ilko_t

How to install Windows from USB- WinSetupFromUSB with GUI

2,139 posts in this topic

ilko you are the best! :thumbup im redoing my source from cd on 0.1 now :)

in future if i need to do go deeper for unattended session, i will just need to have a winnt.sif & unattend.txt inside the i.386 right? or i could also use the beta and just have the txt file probably heh

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in future if i need to do go deeper for unattended session, i will just need to have a winnt.sif & unattend.txt inside the i.386 right? or i could also use the beta and just have the txt file probably heh

You need to have WINNT.SIF inside XpSource\I386 folder, that would be only file used as answer file.

Edited by ilko_t
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0.1 tested working :)

1 thing i like to ask though, when windows boot up, it goes into a F8 bootmenu that ask if you want to boot to windows or the usb recovery tools. is there a way to disable that and boot right into windows?

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Good, knowing who wrote it I am surprised that it worked ;)

As for the repair entry:

\DOCS\HOW-TOs.txt:

12. Program adds additional entry in BOOT.INI on the internal disk for USB repair, which is displayed during boot. Without it you cannot perform Windows repair installation from USB disk.

If this entry bothers you, right click on My Computer, select Properties-->Advanced-->Startup and Recovery group Settings and

either decrease "Time to display list of operating system" to 5-10 seconds, or press Edit, remove the line for USB repair and save the file.

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Well I tried it with XP SP 1 install files that were saved to the HD from the Install CD; they worked flawlessly. Great Work!!! :thumbup

I seem to have stumbled upon something after I had slipstreamed SPs 2 and 3 to the install files.

So here is what I have in my notes:

Well things did not go so well. I got an error saying that:

"Booting 'First part of Windows XP Professional setup'

Filesystem type is fat, partition type 0x0E

chainloader (hd0,0)/$WIN_NT$.~BT/SETUPLDR.BIN

Error 15: File not found.

Press any key to continue..." (BTW: where is the <any> key anyway?
:P
)

Upon investigation, I found that indeed setupldr.bin was not in the $WIN_NT$.~BT directory and that it was in the $WIN_NT$.~LS/I386 directory. So hmm, I guess no cookie tonite. Awe, bummer! I have to report this and look for a response in the morning. (Edited for grammatical errors.)

So anyways not sure where to go from here, but I thought you should know. Great work though! REALLY!!!

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

Okay, I found out why this didn't work. Leave it to me to find this one (of all the things!). WinSetupFromUSB 0.1 doesn't like commas any where in the path name. Cause when I took the commas out of the path name and recreated the install on the USB with the WinSetupFromUSB 0.1 program, everything was there in the $WIN_NT$.~BT. So the moral of this story - no commas is a good commas... LOL! (At least when it comes to folder names AND WinSetupFromUSB 0.1.) :wacko:

Boy ilko_t, aren't you glad I found this one? We would be going around at this for days... LOL!

Edited by Macster
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Okay, I found out why this didn't work. Leave it to me to find this one (of all the things!). WinSetupFromUSB 0.1 doesn't like commas any where in the path name. Cause when I took the commas out of the path name and recreated the install on the USB with the WinSetupFromUSB 0.1 program, everything was there in the $WIN_NT$.~BT. So the moral of this story - no commas is a good commas... LOL! (At least when it comes to folder names AND WinSetupFromUSB 0.1.) :wacko:

Good to know. :)

However, the good ol' rule of thumb says to ALWAYS use 8.3 DOS compatible names (and Paths):

http://www.ss64.com/nt/syntax-filenames.html

and comma is one of the NO-NO's. ;)

8.3 format filenames

These can have between 1 and 8 characters in the file name. Short file names have the 8.3 format and are compatible with MS-DOS and other legacy operating systems.

The name must start with a letter or a number and can contain any characters except the following:

/ \ : * ? " [ ] | = , . ; (space)

jaclaz

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@jaclaz

Sorry, I thought I was dealing with a Windows program that deals with MS Windows naming conventions especially when it is reading from the source side of things - not DOS.

Thanks,

Craig

mac4020@msn.com

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Fixed, just tested it using "H:\NLite, $ # . new юя" as source directory. Will be in 0.2, for now please don't use source paths with comma in the name. Actually only the commas were the problem, spaces and other characters should be fine, it was failing in the parse DOSNET.INF procedure, where commas are used as delimiters.

[FloppyFiles.3]
d1,disk1,disk104
d1,ntdll.dll,system32\ntdll.dll

Macster, you get the cookie :)

What Jaclaz probably meant was if you want to stay on the safe side, you'd better stick with 8.3 DOS compatible names (especially with AutoIt scripts, written in someone's spare time as a hobby and for free ;) ).

Thanks for reporting.

Edited by ilko_t
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@ilko_t and Jaclaz

Oh, Okay... I meant no disrespect. I just thought that we was so over the 8.3 format that it never occured to me that it was still being inforced. Granted a lot of these scripts are linux baised, but I would have thought that what you was developing (which was an MS Windows Application) would take into account for the MS Windows naming convention that is all. Mainly an assumption on my part, so it became a learning thing for me. I am still fairly new with all this install stuff. If it weren't for the fact that MS is discontinuing support with XP, I wouldn't be doing this at all. And I choose to use my laptop as the environment to perform all of this on, because it would provide the best environment for me to learn the complexities of putting an unattended install together. I have 7 install stages setup for myself and each one creates a new install with more stuff than it had before. (And right now I just completed the stage 2 of the 7 stages that are to be completed.) Which is where the commas in question came into play. I kind of figured that it had to do with some kind of parse thing, considering commas are used generally as separators (from my software developement days). Which is why I made a note of it in my notes of what not to do. However, thanks for the cookie :) and I hope there is no hard feelings. I am looking forward to the 0.2 when it is ready to be realised. And again GREAT work with this current version!

Thanks again,

Craig

mac4020@msn.com

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Macster, there can't be any hard feeling in the cookie trade ;)

It was an issue, not showed up in my tests as I never use special characters in folder/file names since there are still number of programs which may give you headaches if you use them. Or just a habit from the old days.

Here is 0.1 with this issue fixed, just replace the exe file you have.

http://www.datafilehost.com/download-4a80688c.html

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@jaclaz

Sorry, I thought I was dealing with a Windows program that deals with MS Windows naming conventions especially when it is reading from the source side of things - not DOS.

No prob. :)

What Jaclaz probably meant was if you want to stay on the safe side, you'd better stick with 8.3 DOS compatible names (especially with AutoIt scripts, written in someone's spare time as a hobby and for free ;) ).

Yep :), "good ol' rule of thumb" is intended just as "common sense advice", I do agree that newish, modern apps should be able to deal with anything, but the point is that current modern BATCH language (which is not DOS), which I love and use, still has problems dealing with "names-with-spaces" and with some special characters.

No problem whatsoever with long filenames, though.

So what I am "asking" or "suggesting" is just to avoid 14 special characters out of around 223 (255-32) among which you can choose, thus I am attempting to "limit your freedom" but only in a small percentage, after all, 6.28%, which leaves people "free" for 93.72%. ;)

But apart from this particular problem, that ilko promptly fixed, using those special characters is something that will likely "break" a lot of software, and definitely any script, so it is in my view not "wise" to use them, and particularly when running a "new" software for the first time.

Cheers,

jaclaz

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Vers. 0.1.1 uploaded, please refer to first post for list of changes and download links.

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Hi all,

First of all - thanks for all the great work !

I already succesfully used USB_MultiBoot_10, however had to use a hacked ntdetect.com, since I have an older desktop PC and was getting STOP 7B BSOD while setup was starting Windows (had no problems with laptop)... Now I want to try this method (WinSetupFromUSB), since I want to use separate WinXP sources for desktop and laptop respectively.

The problem I had with WinSetupFromUSB was that after install and boot from USB key, I'd get a menu with entries "find /menu.lst" and the like; if I tried to go to grub command prompt, running "root (hd" and TAB - lists hd0, hd1; however executing "root (hd0,0)" results with - "Error 17: Cannot mount selected partition". So, apparently a problem with something even before ntdetect.com runs.

By speculation, what I did was just to replace the grldr generated by WinSetupFromUSB 0.1.1, with the one included with USB_MultiBoot_10; and it worked for me - additionally replacing ntdetect.com with the hacked one allowed setup to finish starting Windows (haven't tried running a complete setup yet).

I am however, not sure whether this is the right thing to do - so any comments would be welcome..

Thanks... and Cheers ! :w00t:

Edited by junksmi
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Thanks for the feedback :)

It's grub4dos issue, please get the latest possible from here and replace only grldr in USB disk root as you did before.

Let me know if it worked and what version you tried.

http://nufans.net/grub4dos/

If the latest doesn't work, I guess grub4dos developers will be interested in details about your motherboard/BIOS:

http://www.boot-land.net/forums/index.php?showforum=66

Edited by ilko_t
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Hi. Firstly, thank you for finally making a GUI! I think a lot of people have been waiting a long time for this. I can’t understand why M$ haven’t done this yet. It just seems so obvious it is something we need. No money in it for M$ I suppose.

I’ve done a few installs recently and been experimenting with this program (v 0.1.1) as an alternative to Multiboot (credit to the authors for their ground breaking work, but still a little too “heavy” for my lazy self).

I have a few things to feedback but I must first mention the most serious one:

I found this one out the hard way. The affected software is 32 bit XP-PRO SP3.

Quote from WinSetupFromUSB README.TXT

“!!!If your source is NOT Windows XP2 SP2, some of the compressed files in ~LS folder will be deleted during the first part(Text mode). To make another install from this disk you have to copy the missing files, use the program for this purpose and follow the prompts when it finds existing setup folders.!!!”

Guys this is irresponsible. We are talking about a point and click program here. As a “power user” I can look after myself but what about the average user who will use this program? Those people will go ahead and complete their first successful install. Not realising their files were “spent” they may attempt to install again using the same USB. They happily format their drive knowing it “worked perfectly” last time, then they get the message “Can’t find install files on USB”!!! There is no apparent explanation for this error and the user has no idea what is going on unless they find the Readme (which was probably on the formatted drive).

Although it is a “free program and there are no warranties, use at own risk” etc etc. You really should reconsider releasing the program with such a serious limitation. As it is, the costs far exceed the benefits – re-preparing the USB (for 20 min) before each install is simply not practical. Some user is going to get badly hurt. Your reputations are on the line here. There has been a lot of good work done, it would be a shame to undo that. At the very least you should provide a large warning that the prepared USB will be GOOD FOR ONE INSTALL ONLY.

I used the re-sync option. It recopied 6880 files out of original 7017. It takes 19 minutes to copy 450MB (NTFS) to my USB stick. So the re-sync option saved a few seconds. Not complaining about that but it introduced several errors later on in the install. Again the cost benefit is not there – the few seconds saved does not justify the risk of a corrupted install – much safer to do a completely new USB preparation. More on that later, first the rest of my bug report starting back at the beginning…

INSTALLATION

WinSetupfromUSB default location is c:\ C’mon guys!!! Not cool! Actually I think I know why this was necessary. I chose to install to C:\Program Files\WinSetupFromUSB\ Every time I prepare the USB (hitting GO), the program writes a small file called “Program” in C:\. In this file is some setup info and contains...

[strings]

;Handy macro substitutions non-localizable

REG_SZ = 0x00000000

etc.

When windows starts a dialogue box pops up saying there is a file called “C:\Program” which could cause certain applications to not function correctly. It suggests renaming the file to Program1.

USING THE PROGRAM

It would be good if the program remembered the last directory where you keep your source files.

INSTALL USING USB

During boot, the first menu screen only has one option listed “Windows XP/2000/2003 Setup – First and Second Parts. Do we really need an option screen that gives us only one option? I realise there might be some advanced features (press “e” or “b” etc) at this point but isn’t it aimed at the point and click user?

After re-sync, on the second menu, option 2 was repeated “Second part of XP + Start windows for first time.”

Also after re-sync $OEM$\cmdlines.txt was not run.

Lastly, this feature always perplexed me with Multiboot as well. Why is there a need to add an extra line to boot.ini? The user has to manually edit this out every time. Is there some limitation with the technology so the install won’t work otherwise? Is the point and click user really meant to edit boot.ini?

Please don’t take these as criticisms. I greatly appreciate all the time and effort that people give so generously. I know that USB install is extremely complicated and that some of the “bugs” I mentioned are due to limitations in the technology (and no fault of the authors).

There are many of us out there who look after every computer in our house plus all our friends and relative’s computers. I’ve been waiting a long time for the price of 1+ GB USB sticks to come down in price. That time is now. USB installs are going to be mainstream. I hope you guys will be ready. :D

-QED

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