nuhi

nuhi is back, post your suggestions here

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Cannot say if possible at all (possibly it is not or it is so mindboggingly complex that it is not worth the time to change this :ph34r:), but the one thing that IMHO sucks big at nlite is the non-progressive approach, but since it is "wish day", I'll mention it anyway.

I mean, we have been taught that Rule #1 of nlite is that you never use nlite on an already nlited source.

This is highly counter-intuitive, as I see it.

The usual carpenter example, if you want to fit a plank into a given space, you roughly cut it to the given length (always with a little excess) and then you use a rasp or some sandpaper to finely shorten it until it fits perfectly.

With nlite is just like you have to use one single circular saw cut and if it doesn't fit you throw away the piece of wood and start again from a new longer plank. :w00t:

MInd you I am not asking to re-add something that was already removed (which would be BTW another nice feature, given the amount of people that removed too much and then came here whining that something was amiss and that it as really really needed and how to re-add it) I am talking of the possibility of starting form "less aggressively" reduced sources to experiment with "fine tuning".

jaclaz

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phaolo and jaclaz, you both are mentioning iterative approach. nLite does support multiple sessions, it is not made to be used only once, just that it is recommended approach because of what I will explain next.
There is confusion with presets, as you start piling up last sessions, they would need to be merged. If something was removed then adding hotfix for it popups up missing files messages and people wonder why it is not integrating. Update packs can literally change everything, and nLite can't track that, or should I say it would be a nightmare to map all changes into entities and undo packages.

nLite gives you the ability to save whatever it does in a single file (plus unattended preset for safety reasons), so you can easily start fresh by copying your prefer source. That source can be whatever you want and made from whatever steps you want.

Configure that source before nLite, back it up, and there is your nLite undo.

I see no real problem there, maybe you can give me a scenario where you must use nLite many times and prefer to use multiple presets each time.
Of course it would be ideal if nLite detected that you already enabled a certain tweak which can be done with a group policy, reg entry, a batch script, an addon, but that is just dreaming as the combinations are too great.
And lastly, returning missing components is simply too much work for a non-issue, simply start fresh and use same preset with that component not removed, simple as that and requires no tricky - easy to messup - multiple combinations of post-hotfixing returning of old component and who knows what other combination.

In short, if you find a bug that is caused by running nLite multiple times, please report. To undo what nLite did, use your source on which you used nLite and configure the preset differently.

And in case you get mad at me not understanding, I am not dissagreeing with you that it would be ideal, I am just saying it is not practical to have undo from nLite itself, it would be much more complicated and prone to bugs.

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I am not going to get mad at you :), and from the beginning I declared how probably it would have been too complex, yet, the current usage paradigm is IMHO counterintuitive, and even once you get used to it (nothing particularly difficult, but still not very "user friendly") managing the pre-sets is a bit complex/prone to errors.

Let's see if I can "convince" you to think about a slightly different approach. :unsure:

A completely separated tool, that can parse an existing preset in a more convenient display, let's say a "spreadsheet like" view, and that allows comparing two pre-sets and "merge them" in a new one.

jaclaz

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I agree with Jaclaz that the current nLite tool has too many quirks when processing a modified source. My main complaint is that it modifies a lot of setup files to remove comments and white space on every run. This makes it harder to compare the differences when using version control to check what changes are made.

I would like to have a detailed info tab in nLite which describes exactly what files are modified and why it is necessary to make those changes. It should also explain what nhelper.exe is doing and why it is added.

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There is confusion with presets, as you start piling up last sessions, they would need to be merged

The first times that has really been a nightmare, also because I didn't expect such behaviour (after the first image I was like: "my nLite settings..wtf!?").

Luckly, now I don't need to change much configs. :sneaky:

A nLite auto-merge feature or a global setting or, at least, some warning.. would be nice.

Configure that source before nLite, back it up, and there is your nLite undo.

Yeah, I currently do that multiple times while processing, but it would be good if you could continue with an already made iso (with untouchable options grayed out) or at least see exactly what has been changed (see below).

What about my DriverPacks question, instead?

My main complaint is that it modifies a lot of setup files to remove comments and white space on every run. This makes it harder to compare the differences when using version control to check what changes are made.

I would like to have a detailed info tab in nLite which describes exactly what files are modified [..]

I totally agree with this!!

That would be useful also when you need to add manual tweaks.

Edited by phaolo
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Hello,

I can give you an annoying scenario.

You sart nLite on XP SP2 (or less),

you tell nlite to

-add SP3

-remove all languages (beside some you use)

This is all fine. But in a next run, if you try tu use the saved presets, nLite will read that preset file, state that some languages are not present (because they are not added yet by the Service Pack that is included after nLite reads the preset file?) and those languages will appear unticked when they do stand in the preset file as "to be removed").

I think there was also a bug with the unattended preset. nLite can't handle modified or added users from the saved presets.

We've had people finding their entire desktop copied to the iso because they had put a driver on the "Desktop" (to be integrated by nLite).

You need to make the "MAKE ISO" button bigger and flashing red or place it where the "Next" button is now or replace "Next" by "Finish without making ISO". Some people miss it, click Next and come here saying there is no ISO created.

Few options you need to rephrase (numerous threads,if you want, just search on "disable enable", and my name).
-SFC; let chose between "SFC enabled (default) and "SFC disabled". (Now it's "disable SFC:" "Enable (default)/Disable", which is confusing to some).
-"Press Any Key"; from your comment down the screen, it is totally a guess if "Enable" means enable the option or enable the message. Even more when you check the two next options ("Remove Duplicate File"s and "Remove Old Bios information")
I once suggested you replace the right part by "keep(default)/remove" instead of "enable(default)/disable"

An other SFC cosmetic bug; when SFC is removed (thus on a modified source), the greyed out dropdown says "Enabled" instead of "Disabled".

When using Unattended settings on XP Home, nLite forces you to create a user but still XP creates "owner", so there is no need for that additional user. Someone found a workaround here. And it was discussed here as well.

Cheers.

Edited by Ponch
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There is confusion with presets, as you start piling up last sessions, they would need to be merged

The first times that has really been a nightmare, also because I didn't expect such behaviour (after the first image I was like: "my nLite settings..wtf!?").

Luckly, now I don't need to change much configs. :sneaky:

A nLite auto-merge feature or a global setting or, at least, some warning.. would be nice.

My main complaint is that it modifies a lot of setup files to remove comments and white space on every run. This makes it harder to compare the differences when using version control to check what changes are made.

I would like to have a detailed info tab in nLite which describes exactly what files are modified and why it is necessary to make those changes. It should also explain what nhelper.exe is doing and why it is added.

I totally agree with this!!

That would be useful also when you need to add manual tweaks.

I disagree somewhat with you guys.

Piling up last session preset is not a big deal once you understand its behavior.

You can use names or numbers or a combination of them.

There are 2 preset files, both have the same name with the difference in "_u", wich is used by the unnattended settings, any preset that you have with whatever name you have changed, it is going to be recognized by nLite. For me has been very easy to find 6 presets after try&error, i started by renaming with names.

The difference between one or the other i have found with 'beyond compare' (trialware), not a big deal.

I prefer to keep off too many details because it would be too much work and it will take too much room in the screen, i like the last nLite behavior (v1.4.9.1).

Suggestion:

I think that it is very easy to add, and is related to last session presets, add rename last session on preset selection after its first time of nLite use.

Additional to it, option to add/edit a description in the preset in the same section, useful when using more than one OS or nLiting the same OS in a different way.

One more, pre-set a name to a new "last session file that is going to be created with nlite" instead of leave it by default.

Has been a long time that i haven't used nLite, my last updated source is somewhat outdated, maybe a year but i used HFSLIP for slipstream and nLite for component removal, tweaks and unnattended source.

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jaclaz, I always had one preset to manage, as far as I have experienced multiple presets happen during the learning process when a person is testing something, unsure what to do.
Merge option in the preset page would be nice. What I like similar to that is incrementally adding to the last session, maybe asking the user to insert save data into the tagged preset or create a new one.

Acheron, the setup files as they are by default are a mess, nlite formats it all to be more consistent, the RVM Integrator does similarly as noted in this topic earlier. Now that could be a separate option, true. nLite's options grew faster than people could report multi-session issues, if I was here for the last 5 years, many if not all of those quirks would be gone, so let's not jump to conclusion that nLite as it is, is my final word. But now with future and all :), it might never become what it could have been.

phaolo, first thing I saw when going to DriverPacks forum was a big no to using nLite with their product. It is either a poor handling of competition or I missed those bug reports. So please explain the steps to me how to reproduce the errors with that combo, or simply link me the existing bug reports. For example am I supposed to support their pack integration, or just to integrate drivers with nLite after their tool was used and what driver do you use for getting the error?

Ponch, that languages-not-removed bug seems familiar to me, it was something about some langs being actually detected over a text entry which doesn't get removed unless something else happens, can't remember now, but it is an exception, not a rule... no other component should do that, and if it does let me know. I'll check those langs with a fresh perspective.

Driver integration copies the folder the driver is in, it is mentioned in the UI, and to put it bluntly - people who extract files raw into a folder with other files deserve what they get.

Now you could say that I should parse the INF and draw only relevant files for those lost souls, but it is a low priority at this point, even though I would like that very much and it is doable. Driver installation during install works on a PnP basis, so all infs and their files that get integrated are relevant, it is not junk data.

Similar to that I would get reports that ISO is too large, and to my surprise they would put ISO files to a drive root directly. I added routines to warn when selecting a drive root as the source.

Was I supposed to parse txtsetup/dosnet and recreate windows setup as well... just venting a little.

Thx for the UI suggestions, I will go over them in detail.

Home edition admin, interesting, will look at that as well, thanks.

Maxfutur, preset renaming and description, adding to the list of consideration.


So the next version will be mainly bug fixes around the direct integration, all of the other suggestions I will look into for the version after the fixes are stabilized.

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Well, hi :)

So I am back, in other words free to work on nLite again. I am willing to consider updating it if you guys have some serious requests, be it fixes or missing functionality over the years.

For now there is no plan to update vLite, I am working on something else which will cover that area. The release date is not yet known, it is safe to say it can be counted in months, not years.

Fire away, if there is anyone left :)

Oh wow, Christmas came early this year :w00t:

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Ponch, that languages-not-removed bug seems familiar to me, it was something about some langs being actually detected over a text entry which doesn't get removed unless something else happens, can't remember now, but it is an exception, not a rule... no other component should do that, and if it does let me know.

The problem is not that the component is not rremoved, it's the box being unticked by nLite. When manually reticked (which defeats the concept of presets), component are removed.I think other components do that as well.

Same scenario; take XP SP1, run nLte, integrate SP2, remove "Nachi &Blaster removal tool" (or whatever it was called), which is a component aded by SP2, the setting will be saved in lastsession.ini.

But do it again, load XP SP1 and your presets, integrate SP2, the box is now unticked (!).

This is because obviously, nLite needs to read the preset file to show that "you did integrate a Service Pack last time", but it also processes the whole file and doesn't find that component at the time in the source and so decides that it technically can't be removed.

Maybe there's a way to recheck the "remove components" part of the presets after packs have been added?

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Ponch, first let me say, just in case it needs to be said, nLite detects components by reading the source, not from presets.

Seems to me what you are suggesting is to bind preset to a specific source?

If you select something to remove on source 1, create last session, load source 2, it will be checked there for removal.

And also you are introducing Service Pack integration into the mix, when that happens it is a question if the preset is saved or not before it, and reloaded after, that is a minor issue regardless as the whole source changed after slipstream.

If you are suggesting that component selection for same component which was there before slipstream is lost during slipstream, that is a bug report, seems to me it is far from proving that the whole concept is wrong :)

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Ponch: annoying scenario[...] you start nLite on XP SP2 [...] add SP3 [...] remove some languages

[...]"MAKE ISO" button bigger and flashing red or place it where the "Next" button is now or replace "Next" by "Finish without making ISO

Uh lol, that's my scenario, because I have a WindowsXp SP2 cd. I recall some weird behaviour too, so I always avoided restarting nLite and preferred a full single session.

I agree with the "Make iso" button issue, I often missed that the first times (also, only "Mkisoft ISO engine" worked for me).

nuhi: DriverPacks forum was a big no to using nLite with their product [...]am I supposed to support their pack integration, or just to integrate drivers with nLite after their tool

In the linked FAQ they say:

How to install DriverPacks with nLite? It does not work well. - Please don't.

Please use nLite and make all of your changes first. Then run DriverPacks BASE to add your drivers.

[...]You can leave nLite open at the create ISO page while you run DriverPacks BASE.

I guess it's just some incompatibility. The best ideal scenario would be if you could find with them any nice compatible solution. Is it possible?

Edited by phaolo
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I'll try again to be clearer. This goes over the same source. The twist is the SP, which changes the source. Same scenario, explained more precisely;

You have XP SP1, you start nLite, at that point probably it checks a default list of components (remember, 99% things you know, I don't). You load no preset because this is your 1st time. You tell nLite to use "integrate SP" and "Remove Components". AFTER nLite has integrated the selected SP, it shows you the list of components, "Blaster Removal Tool" is present, you can tick it and finish. In the saved ini file, "Blaster Removal tool" will appear (meaning it has been ticked for removal).

Now you restart the same thing except you load "Last Session". nLite will show you that you have SP1, that you choosed to "integrate a SP" and to "Remove components", I suspect AT THAT POINT, it has already "detecte/reads/decided" that the components listed for removal in the ini files are "present or not" and thus "to be removed for real or ignored". ...but Blaster Removal Tool is NOT present yet. This results in the fact that AFTER you integrated the Service Pack, you are presented with the list of components to be removed, but "Blaster removal tool", altough being listed (like your 1st time), is now still unticked. So Same source, same actions, different results. Same for few languages.

That's why I say that the presets should (if possible) be rechecked after the SP (or any pack) is integrated, just before presenting the list of components to be removed.

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nuhi, despite these quirks nLite is still a great tool which has helped me get into the world of customizing Windows setups and slipstreaming updates. Recently I have worked on removing a lot of legacy stuff from Windows XP and nLite has helped me to get rid of most.

However some component removal could be divided into subcomponents to remove more, without breaking functionality.

Some things I would like to remove with nLite:

OOBE mouse tutorial (You can remove OOBE, but not this subcompent)

Windows Media Player 9 tour

Animated screen characters Courtney and Earl

The following files can be removed safely with no effect on any functionality:

Windows Help directory:

sniffpol.dll
sstub.dll

Search Assistant directory:

msgr3en.dll
nls302en.lex

System32

pentnt.exe (floating point divide error report utility)

write.exe (redirect to wordpad.exe)

routemon.exe

dvdupgrd.exe

Another minor grief is that when you have removed all this stuff, you still get a lot of empty folders created on each install. To prevent creation of these folders you can comment out the corresponding lines in the [WinntDirectories] section of txtsetup.sif.

Hopefully all of this gets implemented in next release.

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Now you restart the same thing except you load "Last Session". nLite will show you that you have SP1, that you choosed to "integrate a SP" and to "Remove components", I suspect AT THAT POINT, it has already "detecte/reads/decided" that the components listed for removal in the ini files are "present or not" and thus "to be removed for real or ignored". ...but Blaster Removal Tool is NOT present yet. This results in the fact that AFTER you integrated the Service Pack, you are presented with the list of components to be removed, but "Blaster removal tool", altough being listed (like your 1st time), is now still unticked. So Same source, same actions, different results. Same for few languages.

That's why I say that the presets should (if possible) be rechecked after the SP (or any pack) is integrated, just before presenting the list of components to be removed.

May i ask you if you have a localized setup of nLite?

It can be a "normal" behavior in nLite in the case of, when you use a localized nLite (translated to your language), nLite only Save to your "Last session.ini" what is translated, if an option is not translated or its ID is not integrated in the translation file, is not going to be added to the "Last session.ini" file and there is when you get "the unticked" option.

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