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Unattended Secret: Reducing Size Of Source


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you can put all file and folder in




and delete this files







C:\$WIN_NT$.~LS\i386\winnt.sif "replace this one with ur own file"

and replace the orignal folder "i386" with this one and burn it without editing boot.bin and setupldr.bin



copy BOOTFIX.bin from old "i386" to the new one ( to avoid setup loop )

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This method sounds very good! Does it mean though that it will only work on the one machine? If not then can you force it to take the Hotfixes and DX so on into the setup? (no more .cmd or slow svcpak)

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anyone know why i only get one folder and that one is $WIN_NT$.~BT i dont get the other one?

I tried this with the same result.

When i use 'winnt' unter DOS, the 2nd folder is created.

No explanation to this behavior...

If you are using the /unattend:c:\unattend.txt switch, cut your unattend.txt down to just the basics needed in it for now.

I have a fairly large unattend and it didn't like it

Nice Post, gosh

I have no checking to base this on but I do believe that this method cuts a couple of mb more than just manually deleteing the files, at least the finished iso from this and my other clean ISO are different in size but I can't be sure I didn't add something to the previous one or do something different (theres been so many)

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Like i said, this is just like if you did a clean install. You can slipstream anything you want, you can use an $OEM$ folder, anything you like. It'll work on any computer, etc.


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ist's easier to save the winnt.sif to floppy.

if no floppy insert, you can load recovery console.....

the setup without and with your minimazing windows xp cd will lunch the winnt.sif from floppy. if on cd winnt.sif exists it will be ignored.


make shure that boot from floppy disabled

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What's easy is subjective. To you, using outdated floppies might be fine. For me, i like having everything on 1 cd. I avoid floppies like the plague. Floppies always seem to go bad on me. Besides, this site isn't for regular installs. If you just wanted to do a standard install, support.microsoft.com would be the site to use.


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Btw,if I would like to use seperate $OEM$ dir for each wxp install in one cd,how to do that?Where to put $OEM$ dirs?

My CD structure like this


+----[$OEM2$] -> point to VOL2

+----[$OEM3$] -> point to VOL3

+----[VOL1] ->Regular Install

+----[VOL2] ->Full Unattended

+----[VOL3] ->Unattended,but only hotfixes installed


Counld "OemFilesPath=" achieve that?Should the path relative to the %systemdrive% or cdrom?

Following is my winnt.sif in VOL2


and VOL3


But at the end of dos setup,setup didnt copy all of the $OEM2$ or $OEM3$ to my harddisk.What's wrong?

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Here's the directory of my last cd:

Directory of G:\

08/23/2001  02:00 AM    <DIR>          CORPFILES

08/23/2001  02:00 AM    <DIR>          DOCS

08/23/2001  02:00 AM    <DIR>          HOM1

08/23/2001  02:00 AM    <DIR>          HOM2

08/23/2001  02:00 AM    <DIR>          HOM3

08/23/2001  02:00 AM    <DIR>          TOOLS

08/23/2001  02:00 AM    <DIR>          VOL1

08/23/2001  02:00 AM    <DIR>          VOL2

08/23/2001  02:00 AM    <DIR>          VOL3

08/23/2001  02:00 AM    <DIR>          WINXPPRO

08/23/2001  02:00 AM    <DIR>          WNP2

08/23/2001  02:00 AM    <DIR>          WNPE

08/23/2001  02:00 AM    <DIR>          XPHOME

08/23/2001  02:00 AM            32,768 AUTORUN.EXE

08/23/2001  02:00 AM            25,214 AUTORUN.ICO

08/23/2001  02:00 AM                59 AUTORUN.INF

08/23/2001  02:00 AM             1,242 DEFAULT.HTM

08/23/2001  02:00 AM               512 DELOAD.BIN

08/23/2001  02:00 AM           124,144 DELPART.EXE

08/23/2001  02:00 AM         1,474,560 DISKEDIT.IMA

08/23/2001  02:00 AM            12,288 DISKEM1X.BIN

08/23/2001  02:00 AM             2,980 DISKEMU.CMD

08/23/2001  02:00 AM         1,474,560 DRVIMG.IMA

08/23/2001  02:00 AM            11,966 EULA.TXT

08/23/2001  02:00 AM         1,024,016 GHOST.EXE

08/23/2001  02:00 AM         1,474,560 GHST2003.IMA

08/23/2001  02:00 AM             2,048 HOM1.DAT

08/23/2001  02:00 AM             2,048 HOM2.DAT

08/23/2001  02:00 AM             2,048 HOM3.DAT

08/23/2001  02:00 AM             2,048 LOADER.BIN

08/23/2001  02:00 AM         1,474,560 MEMTEST.IMG

08/23/2001  02:00 AM         2,949,120 NTFS.IMG

08/23/2001  02:00 AM         2,949,120 PARTMGR8.IMA

08/23/2001  02:00 AM         1,474,560 PASS.BIN

08/23/2001  02:00 AM         2,949,120 PM7.IMG

08/23/2001  02:00 AM         1,474,560 PROOF.IMA

08/23/2001  02:00 AM               112 SERIALS.TXT

08/23/2001  02:00 AM            11,387 SPNOTES.HTM

08/23/2001  02:00 AM             2,048 VOL1.DAT

08/23/2001  02:00 AM             2,048 VOL2.DAT

08/23/2001  02:00 AM             2,048 VOL3.DAT

08/23/2001  02:00 AM                10 WIN51

08/23/2001  02:00 AM                10 WIN51IC

08/23/2001  02:00 AM                 2 WIN51IC.SP1

08/23/2001  02:00 AM                10 WIN51IP

08/23/2001  02:00 AM                 2 WIN51IP.SP1

08/23/2001  02:00 AM         1,474,560 WIN95.IMA

08/23/2001  02:00 AM         1,474,560 WIN98.IMA

08/23/2001  02:00 AM               167 WINBOM.INI

08/23/2001  02:00 AM         1,474,560 WINME.IMA

08/23/2001  02:00 AM         1,474,560 WIPE.IMA

08/23/2001  02:00 AM             2,048 WNP2.DAT

08/23/2001  02:00 AM             2,048 WNPE.DAT

              40 File(s)     24,858,281 bytes

              13 Dir(s)               0 bytes free

This was it's boot menu:
print ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

print                           XPSP1 2in1 3.8 (05/08/2003)

print                                     by gosh

print ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

print F1=Help

print                 0)   WINXP PRO Volume License SP1 Regular

print                 1)   WINXP PRO Volume License SP1 Unattended

print                 2)   WINXP PRO Volume License SP1 OEMPreinstall

print                 3)   WINXP HOME SP1 Regular

print                 4)   WINXP HOME SP1 Unattended

print                 5)   WINXP HOME SP1 OEMPreinstall

print                 6)   Windows PE SP1

print                 7)   Windows PE SP1 /inram


print                 a)   Windows 95b Bootdisk

print                 :)   Windows 98 Bootdisk

print                 c)   Windows ME Bootdisk


print                 x)   More Options...

print                 q)   Quit to command prompt

print                 r)   Reboot

print                 Esc) Boot first harddisk

As you can see, it has no i386 folder. For a CD based install, the $OEM$ folder needs to be parallel to the i386 folder. In most cd's this will be the root of the cd. But as you see it's possible to put the $OEM$ folder in a sub folder.

Even though there are 3 options for XP home and XP Pro, i only have 2 $OEM$ folders. I get around your problem by doing this:

My $OEM$ folder basically has 3 functions:

1 - Installs XP Power tools using %windir%\Pwrtoys\pwrtoy.bat

2 - Installs registry hacks using %windir%\Reg\reg.bat

3 - Installs software using %windir%\apps.bat

VOL1 just does a regular install so it doesn't have a winnt.sif file.

VOL2 does an unattended install. So it's unattend file has OEMPreinstall=No, and it has no GuiRunOnce section.

VOL3 does an OEMPreinstall. So it's unattend file has OEMPreinstall=Yes, and the guirunonce section has this:




So here's what happens: If i do a regular install, the $OEM$ folder might be copied to the hard drive, but it's not used so when setup is done it'll be deleted. If i do an unattended install, the $OEM$ folder might be copied to cd, but once again it's deleted when setup is done. If i do an OEMPreinstall, the $OEM$ folder is copied to the hard drive and used.

The power of my method is it gives me great flexibility. For example, let's say i wanted to do an unattended install of XP, but not do any registry hacks. All i would have to do is remove Command1 from GuiRunOnce. Now power toys and software are installed, but no registry hacks. Another example is you could install all your hotfixes in a batch file, let's call it hotfix.bat. In one install you could process hotfix.bat under GuiRunOnce, in another install you could leave hotfix.bat from GuiRunOnce. This is why i don't understand why some people here put everything into 1 big batch file, you're limiting yourself. Keep everything seperated to allow flexibility.

The only reason i have 2 $OEM$ folders is because of the differences between XP Home and XP Pro. if i wanted to make only an XP Pro cd, i would only need 1 $OEM$ folder.

To sum up, the $OEM$ folder doesn't matter, only your unattend file. I'm sure this is very confuzing, but it took me a very long time to perfect this method. Don't expect to understand everything at once.


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In the first 2 parts of my 'guide' to reducing the xp source, i kinda skipped over some stuff. Let me go back and fill in the empty pieces.

Let's look at the boot folder. In my first post it was called BOOT, in my second post we renamed it to VOL1, and VOL2. What exactly is this folder's purpose?

The BOOT folders purpose, as the name suggests, is to boot the computer. We made the folder by running winnt32.exe, but there's another way to make it. Hopefully someone savvy enough noticed that the BOOT folder is exactly the same as the 6 xp floppy disks extracted. That's why the BOOT folder has those files called disk101,disk102,disk103, etc. It's the identification files for the XP boot disks. When you run winnt32.exe, it copies these fake identification files to 'fool' xp into thinking you've put in all 6 xp boot disks.

One website makes the BOOT folder by using xp boot disks, not winnt32.exe. See this site under the section 'Extracting the Boot Images to the correct folders'. In his site he calls the BOOT folder ROOT. Different name, same concept.

Since the computer is booted from the BOOT folder, you can add stuff in this folder to use during cd boot. For example, in my cd i put expand.exe, chkdsk.exe, autofmt.exe in the BOOT folder, so when i use recovery console it won't ask me where these programs are. Another thing you can add is the server 2003 chkreg.exe file download it here. It allows you to repair the xp/server 2003 registry.


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I probably forgot something but...

I made a CD following your decription and at the reboot I select

nr 2 for my unattended install...

It says something on the screen like "disk.... no emulation.... NTLDR missing"

Then I get a Windows boot menu where Setup is default and a delaytime

of 3-4 seconds... then it halts complaining about a missing hal.dll

Any ideas ?


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make sure diskemu.cmd has the correct name (VOL2.DAT). Make sure VOL2.DAT is pointint to VOL2. Make sure you hexed setupldr.bin in the VOL2 folder and changed i386 to VOL2 4 times. Make sure everything is in UPPERCASE (case matters). Read my guide again to make sure you did everything step by step.


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know still no luck here :)

Same results here have you got it workin' yet Dave ?

(I also am getting only 1 folder: $WIN_NT$.~BT)

I started from GUI WinXP in VMware: d:\i386\winnt32 /noreboot followed the screens:

-new installation (advanced)

-put in the key

-choose language

-skip update files


only $WIN_NT$.~BT is created with 4.8 Megs of data

where did I go wrong?

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I think I made it work now...

In the screen where you choose the language there's a button: Advanced Options

I selected (it wasn't by default) "copy all installation files from the Setup CD"

tadaa and there is the folder $WIN_NT$.~LS next to the $WIN_NT$.~BT

still have a question about the last screen is het better to say yes to get the updates or will that be unnecesarry since the unattende part later on for the hotfixes will cover that?

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