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McoreD

Unattended Vista with Multiple Partitions

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I don't know guys if it is appropriate to ask here :( , what is the equivalent of wpa.dbl in vista RC1?. I have installed vista and activated through internet. However, I have searched through the win32 dir in vista, there's no wpa.dbl :huh: . Also, if an equivalent exists, where does it go in the DVD for unattended install and auto-activation on the same machine and on the same partition? :unsure:

"Okay when you add the

CODE<ProgramFiles>G:\VistaApplications</ProgramFiles>

you get the error:

http://img126.imageshack.us/img126/2184/vp...obeerrorvi6.jpg"

Should it not be <ProgramData> instead of <ProgramFiles>?

Edited by Saks

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Should it not be <ProgramData> instead of <ProgramFiles>?

Changing ProgramData location is already possible. It's the ProgramFiles that is not possible. :)

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This is from the latest RC2 WAIK:

still only these two Child Elements for Folder Locations that can customize

ProfilesDirectory

Specifies the path to the user profile folder.

ProgramData

Specifies the path to the program data folder.

no ProgramFiles yet. This turns out to be pretty bad. Doesn't look like Microsoft letting us change the ProgramFiles folder path. :(

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Thanks for the update Mcore.

I agree this is in no way a good thing. Of all the things I found most beneficial when I started getting into unattended installs was moving the *PROGRAM FILES* directory.

It is just a matter of fact that it makes sense to seperate all of your program files/data and user data from the operating system files.

I haven't done an analysis of standard file sizes for Vista OS files yet but I did so in XP and that factored in to the cluster sizes I used on my NTFS partitions.

For instance:

C:\ 16kb clusters

D:\ 8kb clusters

E: default (4kb)

Not only does this measure prevent against fragmentation, it also speeds up performance and you never get your OS partition messy. I sure hope we can get something done about this because it is truely a crucial part of the image.

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Has anyone looked into alternative methods than using WAIK? I know there was some fairly simple procedure to do this for XP...but I always just used nlite.

I'll bet if we looked around we could find a way to modify the image itself and repackage it or something.

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yeah i cant find any other way to do this. i sent some feedback to Microsoft Connect, hopefully they'll shed some light on this.

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no updates so far sadly,

we most likely won't see anything till Vista RTMs, i would be within a week of RTM we will see the BDD available for download. till then nothing new will be seen :( i think i am going into withdrawl already

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this is a fairly crucial problem here..

i sent my feedback to Connect a while back and got a generic response.

the business edition RTMs today doesnt it...? i sure hope we can get this resolved...im already dreading switching from xp anyways.

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Thanks fizban for still hanging there.

prognostic, I am really glad to find out that you are as keen as me trying to move ProgramFiles and keen Users, Program Files and WINDOWS in seperate partitions. We are a bit of a minority.

Our only hope is the RTM ISO to test.

Cheers.

Edited by McoreD

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Vista released to RTM, pray for new BDD.

Hey Mcore, I am with ya man.

I have never even seen a single guide discussing the benefits of seperating your windows directory and programs files on different partitions, which to me is somewhat strange considering that the benefits are actually quite dramatic. It's like when after a year or two without a reformat your computer starts to get a tad sluggish, no matter how clean you try to keep it - this is a large part of the solution.

The community for customizing unattended installs is continuing to grow; however to me, the single and most important thing in any install is seperation of these folders; and I think this is something that is often overlooked. Especially in the nLite community, everyone has their own reason on why they want to customize their install, remove unnecessary programs, create an image so they dont need to a RAID driver on a disk and FREAKING INSTALL A FLOPPY DRIVE, have registry and other tweaks preinstalled, etc, etc, but to me probably the single most important thing is this feature.

It's such a serious thing to me that I will NOT upgrade to Vista if I cannot use Multiple Partitions in the install.

Assuming we can ever get this resolved I intend to write a short guide on why people should do this and how it can really improve the performance and administration of your PC.

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*clap* -- *clap*

I couldn't say it better prognostic.

Same here. It is a serious enough issue as well for me not to install Vista. I don't want to end up with 20 GiB Ghost images.

Assuming we can ever get this resolved I intend to write a short guide on why people should do this and how it can really improve the performance and administration of your PC.

A guide explaining WHY seperating partitions will be quite cool. In Linux we can mount /home to a different partition which is possible from the installer itself. Microsoft should offer us support like that. This whole thing is not quite common among many because winnt.sif is quite uncommon among the average Joe.

I was starting to write the benefits of doing so here:

http://wmwiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=Ben...em_Folder_Paths

That's just a start. But if we can the public's mind open to this, Microsoft will hopefully offer support in the future.

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well I've never understood separating these things cause I use a totally different approach which work's for me and is not that hard to achieve.

Install everything to the C: or Windows/Progra Files as normal because most programs will want to go there anyways. Can backup that to a small image also.

ALL or any thing saved goes to a separate partition which I protect with backups, Acronis is a nice method and to me is much better than that WHO.

You can totally wipe the C: with a UA and restore with updated programs and point them where they need to store or retrieve their data. Fresh and clean

With Vista so far i see only ProfilesDirectory and ProgramData folders as being able to relocate. Haven't played with that much cause i don't use My Documents, all that goes elsewhere to the other partition.

Edited by maxXPsoft

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With Vista so far i see only ProfilesDirectory and ProgramData folders as being able to relocate. Haven't played with that much cause i don't use My Documents, all that goes elsewhere to the other partition.

That's the exact hassle, we are trying to prevent. Any modern coded application will attempt to default save documents to My Documents. Even if you have relocated My Documents path, you still have Favorites, Music and Pictures to relocate.

My current Windows + Program Files folders are over 20 GiB in Vista, trust me that is going to end up as a BIG image file.

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Install everything to the C: or Windows/Progra Files as normal because most programs will want to go there anyways.

You just described the exact problem. Every single program by default looks for your System's Program Files Dir, HOWEVER...this is NOT necessarily C:\Program Files. For example, many people let Windows XP install on C:\ and then install their Applications and Games on D:\ or perhaps even install Apps on D:\ Games on E:\.

However, If you had created a UA install, say with nLite, and modified it so that the Program Files dir was D:\Program Files, ALL the default programs that are installed with XP will have gone to this directory AND all future installs will automatically go there. This means you no longer have to manually switch the install directory on EVERY single application you install AND this means that if someone sits down on your computer and wants to install something upon which they fly through the install hitting next next next, it wont have slopped up your pretty OS partition.

This is precisely what we want to right off the bat fix with our Vista installs, not to mention many other advantages such as allowing for small OS partition, fragmentation preventation, generally keeping your system cleaner, etc.

My current Windows + Program Files folders are over 20 GiB in Vista, trust me that is going to end up as a BIG image file.

I am not running Vista right now because of our little problem, but if I remember correctly after I got done wiht the install, the amount of space it ate was like 4-5GB, thats outrageous (You can get a modified XP install down to about 400MB with virtually every feature you need still intact including necessary drivers). Just imagine in the future with big OS updates like directX and what not.

On my XP machine my OS partition is 5GB, just to be safe with Vista I would probably make it 15GB just to be safe...even if we are able to move Program Files dir.

Heres a quick low down on my model for partition setup:

-------------

C:\

Stores only one directory, Windows.

Also manages page file

Size: 10GB (I would go 15GB with Vista)

Cluster Size: 16KB

-------------

D:\

Stores Programs files and Documents and Settings (obviously this will change to Users and include ProgramData with Vista)

This partition stores

Size: 60GB

Cluster Size: 8KB

-------------

E:\

Stores all other data for that local machine. Everybody's data directory structure varies obviously.

Size: Whatever is left, bout 100GB for me

Cluster Size: 4KB (default)

-------------

This is actually somewhat controversal as I have never, ever, EVER seen a single person suggest this cluster size setup on any forum and as a matter of fact, to even set your drive up like this requires a somewhat tricky procedure.

I have however seen some people recommend using 64KB clusters, this used to be my philosophy back with 98, to go with the largest possible size, however, using clusters larger than 32KB can potentially be dangerous!! I have used 64KB clusters and THREE times I had gotten disk errors which had to be corrected with CHKDSK which can be somewhat of a hassle and should be avoided.

Why did I pick those sizes?

Do a search on your various drives and analyze the sizes of all the files on each partition, IE, search for files <4K, <8K, <16K, <32k. This will differ slightly for everyone but what I found was that the amount of files that are just under 16K for the Windows drive is the majority, not only that but a large majority are greater than 8K but <16K, implying for maximum performance point would be 16K.

Same thing on D:\, except I found 8K was the better spot than 16K.

And as far as E:\ goes I kept it default because IMO the performance boost of modified cluster sizes pertains best to OS (especially booting) and Program files and I also wanted to maximize the amount of storage.

Hope this is illuminating.

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