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Rasengan

Installing Windows 7 from Recovery Partition

7 posts in this topic

Hi all.

I have an ASUS EEE PC 1201N, which came pre-installed with Windows 7. I've reinstalled it to purge the unnecessary junk they bundled with it, but I left my recovery partition intact.

I discovered that it's just a hidden FAT32 partition (ID=1B) which contains the Windows 7 RE set to boot ASUS's restore tool. After changing the partition ID to 0B, I replaced all the files on the partition, with a copy of Windows 7 Home Premium that I tweaked using 7 Customizer.

The install boots just fine via the F9 BIOS key, even when the ID is set back to 1B, but, it seems to ignore the Autounnattend.xml file, anyone got any ideas?

I've looked around, and tried placing the Autounnattend.xml inside boot.wim in the root, and in the sources folder, with no luck.

Also, I would like to customise the setup background from booting to the recovery partition, until setup is complete. I've followed a few threads, including using res hacker to edit imageres.dll and spwizimg.dll, but still no joy with that either :(

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I am also having problems getting WinRE to "install" with an unattend. The only difference is that I am approaching it differently than you. When I figure it out, I will try to help but I cannot gaurantee anything. :blushing:

PS: by "help" I mean anything found on technet or social.

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I am also having problems getting WinRE to "install" with an unattend. The only difference is that I am approaching it differently than you. When I figure it out, I will try to help but I cannot gaurantee anything. :blushing:

PS: by "help" I mean anything found on technet or social.

I got it working in the end, turns out I had to drop a copy of Autounattend.xml into boot.wim image #2, and it works now, along with my custom backgrounds et al :D

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should be able to put xml on any drive root cause Win will find it, floppy/usb or root of source = not sources

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should be able to put xml on any drive root cause Win will find it, floppy/usb or root of source = not sources

Yes, I know that, but when running from a 1b hidden FAT32 partition, it doesn't pick it up, I'm assuming that's because the partition is hidden. I fixed it by adding the Autounnattend.xml to boot.wim:2, so that setup would read it as soon as it got mounted as a psuedo-NTFS volume, so I'm happy that that works

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I am also having problems getting WinRE to "install" with an unattend. The only difference is that I am approaching it differently than you. When I figure it out, I will try to help but I cannot gaurantee anything. :blushing:

PS: by "help" I mean anything found on technet or social.

I got it working in the end, turns out I had to drop a copy of Autounattend.xml into boot.wim image #2, and it works now, along with my custom backgrounds et al :D

That is interesting, but I don't think it will help me. :whistle:

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I have resolved this problem as well! However I now need to automate the process. Here's how it went...

I started out just imaging a machine and putting the AUTOUNATTEND.XML file in a folder, and then run recovery. It always ignored it. After about a week of head scratching, I finally decided to do a little research. Google and MS Social were basically dead ends, likely because I was approaching it from a different angle as those guys and the OP here. I then did a couple of things:

1. I mounted the winre.wim from my workstation with DISM.
2. I looked at the WINPESHL.INI and found it uses RECENV.EXE as the shell.
3. I opened RECENV.EXE in a string viewer
4. I saw that it looks for x:\unattend.xml, there is no XML file in the offline image.
5. I boot a PC to WinRE and open command prompt. Sure enough, the XML file is there.
6. I replaced the file with my custom one and ran recovery. It worked!

However I used Notepad that is in WinRE (and WinPE) to replace the file, but that is not a good automated way of doing it! These next steps, I have not tried them yet, I will tomorrow... First thing you want to look at is this link:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd744576%28WS.10%29.aspx

What we can do here is use FactoryRecoveryTool to reinstall the image for us. You will need to use the info from the unattend.xml that RECENV created when you got there, because it uses pathing and such. Then we can just call setup as such:

X:\SOURCES\SETUP.EXE /UNATTEND:X:\SOURCES\UNATTEND.XML

So if we use the /UNATTEND switch, you can put your unattend file anywhere you want and name it anything you want to. If you look in the WinRE.WIM you will find 2 setup.exe, one in Sources and one in the root of X. If you look at the manifests in a program like ResHack, you will see that the one in Sources is the one that installs Windows and not the other one.

Alternatively, you can use FactoryRecoveryTool to run any app instead of running Setup.

Man, I was so happy I got this to work!

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