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XP for Legacy PC's

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    MSFN Expert

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I have a friend who had no need for XP for Legacy PCs, but had Software Assurance, so he got it and showed it to me. I don't have much use for it as I use Win2k pretty extensively, but I did notice some odd things about it. Can anyone tell me the why's and how's?

1. The files in \I386\system32 all appear to be Windows 2003 Server, not XP. Yet when fully installed, the OS is XP for Legacy. Obviously what's happening is a PE environment is deploying an image (see below) but the basis for the PE is 2003 Server. Why?

The PE deploys \Setup\WIM\WinFLP.wim. Questions:

2. it uses an obsolete version of imaging software called XIMAGE.EXE. Vista uses IMAGEX.EXE. Why not use the same imaging software as Vista?

To see the contents of the WinFLP.wim we must first run XIMAGE /INFO on it. It returns XML results with 12 "volumes". Knowing we have 12 volumes we must create 12 directories, one for each volume. The contents of WinFLP.wim can now be extracted (here's the one that's probably going to get some Googlers to this board). Here is how to extract the contents of this WIM. Save the following as a BAT file:
ximage /apply d:\WinFLP.wim d:\1 1ximage /apply d:\WinFLP.wim d:\2 2ximage /apply d:\WinFLP.wim d:\3 3ximage /apply d:\WinFLP.wim d:\4 4ximage /apply d:\WinFLP.wim d:\5 5ximage /apply d:\WinFLP.wim d:\6 6ximage /apply d:\WinFLP.wim d:\7 7ximage /apply d:\WinFLP.wim d:\8 8ximage /apply d:\WinFLP.wim d:\9 9ximage /apply d:\WinFLP.wim d:\10 10ximage /apply d:\WinFLP.wim d:\11 11ximage /apply d:\WinFLP.wim d:\12 12
First of course you have to make directories 1 through 12. I leave the MD part of the batch file to the user. Anyway, when running, three directories are created:
Program Files
Documents and Settings

In each of the 12 directories. If you open them you will see that the creators of WinFLP.wim have split the files that go into these three directories into 12 "volumes," although it's actually not necessary. You could, if you wanted, execute the BAT file above into just ONE directory, and all 12 volumes would fill the three directories.

3. Why break the files that go into the three directories into 12 separate volumes? What's the sense, when we're working with only one WIM file anyway?

My next theory is that to edit the contents, you have to make your changes such as manually adding SP3 for Legacy PC's, and use XIMAGE /CAPTURE on each directory, replicating their XML volume tags exactly, and then XIMAGE /APPEND to slap all 12 together into the one. I don't know if the install will still work if you simply run XIMAGE on one single directory with all 12 "volumes" inside.

4. Why the obfuscation?

5. Why, at all? The primary volume uses over one gig. nLite or Windows 2000 pruned somewhat could easily rival this OS in functionality.

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    The Finder

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As always, interesting questions. :)

I have an intelligent :unsure: reply for most of them, but I am afraid it would involve speaking of some chaps at MS in such terms that may get me banned, so, sorry, but no answers. ;)

To help our googlers friends, I all add a few keywords:

and a link to a seemingly unrelated thread:

and, not really news, but SP3 is out for Winflp also:




    MSFN Expert

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I just got some reliable info about this matter, and the one key thing that I want to relate is that trying to extract the contents of WinFLP.WIM, making changes, and re-imaging it is apparently something most mortals aren't going to have the patience for, because due to limitations of the image creation software, you have to concatenate 12 volumes. You cannot make changes and create a single image.
(Trivia: for those asking "what happens if you try?" Well, I did. All I did was put everything in one image instead of 12 concatenated volumes, I didn't even change any files, and the installation got to the title screen and just kept rebooting again and again and again...)
Bottom line: this is interesting from an academic standpoint but I understand why my friend Gary told me "dude, don't even bother." :lol:
Verdict: nLite and XP are a better combination than XP for Legacy PC's and your valuable time!



    Gustatus similis pullus

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LOL - good questions though. However, note that if someone is thinking of using these in a corporate environment (for reasons that only they could explain), using nLite would be out of the question (the no corporate use in the EULA). However, for a stripped-down home machine, obviously your way makes much more sense. Besides, technically WinFLP was meant as more of a dumb terminal for connecting to TS boxes rather than a "real" OS anyway.
MCTS Windows Internals, MCITP Server 2008 EA, MCTS MDT/BDD, MCSE/MCSA Server 2003, Server 2012, Windows 8
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