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Install XP from a RAM loaded ISO image


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#1
cdob

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Install XP from a RAM loaded ISO image. Use a default XP ISO image.
Addional files are at a F6 virtual floppy.

After years of search a new driver is developed:
FiraDisk: File/RAM Disk driver for Windows.
http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=8804
The driver is at early development.

The driver does mount a grub4dos RAM drive.
That's awsome and can be used at a lot of conditions.

Use grub4dos to load a virtual floppy and XP installation image to RAM first.
The virtual floppy is used at F6 stage.
32 bit FiraDisk drivers are loaded by default.You don't have to press F6.
You may press F6 to get selection choice.


There is a fake setup.exe used after first reboot.
The idea is used from drivers from CD
The integrated version is changed: this fake setup.exe launch a batch setup.cmd.
There are includeded the source code, a hidden window processed setup.exe.
And a visible window debug version setup_dbg.exe. To use this version rename this to setup.exe.

The fake setup calls the original, renamed setup: setupORG.exe
The original version is not includede. Therefore edit the floppy image and add the file:
Expand setup.ex_ from your windows version
expand.exe SETUP.EX_ setupORG.exe
copy the file to \setup\I386\setupORG.exe or \setup\AMD64\setupORG.exe

BTS DriverPacks method 2 are supported. http://driverpacks.net/
This use a fake setup and setupORG.exe too.
If you use a DriverPacks version, copy this setupORG.exe to floppy image.

You may add a file \WINNT.SIF too.

Used files at USB:
\Inst\XP_INST.IMA
\Inst\XP_RAM.ISO

A basic XP_INST.IMA is attached. Add setuporg.exe as described.
XP_RAM.ISO is a default XP ISO image. This file is loaded to RAM.

grub4dos menu.lst
title Loading XP RAM install - /Inst/XP_RAM.ISO
ls /Inst/XP_RAM.ISO || find --set-root /Inst/XP_RAM.ISO
map --mem /Inst/XP_INST.IMA (fd0)
#(fd1) optional, required at some BIOS
#map --mem /Inst/XP_INST.IMA (fd1)
map --mem /Inst/XP_RAM.ISO (0xFF)
map (hd0) (hd1)
map (hd1) (hd0)
map --hook
chainloader (0xFF)/I386/SETUPLDR.BIN
Assumptions:
hd0 : booted USB device
hd1 : windows target device
Tested at virtual machine. Has to be tested at real hardware:
several hard disks, several USB drives, internal multi card reader

As wimb indicated, comment this if you read and install to the same hard disk.
#map (hd0) (hd1)
#map (hd1) (hd0)

XP installation from CD and remapped drive order:
Files are not deleted from installation media.
Setup creates a valid boot.ini. No need to fix boot.ini.
Boot once from USB.

Setup may assign letter c: to another device.
C: is not available for new installed windows.
Setup.cmd deletes MountedDevices.
At reboot windows assign letters again: c:\windows

txtsetup.oem copy a flag file fixDrive.USB to activate this behaviour
If you don't need this behaviour, comment the lines
;dll = setup, fixDrive.USB

Setup.cmd uses ImDisk to mount the ISO file.
http://www.ltr-data....ode.html#ImDisk

The name \Inst\XP_RAM.ISO is the internal default.
The name can be configured:
The floppy image contains a file \setup\ISOimage.ini. Edit this file.

Next the file $winnt$.inf is adjusted.
Windows setup continues and use the mounted ISO file.

Install from USB to USB is possible too.
This part based on Dietmar's tutorials. http://www.winusb.de
Read \USB32\to_usb.txt for details.
At windows setup press F6 and load firadisk and all usb drivers.


In addition there is optional approach to lower RAM usage, e.g. use a 600mb image at 512mb RAM.
Integrated mkISO_RAMload_sort.cmd creates a sorted ISO image:
boot and textmode files are in front of media.
Mkisofs.exe, dd.exe and gsar.exe are used to the create the ISO image.
http://cdrecord.berl...e/cdrecord.html
http://www.student.t...t/thomas.plank/
dd.exe http://www.chrysocome.net/dd
gsar.exe http://home.online.no/~tjaberg

Given a sorted ISO image, OEM at end of ISO image.
Use grub4dos map to load first part to RAM only.
Integrate all \I386 and \AMD64 files.
IsoBuster Free does list LBA (Logical Block Address) of files. http://www.isobuster...ense-models.php
The LBA show the file location. Calculate N: LBA of file and add file length
Use this number to load image to RAM.

Example: load the first 234567 sectors to RAM.
Remember one CD sector holds 2048 byte data
title Loading XP RAM install - /Inst/XP_RAM.ISO (0xFE)+234567
ls /Inst/XP_RAM.ISO || find --set-root /Inst/XP_RAM.ISO
map --mem /Inst/XP_INST.IMA (fd0)
map /Inst/XP_RAM.ISO (0xFE)
map --hook
map --mem (0xFE)+234567 (0xFF)
map --hook
chainloader (0xFF)/I386/SETUPLDR.BIN
XP_RAM.ISO has to be continuous, defrag a splitted file.



v02:
firadisk updated: map to (fd0) only. F6 does work
64 bit prepared, unfortunately BSOD 0x7b at 64 bit firadisk
added flag file fixDrive.USB
added config file ISOimage.ini
under construction: install from USB to USB

v03:
added: install from USB to USB
added: added sorted files
added: multiboot ISO image, sub directory

v04:
ISOimage.ini is enabled by default
enhanced: sorted files, experimental RAMboot.lst created

v05:
update: firadisk and imdisk driver - flat file possible in addition
if required, USB drivers loaded at a addional reboot

v06: major redesign:
One driver only - firadisk
no need to include setup.exe in floppy image

Attached Files


Edited by cdob, 22 February 2012 - 03:30 PM.



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#2
ilko_t

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That's awesome cdob, thanks :thumbup

A few notes:
Direct editing of $winnt$.inf in 64 bit versions would not work:
http://blogs.sepago....on-windows-x64/

Maybe start another batch just for editing $winnt$.inf?
start64.exe "%systemroot%\system32\cmd.exe" "/c %systemroot%\syswow64\editinf.cmd
or with path whereever editinf.cmd lands when used from txtsetup.oem.
Samo approach is used in WinSetupFromUSB to start binifix5.cmd, which edits $winnt$.inf.

Another idea- could ImDisk be avoided and use boot.ini options to mount Firadisk emulated drive?
http://www.boot-land...?...ost&p=77090
Is Firadisk added as a service with start 0 by Setup when used during text mode this way?
There was a way if I recall correctly to include default options to boot.ini via txtsetup.sif or winnt.sif. Maybe txtsetup.oem could be used, or winnt.sif in the floppy image :unsure:
This way editing of $winnt$.inf may not be needed, if Firadisk creates the same device as if mounted by grub4dos.

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#3
cdob

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Direct editing of $winnt$.inf in 64 bit versions would not work:

Well, maybe I should have mentioned, first release is 32 bit only.
There are 32 bit drivers and a 32 bit fake setup.exe included so far.

The included fake setup source code does compile at 64 bit mingw environment.
Use a 64 bit fake setup.exe to edit a 64 bit $winnt$.inf.

I like to solve F6 loading first, then create a 64 bit version.

Another idea- could ImDisk be avoided and use boot.ini options to mount Firadisk emulated drive?

Some patience please. Been there already and failed so far.
ImDisk is arround since some years, works pretty stable.

Is Firadisk added as a service with start 0 by Setup when used during text mode this way?

Yes, firadisk is set to start=0. It seems to be possible, to use boot.ini in future. Or firadisk support registry in future.
Anyway you have to set ISO image location XP_RAM.ISO. This maybe difficult to set a unique location within txtsetup.oem (current approach should work at multi DVD too).


Added:
F6 does work with new firadisk 0.0.1.12.

Edited by cdob, 07 September 2009 - 01:18 AM.


#4
wimb

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Very interesting development cdob :thumbup

Thanks for sharing XP_INST.IMA

Edited by wimb, 07 September 2009 - 01:26 AM.

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#5
jaclaz

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Very good! :)

May I ask why the need to map XP_INST.IMA:
map --mem /Inst/XP_INST.IMA (fd0)
map --mem /Inst/XP_INST.IMA (fd1)
twice? :unsure:

It is somehow needed to "fill" both A:\ and B:\ drive letters?

jaclaz

#6
cdob

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Thanks for sharing XP_INST.IMA

A addional hint: firadisk F6 floppy image does work at a PE too.

May I ask why the need to map XP_INST.IMA:

Twice was the work arround without full floppy firadisk support.
Compare http://www.msfn.org/...p...st&p=881138

This is not necessary anymore at firadisk 0.0.1.12.
Once is sufficient now
map --mem /Inst/XP_INST.IMA (fd0)


#7
wimb

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Successful tested for Install of XP-SP3 on real hardware (including internal multi-cardreader) :thumbup

Did not use USB-stick.
AFTER format of Harddisk install partition, I installed grub4dos as boot option in boot.ini menu using BOOT_IMG.exe
Then copied folder Inst with XP_INST.IMA and XP_RAM.ISO to Harddisk.
Made entry in menu.lst without the mapping for USB-stick

title Loading XP RAM install - /Inst/XP_RAM.ISO
ls /Inst/XP_RAM.ISO || find --set-root /Inst/XP_RAM.ISO
map --mem /Inst/XP_INST.IMA (fd0)
map --mem /Inst/XP_INST.IMA (fd1)
map --mem /Inst/XP_RAM.ISO (0xFF)
# map (hd0) (hd1)
# map (hd1) (hd0)
map --hook
chainloader (0xFF)/I386/SETUPLDR.BIN

After Reboot Select Loading XP RAM install from grub4dos menu
Loading of XP_RAM.ISO in only 10 seconds in firadisk RAMDISK (instead of loading in 25 minutes from USB-stick)
TXT-mode FileCopy in only 1 minute
GUI-mode has an extra immediate Reboot.
Total XP Install time 15 minutes

Then tried to do the same with XP-SP3 Slipstreamed with UpdatePack and 5 DriverPacks.
After first Reboot for GUI-mode the DriverPacks were extracted successfully.
After second Reboot for GUI-mode has problem of SetupORG.exe NOT found.
Has to look into more detail what is causing the problem ....

Edited by wimb, 07 September 2009 - 09:41 AM.

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#8
ilko_t

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...
Made entry in menu.lst without the mapping for USB-stick

title Loading XP RAM install - /Inst/XP_RAM.ISO
ls /Inst/XP_RAM.ISO || find --set-root /Inst/XP_RAM.ISO
map --mem /Inst/XP_INST.IMA (fd0)
map --mem /Inst/XP_INST.IMA (fd1)
map --mem /Inst/XP_RAM.ISO (0xFF)
# map (hd0) (hd1)
# map (hd1) (hd0)
map --hook
chainloader (0xFF)/I386/SETUPLDR.BIN

What happens with boot.ini on internal hard disk in that case?

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#9
wimb

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What happens with boot.ini on internal hard disk in that case?

Internal Harddisk partition for Install of XP was first formatted (e.g. from PE environment)
Then BOOT_IMG.exe was used to make internal Harddisk bootable with grub4dos entry in newly created boot.ini menu.
After Reboot Select Loading XP RAM install from grub4dos menu as given above.
There is no USB-stick used in my approach.

There is no boot.ini problem. (booting is all the time from the same Harddisk partition used for Install of XP)

boot.ini before Install of XP
[Boot Loader]
Timeout=20
Default=C:\btsec\RMLD1.bs
[Operating Systems]
C:\btsec\RMLD1.bs="PE 1 - Boot X78W.img  from RAMDISK"
C:\grldr="Start GRUB4DOS Menu"

boot.ini AFTER Install of XP
[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
C:\btsec\RMLD1.bs="PE 1 - Boot X78W.img  from RAMDISK" 
C:\grldr="Start GRUB4DOS Menu"

Edited by wimb, 07 September 2009 - 07:11 AM.

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#10
cdob

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TXT-mode FileCopy in only 1 minute
GUI-mode has an extra immediate Reboot.

Files are read from RAM, hence the fast file copy.
The extra reboot is by intention, USB support is added. Maybe selectable in future.

Then tried to do the same with XP-SP3 Slipstreamed with UpdatePack and 5 DriverPacks.

DriverPacks are not supported yet. This is not a default XP ISO image.
Yes, there are parts for testing included. This part is not documented.
Technically it's insane to load this 7z files to RAM.
Including mass storage and chipset packs may make sense.
Contrary it's insane to include all driverpacks to ISO image. A huge data is loaded to RAM, without usage.
Haven't made a decision so far.

#11
wimb

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Including the 5 small DriverPacks (C CP L M and W) is quite useful and the extra load of 36 MB of the OEM folder does not take too much time or space.

For Sound and Graphics DriverPacks the load is rather heavy and I decided then to provide the specific required drivers in $OEM$\$1\Drivers folder.
DriverForge is used automatic at T-9 to install these drivers by using UserExecute command in [SetupParams] section of winnt.sif file.

In this way the extra load remains limited and all drivers are installed during XP Setup.

In the case of using DriverPacks, what is causing then the Error of setupORG.exe is missing ?
Is it may be a name conflict by using twice the same mechanism of fake setup of Pyron ?

It would be nice if the problem can be solved.
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#12
jaclaz

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Including the 5 small DriverPacks (C CP L M and W) is quite useful a.....


How I would like it if people wouldn't speak using codes ....

C=Chipset
CP=CPU
L=LAN
M=Mass Storage
W=Wlan

jaclaz

#13
wimb

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SOLVED the problem of missing file setupORG.exe in case of XP Source slipstreamed with DriverPacks. :thumbup

The file setup.ex_ used to edit the floppy image must be taken from the original XP setup source,
since slipstreaming with DriverPacks makes a new setup.ex_ which when used will cause the reported problem of missing setupORG.exe

Edit the floppy image:
extract setup.ex_ from your ORIGINAL windows version
copy setup.exe to \setup\setuporg.exe


Install of XP including DriverPacks did run now very well :thumbup

NOW after second Reboot for GUI-mode the DriverPacks are extracted as it should be :rolleyes:

Loading of XP_RAM.ISO in only 10 seconds from internal Harddisk into firadisk RAMDISK is preferred,
instead of loading the RAMDISK in 25 minutes from USB-stick.
In this way one can Install XP from USB without booting from USB.

Edited by wimb, 08 September 2009 - 12:17 PM.

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#14
cdob

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setupORG.exe in case of XP Source slipstreamed with DriverPacks.

setupORG.exe from XP Source slipstreamed with DriverPacks is a renamed ORIGINAL setup.exe:
new name setupORG.exe

This approach and naming goes back to Pyron http://www.msfn.org/...-cd-t12566.html

Acutally I assumed, you copied setupORG.exe from XP Source slipstreamed with DriverPacks to the floppy image.
And wondered about the error report.


Added: Idea for full BTS support:

Given a sorted ISO image, OEM at end of ISO image.
Use grub4dos map to load first part to RAM only.
Does grub4dos support loading half a file?

Added 2:
Example: load the first 234567 sectors to RAM.
Remember one CD sector holds 2048 byte data
title Loading XP RAM install - /Inst/XP_RAM.ISO (0xFE)+234567
ls /Inst/XP_RAM.ISO || find --set-root /Inst/XP_RAM.ISO
map --mem /Inst/XP_INST.IMA (fd0)
map /Inst/XP_RAM.ISO (0xFE)
map --hook
map --mem (0xFE)+234567 (0xFF)
map --hook
chainloader (0xFF)/I386/SETUPLDR.BIN

Added 3:
Just to confirm. Yes, the idea does work.
You may add several hundred megabyte data with BTS driverpacks method 2 to end of ISO image.
And you may RAM load first part of ISO image only. Driverpacks addon won't require more RAM usage.
Windows installation does work.

Edited by cdob, 09 September 2009 - 02:54 PM.


#15
tribat

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This didn't work that great, when the first stage installer was done and it rebooted for the second stage, there was a cmd window "setup -newsetup" and a box saying "Error starting the MSI file". After you click OK it reboots and same happends again. I tried both without the stick in the USB and with the stick in the USB and same thing.

So heres what I did:

Installed the grub4dos to a USB drive with fat32 FS

Added the "Loading XP RAM install" item to the menu.lst

Deleted file "I386/setup.ex_" from the "XP_RAM.ISO"

Copied "XP_RAM.ISO" to the USB Stick at "Inst/XP_RAM.ISO"

Copied the file "SUPPORT/TOOLS/SETUP.EXE" from inside "XP_RAM.ISO" to "setup/setuporg.exe" inside "XP_INST.IMA"
(there also was a SETUP.exe at the root of the XP_RAM.ISO but it wouldn't fit the floppy image so I guess its the other one?)
(what is this WINNT.SIF that you "may add", where is it, where you add it?)

Copied "XP_INST.IMA" to the USB Stick at "Inst/XP_INST.IMA"

Booted to the stick with my Eee PC 901 and selected the XP RAM Install

First stage install went just fine without any errors.

The computer reboots to second stage installer, the second stage installer reboots itself right away

After it comes back it spits out the error I described at the top

#16
ilko_t

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...

Deleted file "I386/setup.ex_" from the "XP_RAM.ISO"
...
Copied the file "SUPPORT/TOOLS/SETUP.EXE" from inside "XP_RAM.ISO" to "setup/setuporg.exe" inside "XP_INST.IMA"
(there also was a SETUP.exe at the root of the XP_RAM.ISO but it wouldn't fit the floppy image so I guess its the other one?)
(what is this WINNT.SIF that you "may add", where is it, where you add it?)...

Don't delete anything.

Setuporg.exe which has to be placed in XP_INST.IMA \setup\ :

1) In case BTS driver packs were used, or any other method using "fake setup" at start of GUI- just use I386\setupORG.exe, which should be the original MS setup.exe.
2) Original media/unmodified setup.exe- extract it from I386 (7zip or default MS expand.exe) and rename it to setuporg.exe.

Don't worry about winnt.sif for now, that's optional.

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#17
tribat

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...

Deleted file "I386/setup.ex_" from the "XP_RAM.ISO"
...
Copied the file "SUPPORT/TOOLS/SETUP.EXE" from inside "XP_RAM.ISO" to "setup/setuporg.exe" inside "XP_INST.IMA"
(there also was a SETUP.exe at the root of the XP_RAM.ISO but it wouldn't fit the floppy image so I guess its the other one?)
(what is this WINNT.SIF that you "may add", where is it, where you add it?)...

Don't delete anything.

Setuporg.exe which has to be placed in XP_INST.IMA \setup\ :

1) In case BTS driver packs were used, or any other method using "fake setup" at start of GUI- just use I386\setupORG.exe, which should be the original MS setup.exe.
2) Original media/unmodified setup.exe- extract it from I386 (7zip or default MS expand.exe) and rename it to setuporg.exe.

Don't worry about winnt.sif for now, that's optional.

Haha, oh dumb me. I thought when the instructions said to "extract the setup.ex_" that you had to take it away (delete) from the installation image =D I didn't know the setup.ex_ was the setup.exe in a compressed form =)

Well I shall try it again tomorrow, ill post the results =)

#18
tribat

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...

Deleted file "I386/setup.ex_" from the "XP_RAM.ISO"
...
Copied the file "SUPPORT/TOOLS/SETUP.EXE" from inside "XP_RAM.ISO" to "setup/setuporg.exe" inside "XP_INST.IMA"
(there also was a SETUP.exe at the root of the XP_RAM.ISO but it wouldn't fit the floppy image so I guess its the other one?)
(what is this WINNT.SIF that you "may add", where is it, where you add it?)...

Don't delete anything.

Setuporg.exe which has to be placed in XP_INST.IMA \setup\ :

1) In case BTS driver packs were used, or any other method using "fake setup" at start of GUI- just use I386\setupORG.exe, which should be the original MS setup.exe.
2) Original media/unmodified setup.exe- extract it from I386 (7zip or default MS expand.exe) and rename it to setuporg.exe.

Don't worry about winnt.sif for now, that's optional.

Haha, oh dumb me. I thought when the instructions said to "extract the setup.ex_" that you had to take it away (delete) from the installation image =D I didn't know the setup.ex_ was the setup.exe in a compressed form =)

Well I shall try it again tomorrow, ill post the results =)

Worked perfectly on Asus EeePC 901 with a Windows XP Pro SP3 image :)

#19
jaclaz

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Thread Pinned (Sticky). :thumbup

jaclaz

#20
maanu

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Added 2:
Example: load the first 234567 sectors to RAM.
Remember one CD sector holds 2048 byte data

title Loading XP RAM install - /Inst/XP_RAM.ISO (0xFE)+234567
ls /Inst/XP_RAM.ISO || find --set-root /Inst/XP_RAM.ISO
map --mem /Inst/XP_INST.IMA (fd0)
map /Inst/XP_RAM.ISO (0xFE)
map --hook
map --mem (0xFE)+234567 (0xFF)
map --hook
chainloader (0xFF)/I386/SETUPLDR.BIN

Added 3:
Just to confirm. Yes, the idea does work.
You may add several hundred megabyte data with BTS driverpacks method 2 to end of ISO image.
And you may RAM load first part of ISO image only. Driverpacks addon won't require more RAM usage.
Windows installation does work.


this is beautiful approach for the legacy systems , to load specific sectors of the iso . just couple of questions ( i ll try the above tomorrow hopefully ) ,

1. HOW the iso image can be sorted to have OEM folder at the end of the iso , the current structure of my iso is

/$OEM$ (15,415,570 bytes )
/I386 (97,704,075 bytes )
/OEM (21,293,545 bytes )
/WIN51
/WIN51IP
/WIN51IP.SP2

i guess OEM is already the end , so it ll be fine if i ll load specific sectors first ? actually the above image is 133 MB only . it is very stripped down image which im using for testing this ram thing only coz i have slow system . since im weak in math , so i dont know how much i should specify to load in place of
map --mem (0xFE)+234567 (0xFF)

2. lets suppose we have 3 xp images to be installed from usb using firadisk method . is it possible to have OEM (BTS packs) at root of usb drive , so that all 3 xp images can use them ?
i mean it SEEMS possible with a batch command which can copy them at the time of need to the target partition but then i guess we ll have to use C:\ only for installing purposes . or am i just dreaming ? :whistle:

#21
demontager

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Could somebody help me figure out what is my problem. I did all above mentioned steps:
1. installed grub4dos on USB pendrive
2.Edited menu.lst
title Loading XP RAM install - /Inst/XP_RAM.ISO
ls /Inst/XP_RAM.ISO || find --set-root /Inst/XP_RAM.ISO
map --mem /Inst/XP_INST.IMA (fd0)
map --mem /Inst/XP_RAM.ISO (0xFF)
map (hd0) (hd1)
map (hd1) (hd0)
map --hook
chainloader (0xFF)/I386/SETUPLDR.BIN

3. Copied Inst folder with XP_INST.IMA and XP_RAM.ISO to USB pen drive
4. Then booted from pendrive in Virtual Box, chosen XP in menu and here is strange, just shows me that window, freezes, nothing happens, waited 15 minutes same. Also i have tested booting from this pendrive in real environment, no changes, freezes.
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#22
uid0

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1. HOW the iso image can be sorted to have OEM folder at the end of the iso

You can use mkisofs -sort sort.txt
Cdob's boot-the-loop is an alternative to mapping counted sectors, if you can write the sizes into the cd at build time:
http://www.boot-land...amp;#entry24379

#23
ilko_t

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@demontager

1) How large is the ISO file?
2) How much RAM you had in the real and the virtual machine?
3) Not related, but did you put original setup.exe as setuporg.exe in \setup\I386\ in XP_INST.IMA? Mount the image, use ImDisk for example, put setup.exe renamed to setuporg.exe in \setup\I386\ if using 32bit Windows and unmount the virtual disk. Make sure you are not monting it as read-only.

Edited by ilko_t, 16 September 2009 - 05:53 AM.

Install Windows from USB, boot Linux, multiboot and a lot more with WinSetupFromUSB


#24
demontager

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ilko_t :
1. XP_RAM.ISO size is 714MB

2.I set for VB use 1 GB of ram, because when less of 256 it reports-"cannot fit image to ram", and real machine has 4 Gb of ram.

3.Oops, I didn't make these steps. is it mandatory to put original setup.exe to \setup\I386\ in XP_INST.IMA?

#25
ilko_t

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1) You may have to wait longer for 700MB ISO, perhaps the real hardware was using USB 1.1 at boot. Alternatively try Plop:
http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=8605

For loading in VirtualBox- same applies, no idea if PLOP could help.

3) Yes, critical for the GUI mode, which you have not reached yet.

Edited by ilko_t, 16 September 2009 - 07:32 AM.

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