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Windows 7/8 AIO using WinPE 4.0

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7 replies to this topic

#1
xpman

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Hi,

I have been successfully integrating and using a Windows 7 AIO DVD/USB solution. Now I tried to add Windows 8, which on the face of it worked well. imagex lists all the Windows 7 and 8 versions (x86 and x64) to be inside of the install.wim (I am using the split swm files in the iso then).

However, unlike with WinPE 3.0 from Windows 7, booting x86 WinPE 4.0, setup let's choose nothing. No partition, no Windows version. I get to the point that I can enter a product key (which I cannot skip, either).

I know Windows 8 setup is supposedly using rather the product key to determine what version you are installing, but I guess that cannot tell it whether to use x86 or x64; sure, the official way is to just use the corresponding DVD.

Still, I see people referring to Windows 8 AIO discs and still none of my searched reveal anything on how to select the OS version manually. I also know that ei.cfg is gone, so that cannot be a reason, either.

Altough I will eventually use some answer files, the option of a manual installation of an arbitrary version should still be there.


I hope I am just searching wrong (like "windows 8 setup select version" and the like). Could anyone please point me in the right direction?


SOLUTION:
1. create ei.cfg in /sources folder with the following content:
[Channel]
Retail

[VL]
0
2. to use the setup.exe repair function from a winpeshl.ini command line, call setup.exe on x: not on the installation medium (DVD, USB).

Edited by xpman, 16 June 2013 - 09:49 AM.



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#2
jaclaz

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....
(I am using the split swm files in the iso then).

....

I hope I am just searching wrong (like "windows 8 setup select version" and the like). Could anyone please point me in the right direction?

Check the other old thread:
http://www.msfn.org/...ost__p__1042213

jaclaz

#3
MagicAndre1981

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Donator

imagex lists all the Windows 7 and 8 versions (x86 and x64) to be inside of the install.wim (I am using the split swm files in the iso then).


Windows 8 doesn't support those swm files.
Posted Image

#4
xpman

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Thanks! I also had a look at the other thread, and also posted a reply there.

Regarding my WinPE 4.0 issues, with the single install.wim,
1. I still get no option to repair windows
RESOLVED: I at least found the issue with regard to the "repair windows" option. There are at least 3 setup.exe you can call, two on the installation medium (root and sources) and one on the root of the live windows (X:); you (I) simply need to call the latter for the repair option to appear.

2. I have to enter a key for Windows 8 first before I get the selection of Windows versions (maybe the default behavior for Windows 8?)
RESOLVED: Not sure how I missed this
Apparently, instead of deleting ei.cfg like for Windows 7, now we have to create one ei.cfg in the /sources folder.
[Channel]
Retail

[VL]
0

3. then, I just get to see a subset of the contained versions (there are 31 in the image, I checked)
EDIT: I used my PRO key and the ones that show are all the contained PRO images; strangely, that holds even for Windows 7 (what kind of windows 8 key check would select also windows 7 pro, given that they changed the edition scheme?). So there is some consistency, but I cannot manually select e.g. Windows Server before entering a key. I tried this with my Windows Server 2008 R2 key, which was not accepted by Windows 8 setup. though.
RESOLVED: see #3 above; I didn't check out the issue with my server key, though.

What I forgot to mention is that I called setup (both from root and sources) manually from a cmd prompt through an injected winpeshl.ini. Maybe I need to use an additional paramter to call setup.exe?

It seems extremely strange, though, that I can only see a subset of the contained images.



Should I maybe just stick with WinPE 3.0 (provided I can install Windows 8 from it)? (Another reason to switch was that I think there is .NET 2.0 included?).

Edited by xpman, 16 June 2013 - 10:09 AM.


#5
bphlpt

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@xpman,

I would be very interested if you would be willing to share the results of your Win7/8 install.wim combination experiments, hopefully with a summary of what it is capable of and a tutorial of how to obtain the working install medium, including necessary tools and steps, since this will obviously need to be updated at least monthly for the foreseeable future. (I'm assuming your AIO has both 32-bit and 64-bit options? And can it be created on either a 32-bit or 64-bit host OS, or is a 64-bit host OS required for the AIO creation?)

Cheers and Regards

Edited by bphlpt, 16 June 2013 - 09:47 PM.

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#6
xpman

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I would be very interested if you would be willing to share the results of your Win7/8 install.wim combination experiments, hopefully with a summary of what it is capable of and a tutorial of how to obtain the working install medium, including necessary tools and steps, since this will obviously need to be updated at least monthly for the foreseeable future. (I'm assuming your AIO has both 32-bit and 64-bit options? And can it be created on either a 32-bit or 64-bit host OS, or is a 64-bit host OS required for the AIO creation?)


Let me see what I manage to prepare. I have been at this topic for about 10 years now and I am constantly updating my process here and there.


To give some first answers:
- Yes, I integrate x86 and x64 versions (still having trouble with what the image name really means since imagex shows something a bit different than the list in setup.exe).
- I use an x86 basis (Win7 Ultimate before, now I started working with Win8 Pro) since I figure it will boot on any machine
- I generally use a set of make files running on the MSYS environment; not sure if I should have done it (the escaping of special characters is frequently annoying) but it is a good and working process
- the previous I do on a Windows Server 2008 R2 (i.e. x64), but I see no reason why it should not run on any machine


Regarding the Win7/8 specifically, I really just had a bunch of imagex calls to merge the various windows versions into one wim, then split it, and with the help of ei.cfg ran a manual installation.

I will see that I post the actual imagex call I used.


@everyone helping so far: thanks! I am again and again amazed how knowledgeable people are around here. and how friendly!

Edited by xpman, 18 June 2013 - 03:00 PM.


#7
xpman

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I will see that I post the actual imagex call I used.


Before reading on, please remember I am using makefiles in the msys shell environment. Probably an oddity around here (?)

The following gives just the right split swm files to put onto a FAT32 USB stick or a non-UDF DVD. As I said I tried this twice with Windows 8.
$(IMAGEX) //split ""$(ROOT_WINNT61)/sources/install.wim"" ""$(ROOT_WINNT61)/sources/install.swm"" 2048

The following is the statement I use to integrate into a copy of an English Windows 7 x86 install.wim
-@$(IMAGEX) //export ""$(SRC_ABS_W07SP1DE)/sources/install.wim""  1 ""$(WIM_TARGET)/sources/install.wim"" "Windows 7 HOMEBASIC x64 Deutsch"

I hope this helps a bit? It is just what I copied from other threads essentially.



On a side note, what still confuses me is the naming for the injected images.
- It seems setup.exe uses the display name from install.wim if it is unique, or the image name if it is not.
- Post-fixing all images with the architecture, I also end up with the same version being in the install.wim twice (once with the original name, with never seems to have x64/x86, and once with the post-fix). Does imagex really just use the name strings to identify a version?
- I am mainly asking because I see nothing via imagex /info that suggests the CPU architecture for the image.

Edited by xpman, 30 June 2013 - 09:20 AM.


#8
SomeoneSuperior

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Can you make a tutorial of the whole process?






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