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szwicker

New WinPE Windows XP Deployment question(s).

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I've only recently begun working with WinPE (latest version in as far as I know) and I've experienced limited success with it as an installation tool.

Up until now I've been using RIS w/ .sif files & scripts, etc to perform my automated installations and I'm fairly pleased with it. I just started working with WinPE as an alternative. I'm currently booting to WinPE and then connecting to the distribution point on my server which contains the installation files, etc.

Here's my questions:

1. I run Winnt32 /syspart:c: and the installation begins copying files. At one point it just stops. The installation window closes and I'm back in the WinPE Desktop. I type "exit" and the machine reboots into the familiar blue dos installation screen where it continues to copy files and complete the installation. Is this working properly? The installation does complete itself but I thought the whole idea of using WinPE would be to avoid the "dos aspects" of the installation.

2. What makes this superior to automation using RIS w/ a .sif files & a few scripts. How much faster should the PE method be?

Thanks for any responses in advance.

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1. I run Winnt32 /syspart:c: and the installation begins copying files. At one point it just stops. The installation window closes and I'm back in the WinPE Desktop. I type "exit" and the machine reboots into the familiar blue dos installation screen where it continues to copy files and complete the installation. Is this working properly?
Yes this is normal, all you would need to do after running winnt32 would be to exit the CMD window, I think it is titled Starnet.cmd, but if you use vbscript you could exit all open existing cmd windows to make sure you reboot. For instance I use this to exit up to 6 open cmd windows.

Do'Reboot PC.  Close Up to 5 open CMD windows
 Do While Counter < 5
Counter = Counter + 1
If Counter = 6 Then
  Check = False
Exit Do
End If
WshShell.AppActivate "cmd"
WshShell.sendkeys "exit"
WshShell.sendkeys "~"
  Loop
Loop Until Check = False

The installation does complete itself but I thought the whole idea of using WinPE would be to avoid the "dos aspects" of the installation.

You are able to fully script the install in that after 5 min of a techs time, Windows will install with no further input. You are able to put a graphical interface (some use C++, VB, or HTA) on the setup to aliviate technician errors in selecting setup options. Unfortunately our helpdesk is not the greatest and they keep bringing in temps, so the method we use for setting up the systems is faily id*** proof. As long as they can read they can get the system setup.

2. What makes this superior to automation using RIS w/ a .sif files & a few scripts. How much faster should the PE method be?

I have not used Ris so can not answer this.

I would be happy to share what I have with you if you would like.

Mike

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I have a working windows PE installation for windows xp and i think i'm happy with it but my concern is how does microsoft do it with their installation. I was also looking at hp's reinstall of the OS and they also use winbom.ini and they have it some how where it doesn't reboot and does the whole installation. any ideas?

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well everything is on the 32bit gui window it does reboot into that familiar dos screen. Does the whole installation with gui and whatnot.

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I was also looking at hp's reinstall of the OS and they also use winbom.ini and they have it some how where it doesn't reboot and does the whole installation
They are just re-applying an image to the machine, to the best of my knowledge of HP. Last time I had my hands on one it was PowerQuest, which is now Symantec.
well everything is on the 32bit gui window it does reboot into that familiar dos screen. Does the whole installation with gui and whatnot

?? I am confused as to what you are trying to do, if you are trying to do the whole install from PE only, that so far as i know won't work. Because the installation needs to have direct access to the disc among other things. So the reboot is needed at the end of the file copy phase.

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Too bad, I was in a great mood when I found out how to start the installation from WinPE. I actually thought that something crashed and the installation window closed. :) But after reading this topic I finally understood there must be no way to avoid the "blue screen of installation" (not "of death" :P).

Is there really a way to avoid the holy reboot in "doslike" mode and get the installation done in GUI, except of rewriting and redesigning the installation yourself? :P

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Is there really a way to avoid the holy reboot in "doslike" mode and get the installation done in GUI, except of rewriting and redesigning the installation yourself?  :P

What is wrong with the reboot into text mode? It is just part of the process and is where, if I am not mistaken, the HAL is configured.

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Thanks to Mbouchard for the response to my previous question. I guess what I'm trying to do at this point is to install Windows XP with the ability to name it, etc at the outset. It looks like there are a few GUI or "fill in the blanks" that have been created here that can be run at the beginning of the install.

Also, I'm wondering what I can do to speed up the WinPE part of the install. It seems to take longer than I thought to boot over RIS. Some of those first parts seem to really drag during boot. Any suggestions?

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I guess what I'm trying to do at this point is to install Windows XP with the ability to name it, etc at the outset. It looks like there are a few GUI or "fill in the blanks" that have been created here that can be run at the beginning of the install.
This would all depend on how in depth you want to get and your programing knowledge as you could great a GUI interface in VB, C++, HTA (HTML Application), or others whose Run times you can get working. I have gone the HTA route as I am not that familiar with any sort of programing.
Also, I'm wondering what I can do to speed up the WinPE part of the install. It seems to take longer than I thought to boot over RIS. Some of those first parts seem to really drag during boot. Any suggestions?

I might be mistaken, but I think that booting PE in RIS is slower than booting to the PC. But I have not used RIS and PE so am not sure on this.

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Thanks to Mbouchard for the response to my previous question.  I guess what I'm trying to do at this point is to install Windows XP with the ability to name it, etc at the outset.  It looks like there are a few GUI or "fill in the blanks" that have been created here that can be run at the beginning of the install.

Also, I'm wondering what I can do to speed up the WinPE part of the install.  It seems to take longer than I thought to boot over RIS.  Some of those first parts seem to really drag during boot.  Any suggestions?

Mr. bouchard is a great guy. We chat ocassionaly.

Remove all un needed drivers to speed up the boot time.

You can speed up the entire process but scrapping the unattend setup and using imaging. Takes half the time if done correctly.

Also remove the fonts that are not used. You can carve 30 to 50 megs off the CD image by stripping it down as best you can.

Here is a start...

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\angsaz.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\artrbdo.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\artro.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\browa.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\browab.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\browai.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\browau.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\browaub.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\browaui.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\browauz.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\browaz.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\comic.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\comicbd.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\cordia.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\cordiab.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\cordiai.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\cordiau.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\cordiaub.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\cordiaui.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\cordiauz.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\cordiaz.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\david.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\davidbd.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\davidtr.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\estre.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\frank.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\gautami.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\georgia.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\georgiab.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\georgiai.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\georgiaz.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\impact.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\latha.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\mriam.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\mriamc.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\mriamfx.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\mriamtr.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\mvboli.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\nrkis.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\pala.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\palab.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\palabi.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\palai.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\raavi.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\rod.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\rodtr.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\shruti.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\simpbdo.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\simpfxo.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\simpo.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\trebuc.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\trebucbd.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\trebucbi.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\trebucit.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\tunga.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\upcdb.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\upcdbi.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\upcdi.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\upcdl.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\upceb.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\upcebi.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\upcei.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\upcel.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\upcfb.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\upcfbi.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\upcfi.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\upcfl.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\upcib.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\upcibi.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\upcii.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\upcil.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\upcjb.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\upcjbi.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\upcji.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\upcjl.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\upckb.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\upckbi.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\upcki.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\upckl.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\upclb.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\upclbi.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\upcli.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\Fonts\upcll.ttf

del pecd.root\I386\system32\drivers\afcnt.sys

del pecd.root\I386\system32\drivers\cpqfcalm.sys

del pecd.root\I386\system32\drivers\lp6nds35.sys

del pecd.root\I386\system32\drivers\ql1080.sys

del pecd.root\I386\system32\drivers\ql12160.sys

del pecd.root\I386\system32\drivers\ql1240.sys

del pecd.root\I386\system32\drivers\ql1280.sys

del pecd.root\I386\system32\drivers\ql2100.sys

del pecd.root\I386\system32\drivers\ql2200.sys

del pecd.root\I386\system32\drivers\ql2300.sys

del pecd.root\I386\system32\drivers\rasacd.sys

del pecd.root\I386\system32\drivers\raspppoe.sys

del pecd.root\I386\system32\drivers\raspptp.sys

del pecd.root\I386\system32\drivers\rawwan.sys

del pecd.root\I386\system32\drivers\rocket.sys

del pecd.root\I386\system32\drivers\rootmdm.sys

del pecd.root\I386\system32\drivers\sonydcam.sys

del pecd.root\I386\system32\drivers\speed.sys

del pecd.root\I386\system32\drivers\stlnata.sys

del pecd.root\I386\system32\drivers\sx.sys

del pecd.root\I386\system32\drivers\tbatm155.sys

del pecd.root\I386\system32\drivers\tos4mo.sys

del pecd.root\I386\system32\drivers\tsbvcap.sys

del pecd.root\I386\system32\drivers\wanarp.sys

Chris

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A handy tool for minimizing WinPE images is included in the OPK cd's under the SAMPLES directory. There's a file in there called SWINPE.TXT that's basically a list of files that can safely be removed from WinPE without impacting functionality.

Easily scriptable:

cd /d %winpedir%

for %a in (swinpe.txt) do del /s /q %a

NOTE: The list includes all the net drivers -- if you want to keep networking access inside of WinPE you just need to modify the script and remove them from the list before you delete them.

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Easily scriptable:

cd /d %winpedir%

for %a in (swinpe.txt) do del /s /q %a

this isnt dos is it? you can't read in text file in for loop in dos can you? i've tested and never could get to read in text file. You using vbscript?

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Note that if you have Gb or faster Ethernet, and the NIC driver is set to run at full duplex (many are not - you may need to tinker with the inf file) then RIS booting WinPE is actually the fastest way to boot.

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