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techsup1983

Capturing a Windows XP reference image after sysprep.

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Hello.

I'm looking for some information about deploying a custom sysprepped image of windows xp via USB.

I know this OS is old but it's still used quite a bit in businesses some legacy apps don't play well with windows 7.

I'm ok with installing the reference image, configuring the software and creating the answer file.

What i'm wondering about are the steps that come after that. What do I do then? I know for windows 7 i captured install.wim and replaced this on the install media sources directory. But what about windows xp?

I've not seen any .wim files on the install media.

I've seen a bit of software available for installing windows xp from usb. But I want a fully updated pre-configured sysprepped xp sp3 with all the latest lan/wlan drives. I know how to inject these drivers to the image already.

But how do i get a fully installed/configured windows xp back to winxp.iso with all my customizations? is it possible?

Please can someone assist me with the next steps.

Thanks.

Edited by techsup1983

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Well, you are seemingly "mixing together" two different deployment methods.

 

The "normal" XP install starts from a .iso which is normally "attended" and the setup can be made "unattended" or if you prefer answers to the questions asked during the setup phases can be pre-written.

What actually boots the first time is a sort of "recovery console", and what boots after the so-called text setup phase is the actual OS in not-configured state from the internal hard disk.

 

Starting from the new "paradigm" of .wim, since Vista, the install is actually the applying to the disk partition/volume of a pre-made sysprepped image, of course "generalized", hence the possibility to "install" a Vista or 7 (or later) by simply applying the .wim, without any real *need* to run setup.exe, see:

http://reboot.pro/topic/10126-nt-6x-fast-installer-install-win7-directly-to-usb-external-drive/

 

So what you could use is either the Offline Sysprep:

http://www.911cd.net/forums//index.php?showforum=43

http://www.911cd.net/forums//index.php?showtopic=19397

 

Then transfer the hard disk partition image with whatever tool you see fit or are familiar with or capture it as an XP .wim (you will need some files from Windows 7 or later), some ideas are here:

http://www.911cd.net/forums//index.php?showtopic=25716

 

Basically the idea is to create a sysprepped image, capture it as a .wim, then apply it to the target from a PE not unlike the way Fujianabc detailed for Vista/7, the real issue with XP sources are of course the HAL/Kernel  changes and mass storage devices (unless you need this for a specific given machine).

 

Depending on the actual use you may have restrictions preventing you from using this particular approach:

http://reboot.pro/topic/4729-panther-xp2003-deployment-system/

http://thuun.boot-land.net/PantherXP/

which is more or less derived from the way the lesser known WINFLP edition install, a low-resources needed version of Windows XP for some markets, that was the first example of deploying XP through a (primitive and using an actually different format) .wim.

 

I hope that I have not confused you too much :w00t::ph34r:, only trying to give you some ideas and references to "previous art" :).

 

jaclaz

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Hello. Thanks for taking the time to reply with a detailed answer. There are some nice new tools for me to check out there and some things I can try. I will ready through those forums that you posted too, they look quite interesting.

I have been looking at adding Winxp.wim into winpe_x86.iso and have this install the wim, I may use that method but i'm trying to figure out the below mystery.

 

I recently come across a download of an auto-install xp sp3+raid drivers+all windows updates+flash that came as a windows xp iso. Which had the same file structure as the original xp disk. It didn't look like any 3rd party software was used to create it.

Someone has set up a fully updated auto-install Windows XP SP3. I'm not sure exactly how this was created. But having tested this i'm very curious on how this was put together.

 

I haven't see any traces of nLite and the above is downloaded as an ISO. So I'm guessing the creator installed this on a VM / Physical machine and then managed to Windows update it, add flash and sysprep and somehow turn it back into an ISO. (although i'm just guessing)

 

I would really like to learn the secrets of how it was made and mimic it in my auto install. i'm after adding some additional apps to it too

citrix receiver, adobe reader, flash, java, silverlight, .net framework. I don't know if this is even possible with out some 3rd party imaging software.

Edited by techsup1983

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Hi, I apologise for using that as an example. I was just trying to make my question more clear. I've edited the post so the file name is no longer there and i've tried to explain what it was instead.

 

What I'm after is finding out how to turn Windows XP back into an ISO after it's been fully configured and sysprepped.

Edited by techsup1983

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What I'm after is finding out how to turn Windows XP back into an ISO after it's been fully configured and sysprepped.

Yep, this is what I tried to explain to you that an .iso cannot be.

 

Such a .iso is more simply an updated .iso, with added (say) Drivers Packs and maybe even third party programs with (possibly) some unattended scripts and even (maybe) a WPI (Windows Post Install Wizard).

 

The difference is that the .iso remains a "setup" (and NOT a sysprepped image), the OS is installed from the .iso source while in the case of the sysprepped image the image is deployed and then only minor adjustments are made.

 

Everyone will have it's own saying on which one is a "better" approach, and everyone will have his/her own lkes and dislikes, a whole series of other "mixed mode" approaches are possible, but you have to first convince yourself that "install" is different from "deploy" and "sysprep".

 

The rule of the thumb is that if the source (be it a .iso or whatever other format) has a "main" \i386 directory it is an "install", if it has a "main" \Windows directory it is a "deploy" (of a sysprepped or non sysprepped image).

 

jaclaz

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Hello. Thanks for explaining. It's much clearer now.

What I thought was possible isnt, and I need to approach things differently.

I'm looking into the Windows Post Install Wizard for my applications.

 

One other question. After the windows xp deployment how would I get a folder on the root c:\install with my applications in?

Do I just make one on the root of the install media called "Install" ?

thanks.

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One other question. After the windows xp deployment how would I get a folder on the root c:\install with my applications in?

Do I just make one on the root of the install media called "Install" ?

thanks.

There must be a communication problem of some kind. :w00t::ph34r:

 

If you deploy a windows XP a C:\install folder is ALREADY in the source and it is deployed just like the rest of the system.

If you install a Windows XP a C:\install folder may be created as part of the install or post-install procedure.

http://unattended.msfn.org/unattended.xp/

http://unattended.msfn.org/unattended.xp/view/web/63/

 

jaclaz

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What you want to accomplish isn't really possible with Windows XP. As far as I know anyway. You can create and capture a custom .wim image and deploy it via Windows Deployment Services. But even then, without a generalised image, you're still restricted to using very similar hardware with that one particular image, and you'll have to create an image for each set of hardware.

 

Most if not all of those highly taboo and evil .iso images on the internet are created with nLite or similar. That's probably your best option for integrating updates and drivers while still having a generalised (universal) image that will install on any hardware, though I'm not sure how and if one can integrate programmes. You may be able to have the programmes on the image and have them install automatically before Windows reaches the desktop (which I think you hinted at earlier), but I've never looked into that.

 

If you're a Network Administrator and looking to deploy a Windows XP install to 100s of the same computer, with the same software. Nothing beats good ol' Symantec Ghost Solutions Suite. ;)

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What you want to accomplish isn't really possible with Windows XP.

Oh, yes it is perfectly possible (given links in post #2).

jaclaz

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Thanks both for your replies.

I've managed to sort out everything with jaclaz earlier suggestion of using the Windows post install wizard. I created post install script to make the directory and copy the files i needed from copy "%wpipath%\Install\

I used this to install all the missing applications too. Has worked great so far.

Thanks for all your help.

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Ok, thanks. Kind of raining on my parade with that last post. It's a bit of a shame to hear that about WPI after i've taken the time to set it up already.  With XP been EOL and XP installs happening only once in a blue moon I will have to seek out an alternative to WPI.

 

One of Jaclaz's links earlier pointed towards quite a few apps which would fill the void.

http://unattended.msfn.org/unattended.xp/view/web/58/

One which has caught my eye is Xplode but i've been unable to find a download link.

Edited by techsup1983

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