thanks to everyone for the help ...
when I first saw an XP logon screen, the one that I saw had a very sedate, calm and professional look and feel. It was kind of like the 2K logon, with a flatscreen look like linux logons, more colors than 2K logon with gold and blue and ... (memory fails).
as Vista was being phased over to 7, it was harder and harder to find XP (that was the marketing by fear rumor that I fell for anyway) so I bought a new mobo, memory, processor, video and hdd with XP pro OEM. Microcenter is kind of nationwide US, and there's one within biking distance from me. They sold me this 2002 version ... wow did I get a surprise. The logon screen is a total insult. Sorry to speak truth to power, but ... back in the dos days, there was this trick exe that one could send to a friend, which opened a small message box "Reformatting of your Hard drive is about to begin ... Click ABORT button to stop." Of course, as soon as the mouseover occured, the message box would jump to a random location ... driving the user crazy until he got the cruel joke.
Well ... that is what M$ did to its users with XP PRO v2002. The bouncing initial logon with its bouncing questionmark dingie is 3rd grader cruelgy. It's infantile and demeaning. So I figured it was not real MS. It was. I now believe MS is not so stupid as I thought. With XP Pro, v2002 SP3, I believe they dumbed down the interface, and made it harder to setup with a flattened classical logon and classical look and feel ... so that they could convince the user to bail on XP and go out and purchase Vista and/or 7. I believe this was intentional crippling of the last version of XP. It was done to make the user think XP was 3rd grade bubblegum and stupidity ... so that the user would upgrade to Vista and 7.
the hash value thing is quite a difficult one ... I frankly would prefer a hash of very byte on the CD from sector 0 to last, as proof that it's not a switch. I learned that the same burner software, and the same physical burner CD drive, and the same interior fileset, will add a 16x or 32x sectors (1 sector = 1024 ) as buffers. So lead in and traling buffer sizes can change, depending only on the media that is being burned. Somehow the burner has to sense how much buffer the target media is spec'd for, and provide it. Different media need different size buffers.
I ran the MD5's of each file of the CD and compared them to a European ISO and all the files checked out, except for 7 files (edit 7 files total being 5 help files, 1 eula statement, and 1 PID file for European versions, where the 2nd line in American version ends in =xxxxxxxOEM and European version ends in =xxxxxxx000. I'm going from memory here so PID and xxxxxxx are likely not exact.)
I'm not going to go to vista or 7 because of my old software (mainlyl cad ... so forth) ... I was thinking 2K would be my last M$ product but because of flash, I might shift that up to XP, or I might look for a server 2K3 ...
A quick question ... I see XP PRO SP2a on Craigslist all the time ... to get away from the forced bubblegum administrator thingie, I'm thinking of tossing v2002 and installing SP2a and then nLite SP3 ...
Does anyone know if XP pro SP2a + SP3 slipstream will give a first logon that is somewhat 2K-like, has one admin account, and doesn't have the welcome to bubblegum XP with bouncing ?-marks, to remind me of old DOS reformat jokes. In XP PRO v2002 you had to have a "SECRET Administrator" account (which M$ apparently wants to be so secret I wasn't sure whether as so-called owner I had all the necessary licenses with permission to access a "shady" admin account), and then you had to create a "Bubblegum Administrator" account, which the bouncing ?-mark idiotic thingie forces the user to install, and which logs on without passwords. The result is that XP PRO v2002 has, by force, 3 admin accounts ... and is unsafe with no forced passwords by default. It has SAFE-mode Administrator (doh), plus SECRET Administrator (or at least a sooo cool shady dood admin account that only clueless noobs like me don't know about), and then unlimited Bubblegum administrators ... none of whom require passwords ... I was really convinced that I was not looking at an XP system. I believe v2002 was probably crippled like that intentionally.
Edited by Molecule, 10 October 2012 - 12:01 AM.