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Nlite cd to a network share

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I have my nlite cd working perfectly, with the os and many apps installed like a charm. Now I would like to transfer my Nlite cd to a network share, and start the install from the network share.

Is this possible?, how would a go about this?.

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Ive put my packages on a network share and the cd calls a batch file on a server that installs the packages, bashrats packs take care on the drivers part:-)

I think you are referring to a distribution share instead of installing via the cd,

Edited by mike1210
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no windows is installed from the cd its only the packages which come from a network. The batch file is called from the answer file

mine looks like this on the answer file

which is stored in the xp cd in \$OEM$\$1\D

$OEM$ is made for the drivers

$1 is the system drive

and D is the driver folder made by the bashrat drives

answer file extract:



the batch file calls another batch file stored on the server, reason i did it this way was i can make changes to the file without having to reburn the cd

check out http://unattended.msfn.org/unattended.xp for all guides on how to do it

Edited by mike1210
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I set up the source with the $OEM$ production folders on a network share, then start the computer with Bart's PE, map a network drive to the share, and start winnt32.exe from there. Try searching the forums for winnt32 or winnt32.exe; there's a bunch of info.

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Do I have to use the bartpe boot disk?

I was hoping to make a network boot cd that loads the nic driver, maps to a network share using the net use command, and then fire off the windows xp install using the winnt32.exe command.

Obviously this network share will contain the contents of my unattended nlite xp cd.

Edited by clivebuckwheat
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Yep, that's the way to go.

BartPE, Net use command and winnt32.exe command.

Search for the right winnt32 command line on the forums.

You will be making a local source that way.

After reboot, the normal stuff will go on... without CD!

No more CD burning, just Bart.

Don't forget to put the $OEM$ inside I386.

Edited by Djé
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What do you mean by a "normal" boot CD? Are you loading DOS, or some variant (e.g. FreeDOS)? If so, winnt32.exe won't run, but winnt.exe will, and you can use the same basic idea.

You've got the concept...load some OS from the CD, connect to the network, start the Windows install via winnt.exe or winnt32.exe (depending on your OS), reboot. Easy!

On a side note, if you specify "..\$OEM$" for the OEMFilesPath in your unattend file, you do not have to embed $OEM$ inside I386; you can keep it parallel. This is useful if you decide to use junctions to create network installation sources on-the-fly (I made a PHP app for our technicians to customize the $OEM$ folder for their particular install needs).

Edited by tridgely
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Thanks for the reply. Yes something like freedos on a boot cd that will load the nic driver and then map to a network share using the tried and true net use.

I read what you wrote about the OEM, but excuse my ignorance here, I don't quite understand what you mean?. This will be the first time I try an unattended install from a network share.

if you could elaborate a bit more on the OEM portion of your post i would greatly appreciate it.

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The advantage of using BartPE is those windows tools in it.

Plus, when installing from a network share, you are AUTOMATICALLY making a local source.

And I don't know about write access to a ntfs partition from dos to do this, if ever you don't have any fat partition arround. But maybe winnt.exe can deal with that. Don't know.

For the $OEM$ thing: this is an additionnal folder that may be on your CD (next to I386) with some extra stuff to install (applications, drivers, etc.). If you don't have it then don't worry about it, you don't need it, otherwise nLite would have made it.

Now, your turn: experiment and tell us about it. ;)

@tridgely: thanks for the OEMFilesPath trick. I'll make good use of it. :)

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I used to use a DOS-based installation method, running winnt.exe, as clivebuckwheat has explained above. This method has some limitations to it that caused me to switch over to Bart's PE for winnt32.

Using winnt.exe in DOS, your filenames must match an 8.3 filename restriction, which many of my installers in $OEM$ did not. Because of this, I used to 7zip them all up and unpack them after the install, but it was tedious to maintain.

Also, you have a restriction on the amount of data that you can copy over. I believe it's 2 gigs, but that could be wrong.

I've been very happy since I switched to Bart's PE. The learning curve was fairly steep, so I was up and running pretty quick.

@clivebuckwheat, if you have a $OEM$ distribution folder, basically used to copy extra files over during setup, it would normally need to be placed inside the i386 folder for a network-based installation via winnt.exe. However, if you make an entry in your unattend answer file, you can specify the location of the $OEM$ folder. By placing a line with:


In your unattend file, then you can keep $OEM$ parallel to (alongside) the i386 folder.

After this is all said and done, will create a batch file in DOS to map the drive via net use, and then run winnt.exe from the i386 folder, with the switches that you want.

I'm not 100% sure what you're having trouble with, but I'm more than happy to explain further if it helps you.

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I made a network boot cd(win98), that loads the nic drivers and then I used the command. net use u: \\ComputerName\sharefolder

I wanted to put the contents of my nlite cd in the share folder and start the installing from the share using winnt.exe

But my boot cd bombs out net use command and i get cannot locate registry.

HELP ME :no:

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Make sure that your path is set as

net use u: \\computername\sharename

and not

net use u: \\computer name\share name

I have had a few times when I made a share on the remote with a shared folder with a space in the name. Check your shared system name and folder.


Edited by 03GrandAmGT
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