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install from a usb drive without BIOS support and recover user registr

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3 replies to this topic

#1
djinnZ

djinnZ
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Hi, there are a solution to make a boot cdrom only to start the installer created from nlite from an usb keydrive?

The bios of my pc can not boot usb drives and I must update often the image (my accounting software will be updated every week) and I am try to build a custom installer to reuse the "document and settings" stored in another partition without reconfigure the user shares and so other.

Last question is how to remap drives (by example the D: will be Z:) before setup or if it is necessary in order to install documents and settings in another partition.

Excuse me in advice for the bad english if you find it poor and thanks for any suggestion.


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#2
jaclaz

jaclaz

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Let's try and separate the three questions:
1) Is it possible to boot from a USB stick if there is no BIOS support on the motherboard?

Short Answer:
YES. :)

Long Answer:
There are two possible approaches:
a. (easy if it works on your hardware) PLOP:
http://www.plop.at/
http://www.plop.at/en/bootmanager.html
http://www.plop.at/e...mngrusblog.html

b. XP Kansas City Shuffle:
http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=21242
guaranteed to work, but still experimental, not fully documented, needs some technical knowlwdge to be implemented

2) Is it possible to pre-assign a drive letter to a given partition?

Short Answer:
YES. :)

Long Answer:
Setting a drive letter for Windows Setup it is possible using mkmigrate.inf, or setupreg.hiv, read here:
http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=19663
http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=21682
Again, a bit technical.


3) Is it possible to change the default location for "Documents and Settings".

Short Answer:
YES. :)

Long Answer:
It's a setting in txtsetup.sif if I recall correctly :unsure:, that can be overridden with unattended text, search the board in the Unattended section.


But the general question is another one, from what I can get from your post you re-install Windows every week or so because your accounting software gets updated? :w00t:

This is - to say the least - peculiar. :blink:

Could you describe with more detail what you do (or think you have to do) and why you cannot simply install the update or restore a previously disk image?

In other words, maybe there is a simpler solution to solve your problem through a different approach.

jaclaz

Edited by jaclaz, 27 August 2008 - 06:25 AM.


#3
djinnZ

djinnZ
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  • Joined 26-August 08
Hi, thanks for the answer and the help.
I have tryed something with no results but with your links I have began to understand something.

There are two possible approaches:
a. (easy if it works on your hardware) PLOP:
b. XP Kansas City Shuffle:

PLOP not work with my laptop (mitac 8317) or I do something wrong (later I will better verify now can not try on another pc), but I am looking also at another solution based on grub4dos, kboot or similar (posix environments are more familiar than MS-windows for me, I have never think to serious work on it before, apply some registry hacks and so).

2)

thanks, the links have explained to me how to do.

Just explain to me: To start the installer I only need a NT4 environment with USB support?
I have seen something about the creation of a "ramdisk image" but nothing clear, what can be the sequence of commands to create it? Must use bartPE or not, by example?
I find the documentation confused...

3)

In fact I will choiche between create a complete new installation and reuse directly the previous users, "Documents and settings" and its registers if they exists and only erase and re-install the system and application. But I have seen than is not so easy.

But the general question is another one, from what I can get from your post you re-install Windows every week or so because your accounting software gets updated? :w00t:
This is - to say the least - peculiar. :blink:
Could you describe with more detail what you do (or think you have to do) and why you cannot simply install the update or restore a previously disk image?

No I will only update the installers on the disk every week but I hope to never use it, must be the last resort, if the backup will not work, or if the system disk will be substituted. The complete collectionn of the installers will take more than 4 GB. :D

Just to explain, I am a tax consultant (something similar) and must use some differenet crappy programs for accounting and to send some e-documents (obbligated by law) to the governement, all the softeare need to be installed with strange online registration procedures and are using unusual copy protection systems.
Every computer has different software installed because some programws will never work if one of another producer are installed.
They are made by not very competent programmers, I know, but there are no alternative, one of the "best" is a program to calculate differences and interests in salaries, there are only two producers (the other has no good salaries database and has more problems), as I have reported (before the release of the virtualization solutions) to the assistance than I cant work the answer was "buy another pc to install only our program, it will not cost too much" (yes and so I need the space to put a big rack storage of computer on my desktop... :realmad: I have answer).
Sometimes the simplest way is to reinstall a fresh copy if an update will lock the software and is painful to restore all the customizations (the lock of the usb device, remove the remote desktop, the messenger or my secretary will only chat and not work etc.).

In my experience all the local vendors and maintenance near me support totally inaffidable, incompetent or they will only try to stole money and put illegal software on the computers (this was veriefied and reported the last year in an official comunicate by Microsoft, is not only IMHO).
Some tipical examples: you send a pc with a regular licence of XP pro and office small business and they will restitute to you with a cracked xp home and a cracked office pro; or if you acclude the original installer it will be "lost", in fact reselled to another person, without licence; everytime is installed malware or virus on the repaired pc in order to have it back for another expensive manutention; substituted HDs are reselled, no problem if damaged, without erase; if you have any another OS it will be erased and signed as possible cause of damage; ifr you leave a computer without of the HD will be not repaired etc.).
My work is similar to the lawer, I must retain as secret any information from my customers, must be sure to not have any possible intrusion risk and obliviously will not be cheated by those idiots. You can think I am a paranoid but I have experimented too much problems in past years (at the time of my second PC the only way to have back the installers of the MS-DOS 6 at end was to call the police).

So I buy the components in another city (the only trusted seller I know only substitute and verify the hardware but never install any software or system, is its commercial choiche) or by internet and can mantain and repair alla by myself; but if something goes wrong in my absence?!
I will leave in the office a little cdrom and the key (or a little USB-HD) to have a starup menu with the choiches: fix boot manager, start disk repair, erase disk, restore backup and install systems.
So I can go on vacation (far from my country, without abylity to be contacted and more than one week long :thumbup ) without fears.

Sorry for the outburst, but I hope you understand.

Edited by djinnZ, 29 August 2008 - 05:54 AM.


#4
jaclaz

jaclaz

    The Finder

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  • Joined 23-July 04
  • OS:none specified
  • Country: Country Flag

Hi, thanks for the answer and the help.
I have tryed something with no results but with your links I have began to understand something.

No prob.

Just explain to me: To start the installer I only need a NT4 environment with USB support?
I have seen something about the creation of a "ramdisk image" but nothing clear, what can be the sequence of commands to create it? Must use bartPE or not, by example?
I find the documentation confused...


The good news is that there are a few reports that the semi-automated method based on "fake signature" or "XP Kansas City Shuffle" work allright, I think now it's time to begin thinkling about labeling it more "Beta" than "Alfa-Alfa", get the batch from cdob here:
http://www.911cd.net...o...c=21939&hl=
http://www.911cd.net...o...c=21965&hl=

RAMDISK booting is a completely different topic, it requires some Server2003 SP1 or R2 files (and thus a WHOLE Server2003 license according to MS licensing scheme) or the use of third party applications, much cheaper than a Server 2003 License ;) but I do not think it could be the "right" solution for your needs.
Anyway if you want to explore the matter, just ask and I'll give you some more links.

In fact I will choiche between create a complete new installation and reuse directly the previous users, "Documents and settings" and its registers if they exists and only erase and re-install the system and application. But I have seen than is not so easy.


Yes, it's a bit complex, and probably not worth the amount of work involved.


Just to explain, I am a tax consultant (something similar) and must use some differenet crappy programs for accounting and to send some e-documents (obbligated by law) to the governement, all the softeare need to be installed with strange online registration procedures and are using unusual copy protection systems.

[Italian]
Diciamo Commercialista/Consulente del Lavoro/Ufficio Paghe per capirci.
Buongiorno Ragioniere (o Dottore :unsure: )
[/italian]

Every computer has different software installed because some programws will never work if one of another producer are installed.
They are made by not very competent programmers, I know, but there are no alternative, one of the "best" is a program to calculate differences and interests in salaries, there are only two producers (the other has no good salaries database and has more problems), as I have reported (before the release of the virtualization solutions) to the assistance than I cant work the answer was "buy another pc to install only our program, it will not cost too much" (yes and so I need the space to put a big rack storage of computer on my desktop... :realmad: I have answer).
Sometimes the simplest way is to reinstall a fresh copy if an update will lock the software and is painful to restore all the customizations (the lock of the usb device, remove the remote desktop, the messenger or my secretary will only chat and not work etc.).

Yep, been there, done that.
EVERY single program of that kind is (POORLY) designed and the software house has the arrogance to ignore the fact that it should be able to live side by side to ANY other program or "protection".

In my experience all the local vendors and maintenance near me support totally inaffidable, incompetent or they will only try to stole money and put illegal software on the computers (this was veriefied and reported the last year in an official comunicate by Microsoft, is not only IMHO).
Some tipical examples: you send a pc with a regular licence of XP pro and office small business and they will restitute to you with a cracked xp home and a cracked office pro; or if you acclude the original installer it will be "lost", in fact reselled to another person, without licence; everytime is installed malware or virus on the repaired pc in order to have it back for another expensive manutention; substituted HDs are reselled, no problem if damaged, without erase; if you have any another OS it will be erased and signed as possible cause of damage; ifr you leave a computer without of the HD will be not repaired etc.).
My work is similar to the lawer, I must retain as secret any information from my customers, must be sure to not have any possible intrusion risk and obliviously will not be cheated by those idiots. You can think I am a paranoid but I have experimented too much problems in past years (at the time of my second PC the only way to have back the installers of the MS-DOS 6 at end was to call the police).

Not to demonize an entire category of professionals, but yes, I have seen myself that a number of them, expeciallly in country towns/villages, can be like that.

So I buy the components in another city (the only trusted seller I know only substitute and verify the hardware but never install any software or system, is its commercial choiche) or by internet and can mantain and repair alla by myself; but if something goes wrong in my absence?!

Also been there, done that.

So I can go on vacation (far from my country, without abylity to be contacted and more than one week long :thumbup ) without fears.

So, all the problems is to be able to get a week off the office and be able to sleep without worries, is it? ;)


Sorry for the outburst, but I hope you understand.

Yes, I feel for you, I perfectly understand your situation, not very unlike mine, and, if I may, you seem the first "Accountant" or "Consultant" I've ever met that is actually AWARE of the risks connected with loss or unauthorized distribution of "sensible" data.

I will leave in the office a little cdrom and the key (or a little USB-HD) to have a starup menu with the choiches: fix boot manager, start disk repair, erase disk, restore backup and install systems.

Yes, this can be a good solution, though, in a "professional" environment, I would also think about some forms of network based install/backup/imaging/restoring and using a Server or NAS for the actual data. :unsure:
Also, an option that could, at least partially, solve the problem of "multiple" computers could be that of multibooting the same PC with different installs, and/or making use or Virtual Machines (though the latter approach may turn out to be not doable because of hardware "protections" - USB, serial or whatever)

Cheers,

jaclaz




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