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profiles directory parameter is absent in the answer file

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14 replies to this topic

#1
zomos

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Why nLite doesn't use the profiles directory parameter in the answer file? Thanks in advance.


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#2
TranceEnergy

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It doesnt exist / no support for it? The changing of profiles directory is only an nlite feat?

#3
johnhc

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zomos,
What is

profiles directory parameter

Thanks, John.

#4
Ponch

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The answer file being an output of nLite, I can't see how nLite should use it. In case you have an answer file from previous unattended installation, it's rewritten and you have to use the appropriate options again.

#5
zomos

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Dear Experts,


The nLite v1.4.9.1 has an entry named "Profiles path" in the Options Menu/General Tab/Folders Branch.
The "Profiles path" entry defines the name and location of the so called "Documents and Settings" directory, sometimes also called "User Profiles" or "Profiles Directory".

I expected that changes made to this entry will appear in the WINNT.SIF file, as illustrated below:

WINNT.SIF
[GuiUnattended]
ProfilesDir = D:\ProfilesPath

Unfortunately nLite elects to change the "Profiles path" in a different manner, and I am asking why did the nLite authors chose to use an UNDOCUMENTED way of changing the "Profiles path" rather then taking advantage of the documented "ProfilesDir" parameter in the WINNT.SIF answer file ?

Regards,
Zomos


P.S.
I think that to accomplish its feat, nLite modifies the file HIVESFT.INF, but I am only moderately interested WHERE nLite sets the "Profiles path". I am more interested: why not in WINNT.SIF ?

Edited by zomos, 13 November 2008 - 06:29 AM.


#6
mongo66

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Only nuhi can answer your question. I wouldn't worry about it though... If you want to change unattended settings, just edit winnt.sif manually.

#7
zomos

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That's exactly my point!

Editing WINNT.SIF will not accomplish anything because the "Profiles path" IS NOT defined in winnt.sif !!! Hence my original question: WHY isn't it ?
Editing $WIN_NT$.~BT\WINNT.SIF after the WINNT32.EXE copies it to a hard drive in some kind of WinPE, would be a good solution because I can write to files in the $WIN_NT$.~BT hard drive directory.
This would allow me to edit the "Profiles path" at setup-time each time I use this nLited CD to install Windows XP. Right now I have to burn a separate CD for each different "Profiles Path". Ridiculous !

If you want to change unattended settings, just edit winnt.sif manually.

I cannot edit the HIVESFT.INF either, because the Text Mode Windows Installer ($WIN_NT$.~BT/BOOTSECT.DAT) reads this file from a CD which is Read Only :angry:
I do not want to copy all of my nLited source installation files to the hard drive, just so I can modify one *.inf file, because I'm trying to save space.

How do I get attention of this nuhi guru ?


Regards,
Zomos

#8
johnhc

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zomos,
You can send nuhi an e-mail (see his web site) and/or a PM. I did both some time ago about a problem I found and never received an answer.
Good luck, John.

#9
mongo66

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As I understand it, you use nlite to create AND burn the ISO image too -- is that correct?

If so, the next time you run nlite, turn off create ISO and/or burn to cd option(s). You'll be able to make the necessary changes. Then use cdimage to create the ISO and burn it using your favorite cd-burning program. This is how I do it, btw.

How do I get attention of this nuhi guru ?

I don't know, but he usually visits the forum on a daily basis.

#10
zomos

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Although the info below in not germane to answering my original question. I'd like to share my goal with you:

GOAL: Install nLited Windows XP to the drive letters and paths of MY CHOICE.


Here is how I do it:
1) I make a nLited Windows XP +SP3 ISO image.
2) To this ISO, I add an additional directory with WinBuilder's NativeEx Preinstalation Environmet (PE) - (it's a mini Windows XP installation that boots from a CD only)
3) I edit the SETUPLDR.BIN of NativeEx PE so it can boot from this additional directory mentioned in pt.2
4) I replace the Boot Sector in the ISO image with my own Custom Boot Sector that allows me to boot from different directories on the CD (by holding down the CTRL key)
5) I burn the altered ISO image to a CD, and I boot from it. (I hold down the CTRL key to boot into NativeEx PE)
6) I partition and assign MY drive letters using the MMC/Disk Management in NativeEx PE.
7) I execute WINNT32.EXE with command line options from NativeEx PE, using the attached batch file InstallXP.bat.
8) WINNT32.EXE creates the directory $WIN_NT$.~BT on my hard drive and copies some preliminary Text Mode setup files to it and sets up the hard drive to boot from $WIN_NT$.~BT/BOOTSECT.DAT.
9) The batch file also generates the file $WIN_NT$.~BT\MIGRATE.INF based on the drive letter assignments mentioned in pt.6 (see the attached MakeMigrateInf.exe file that does this :rolleyes: )
10) I reboot the computer allowing the Microsoft's Text Mode Installer to boot from the hard drive (exactly from $WIN_NT$.~BT/BOOTSECT.DAT ).
11) The Text Mode Installer uses the drive letter assignments I made in pt.6 because they are stored in the MIGRATE.INF file on the hard drive in the $WIN_NT$.~BT directory

Between pt.9 and pt.10, I would like to be able to define an arbitrary "Profiles Path"without burning a new CD, but I cannot do it by editing the WINNT.SIF in the $WIN_NT$.~BT directory :angry:

See the attached files mentioned above....

Attached Files



#11
zomos

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No, it is not only an nLite feature.
Changing the "Profiles path" has been available since Windows NT.
Search the following Microsoft document for "ProfilesDir"
HTTP://Changing Profiles Path

It doesnt exist / no support for it? The changing of profiles directory is only an nlite feat?



#12
zomos

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Hello?


Anybody out there with an answer to the ProfilesDir problem ?

Should I start making a utility for migrating nLite settings from HIVESFT.INF to WINNT.SIF and TXTSETUP.SIF files ?

#13
TranceEnergy

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I like your attitude, if you can do this, it sure would be nice. I do like the idea of having "profiles" dir on another partition, but to do the process manually is more of pain in the back then its worth it for me. Especially more so since i am always reinstalling OS on system, sometimes several times a day.

Edited by TranceEnergy, 18 November 2008 - 08:54 PM.


#14
zomos

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Trance,

I already did it.
It works well if I migrate nLite settings from HIVESFT.INF to WINNT.SIF and TXTSETUP.SIF files.

It just bothers me that I have to make a utility to correct nLite's output, but I will make it if nLite's author does not give me a good reason why he keeps these vital settings in HIVESFT.INF instead of the documented ProfilesDir, etc. in WINNT.SIF.

#15
os2fan2

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Look for my 'HIVEFIX' thing on MSFN for a solution for this. You can not only change the profile directory, but the directories for "All Users" and "Default User". These are changed to agree with Windows Vista: ie \users\public and \users\default. I also change many of the folders as well, eg %userprofile%\personal, etc.

Works under both 2K and XP!.




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