introduce the reader to item 4

4) The drive letter "multiple-issue":

The multiple issues are these:

- I wanted to install Adobe Master Collection Creative Suite 3, Opera 9.51, Visual Studio and bla bla bla, lots of applications I later would use, out-of-the-box, well, out-of-the-dvd :P

The problem here is that I could use SYSPREP after installing the programs but I could never install in any other drive. I would be stucked with the drive letter I used in the PC where I took the "syspreped" image.

-If I use the installers... well, they are more than 4 dvd's... I should use a 16GB pendrive instead of a DVD9 to make my Windows Setup, and these little friends cost a hundred dollars, quite expensive for me. It's 300 pesos I don't have to spare.

- The third and last problem is that... I was thinking in buying a WD Raptor 72GB for Windows XP and Windows Vista and another HD for the profiles (Documents and Settings folder or Users in Vista) and other things such as downloads and bla bla bla.

The important part is the profiles dir.

I was thinking in using the WINNT.SIF file to put the XP profiles dir somewhere else, not in the raptor, but in the other disk. The little problem here is that I won't know the drive letter... so, what should I put in winnt.sif? (ProfilesDir= ? )

I was thinking in starting a live XP environment before windows setup and execute something like this:

**** Start partitioning ****

**** Requesting Info ****

Checking drive's files

If it contains boot.ini ask the user for delete

If a drive contains \WINDOWS detect windows ver. and ask the user for delete

If it contains files and dirs that don't match the standard (the standard would be things above here) ask the user what to do:

Mark for Delete, Save as image (compress? save? where?) or Mark as LEAVEALONE

Store this somewhere somehow

Show the user a graph of the disk now, some files and dir names and important info about what it contained before the process (XP SP3, Vista, Boot partition, 98, etc)

Show the user what will be done in full detail

Show the user a graph of the disk after the process ended, with similar data as the "before info" section.

Ask the typical "Are you sure?" :P

Ask the user what will be installed and where

Again somewhere somehow store that config

************************************

Do the partitioning thing...

************************************

Then after the partitioning process ended read the already stored configuration and set the environment variables:

XPsetup = "yes" or "no"

VistaSetup = "yes" or "no"

XPwhere = "here put something to identify the partition later"

bla bla bla

and the POINT, the important thing:

XPProfilesDrive = "D" "E" "Z" I don't know, something, it will depend on what I am writing next...

************************************

Copy the install source of each system to install, to the partition it will belong (for example, if I decide to install XP in \Disk0\Partition0 and and Vista in \Disk0\Partition1 - I assume they would be C and D - copy XP i386 to C and Vista WIM to D.

Then (here comes the good part)

I have to find a method to retrieve the info stored before, when asking the user about the drive order and write it to the WINNT.SIF XP File:

1. Convert ... maybe I'll store \Disk#\Partition# ... to C, D or whatever

2. Load the text that the WINNT.SIF will contain.

3. Change the ProfilesDir data to the data obtained in 1

4. Write the file

5. Finally, start Windows XP Unnattended Setup with $OEM$ folders and the software in 'em.

Really complicated :wacko: , I need some help here, :Pif you could just give me some ideas or things to read I'd be pleased Thanks.

If I've made a mistake (I'm talking about the forum rules) please let me know. Other critics are already accepted.

Edited by leass_lp

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i think that your english lvl is the best (i could not wrote it better than you), but lot of your questions are answered here in the forums.

Why you dont try to start with a Windows with sp2 or sp3? then slipstream all the updates..

There are lot of programs to integrate ie7..wmp,etc (also you can install net framework with an installer)

***********

Creo que tu nivel de ingles es el mejor (no podria haber escrito tantas cosas como tu..de un modo tan bueno xD), pero muchas de tus preguntas estan respondidas aqui en los foros.

Porque no tratas de comenzar con un win con sp2 o sp3? y despues agregar todas las actualizaciones.

hay muchos programas para integrar ie7, wmp, etc (y tambien puedes instalar net framework con un instalador).

en windowsuesigue.foroactivo.com, puedes publicar tus preguntas...con todo gusto te ayudaremos, pero porfavor no escribas todo este chorizo, sino hazlo por separado -_-

soy de argentina tb..esperanza, santa fe. Saludos

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Trying to get all that working on a live install sounds pretty tough...why not just install everyone the way you want and then image the hard drive?

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Trying to get all that working on a live install sounds pretty tough...why not just install everyone the way you want and then image the hard drive?

What I'm trying to do is to make a setup for my pc's. I can't make an image because I use different drive letters. It's not that simple :D

Thanks for your reply.

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Just curious - why does the drive letter matter? If you just install to C:, which is the default, then the images will all use C: too. It's not a big deal. Keep in mind that the drive letters one OS sees are totally separate from the other. My laptop's XP install thinks it's installed on C: and Vista is on E:. Vista thinks it's on C: and XP is on D:. Both think that the Documents partition is F:. XP thinks the CD drive is D: whereas Vista thinks it's E:. The point is, drive letters are installation-specific, and it shouldn't be a problem to install to C:.

The other thing to keep in mind with images though is that you will need to make sure to change the SID every time you image a different PC!! I think sysprep can be set to do this, but I've never used sysprep. There is also a tool in the SysInternals suite that can do this.

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Just curious - why does the drive letter matter? If you just install to C:, which is the default, then the images will all use C: too. It's not a big deal. Keep in mind that the drive letters one OS sees are totally separate from the other. My laptop's XP install thinks it's installed on C: and Vista is on E:. Vista thinks it's on C: and XP is on D:. Both think that the Documents partition is F:. XP thinks the CD drive is D: whereas Vista thinks it's E:. The point is, drive letters are installation-specific, and it shouldn't be a problem to install to C:.

The other thing to keep in mind with images though is that you will need to make sure to change the SID every time you image a different PC!! I think sysprep can be set to do this, but I've never used sysprep. There is also a tool in the SysInternals suite that can do this.

I know what you're talking about, Vista will always take the C letter, but XP won't. And I often need different installations. It's not the same to install server 2003 + xp than installing server 2008 + vista or any other combination.

XP instead, never takes another drive letter. If you install on C will be different than installing on D or E or whatever. If I could make Vista as functional and as fast as my XP Professional fully customized, I wouldn't have to bother so much with this, but it's impossible, they're different, Vista was made for buying new hardware, and I'm not going to spend the money I don't have just to upgrade my hardware while XP runs as fast as I need. With thousands of megabytes in applications, freezeing some parts of my computer had made it continue being faster.

Anyway, I appreciate the information and tips you give me. They're really good because they give me some ideas. I could resize the second or third or any partition and then move it so I can create a new first primary partition for XP so it would always be C. An argentinian guy says thanks to all of you :D

Edited by leass_lp

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No... once you install XP, if you image it and put that image somewhere else, then it will still be installed on C:. That doesn't change. You can put a Windows XP, Windows 2003 and Vista image (each on their own partition of course) all on the same computer, and they will each still be installed on whatever drive letter you originally installed them on. You might have to manually set up drive letters for the remaining drives, but that should be trivial.

C: != primary partition. You can image XP onto any partition and it will still think itself on C:. The one thing you will have to change possibly is boot.ini to make sure that it's booting to the proper partition.

But if you figured out another way, then good job! :)

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No... once you install XP, if you image it and put that image somewhere else, then it will still be installed on C:. That doesn't change. You can put a Windows XP, Windows 2003 and Vista image (each on their own partition of course) all on the same computer, and they will each still be installed on whatever drive letter you originally installed them on. You might have to manually set up drive letters for the remaining drives, but that should be trivial.

C: != primary partition. You can image XP onto any partition and it will still think itself on C:. The one thing you will have to change possibly is boot.ini to make sure that it's booting to the proper partition.

But if you figured out another way, then good job! :)

When I get some free time (I'm studying for university) I'll check that out in a virtual machine but, last time I installed XP or 2003 in other drive than C it remained that drive. I'll try again. Thanks.

Edit: I think I manage to understand what you say... I'll try that. You say that if I image D: and put it on any partition it will remain D?

Edited by leass_lp

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