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Bilou_Gateux

Adding ramdrive to Win2K/unattend install

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A long time ago, gosh had posted a method for Adding ramdrive to winpe/unattend install using

RAMDisk free version

The disk size of this version is restricted to 64 MByte. Furthermore, as with the Miscrosoft sample, the free version is not fit to be used in a production environment. The driver may stop working and return "Incorrect Function" when it is accessed.

I have done the same for Windows 2000 users using

AR RAM Disk

  • includes a Control Panel applet which allows to enable/disable RAM Disk
  • freeware without size limitations.
  • can emulate a local hard disk

PROCESS OVERVIEW

  • Modify the appropriate INF and SIF files.
  • Copy the vendor supplied drivers to the I386 share point.
  • Test the process.

IMPORTANT FILES

Filename Location Description

DOSNET.INF I386 Defines which files to expand and copy to the workstation?s local drive during the first phase of the unattended setup. These files are copied to the temporary directory structure.

TXTSETUP.SIF I386 Defines which files to copy and where to copy them to during the second phase of the unattended setup. These files are copied to their permanent directory structure.

RAMDISK.INF I386 Information file which defines the files and registry entries needed to successfully install RAM Disk.

RAMDISK.SY_ I386 Vendor supplied driver (compressed).

RAMDISK.CP_ I386 Vendor supplied control panel (compressed).

PROCESS DETAILS

  • 1/ download AR RAM Disk
  • 2/ run SETUP.EXE on a running box to install the driver and copy in a safe place RAMDISK.CPL found in %SystemRoot%\System32 & RAMDISK.SYS found in %SystemRoot%\System32\Drivers
  • 3/ Compress both RAMDISK.SYS & RAMDISK.CPL and copy RAMDISK.INF & both compressed files to your CDROOT\I386 folder

DOSNET.INF

  • The files listed need to be added to the [Files] section of the DOSNET.INF file. Edit DOSNET.INF and type these entries into, or copy and paste DOSNET.TXT into it.

TXTSETUP.SIF

  • Edit the TXTSETUP.SIF file. There are several sections which define the files to copy and the destination directories. The first section lists common files. The next section list files for Exchange. Next are file sections for Alpha, MIPS, PPC and X86 hardware. Shown in TXTSETUP.TXT are the lines in [sourceDisksFiles] and [HiveInfs.Fresh] sections necessary for the three RAM Disk files. The syntax for these lines is copied from an existing entry. What is significant is the number shown in bold text, which indicates the destination directory.

RAMDISK.INF

  • Create and edit new file and copy and paste the content of RAMDISK.TXT into it.

I have also use gosh rmdisk.inf file to change ShellFolders (IE Cache, Cookies, History and Recent) to use the RAM Disk:

RAMDISK.CMD

ECHO OFF
:: AR Soft RAM Disk.
:: http://www.arsoft-online.de/products/product.php?id=1
rundll32 setupapi,InstallHinfSection DefaultInstall 128 .\rmdisk.inf

the batch file is launched from

CMDLINES.TXT

".\ramdisk.cmd"

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Bilou_Gateux

Great! Thank you! I used the method of Gosh before but I'd like to have the Control Panel for the ram-disk.

Best regards,

Oleg 2

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Latest news from AR Soft:

AR RAM Disk stopped

Friday, 11 March 2005

We are sorry to inform you that we have stopped the development and the support for our well established virtual disk product "AR RAM Disk".

Read more...

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Just for the record, program can still be found here:

http://www.majorgeeks.com/download1356.html

@Bilou_Gateux

If you have the time, you could have a look at this program:

Starport

by Rocket Division

http://www.rocketdivision.com/

http://www.rocketdivision.com/download_starport.html

The product includes a RAMdisk and a "Virtual DVD"

jaclaz

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@ Bilou_Gateux & jaclaz,

1. Can this ramdisk be used with Windows XP setup. I'm asking just because XP setup uses both ramdisk.inf and ramdisk.sys during setup. We see "RAM Disk Driver" during text-mode setup being loaded. If these files get overwritten by those of AR RAM Disk, is there any threat to install?

2. Can AR Soft's ramdisk.sys be used being renamed ramdrive.sys during XP install?

3. I want to use ramdisk just for the purpose of using my custom batch files and vb scripts. After install i really don't need the ramdisk. Does mere deletion of "Class" and "Services" registry keys during the penultimate stage of install (e.g. from cleanup.cmd) will remove the ramdisk after restart?

4. I earnestly request both of you to devote time towards your amazing effort in implementing "FILEDISK" ISO mount system as well as password-protected true-crypt container volume implementable thereby. It's a very interesting approach and it will open horizon of options for installation, only if you could find time for its development.

I hope you understand my concern. Waiting for your kind response in favour of 1+2+3 & positively 4. :)

@MOONLIGHT SONATA

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@ Bilou_Gateux & jaclaz,

Did you miss my post? This confirms how busy both of you have been these days. Whenever you find time, please respond to my queries.

Thanks.

----MOONLIGHT SONATA

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@ Bilou_Gateux & jaclaz,

1. Can this ramdisk be used with Windows XP setup. I'm asking just because XP setup uses both ramdisk.inf and ramdisk.sys during setup. We see "RAM Disk Driver" during text-mode setup being loaded. If these files get overwritten by those of AR RAM Disk, is there any threat to install?

2. Can AR Soft's ramdisk.sys be used being renamed ramdrive.sys during XP install?

3. I want to use ramdisk just for the purpose of using my custom batch files and vb scripts. After install i really don't need the ramdisk. Does mere deletion of "Class" and "Services" registry keys during the penultimate stage of install (e.g. from cleanup.cmd) will remove the ramdisk after restart?

I have switched to QSoft ramdisk.

I have the RAMDisk "Extended ( Pro/Standard/Basic )" Version 5.2.10.2 package but you can use the RAMDisk "Free" Version 5.0.2.2

I have two methods to install it:

Method 1

CMDLINES.TXT

[Commands]
;// Windows unattended install
;//
;// QSoft RAMDisk Install
;// [url="http://www.ramdisk.tk/"]http://www.ramdisk.tk/[/url] 33554432
".\nircmd.exe execmd ramdisk.cmd"
".\nircmd.exe regsetval dword HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Ramdisk\Parameters AutoResize 1"
".\nircmd.exe regsetval dword HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Ramdisk\Parameters DiskCompression 1"
".\nircmd.exe regsetval dword HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Ramdisk\Parameters DiskSize 02000000"
".\nircmd.exe regsetval sz HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Ramdisk\Parameters DriveLetter B:"
".\nircmd.exe regsetval sz HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Ramdisk\Parameters Format NTFS"

ramdisk.cmd

devcon.exe INSTALL %SystemDrive%\Apps\RAMDisk\ramdiskpro.INF RAMDISK

$OEM$ folder contains cmdlines.txt, devcon.exe, ramdisk.cmd, nircmd.exe

if i recall correctly, i wasn't able to get the DiskSize 02000000 (32Mb) during install. Size is set to 1Mb by default. Enough to copy some small scripts on B: drive.

to remove it @endofinstall use the command devcon remove RAMDISK in a script.

I will post Method 2 later because i can't remember where the files are backuped (USB Stick, USB Drive, FTP Server, local box Hard Disk, Laptop Hard disk, may be lost) :}

Edited by Bilou_Gateux

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@Bilou_Gateux

So kind of you. Could you found any clue as to why the commissioned RAMDisk size is paltry 1 MB? I would have been really satisfied if it remained at 16 MB. Anyway i'll give cmdlines.txt+ramdisk.cmd method a try with "DiskSize 01000000" and see what's in store for me.

BTW, please unearth Method II,if it's not already lost, my guess is it'll be more adventurous. Please.

Thanks...

N.B. You didn't mention even a word about No. 4. Was it really not mentionable?

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4. I earnestly request both of you to devote time towards your amazing effort in implementing "FILEDISK" ISO mount system as well as password-protected true-crypt container volume implementable thereby. It's a very interesting approach and it will open horizon of options for installation, only if you could find time for its development.

Well, something VERY similar has already been made using Ken Kato's VDK by Sanbarrow.

DO have a look at his site:

http://sanbarrow.com/

and search threads where he posted on the 911 CD Forum:

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

This one is just an example:

http://www.911cd.net/forums//index.php?showtopic=14996&hl=

(not actally .ISO support, but drive images all the same, and as I see it sparse images are more handy than "static" .ISO images)

jaclaz

Edited by jaclaz

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Ken Kato's VDK

jaclaz

Virtual Disk Driver

Sanbarrow batchs look promising but never found the time to check it. May be it's now time to check.

You can also try:

virtual floppy disk driver for Windows NT platform.

Copyright © 2005 Kenji Kato

You can mount a floppy image file as a virtual floppy drive and directly access the contents -- view, edit, rename, delete or create files, format the virtual floppy, launch a program on the virtual floppy... whatever.

Max Size: 2,949,120 bytes (2.88MB)

Haven't tried VFD in unattended install, but it may work fine because it has support for command line.

somewhere in this forum i have found a silent install pack named VFD_Setup.exe. can't find the post #

Edited by Bilou_Gateux

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@Bilou_Gateux

So kind of you. Could you found any clue as to why the commissioned RAMDisk size is paltry 1 MB? I would have been really satisfied if it remained at 16 MB. Anyway i'll give cmdlines.txt+ramdisk.cmd method a try with "DiskSize 01000000" and see what's in store for me.

BTW, please unearth Method II,if it's not already lost, my guess is it'll be more adventurous. Please.

Thanks...

N.B. You didn't mention even a word about No. 4. Was it really not mentionable?

Editing ramdiskpro.inf and removed semicolon in below ;obsolete and set data values i.e.:

[DiskAddReg]HKR, "Parameters", "BreakOnEntry", %REG_DWORD%, 0x00000000

HKR, "Parameters", "DebugLevel", %REG_DWORD%, 0x00000005

HKR, "Parameters", "DebugComp", %REG_DWORD%, 0xFFFFFFFF

HKR, "Parameters", "Format", %REG_SZ%, "NTFS"

; If you don't want to use the "RAMDisk Format" service , you have to comment out the following seven lines.

; To comment out these lines , just precede them with "; " . See for example line : "; OBSOLETE !" and following

; OBSOLETE !

HKR, "Parameters", "DiskSize", %REG_DWORD%, 0x01000000

HKR, "Parameters", "DriveLetter", %REG_SZ%, "B:"

HKR, "Parameters", "RootDirEntries", %REG_DWORD%, 0x00000200

HKR, "Parameters", "SectorsPerCluster", %REG_DWORD%, 0x00000002

HKR, "Parameters", "DiskCompression", %REG_DWORD%, 0x00000001

HKR, "Parameters", "AutoResize", %REG_DWORD%, 0x00000000

I have also changed "Format" to NTFS and enable "DiskCompression". Disk Size set to 0x1000000 = 16777216 (16 Mb in decimal notation).

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Dear Bilou_Gateux,

Thanks for the reply. I've just one more question:

As i envisage, you recommend using ramdiskpro.inf which is what made by gosh. Now, there's a difference in registry settings between gosh's .inf file and your RAMDISK.TXT(annexed by you at the start of this topic). While Gosh advices controlset001, you prescribe currentcontrolset. Now, as i wish to use the ramdisk right after the post-GUI reboot, which will be the best option to try? Am i not to go through the default user profile which is the only profile available before login?

Your reply in this context will erase all the doubts in my mind regarding the issue.

waiting for your kind resonse..

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If you choose to use my posted method1 (install @T12 cmdlines.txt), you don't need to alter install files like Gosh method.

My method2 was the same but ramdisk was installed earlier during the setup (install @T39 DetachedProgram in WINNT.SIF).

I have an issue when installing it @T39.

at end of GUI mode setup, QSoft RAMDisk (not digitally signed) is replaced by Microsoft RAMDisk (authenticode signed) by WFP because both use the same service name:

HKLM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Ramdisk

Edited by Bilou_Gateux

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@Bilou_Gateux,

What you said & faced when you installed @ T-39, is just the same that i had to suffer with AR RAM Disk using [Hiveinfs.Fresh] AddReg=RAMdisk.inf,Setup method. Indeed, it's replaced by MS RAMDisk after GUI Mode completes. As you said. I hope, that'll not be the case with T-12 cmdlines.txt method.

I'll post my experience in 2-3 days time, when i'm supposed to test one install.

Thanks.

Edited by MOONLIGHT SONATA

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@Bilou_Gateux,

Sorry i couldn't post in 2-3 days time, i took almost 7 days. Excuse me.

Well, your all files and commands are working perfectly, but the RAMDisk is not. I used the Free Version of RAMDisk you suggested. The problems that i noticed with the free version are as follows:

1. Even as the Ramdriv.inf file in its [DiskAddReg] Section has the

HKR, "Parameters", "Format", %REG_SZ%, "NTFS" written,

After install it uses FAT File System. Size is set to 16MB and Drive letter can be successfully pre-configured.

All that I said is when i tried devcon command in desktop, after download. But during install, even after the commands carried out successfully, there's no RAMDisk ready for use after GUI Mode.

2. In frustration, I tried RAMDisk evaluation version. In this Case, RAMDisk is ready to be used after GUI Mode(thanks to the same set of your files and commands in $OEM$). But, its a nagged version and whenever my batch files tried to access the RAMDrive, A message box with caption "Windows-Fatal Application Exit" pops up and My large 7-zipped Archives like Nero and Office XP failed to install being deprived of Memory.

What to do? Can a free RAMDisk not be usable which can give atleast 16 MB RAMDrive? I'm in a soup.

Waiting for your kind response.

@MOONLIGHT SONATA

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