Jump to content

Welcome to MSFN Forum
Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more. This message will be removed once you have signed in.
Login to Account Create an Account


Photo

XPCREATE Project

- - - - -

  • This topic is locked This topic is locked
844 replies to this topic

#1
GreenMachine

GreenMachine

    ineXPlicable

  • Developers
  • 3,062 posts
When I started my XPCREATE "Project" three months ago, my objective was to simply Slipstream as many hotfixes as I could into an XP Distribution CD. My development required frequent testing, thus CD/ISO creation, so I included the related tasks of creating a complete Distribution CD. Though Slipstreaming remains a primary concern of XPCREATE, it is far from the only functionality offered to the user. By simply dragging and dropping files into the proper directories, and running XPCREATE, the user can create an up-to-date XP Distribution CD. NO file editing on the userís part is required.

For more "Advanced" users, XPCREATE leaves many "hooks" into various stages of XP setup, and can be customized to install applications, drivers and data of your choice. For those requiring "Total Control", XPCREATE can be run in slipstream only mode, which will only slipstream the service pack and hotfixes/updates, and create the SVCPACK.INF file and directory.

XPCREATE performs the following tasks:

1) Copies XP files from source, either CD or HDD.
2) Extracts boot image from CD or copies boot image from file, depending on source type.
3) Integrate the Service Packs.
4) Integrate the Hotfixes.
5) Updates configuration and setup files with user supplied installation files.
6) Repackages all the components.
7) Creates an ISO image.
8) Burns the ISO image to CD.

For those of you familiar with previous versions, this update addresses some issues or requests that have been brought up, most importantly, copying files from HDD as opposed to CD. Additionally, Type II hotfixes are once again slipstreamed, MDAC Update is slipstreamed (thanks RaveRod), WMP is repackaged (thanks Miso) and there is an option to merge two versions of MSJavaVM for a switchless, silent installation (thanks baliktad).

For more information, and download, please visit the XPCREATE Homepage: http://greenmachine....g.com/XPCREATE/.

XPCREATE has run successfully many times before posting. The documentation, on the other hand, is a different matter Ö

Please report any errors / successes / requests / opinions here.


How to remove advertisement from MSFN

#2
shadowmn

shadowmn
  • Members
  • 2 posts
Regarding:
http://greenmachine....ATE/current.htm

I believe that KB815021 is an included hotfix in the Update Rollup (KB826939).

Also, how can you install Q828026 before installing Media Player 9? Doesn't this have to be applied after installing WMP9?

Thank you very much for putting all this together. I must admit my head was spinning a bit after the first go around of this topic. After much aimless wandering, it appears that your method seems to suit my need best. I really appreciate all the work you have put into this.

Thanks,
Nadeem

#3
GreenMachine

GreenMachine

    ineXPlicable

  • Developers
  • 3,062 posts
It appears you are correct about KB815021 . That's AaronXP's fault: he is the master of hotfixes, and should have let me known!

Windows Media Player, though further down the page, is repackaged by XPCREATE, and run with the "HFTYPE0" files, before Type I and Type II hotfixes. So, if you put it there, it will run before the hotfix.

I should note, however, that everything run from any folder is run in alphabetical order, so there are times when file name is important, and can be used as an ordering mechanisim.

I'm glad to hear that XPCREATE suits your needs.

Good luck, and if you need any more info, don't hesitate to post.

Welcome to MSFN, and most certainly some more head-spinning!

#4
un4given1

un4given1

    Elaborate Dreamer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,796 posts
Wait until you start to take on some of the other stuff here. This site is addicting. You head will be spinning for months! Welcome!

#5
Spooky

Spooky

    Friend of MSFN

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 718 posts
Thanks for a great application method.

(BTW - Not to get off topic but thats a killer theme you have going there, where did you get it?)

#6
un4given1

un4given1

    Elaborate Dreamer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,796 posts
Greenmachine: definately diggin' the theme here too... I know you said you were going to redo it. Looks really nice.

#7
doctorfrog

doctorfrog

    Newbie

  • Members
  • 11 posts
doctorfrog here, unattended noob. I have a lot of feedback here, so hopefully you'll find it useful.

I like the idea of XPCreate, in fact, I'm a little peeved that I just now discover it after trying to bash my way through some of the more involved steps here: http://www.MSFN.org/...ed/xp/index.htm. If this method were mentioned somewhere earlier in there, I could have saved some time and head-scratching. Now, I would really like to use XPCreate, but being new to the concepts here, I've run into a few roadblocks.

First, I had to figure out what XPCreate does. This is well spelled out in your website's "What is XPCREATE?" section. However, my first roadblock is:

Where and when do I use XPCREATE?

In the website mentioned above, XPCREATE is mentioned in an appendix. I had to go looking for it, and, as a result, I'm lacking the context as to where it is to be used. I figured out that it fits somewhere after I've created a satisfactory winnt.sif. In fact, XPCREATE seems to promise to replace the lengthy steps involved in:

o slipstreaming SP1a
o setting up horrible horrible batch files for hotfixes
o creating folder structure for hotfixes
o copying hotfixes into said folders

Afterwards, it is then up to me to:

o integrate drivers
o integrate various applications
o set up user creation
o integrate registry tweaks
o make a bootable CD

Are these conclusions correct? I've kind of had to figure them out myself and I still feel a little in the dark. Next roadblocK:

How do I use XPCreate?

This one, I'm still trying to figure out. The menu isn't terribly descriptive, and I can't seem to find a list of goal-centered instructions, so once again I'm trying to figure it out on my own. What I want to do with XPCreate right now is to:

o pop my XP cd in
o drop a bunch of hotfixes into various folders. I also want to be told what to put where so I don't have to figure it out for myself. (You do this well on your website.)
o drop the mammoth SP1a into a folder and forget about it.
o find out what else I can just drop into a folder and not worry about or ever write a batch file for.
o run a few simple menu commands.
o end up with a directory containing my whole cool new slipstreamed and streamlined CD source in, so I can muck about with it and start adding drivers, apps, etc. to it, burn to CDR, and then start testing those.
o not have to worry about the hotfixes ever again

These, I think, are going to be the goals for most people new to the Unattend thing. They, like me, are going to have to figure out for themselves where and how to run XPCreate, and are going to freak out at all the choices they have to make. And they will hate making batch files.

So, I'd like to see documented the following:

o full description of menu commands - and why I'd want to use them
o when to use XPCreate: whether I'm creating an Unattended XP Install disk, or updating such a disk
o a brief set of procedures based on what goal a user might have - creating my first Unattended CD, or updating an existing CD
o also, if it turns out that XPCreate is truly a viable option preferable to the steps outlined here, then it should replace these lengthy steps or at least be pimped a lot more prominently.

I would be happy to help document these things (I'm a technical writer), but first I need to make sure my assumptions are correct, and also be able to successfully use XPCreate.

Obviously, I have a big mouth and can't keep it shut. If you got this far, let me say thanks for listening and bothering in the first place to create such an ambitious program! :-)

--frog

#8
utln

utln

    I loveded you Piggy!

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 358 posts

So, I'd like to see documented the following:

o full description of menu commands - and why I'd want to use them

I'm not sure what all the menu options do...

o when to use XPCreate: whether I'm creating an Unattended XP Install disk, or updating such a disk

You can use XPCREATE to create an unattended disc or update an unattended disc. This depends on what you give XPCREATE to build from.

o a brief set of procedures based on what goal a user might have - creating my first Unattended CD, or updating an existing CD

I'm not sure what you mean.

o also, if it turns out that XPCreate is truly a viable option preferable to the steps outlined here, then it should replace these lengthy steps or at least be pimped a lot more prominently.

I know I do my best! :) Consider yourself inlisted in the cause!

#9
un4given1

un4given1

    Elaborate Dreamer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,796 posts

o a brief set of procedures based on what goal a user might have - creating my first Unattended CD, or updating an existing CD

I'm not sure what you mean.

I know what he means.. Maybe you already have created a disk already, and all you want to do is update it. Maybe the file structure is already on your drive...

#10
GreenMachine

GreenMachine

    ineXPlicable

  • Developers
  • 3,062 posts
Well, doctorfrog, let me thank you for your usefull and enlightning feedback and welcome you to MSFN. I knew the documentation was a little weak, but I see it is more than just a little. I guess I did not mention too much about WINNT.SIF, and I would not exactly call that a "trivial" component! I suppose the only explanation is that, as you well know as a technical writer, a developer should not write his own documentation. All the questions you ask about the usage of XPCREATE are valid, and need answering. Instead of trying to answer those questions here, the solution is obviously to re-write the doc/web site. To that end, I will take the liberty to send you a PM.

It does seem that XPCREATE is "hard to find". unfortunatly, my marketing team is no better than the documentation team! That was even the point of the subject of this thread: A Common Misconception. On the otherhand, it should not be seen as a replacement or a rival of the MSFN guide you mention. The intended audience is not the same, and XPCREATE has been here for a short time in comparison to MSFN's guide. There are many members on this forum that have no need or desire for XPCREATE, and part of the reason they are here is to "get their hands dirty" in the guts of an XP installation, to produce the "100% perfect" installation. Thanks to that diversity I have been able to incorporate (read steal) new ideas into XPCREATE as they are brought up here, and learn more about XP then I probably should.

You weren't crazy about the menu, eh? If you had downloaded it two weeks ago, there was no menu: put your files in place, and run the command!

On a most serious note, thank you very much for your feedback. It was clear, constructive, and admitidly correct.

@un4given1: I believe you are refering to the web site theme. I was playing around with the web site style sheet, and that is what came up. To pick the shades of Green I edited the MSFN style sheet in TopStyle, and selected Harmonious Colors. Worked out OK, considering the effort! 10 minutes of Photoshop got me a "logo".

There are more posts before I even finish this one, but I think the bottom line will involve a little work on the documentation (... if I get it to where doctorfrog can use it, heaven knows what he'll discover then!)

Thanks for all of your ideas! (I'm off 'till tomorrow)

#11
doctorfrog

doctorfrog

    Newbie

  • Members
  • 11 posts
un4given1: Yup. In tech writing, one of the things we have to do before writing instructions is to figure out what goals a user has. XPCreate appears to be fairly flexible and will meet the goals of a variety of users. Therefore, it would be helpful to such users to have a set of instructions that walk them through how to accomplish their particular goal.

For example, my particular goals at the moment are:

a) figure out when XPCreate can be used most effectively (which I now believe is very early in the process, right after I make my customized winnt.sif)
b) integrate sp1 and hotfixes into XP install source
c) have the slipstreamed CD output onto my hard drive for further tweaking
d) muck about with the rest of the steps in unattended guide
e) make a bootable CD and test

#12
utln

utln

    I loveded you Piggy!

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 358 posts
XPCREATE can be used at any point during your CD creation process. If you've already have an update, you can addition hotfixes into the correct folder and let XPCREATE do the rest. If you've never created an update CD, XPCREATE can save you a ton of time, headaches and CDs. You don't have to add any updates that you don't want. XPCREATE will simply move past the update.

To integrate SP1 you can place the service pack into the SPACKS folder and perform a full build. This will give you a CD with SP1 integrated and nothing else.

The Slipstreamed output is in the CDROOT folder. You can make any changes you'd like and then tell XPCREATE to Create An ISO.

#13
doctorfrog

doctorfrog

    Newbie

  • Members
  • 11 posts
Green: Thanks for the reply, and the perspective as well. FWIW, I think that the MSFN guide is a fantastic resource, and I think I now understand its majority audience a bit more. I, like some others you may see on this forum, found the guide through Lockegnome, and such users are a mishmash of average-to-very-advanced users. I fall somewhere in between. From what I've gathered so far, XPCreate has the potential to be very helpful for users like me. I'll be working with XPCreate for the first 'serious' time tonight and testing it out on my machine. Maybe then I'll know it a little better. Either way, I'd be happy to help develop some simple, direct documentation on your program or wire my virtual jaw shut on the subject if necessary.

--frog

#14
daze

daze

    $cd /pub || grep $more beer

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 96 posts

@un4given1: I believe you are refering to the web site theme. I was playing around with the web site style sheet, and that is what came up. To pick the shades of Green I edited the MSFN style sheet in TopStyle, and selected Harmonious Colors. Worked out OK, considering the effort! 10 minutes of Photoshop got me a "logo".

i thought he/they were talkin' about your desktop theme :) i'm interestet in this very nice tool at the right border.

#15
doctorfrog

doctorfrog

    Newbie

  • Members
  • 11 posts
I think that's a new addition to the next version of Windows (Longhorn). It's either fantastic or annoying as all getout, depending on your tastes.

That kind of functionality and eye-candy is available to you right now, in the form of alternate Windows shells. Check out http://shells.loose-screws.com/ for a taste! (My favorite is GeoShell - an excellent balance between customizability, features, and minimalism.)

#16
GreenMachine

GreenMachine

    ineXPlicable

  • Developers
  • 3,062 posts
Actually, it is a combination of a few things: The theme is iTunesXP, on the right is the Rainy Calendar and the SysMetrix Monitor with a Skin by Pinchecl. I modified them a little bit, and put it all together into an MSI installer, which I then wrapped into IExpress with a .reg file. Drop the whole package into HFTYPE0, and everyone get's it at logon.

#17
aKaFrEE

aKaFrEE

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 357 posts
Well i can safely say that i like this program a lot. I started out using MSFN's guide to make my first unattended cd. Everything went fine with that, though i did have trouble with some hotfixes at points. Then i stumbled across xpcreate when i was gathering information to create my 2nd version of my unattended cd, and i just used it to slipstream all of the hotfixes and that solved my biggest problem right there. I then took the cdroot folder it made for me, went back to MSFN's updated guide and finished my cd using tweaks and the RunOnce commands. When you use this tool along with MSFN's guides you have a very powerful and flexable combination. I'd just like to thank you for taking the time to publish this tool to the community. (heh, and i had downloaded it before you updated the menu, and compared to no menu, this one is good :) )

#18
GreenMachine

GreenMachine

    ineXPlicable

  • Developers
  • 3,062 posts
Thanks, aKaFrEE, for your support. What is most satisfying to see is that people seem to be able to find a way to use XPCREATE to fit their needs, as oppossed to having to "adjust" their requirements to suit the application. I also welcome anyone who is so inclined to look at and possibly modify the code to further suit their needs. I'm also open for ideas on improvement. I was starting to wonder if anyone actually used this! Thanks for re-assuring me!

#19
GreenMachine

GreenMachine

    ineXPlicable

  • Developers
  • 3,062 posts
XPCREATE has been updated: The latest version is HERE. This release corrects problems with COMPRESS.EXE (a different version is included) which could result in hotfixes not being compressed into the distribution. All minor errors that were reported have corrected as well. Anyone using the "GreenScreen" version should update to this release.

#20
GreenMachine

GreenMachine

    ineXPlicable

  • Developers
  • 3,062 posts
Thanks to testing and reporting by Noots, XPCREATE has been updated to fix a problem with the SlipStream Only option. This option now works correctly.

Additionaly, a new parameter has been added to the INI file: INSTYPE (Install Type). This will allow the user to select either a completly silent install, or an unattended install. In a silent install, no dialog boxes, which can potentially contain "Cancel" buttons, are displayed during hotfix and update installation.

Recent additions to XPCREATE also consist of the generation of a log file and better display with a time line of the different steps.

The latest version is HERE.

#21
aKaFrEE

aKaFrEE

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 357 posts
i downloaded your new version to test it out and when i try to do a full creation (thats the only option i tried) i get the following error...


Error: Windows Version Error
Press any key to continue...

and when i press a key it goes back to the main menu...


/edit/- i fixed it by changing the noini section from winver=null to winver=p

whats the difference between the i and u options for

SET INSTYPE=U

?

#22
Narag

Narag

    Newbie

  • Members
  • 31 posts
GreenMachine,

first: many thanks for this great tool ...

second: what did you change in the last version of XPCREATE? The older version I got before did run under Win2k without problems but the last version complains about incorrect Windows Version and iexpress doesn't like something too :-( Under WinXP everything runs flawlessly except boot image ... it seems that you cleanup files too soon - full creation choice in menu at the first extracts boot sector without problems but the ISO creation phase finds no BOOTIMG.BIN and exits the prog.
Any hints?

Thanx Narag

#23
GreenMachine

GreenMachine

    ineXPlicable

  • Developers
  • 3,062 posts
The "Windows Version Error" that I report is does not refer to the current operating system, rather to the CD from which to extract the source files. There was a bug in the code as I have implemented the "intelligence" into XPCREATE to determine if you are preparing a Home or Pro CD. This can be overridden by defining WINVER in the INI file (or in the code itself, as you noticed, but I prefer you create and edit the INI file). This has been corrected.

There was another bug concerning the BOOTIMG.BIN file. This has been partially corrected, but I can not reproduce the situation that Narag spoke of. Please, Narag, try this version, and see if the problem persists.

I doubt there is any error in the IExpress code, other than that XPCREATE does not verify the files in the directories that are to be repackaged. If these are not the correct files, IExpress WILL report an error. Be sure the files in WMP, JAVANEW, JAVAOLD, MDAC and HFMSX are the correct versions.

The difference between INSTYPE (Install Type) is:
U = Unattended. The hotfixes install without user intervention, but the user is presented with progress boxes. This gives the user the sometimes undesired possibility to cancel a given operation.
S = Silent. Neither Dialog nor Progress windows are displayed during hotfix installation. This insures that the hotfixes will be installed under all conditions.

If your installations are for a "hostile" environment: i.e. you do not have 100% confidence in your users, use the S option. If you don't think the users would be silly enough to click on the mouse during installation, and you would like them to be presented with some sort of display during the eternal T-13 stage, the U option is nice.

#24
benthos

benthos

    Newbie

  • Members
  • 25 posts
Got a question for you, not really specifig to XPCREATE, but that's what I'm using.
I'm making a CD to replace WinPE (works much better for integrating the hotfixes). But the problem I have is the different versions of XP. If the client has XP Pro OEM, XP Pro Retail, XP Pro Corporate I have to make 3 different versions of my CD for the 3 types.

The type doesn't really play a role in the content of the CD, but more in the CD-key I can enter after running sysprep (or for the installation itself). If I make the CD from an OEM CD, I can just put in OEM keys.
Is there a way to make it accept OEM,retail and Corporate keys so that I only need to make one CD ?

I know by changing SETUPP.INI you can change the type of keys it accepts, but anyone know what to put so it can accept all keys ?

#25
daze

daze

    $cd /pub || grep $more beer

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 96 posts
sorry. did not get everything in your post ..! :rolleyes:
i should think more before posting ... :)

Edited by daze, 15 December 2003 - 04:02 PM.





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users



How to remove advertisement from MSFN