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johnhc

Create install.wim via reverse integration?

17 posts in this topic

I currently use DISM to create an Unattended install image for my installs. It works fine but I would like to try a more official method possibly using reverse integration. I have found this procedure . There may be much better, or easier, procedures and I would like to have a link to such. What I would like to do is capture an install.wim that contains SP1 and IE9 (now that both are RTM) and use this as a basis to my current process which includes using DISM to add drivers and updates. I also add Registry tweaks and the Unattended install adds most of the applications I use. The reason I do not want to capture a complete image is for update purposes. I do frequent installs and do not want to have to go through the capture procedure each time there is an update. I prefer to do the whole image creation process on VMware Player. Is what I am wanting to do possible? I would appreciate any help and comments. I am using W7 Ultimate x64. Thanks and enjoy, John.

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When I first started I used VMware (Virtual PC) to install 7, boot into sysprep, install apps, generalize, then I would convert the vmdk to a vhd and finally mount/capture it

Now what I do is instead of using vmware or installing on a second partition I install to a VHD (only works with Win7 Ultimate,) then when I am finished I can boot into my primary OS and mount/capture it

My advice, if you can install it offline dont install it during sysprep (IE9, updates & drivers) and you are worried about programs being updated making your image obsolete...thats why I install only official Microsoft stuff leaving the other programs for post install to be installed via WPI

Edited by ricktendo64
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ricktendo64, thanks much, you always seem to have good ideas. I am going to do some research on VHDs and some of your other ideas. I am sure I will return with some questions. Thanks and enjoy, John.

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I do like ricktendo64 said and all works fine, but using a second partition!

Edited by myselfidem
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I also install to vhd to test my iso, dont need VM's anymore

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Thanks ricktendo64 and myselfidem. I have done some research, created a VHD and attached it (on a VM). I have also found guides on how to make it bootable (bcdedit). Is the guide I referred to in my first post a good one to use? Can you point me to one that does the whole process using a a VHD? When I am through with this procedure can I use the install.wim as I do today (running DISM to add updates, drivers etc)? If I do it under a VM will the installed image looked like it is running in a VM? One of my main problems is that I am a home user and am not familiar with terms such as sysprep, generalize, etc. ricktendo64, I do not understand what you are saying here:

My advice, if you can install it offline dont install it during sysprep
Thanks for your help. Enjoy, John.
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You can create a script for diskpart that will create/attach your VHD, look in my sig you will find some vids (also check out the links I point to, like the OPK vids and the VHD tutorial)

Edited by ricktendo64
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ricktendo64, I did a lot of experimenting and finally succeeded. It seemed that MS was trying to block me in every way. All my attempts have been using VMware Player VMs. First I installed a bare bones W7 Ultimate x64, then created a VHD using Disk Management. After booting the CD again, I tried to use Diskpart to attach the VHD I created but it said it could not find it. I then rebooted my installed VM and deleted the VHD and ran defragger. After booting the CD again, I used Diskpart to try to create a VHD, but it said it could not because there was not enough space. There was plenty of space, but the size was reduced until the Create worked (50 MB). For some reason Diskpart could not detect the true free space. I then started over and let Diskpart create the VHD from the start and it worked OK. The Generalize went OK. I then copied the VHD file to my real system (also W7 Ultimate x64) and tried to run Imagex to do a capture. Repeatedly I got Access is denied on the attached VHD. I was using the WAIK tools prompt which sets up the paths and says it is an Administrator mode prompt. Turns out it is not. When I ran Imagex.exe directly from the WAIK folder, the capture ran just fine. I do not know why I needed the true Administrator prompt - perhaps because of the way I created and copied the VHD file. It also appears that a mapped network file cannot be used because I kept getting invalid file. I watched your excellent video (capture) many times and it was very useful. I also read the tutorial concerning using a VHD. Thanks again, John.

EDIT: When I selected the VHD for my install on VM, Setup told me that Windows could not be installed on the partition because the BIOS might not be able to boot from it. I clicked Next anyway and it went just fine. It seems I remember some questions in the past when I first worked with W7 that some older MBs (BIOSs) could not boot into Audit Mode. Is this a possible problem if I try this on my HW? Might I have trouble installing on a VHD on my HW?

Edited by johnhc
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I know that only Ulitmate can boot from a vhd, when you say you are installing to a vhd are you doing it on a virtual pc or on your actual pc (dual booting)?

Only reason I am using VMware in the videos is as an example, I actually create a 20 GB vhd (instead of partitioning my hdd) and install Win7 on that, when I am done I remove it from the boot manager, mount & finally capture/delete it

Edited by ricktendo64
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ricktendo64, as stated, all testing was done using VMware Player. I used a VHD (xyz.vhd file) on the VM (also used separate partition, which worked OK). I wanted to use a VHD so when (and if) I do this for real on my HW, I will have experience on my VM using a VHD. Thanks, John.

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I also get the vhd bios warning, but I dont have any problems (I guess you can ignore it)

Edited by ricktendo64
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ricktendo64, did you get the BIOS warning on your VHD install on HW? Currently I do my installs on my HW with a dual boot (XP x64) and using a flat install (from a hard drive.) Do you think this will work for a HW install on a VHD file? Thanks, John.

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Yes I get the warning always (its standard) and yes it works perfectly fine

BTW you could create a txt with the diskpart commands to create your virtual hd

diskpart /s <path>\<name_of_file>.txt

TXT contents

create vdisk file=c:\<name_of_disk>.vhd maximum=20480
select vdisk file=c:\<name_of_disk>.vhd
attach vdisk
exit

Edited by ricktendo64
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Thanks, ricktendo64, I will give the file a try on my VM. Enjoy, John.

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Hey ricktendo64 can I create VHD in a drive other than C, secondly would I be able to boot into the VHD OS like we can in a multiboot system?

Actually I am little skeptical using this VDH method, I have 5 partitions (C to G), and 1 DVD drive (H) and 1 Virtual ROM (J) drive created by ultraISO, now if I create a VHD what letter would it take for VHD as I don't want my drive to formated accidentally. Can you please help me out?

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I have only tried putting my VHD's on C:\ but I dont see why not.

If you dont want to accidentally format your C:\ drive you could probably label your VHD with diskpart, try this

create vdisk file=c:\<name_of_disk>.vhd maximum=20480 label=<your_label>

REMEMBER! this only works with ultimate

As for the driver letters, whatever drive you boot into will be the C:\ drive, the others will vary

Edited by ricktendo64
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Here are some results of my testing under VMware Player. I was not able to start Setup from a VM and use a VHD file to install. I get the same message mentioned above except it also says I am using a Surfaced Virtual Disk, whatever that is. See attached screenshot. The Next button is grayed out so I cannot continue. I may have found a more straight forward method of installing on a VHD. I boot the CD (ISO on VM) and click Install Now, not Repair. I proceed to the partition selection window, then press SHIFT-F10 to open an Administrator Command Prompt and use Diskpart for the VHD part. After closing the command prompt, clicking Refresh then finds the VHD and installation continues normally. I still get the warning about maybe not being able to boot from it but not the Surfaced Virtual Disk part and I can click Next. It was also possible to create the VHD in my W7 system (VM) and use Diskpart to Select and Attach it. I have tried none of this on HW, only in a VM under VMware Player.

nice_guy75, as you can see in the screen shot, I am able to have the VHD on the F: disk and have also used the E: disk. What disk I install on is determined by the fact that on my HW, XP was already installed (on C:), so W7 went to the F: partition. I have kept it this way and mimic my HW on VM by using the Unattended.xml file to partition my VM drive, format, assign drive letters and specify install to the F: disk.

Enjoy, John.

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