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Making a slipstreamed OEM XP-discs from Asus recovery cd:s?

visa tapani

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Hi all,

I've been searching through these forums to find information how to make a stripped down XP installation using data from the recovery discs / recovery partiton of my Asus laptop. What I've gathered is that I need to

1.) obtain a copy of real Windows XP installation CD


2.) copy some files from the i386 folder on my recovery partition to get it activated.

Now, number 1.) is taken care of, as I have a copy of friends WinXP Pro here right next to me. Also, using a live linux -cd, I copied the entire recovery partition to a visible location of my harddrive, in order to copy the needed files of it. However, this is how the content looks like.

There is no i386 to copy files from! The ASUS.PQI (1.27Gb) seems to be some kind of image-file which probably contains that folder, but is it somehow possible to extract it from there? For comparison, this is how the recovery cd 1/2 looks like (2/2 is very similar)... No i386 folder there either...

I'd really like to slipstream this installation, cause the recovery cd's install so much crap by default (without running any programs the task manager reports over 50 processes running). Is it possible?

Any advices greatly appreciated!

Edited by visa tapani
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.PQI is teh extension for an image created by PowerQuest's Drive Image iirc.

its an image of ur hard disk after XP is installed, so it would have everything from Windows as well as any extra programs, files, or folders ASUS included. i doubt u could strip out the junk.

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You'd be better off taking a copy of XP Home or Pro, slipstreaming SP2 and the latest Windows Updates. Then backup your drivers and integrate them with nLite or wait until after Windows is finished installing. You could use Acronis True Image or Norton Ghost to create a new image of your drive and store it on DVD, an external harddrive, or a second partition.

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search for a program called mydrivers.

visa tapani

the recovery cd contains a program called drive image and that .pqi is the image file.

if i remember right there is a .pqi explorer.........

also u need a new xp cd that u slipstream all updates and drivers extracted with this program "mydrivers". also u slim your xp cd with nlite. create cd and install form scratch.

Edited by boooggy
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Thanks for all the replies.

You'd be better off taking a copy of XP Home or Pro, slipstreaming SP2 and the latest Windows Updates.

That's actually what I'm trying to do. However, AFAIK, to get this FPP (full packaged product) version of XP properly installed and authorized on this Asus laptop of mine (with the product key of this laptop), I need to replace some files of this installation by files from my recovery partition.

Indeed I found out (thanks for the tip boooggy) that Norton Ghost can open the ASUS.PQI file and extract its content - this is a big step forward. This is how it looks like. And this is how the I386 folder inside looks like.

So, I have copied the content of the friend's FPP retail XP Pro to a loaction F:\WinXP_source\, and I need a bit of help in figuring the following procedures exactly:

1.) From this thread:

If I've understood correctly, I need to copy these files









from the Windows\I386 folder of my my recovery partition to the F:\WinXP_source\I386 -folder. Is this true? Do I need to modify these files in any way and or do I need any other files?

2.) Am I correct in assuming I should do things in this order:

- first overwrite the 8 files (listed above) of the retail XP Pro by those found on the recovery partition

- after this nLite this modified XP installation and integrate SP2.


3.) From one relevant OEM-thread I found this quote: "u need 2 use Winnt.sif (which is what im guessing your OEM cd is using) so, first 2 obtain your product key or open the winnt.sif file in notepad & copy the key, paste it inside the key input box inside nlite & continue with your options"

Is this true at all? If so, where do I find the winnt.sif file on my recovery partition?

4.) I'm very confused about the product activation & registration of this nLited OEM XP. So apparently the Product Key found on the bottom of my Asus laptop is good for nothing, ie it will not be entered into any field?

However, during installation (or in nLite if I'm making an unattended installation) I need to enter the code found on this page?

Is that all - should this work?

5.) My computer literacy doesn't extend with far enough that in nLite I could make educated decisions what to remove and what not. I skimmed through the stickies ("What Not To Remove For Some Programs" and "Complete Beginners Guide to nLite Unattended CD's") but these don't get me very far in knowing what I can safely remove. Can someone point me towards another guide or forum post that would elucidate doing a standard & safe slipstremed XP?

Sorry for the long post and thanks in advance!

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1. A porgram like Driver Genius will be able to backup your drivers as they are currently installed. Keep a copy of them on CD or flash drive.

2. If you have the xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx Windows product key on the bottom of your laptop, than that will be what you use.

3.As long as you have all your hardware drivers backed up, you should be fine.

4. You don't *need* to remove components if you don't want to. Just slipstream SP2, RyanVM's Update Pack (for the latest updates), your drivers can also be integrated. Put your product key in the Unattended section of nLite.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hello again,

I've done some research and looked into both Siginet's OEM Act and OEMScan. I've gathered that it's still easier to do it manually since I'm doing a manufacturer-spefic install (only using it on 1 Asus laptop).

[For those who are only now stumbling on this thread, I'm trying to reinstall WinXP on my ASUS laptop (which shipped with only recovery discs and a recovery partition) using a FPP retail XP, to avoid installing all the crap included in the recovery install. I've extracted the Windows image of my recovery partition, so I have all those files in my disposal.]

However, I'm faced with conflicting information which I'd like to set straight:

1.) From this Activating Windows-guide:

"» OEMBIOS Method

This method requires an existing installation of Windows that has been pre-activated by a Royalty OEM. (If your computer was manufactured by a royalty OEM the COA sticker will have the manufacturer's name or logo.)

Locate on your hard drive the following 4 files:





Locate these files, and compress them with MAKECAB, then simply copy the compressed versions into the I386 directory in your Windows Setup Source folder on your hard drive. "


2.) However, in this thread jdeboeck writes the following:

OEM product keys from the back of computers are invalid. Microsoft does not allow these keys to activate, since the computers they are on are almost certainly preactivated. You can make your own preactivated CD, with what you have on the recovery cd. You need your friends OEM or retail cd and copy some files from your recovery cd:









Then you need to install with the product key you can find here. Not the

product key on your computer, that won't work: although it will be accepted during setup, it will be rejected during the activation process.


- So in addition to oembios.bin, oembios.cat, oembios.sig and oembios.dat, he's saying I also need to copy dpcdll.dll, setupp.ini, pidgen.dll and setupreg.hiv. Can anyone confirm if I need these?

3.) Some sources say I need to use the winnt.sif file, but neither of these instructions mention it. Do I need to use it?

I have this file called $winnt$.inf in my I386 folder of my recovery partition/recovery cd which I guess is it. Do I need to copy it to the I386 folder of the retail XP I'm using as a source for my new installation?

This is how it looks like if it matters:

























FullName="Your User Name"

OrgName="Your Company Name"







































Any help is greatly appreciated!

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There is a freeware application similar to nLite which can also create full installation cd from OEM restore disc. I can't remember the name. Please PM me ( to remind me) & I can send you the information tomorrow when I get back to work.

I just remembered. Its called WinFuture-XP-ISO-Builder 3.0


Edited by pmshah
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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello again and thanks for the replies.

Good tip Kryogenius! However I think it is easier for me to just start from a scratch with clean XP discs and just modify it a little bit to get it activated on my royalty oem machine.

Also I looked into the WinFuture-XP-ISO-Builder 3.0 but am a bit suspicious if it would work since my recovery cds work from a image.

Maybe it would actually, but it would still probably be more complicated than what I'm trying to do here. As long as I could just set straight the conflicting information I mentioned in last post. I mean, after all I just need to copy a handful of files from my current installation and that's it?

EDIT: I also read a bit about setupp.ini but am a bit confused about one thing. From a guide I found:

"So if you wanted a retail CD that took retail keys, the last line of your setupp.ini file would read:


And if you wanted a retail CD that took OEM keys, you'd use:


Which one should I use with my modified FPP XP installation disc?

Edited by visa tapani
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