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McoreD

Unattended Vista with Multiple Partitions

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If anyone is reading this and finds my advise logical and is going to attempt this there is something you should heed concerning the setup of these partitions with different cluster sizes.

The cluster sizes I gave are what I use, ymmv, but I do advise you do not use 64K clusters as like I said I have gotten errors 3 times now on multiple PCs.

You may be wondering.."how am i going to change these cluster sizes"...you probably know that with Disk Management utility in Windows you can format any partition with whatever size you want....but...what about C:\, if you are like most people you have a 4K cluster size on C:\.

In the good ol' days with fdisk they let you change the cluster size, but with the XP install, you were stripped of that privilege :no: Any of the formatting options you pick at the Partition selection screen will result in the default (4K) cluster size.

"Can I use Partition Magic"

Nope, try it. If you use partition magic you will get disk read errors. You could however use it to size the partitions if you wanted and then follow the steps below.

"there is a format utility in recovery console...i can just use that."

No you cant, for some reason Microsoft deemed the ability to change cluster sizes unimportant and in the recovery console the "/A" paramater is missing from Format.

Solution:

1) Download Bart's PE (preinstalled environment) and follow the instructions for creating a boot CD...it is very simple and self explainitory.

2) Boot the CD and when you get in open CMD and "format C:\ /FS:NTFS /A:16K /X" (16K cluster size or whatever you feel is right for you)

- You are not done yet, as using this method appearantly destroys the MBR.

3) Put your Windows CD in, boot it, and when it asks you to "press r", press it launch the recovery console.

4) Once into the recovery console issue the following "FIXMBR" and "FIXBOOT"

Now you are good to go and you can install Windows properly without any errors.

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Fantastic posts, prognastic. Adding to your guides/advices, I was thinking, having WINDOWS and ProgramFiles in two different partitions and also two different physical drivers, would increase more performance, because you will be effectively doubling the I/O rate?

For others who are new to this concept, hope these are good teasers:

mcefolderconfig1iy3.th.png

For MCE users, really useful as well:

mceshellfolderpathsww6.th.png

Very exciting stuff,

McoreD

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I cant undestand anyone wanting to install programs on a seperate drive or partition unless they are stand alone a lot of programs add files to winows system, if you were to do another unattended install with a new cd or dvd and didn't add some of the programs you added before some of the previously installed programs will not work, this is ok for My Documents and data you need to keep i do that myselfe
Edited by urie

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EDIT: don't erase the original program files folder... the apps from Windows Vista RTM (like IE7, WMP11...) are installed with absolute paths, that is, when you click their links, you're trying to reach "%SystemDrive%\Program Files" and not %ProgramFiles% itself. But once you make the change in the registry, from that point on, everything gets installed by default to the new location.

Please note: this method wastes about 500 MB of disk space, due to the process of copying the Program Files folder and yet preserving the original one. But it works :)

Off-post: After Vista RTM'd, I've been trying to understand and work with the shiny brand new automation scheme. But I can't. It produces an error right before I can actually do something inside WAIK. Maybe WAIK can't handle the new RTM catalogs or something.

Regarding this matter (Program Files folder location):

As for today, Windows NT Program Files location setting is always changeable. This includes, of course, Windows Vista.

For those of you who want to personalise the Program Files folder location, there's a way to do it after installing Windows (this is the way I know. If someone knows how to do these operations for unattended install, that would be great of course!).

Steps:

1. Close as many processes as you can, or do this from another O.S. or use your HD as slave in another computer (personaly, I just close all my open windows, leaving Windows Explorer open and go on).

2. Copy ALL the files from C:\Program Files to any new location (NOTE: you may need to show hidden files and folders first: press the Alt key within the Explorer window; the standard menus appear; choose Tools --> Folder Options...; go to the "View" Tab; select radio button "Show hidden files and folders" and UNselect the option "Hide protected operating system files")

SECOND NOTE: be careful to choose a simple location (i.e. avoid something like "D:\Programs, Games and Windows pre-installed crap")

THIRD NOTE: you are free and advised to use a CRC check with this.... just to make sure everything went right. Try a web search for WinAFV32

3. After copying those files, open the registry (Run "regedt32")

Check the following keys:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion

CommonFilesDir=E:\Program Files\Common Files
ProgramFilesDir=E:\Program Files

These keys tell windows where the program files folder is located. change them to the new location.

4. Reboot!

5. After rebooting successfully, you can delete the old Program Files folder! you're ready to go! --> Check this post's first paragraph.

Please comment what you think of this. It's what I've been using so far...

Any questions, feel free to ask and I'll try to help. Anyways I never had any problems with this workaround.

footswitch

Edited by footswitch

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After Vista RTM'd, I've been trying to understand and work with the shiny brand new automation scheme. But I can't. It produces an error right before I can actually do something inside WAIK. Maybe WAIK can't handle the new RTM catalogs or something.

you are right the WAIK are build specific (ie 6000 for rtm) so it will require the RTM of the Waik. should be out soon

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you are right the WAIK are build specific (ie 6000 for rtm) so it will require the RTM of the Waik. should be out soon

thanks pal! So I guess BDD "RTM" must be coming out soon... At least I hope so...

These comments about the Program Files folder are from earlier releases. As for now I have no clue if Vista RTM supports changing of the Program Files location in autounattend.xml, but I'll give it a try soon.

footswitch

EDIT: BDD 2007 Beta (v3.3) is still available on Connect. I'm afraid this means they're not ready to release RTM... Or who knows, really... Vista RC1 was officially available too after Vista RTM'd :P

EDIT2: Windows Automated Installation Kit RTM Now Available for Download !

view the article or check MS download page (other languages available).

credit: bink.nu

Edited by footswitch

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Hi all!

Because of my msdn subscription, I have Vista x64 RTM (any version, but I am using ultimate right now)

I want to have my userprofile on my f:\ drive and my programfiles on my p:\ drive

I am willing to test out an XML file, but there's 1 caveat. I only have 1 dvd disc left. I would prefer to NOT have to buy more.

Here's how I want it laid out:

vista gets installed on disk0, partition 2 (where 1 is the first partition)

(I want to keep my xp 64 bit on partition 1 for now)

user profiles gets installed on disk0, partition 3

program files gets installed on disk1, partition 3

It is absolutely important that the other partitions do NOT get messed with.

wng

edit:

here is an image of my drive system:

1bh0.th.jpg

Edited by wng_z3r0

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Hi all!

Because of my msdn subscription, I have Vista x64 RTM (any version, but I am using ultimate right now)

I want to have my userprofile on my f:\ drive and my programfiles on my p:\ drive

I am willing to test out an XML file, but there's 1 caveat. I only have 1 dvd disc left. I would prefer to NOT have to buy more.

Here's how I want it laid out:

vista gets installed on disk0, partition 2 (where 1 is the first partition)

(I want to keep my xp 64 bit on partition 1 for now)

user profiles gets installed on disk1, partition 2

program files gets installed on disk1, partition 3

It is absolutely important that the other partitions do NOT get messed with.

wng

Build the ISO and test it in a virtual Machine, you should do this until you are 100% positive that you like how the Unattend file is working for you. download VPC 2007 from microsoft, it is in beta at connect.microsoft.com

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A good idea, but the xml files I have seen on this thread are for x86, and there is there one that works for program files?

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wng_z3r0, things that you should be careful / know about:

If you have changed drive letters using Device Manager, they won't be the actual drive letters for Vista when you install Vista by booting DVD. So make sure your F:\ is actually F:\ and P:\ is really P:\

When you install Vista via DVD to a partition, that partition will be C:\ therefore all other partition letters will increment by one character.

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Thought I would post my sucess of using WAIK and in particular Windows System Image Manager to automate my install of Vista Ultimate, with the ProgramData and Users folders on different partitions. It' pretty much all automatic except for the 1st point below. It sure is a lot quicker :D

I can't get 2 things to work at the moment:

  1. Still asks for network location (as mentioned earier in this topic by someone else
  2. SearchScopes

I am sure I will figure it out though :D

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<unattend xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:unattend">
<settings pass="windowsPE">
<component name="Microsoft-Windows-Setup" processorArchitecture="x86" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
<DiskConfiguration>
<WillShowUI>OnError</WillShowUI>
<Disk wcm:action="add">
<ModifyPartitions>
<ModifyPartition wcm:action="add">
<Active>true</Active>
<Extend>false</Extend>
<Format>NTFS</Format>
<Label>Vista</Label>
<Letter>C</Letter>
<Order>1</Order>
<PartitionID>1</PartitionID>
</ModifyPartition>
<ModifyPartition wcm:action="add">
<Active>false</Active>
<Label>Programs</Label>
<Letter>D</Letter>
<Order>2</Order>
<PartitionID>2</PartitionID>
<Extend>false</Extend>
</ModifyPartition>
<ModifyPartition wcm:action="add">
<Active>false</Active>
<Extend>false</Extend>
<Label>Games</Label>
<Letter>E</Letter>
<Order>3</Order>
<PartitionID>3</PartitionID>
</ModifyPartition>
<ModifyPartition wcm:action="add">
<Active>false</Active>
<Extend>false</Extend>
<Format>NTFS</Format>
<Label>Users</Label>
<Letter>F</Letter>
<Order>4</Order>
<PartitionID>4</PartitionID>
</ModifyPartition>
</ModifyPartitions>
<DiskID>0</DiskID>
</Disk>
</DiskConfiguration>
<Display>
<ColorDepth>32</ColorDepth>
<HorizontalResolution>1280</HorizontalResolution>
<RefreshRate>60</RefreshRate>
<VerticalResolution>1024</VerticalResolution>
</Display>
<DynamicUpdate>
<Enable>true</Enable>
</DynamicUpdate>
<ImageInstall>
<OSImage>
<InstallFrom>
<Path>H:\install.wim</Path>
</InstallFrom>
<InstallTo>
<DiskID>0</DiskID>
<PartitionID>1</PartitionID>
</InstallTo>
</OSImage>
</ImageInstall>
<UserData>
<ProductKey>
<Key>ABCDE-FGHIJ-KLMNO-PQRST-UVWXY</Key>
<WillShowUI>OnError</WillShowUI>
</ProductKey>
<AcceptEula>true</AcceptEula>
<FullName>My Name</FullName>
<Organization>Home</Organization>
</UserData>
</component>
<component name="Microsoft-Windows-International-Core-WinPE" processorArchitecture="x86" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
<SetupUILanguage>
<UILanguage>en-GB</UILanguage>
</SetupUILanguage>
<InputLocale>0809:00000809</InputLocale>
<UILanguage>en-GB</UILanguage>
<UserLocale>en-GB</UserLocale>
<SystemLocale>en-GB</SystemLocale>
<UILanguageFallback>en-GB</UILanguageFallback>
</component>
</settings>
<settings pass="oobeSystem">
<component name="Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup" processorArchitecture="x86" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
<FolderLocations>
<ProfilesDirectory>F:\Users</ProfilesDirectory>
<ProgramData>D:\ProgramData</ProgramData>
</FolderLocations>
<OOBE>
<HideEULAPage>true</HideEULAPage>
<NetworkLocation>Home</NetworkLocation>
<ProtectYourPC>1</ProtectYourPC>
<SkipUserOOBE>true</SkipUserOOBE>
</OOBE>
<UserAccounts>
<LocalAccounts>
<LocalAccount wcm:action="add">
<Password>
<Value>??????????</Value>
<PlainText>false</PlainText>
</Password>
<Description>Name 1</Description>
<DisplayName>Name 1</DisplayName>
<Group>Administrators</Group>
<Name>Name 1</Name>
</LocalAccount>
<LocalAccount wcm:action="add">
<Password>
<Value>??????????</Value>
<PlainText>false</PlainText>
</Password>
<Description>Name 2</Description>
<DisplayName>Name 2</DisplayName>
<Name>Name 2</Name>
<Group>Users</Group>
</LocalAccount>
</LocalAccounts>
</UserAccounts>
</component>
</settings>
<settings pass="specialize">
<component name="Microsoft-Windows-UnattendedJoin" processorArchitecture="x86" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
<Identification>
<JoinWorkgroup>workgroup</JoinWorkgroup>
</Identification>
</component>
<component name="Microsoft-Windows-International-Core" processorArchitecture="x86" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
<InputLocale>en-GB</InputLocale>
<SystemLocale>en-GB</SystemLocale>
<UILanguage>en-GB</UILanguage>
<UILanguageFallback>en-GB</UILanguageFallback>
<UserLocale>en-GB</UserLocale>
</component>
<component name="Microsoft-Windows-IE-InternetExplorer" processorArchitecture="x86" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
<FavoritesList>
<FavoriteItem wcm:action="add">
<FavTitle>MSFN - Where People Go To Know</FavTitle>
<FavURL>http://www.msfn.org/</FavURL>
<FavID>Favorite1</FavID>
<FavOffLine>true</FavOffLine>
</FavoriteItem>
</FavoritesList>
<FeedList>
<FeedItem wcm:action="add">
<FeedKey>Feed1</FeedKey>
<FeedURL>http://feeds.feedburner.com/msfn/DisI</FeedURL>
<FeedTitle>MSFN - Frontpage News</FeedTitle>
</FeedItem>
</FeedList>
<SearchScopes>
<Scope wcm:action="add">
<ScopeDefault>true</ScopeDefault>
<ScopeDisplayName>Google UK</ScopeDisplayName>
<ScopeKey>Google UK</ScopeKey>
<ScopeUrl>http://www.google.co.uk</ScopeUrl>
</Scope>
<Scope wcm:action="add">
<ScopeDisplayName>Google UK Images</ScopeDisplayName>
<ScopeKey>Google UK Images</ScopeKey>
<ScopeUrl>http://images.google.co.uk</ScopeUrl>
</Scope>
<Scope wcm:action="add">
<ScopeDisplayName>Windows Live</ScopeDisplayName>
<ScopeKey>Windows Live</ScopeKey>
<ScopeUrl>http://search.live.com</ScopeUrl>
</Scope>
</SearchScopes>
<BlockPopups>yes</BlockPopups>
<ShowInformationBar>true</ShowInformationBar>
<Home_Page>about:blank</Home_Page>
</component>
<component name="Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup" processorArchitecture="x86" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
<ComputerName>My Computer Name</ComputerName>
<RegisteredOrganization>Home</RegisteredOrganization>
<RegisteredOwner>My Name</RegisteredOwner>
<TimeZone>GMT Standard Time</TimeZone>
</component>
</settings>
<cpi:offlineImage cpi:source="wim:h:/install.wim#Windows Vista ULTIMATE" xmlns:cpi="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:cpi" />
</unattend>

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wng_z3r0, things that you should be careful / know about:

If you have changed drive letters using Device Manager, they won't be the actual drive letters for Vista when you install Vista by booting DVD. So make sure your F:\ is actually F:\ and P:\ is really P:\

When you install Vista via DVD to a partition, that partition will be C:\ therefore all other partition letters will increment by one character.

Ok, thanks. So I should just make a ton of dummy partitions to force the ones I want to be f and p?

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You can boot from an attended DVD and get up to installation stage where you can see which partitions got which letters. :)

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Ok, thanks. So I should just make a ton of dummy partitions to force the ones I want to be f and p?

nope, you can specify the letters you want. just change D, E or F to anything you want, like:

<ModifyPartition wcm:action="add">

<Active>false</Active>

<Label>Programs</Label>

<Letter>P</Letter>

<Order>2</Order>

<PartitionID>2</PartitionID>

<Format>NTFS</Format>

<Extend>false</Extend>

</ModifyPartition>

careful using the format option, it will erase the selected partition.

if you don't know your partitionID, just take a look at your disk's partitions in computer management.

my program files registry edition works. feel free to try it.

footswitch

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hey friends plz tell me where to paste the unattended.xml to my windows setup so that i can customise the installation process :)

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