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 12First 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:
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.