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Unattended Secret: Reducing Size Of Source


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  • 3 weeks later...

08/23/2001  09:00 AM                10 WIN51

08/23/2001  09:00 AM                10 WIN51IC

08/23/2001  09:00 AM              2 WIN51IC.SP1

08/23/2001  09:00 AM                10 WIN51IP

08/23/2001  09:00 AM              2 WIN51IP.SP1

So IP is professional and IC is Home edition? (Just seeking some clarification) :)

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Gosh, in your tutorial you might want to say:

If you want to boot from my cd menu you have to make your bootsector image use LOADER.BIN, use this build command to do this
cdimage -lXPCD -t08/23/2001,13:00:00 -h -n -m -o -bc:\Install\LOADER.BIN c:\Install c:\XP.ISO

Because ive never played with boot menus before and it took me a good hour to figure out how to use your boot menu!

Just a suggestion :)


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I'm a little unclear what you want me to change that to. But either way, my site is done and im pretty much done so im trying to avoiding changing things unless there's a very good reason to do so. But not just you, i've had people PM me asking me to change stuff, and i've told them the same thing - im done with the site and pretty much done posting new stuff here.


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  • 3 weeks later...

Sorry, but does the output "install" folder include "Lang" folder inside i386?

Because i could not get it down to 338 Mb. And it seems if i take out the "Lang" folder it would be just about right.

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This thing rocks. great gosh...

I'm trying to acomplish something simmilar, but... this is what i want.

a short introduction...

I have a 16 bit program (internally developed within my company) which takes care of the following (it is executed prior to installation of OS):



- Starts MS-DOS, connects to network share, initiates Mini WIN 3.X from network

( + custom WIN 16 bit app (written in VB4-16 bit as a better replacement for all

those legacy DOS batch input solutions you guys are struggling)

- Takes input from user (OS selection, machine info, domain, OU, type, network settings, machine roles, additional packages to install after OS installation and other personalised info...)

- Builds $OEM$ dir on C:\ drive dynamically with required drivers (net, video, scsi, raid, smartcard, sound and compaq Support tools)

- makes replacements on customized unattend.txt (which has an option of OEMfilesdir pointing to C:\$OEM$) and places it on C:\

- generates a configuration file (machine.ini) and places in c:\ which is used as a parameter file for firing installations either with cmdlines.txt or runoncegui options (let's just say a sort of Custom 'XPLODE' product that takes care of everything after OS installation.

- finally starts \\networkshare\OSDIR\I386\winnt.exe with dynamically build C:\unattend.txt with /s:\\networkshare\OSDIR\I386\ and continues installation with windows setup screen

It works great.

Windows 2000 server installation + packages install (90 minutes)

Windows 2003 server installation + packages install (120 minutes)

in the end i have a fully corporate standardized server installation


I would like to apply this gosh's trick as follows ( i think i can save another 10-20 minutes per install and i don't want to use solutions like ADS or DISK IMAGING):

Let's just say that the last step of my method (instead of initiating installation from network with winnt.exe /u:<my dynamically generated unattend file.txt> /s:\\networkshare\OSDIR\I386\ i do the following:)

Copy all files (which are previosly created with winnt32 /syspart install) from network \\networkshare\OSDIR\GOSHWAY\(C:\$WIN_NT$.~LS and C:\$WIN_NT$.~BT and some files on the root of C: like bootldr etc) to c:\ drive with my application (since they are still 8.3 files i can handle copying within my 16 bit application) and reboot the PC.

That means i skip first part of copying files with windows setup (which is slower than copying these mentioned dirs directly to C:\ drive) and let Windows do the rest.

and than build $OEM$ dir dynamically with dynamically winnt.sif and in the end reboot.

I would say it must work: (i could save 10-20 minutes per installations)

But..., what about the bootsector. How to make my C: drive behave like a drive which has already passed the first part of installation and made bootable. I miss a piece of a puzzle here. I need to prepare a c: disk with all these folders and files and make drive bootable (it should be 16 bit dos program)... I tried some of them but it doesn't work for me...

Does this make a sense...

Can anyone tell me if this is possible? I think the knowledge of bootsectors and MBR is here important (and i do mis that part)

Thanks a lot,


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  • 3 months later...

Ok, I have followed the steps, but must have missed something. I am just making a WinXP Pro/Win2K Pro CD right now, but would like to add other OSs later. The menu and WinXP work great. I have two problems that I hope someone can help me with.

1) Windows 2000 Pro gives me an error - "Setup cannot find the temporary installation files." I have searched the forums and google with no luck. I have double-checked my txtsetup.sif.

2) The size-reduction has worked well, but how in the world can I get more than two OS's on the same CD??? Do I need to use nLite? CDIMAGE does help, but with just these two the CD is pretty much full. I have no need for XP Home, but would like to have Server 2003, 2000 Server, and BartPE. My source CDs have been made with XPCREATE, so they are a little bigger than normal, even after using gosh's trick.


Gnarly Cavedweller

P.S. And I thought that I had too much other stuff to learn, so I wasn't going to get into this 'size-reduction' stuff...Oh, well.

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Quick nlite question...

I haven't tried using nlite yet. I've been using the CDIMAGE program to create my ISO images. I know there is a "-o" switch with CDIMAGE that tells it not to add a second copy of a file that appears more than once in the image, but rather to simply leave a pointer to the first file.

So for example, I can include a copy of my entire i386 directory so that in the final install, that directory would be copied to the hard drive, reducing the need for a CD again anytime updates are done. Normally, this would have made the CD image very large, but by using the -o switch, it reduces the size.

Anyhow.... does anyone know if nlite will do the same thing, or should I stick to using CDIMAGE if that's what I want to do?



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When you boot from cd, setupdd.sys is run (text mode setup).

Is this the file that shows the blue background when you 1st boot? If so does anyone know how i can change the text at the top that shows the OS name your installing and how to change the background to black? I opened the file using EDIT in DOS mode but didnt spot any of the text i was looking for.

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