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nLite Newbie Needs Simple Slipstreamed XP Disk


Fuzzy
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Hello, ladies and gentlemen.

I've lurked around here for a little while but I really need to get my system back to working order again.

I have just suffered (another) hard drive failure, this one being a Western Digital Caviar Blue 500 GB drive that lasted all of ten months (so it's under warranty, hopefully).

I just installed a Seagate Barracuda 500 GB drive and have Windows XP Pro installed. However, my XP disk is pre-SP1, so it only recognizes 127 GB. I really want all 500 GB of my drive unpartitioned, so I was told to check out nLite to slipstream SP2.

Are there any super-newb-friendly guides or can someone quickly explain how I can do the following: Create an installation disk with SP2 slipstreamed (so it recognizes the entire drive), remove pesky Windows Messenger and umm...that's all I can think of at the moment.

I just want an installation disk that I can use to install Windows XP Pro (while offline, of course) and manually install the rest of the drivers, antivirus, SP3, etc.

Last question (and thanks for your patience), while lurking I saw a few people saying it was a bad idea to use nLite to create a disk from the same source disk more than once. Does that mean it's bad to create more than one nLite installation disk from one official Windows installation disk (I'm assuming "source" disk means the original Windows installation disk)? And, if I'm correct here, why is it bad?

Thanks for the help and sorry for the long-ish first post.

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Hello, ladies and gentlemen.

I've lurked around here for a little while but I really need to get my system back to working order again.

I have just suffered (another) hard drive failure, this one being a Western Digital Caviar Blue 500 GB drive that lasted all of ten months (so it's under warranty, hopefully).

I just installed a Seagate Barracuda 500 GB drive and have Windows XP Pro installed. However, my XP disk is pre-SP1, so it only recognizes 127 GB. I really want all 500 GB of my drive unpartitioned, so I was told to check out nLite to slipstream SP2.

Are there any super-newb-friendly guides or can someone quickly explain how I can do the following: Create an installation disk with SP2 slipstreamed (so it recognizes the entire drive), remove pesky Windows Messenger and umm...that's all I can think of at the moment.

I just want an installation disk that I can use to install Windows XP Pro (while offline, of course) and manually install the rest of the drivers, antivirus, SP3, etc.

Last question (and thanks for your patience), while lurking I saw a few people saying it was a bad idea to use nLite to create a disk from the same source disk more than once. Does that mean it's bad to create more than one nLite installation disk from one official Windows installation disk (I'm assuming "source" disk means the original Windows installation disk)? And, if I'm correct here, why is it bad?

Thanks for the help and sorry for the long-ish first post.

Fuzzy, welcome. Between the nLite web site and the Reference Guide in the Stickies above, you should be good-to-go. I suggest you integrate SP3 (don't need SP2 at all) and your drivers. As long the CD is intended for just one machine, no reason not to include the drivers. If your HDD is SATA, then you will need the SATA text mode driver to get the install to work and integrating it is much better than using F6 during install. It is good to lurk a forum for a while - much to learn. What, I think, you have seen is: always start with a fresh copy of your CD files/folders and run nLite only once doing all your work. You should not run nLite against a source folder (simply a copy of your CD) that has been nLited before. During processing, nLite modifies files and creates new files and revisiting these does not always go correctly and avoiding it is the best strategy. Please attach (not paste) your Last Session.ini (not _U.ini) if you have a problem. It is found in the source folder after running nLite. Enjoy, John.

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Last question (and thanks for your patience), while lurking I saw a few people saying it was a bad idea to use nLite to create a disk from the same source disk more than once. Does that mean it's bad to create more than one nLite installation disk from one official Windows installation disk (I'm assuming "source" disk means the original Windows installation disk)? And, if I'm correct here, why is it bad?

That means, everytime you midify the windows source (windows installation files), if you need to change anything, it is recommended to make another folder, copy de cd content to it and make changes with nlite to avoid problems (per prevention/caution).

You cannot restore items with nLite after they were removed.

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Thanks for the help, guys. I'll do some more lurking and try to learn more.

Funny thing, I have usually trusted the "experts" at http://www.windrivers.com/chat/chat.asp Chat Room. The other day, they were telling me that I needed to slipstream SP2 (not SP3, because it was impossible, but after further reading here, I know it is possible) but yesterday a few others said it was a terrible idea to slipstream with nLite and to just format the rest of the HD and live with it.

*Sigh*

Anyway, I'm at the point of near exhaustion. I just want to reinstall my HD to a point where the C: drive is at least 350 GB and I'll use the rest to partition and store my pictures and videos and stuff.

So, I found a link to Gparted.

I really appreciate all the help, fellas, but what I need right now is to increase the size of my C: drive with the least amount of work. nLite seems like a great piece of software that would be a must-have in the long-run. I will definitely use it, if not right now, some day, to create a streamlined installation disk for future use.

I really don't mind spending a few more hours to slipstream nLite to SP3 and then manually installing all the other essential updates and add-ons and programs, but after reading so many posts and seeing how complicated it can be, would it be worth my time to just use the Gparted program?

Again, thanks for your help, guys. I will get around to using nLite, if not now, in the future. I just don't have the time to learn the intricacies, at the moment.

On the other hand, if anyone has used Gparted and has had problems with it, I'd like to know about that, too. I keep getting input from so-called "experts" who do nothing but confuse me.

EDIT: Oh yeah, one guy (supposedly a network admin) said that if I used nLite or Gparted, advised that I might be voiding my warranty on my HD, since it would have been "modified". Anybody know if that's true or not?

Edited by Fuzzy
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If you don't go the slipstream way, an alternative is indeed to

-install your pre-SP1 XP on a smaller (than 127Gig) partition.

-(download and) apply SP1a (or SP2) then SP3 (that's probably what your experts meant but a bit confused themself, see below)

-reclaim the rest of your disc space for the C drive of your now updated system using (booting) GPartEd CD.

You can't indeed use SP3 on top of your pre sp1 install.

You can slipstream SP3 directly to an install CD but you can't apply it to a pre-SP1a running system.

+SP1a is much more smaller to download than SP2.

Warranty ? If your system came with a hidden "Recovery Partition", that recovery system would probably not work anymore after modification by GParted (and so no more software warranty/support) but this is not your case at all as you're buying a new drive that has nothing to do with your original system, any use is permitted. New drives don't even come with a partition! A pre-SP1 system is surely too old to be under warranty anyway.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just to encourage you, Fuzzy:

My situation is just like yours, except that I was fortunate to find good advice right away from a friend at church. I'm installing my first brand-new large drive (500GB, just like yours), and I had never before encountered the 138GB barrier with my old WXP install disc until this weekend.

On my first run of nLite, all I did was slipstream SP3 (downloaded from the MicroSoft site) and removed a few annoying things like MSN Messenger and the animated search dog. The other stuff is gravy, but you don't need to mess with it. (I also invested some time to fill in the "unattended install" stuff, which really paid off.) Burned the disc. Using that disc, the install program can now partition and format the entire drive. I went out while it formatted, and came back a few hours later to find the brand-new Windows desktop!

nLite does have a lot of powerful features and things you can do, but the basics were easy enough for me to get right on the first try. Most importantly, it solved my partition problem without any headaches.

Edited by DistracticusPrime
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