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Installing Vista x64 Ultimate on FAT32

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#26
dencorso

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Your apologies are warmly accepted. :yes:
What I wrote *is* easy to misinterpret, and you don't know me enough to be able to guess how I meant it.
...And emoticons help little in cases like that, regretably.
 
Now, the subject is really involved. You've ventured into one of the long-standing open problems about Vista and successors. 
Dietmar has proven it's doable to boot Vista sp0 x86 from FAT-32. No one knows how good it's long-time stability is.
And nothing more is know about all other Vista+ OSes, except for the experiments Tripredacus has just performed. 
I hope to be able to join the experimentation after Dec 20 or so. Before that I'll have to be content to provide suggestions and discuss results, but I won't be able to contribute any original experiments myself, although I'd much like to.
 
For now I have to say I keep betting the best way to copy the proble directories and files is XXCOPY, which is very powerful and up to date. IIRR it does have a x64 version, but that's not free. [Later edit: I stand corrected. Thanks, bphlpt! :thumbup ] The free version is a command-line application, although it may use an independent progress-bar window (which I deem absolutely unnecessary, but some users love). I think XXCopy and FAT32Format are the best alternatives to perform their respective jobs, in this case. Please do you all kindly give a good look at  XXCOPY and Reparse Points... I'm sure one of those options may solve the issue you found, Tripredacus.


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#27
bphlpt

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  • All XXCOPY packages come with both the 32-bit version (XXCOPY)
    and the 64-bit version (XXCOPY64).  With one site license, you may
    mix and match the word-size (32-bit vs 64-bit) as needed.
 
And this is true even for the free Home version, as best as I can tell.
 
Cheers and Regards

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#28
jaclaz

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Anyways, see attached for the great list of files that were skipped, which I am guessing is due to 8.3 support.

No, nothing connected to 8.3, all your errors - as expected - are with "reparsepoints" which you can read as "hard or soft links or mountpoints",
 
Try - as Dietmar did - to create just the empty directory/directory structure for each one of those.
You can use a small batch/oneliner to re-parse the output log you have.
Something like:
 
 



FOR /F "tokens=2,3 delims=:" %%A IN ('type mylog.log ^| FIND "\"') DO ECHO "%%A:%%B"

 
If it works (or modify to make it work, I did not test it), replace ECHO with MD.

 

I would personally also experiment with XXcopy. :)
 
 
 

First off, I wanted to apologize; I never meant blast anyone.  I think you know where I was coming from, and I'm sorry I misinterpreted the intended tone of resonses.

NO prob :thumbup .
 
jaclaz


Edited by jaclaz, 04 December 2013 - 05:39 AM.


#29
Tripredacus

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xxcopy is taking some time. It looks like it was able to handle Documents and Settings, but I can tell that it is failing (says Copy Failed) on the files in WinSxS. I won't know any more until it is finished.


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#30
dencorso

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I think you may get to fix it by playing with the numerous command-line options offered by xxcopy.

Then again, using two different apps to copy the partition contents could be a solution, too, even if a somewhat more awkward one.



#31
Tripredacus

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Well it started out looking like it would be better but it isn't. This attempt using xxcopy failed because the OS doesn't boot at all.

 

Directories Processed = 11,550
 Total Data in Bytes   = 12,627,711,041
 Elapsed time in sec.  = 965.6 (16 min 5 sec)
 Action speed (MB/min) = 784.7
 Files Examined        = 67,059
 Files Copied          = 59,055
 Error Count           = 11,225
 Exit code             = 255 (Exit code is the number of failures plus 100)

 

The elapsed time is very wrong. It was at least 6 hours since it was still going when I left. We can tell there are less errors, or that it copied approximately 2,000 files that xcopy didn't. It did not fail on all the items in WinSxS. Most said either "Copy Failed" or "Can't Create" but some did succeed. At least from what little (comparatively) I could tell from what was left in the console.

 

After I rebooted, I got an error from Boot Manager saying winload.exe was missing. I made the partition Active but it still gave that error. So I booted back into WinPE to run BCDBoot, but it gave me this error:

 

BFSVC Error: Unable to load MUI file for BCD strings (2).

 

I took a look-see into C:\windows\system32 and confirmed that winload.exe was not present. In fact, there were only 3 .exe files in there, so that's definately a problem! Anyways, I will have to take a break from playing with this because I need to use that PC for something else.

 

It is possible I had not used the proper arguments with xxcopy. This was what I used:

 

xxcopy d: c: /S /E /H /K /JR

 

I can't remember if I used /N or /B, I should have written it down.


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#32
dencorso

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If you can give it one last try, for the time being, do try:  :angel
 
xxcopy d: c: /clone /yy
 
More info: XXCopy Technical Bulletin #010

#33
JodyT

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Wow!  This is sounding VERY difficult.  Like I said, I thought that a partition conversion utility would do the trick, but it's sounds like a process ridden with problems.  I think come Januaray when I perform my installation of Vista x64, I will stick with NTFS using 4 KB clusters.

 

Now I just need to figure out how to not let the MFT grow too much in size after I delete files.  But that's for another thread.



#34
jaclaz

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Wow!  This is sounding VERY difficult.  Like I said, I thought that a partition conversion utility would do the trick, but it's sounds like a process ridden with problems. 

 

You also forgot to insert "unexpectedly" or "surprisingly". :whistle:

 

jaclaz



#35
JodyT

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I'm not sure that I follow jaclaz (???)



#36
jaclaz

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I'm not sure that I follow jaclaz (???)

Nothing of much relevance :) but since the very first reply to your original question, on post #2 user Ffin, and later yours truly on post #5 tried to convey you essentially two things:

  1. a partition conversion won't work
  2. it would be a difficult process - and if possible at all - ridden with problems

this is strangely similar to the result of Tripredacus attempt to deploy directy to a FAT32 filesystem on post #13, which got a very similar comment from me on post #14.

 

jaclaz



#37
bphlpt

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So, in other words, you essentially mean "I told you so"? ;)

 

Cheers and Regards


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#38
dencorso

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The reason I think XXCopy can do it is because MRGCAV or Dietmar used XXCopy Pro for it in the already mentioned (in post #2, bynuser Ffin) How to install Windows Vista on a FAT32 partition and the differences between XXCOPY Pro and Freeware are mainly irrelevant for this purpose, so the free version should be able to do it (then again, that was actually done with Vista x86...).



#39
jaclaz

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So, in other words, you essentially mean "I told you so"? ;)

 

Cheers and Regards

Yep. :)

More exactly it was the "passive" form, "You had already been told so", implying "What did you think, that it was instead doable with a partition conversion and that it was easy?" :w00t:

 

I would additionally state how I believe that though XXCOPY, among all the tools, is the only one that may be able to do the copy, it won't probably work nonetheless :( :ph34r:.

 

What the method Dietmar used consists of, essentially, was not to copy from the NTFS to the FAT32 the "tricky" files/folders, but rather to create the empty files/folders structure and then use the Vista "Repair" feature to "fill the gaps".

 

I suspect that in this process Vista is somehow "tricked", finding an already installed operating system, into bypassing the (perverted) logic that was inserted in order to prevent the installing of it on a FAT32 and "unbundles" the complex "net" of hard and soft links, making a "plainer" install.

 

In other words, I think that when a method for achieving something similar (32 bit instead of 64 bit) exists, attempting to use the same documented method has bigger probabilities to work - at least partially - than "re-inventing" the method.

If and when a success is obtained with the the known method, then it is the time to experiment with new, strange ways to replicate.

As a matter of fact, IF I was interested (and had the time and source OS) in the matter, I would first try re-doing EXACTLY what Dietmar documented (with the 32 bit OS), then try the same method if successful with 64 bit and only later attempt to find whether are there any better, easier, ways to replicate. 

 

jaclaz



#40
JodyT

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So, in other words, you essentially mean "I told you so"? ;)

 

Cheers and Regards

Yep. :)

More exactly it was the "passive" form, "You had already been told so", implying "What did you think, that it was instead doable with a partition conversion and that it was easy?" :w00t:

LOL - Actually yes, I reluctantly take someone's final word without challenging it, and I've learned that while some see it as a contestant persoanlity trait, it's actually a good thing.  Too many times when I've taken "no" for an answer and then pursued something further, I ended up getting my wish (whether it was finding a vinyl LP that every online and retail channel said was not available, or accomplishing a function on the PC that could not be done)

 

When you think about it, the Win9x and Win2KPro forums are full of cases where users of those OSs were told "no", but because they were stubborn, they can now do many things on Win9x and Win2KPro that were deemed impossible.

 

To me that sort of stubbornness is inspiring (off putting to some indeed...lol, but inspiring in terms of what it can accomplish)

 

Nonetheless, I'm very appreciative of all of the information and ideas you've all offered.


Edited by JodyThornton, 07 December 2013 - 05:33 AM.


#41
bphlpt

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In your current case, you started out asking whether anyone was aware of any issues with a few particular aspects of the way that you had in mind of trying to install Vista x64 on a Fat32 system.  Bottom line, the answer is "No, no one knows", because no one here has ever even tried to do such a thing, nor are they aware of anyone else that has tried it, and they are only aware of one recorded instance of a successful installation of Vista x86 on Fat32.  So there were a few offshoot conversations about why you wanted to do such a thing, which then progressed to doubting that you would be successful.  But you had not even asked about that possibility, you had just assumed that it would be possible.  Then Trip even went as far as to run some tests, though so far they have been unsuccessful.  You have succeeded in stirring up some interest, though, like jaclaz, I'm not sure that there would be any noticeable improvement in operation.  I know that you say that you have noticed a difference on some of your XP x64 systems and have read of measurable differences under certain conditions, HDD sizes, etc.  But then XP easily runs on Fat32, while above XP, not so much.
 
So if you still have an interest in exploring this option, like dencorso said in post 12, it's probably time for you to "stop talking, and proceed to experimentation", and like him, I also mean that with respect.  I know that you mentioned that your plans were to do this next year, but it seems you also now agree that even if it is possible, that it will not be an easy task, so the more time you can devote to experiments the better.  If you now feel it is a more difficult task than you are able to attempt, then that's fine as well.  If you wish to proceed, I agree with jaclaz that it makes sense to first try to repeat and verify Dietmar's methods.  You might even also do an install with Vista x86 on NTFS so you can compare the two and see if you can perceive any noticeable difference in performance between them like you say you can on XP x64.  If there is no difference, or the performance or operation on Fat32 is impacted in any detrimental way, then that might also influence whether you want to continue to attempt installing Vista x64 on Fat32.
 
Of course, if your interest in this is more academic or you just want to do it "for fun", or just to prove that it can be done, then take all the time in the world you want to play with this concept.  Like you say, I'm sure that at least some of the folks that still use Win98 or Win2K do it merely to be stubborn and thumb their noses at those who said that it couldn't be done, or just enjoy being different.

On the other hand, if you want to have a stable, reliable, flexible, day-to-day system, do you really want to be the very first one we know of to run Vista x64 on Fat32, when we also have no evidence that even Vista x86 on Fat32 is reliable long term?  You began this thread asking about the WinSxS folder, and then the bootloader was immediately brought into question. And that doesn't even take into account dealing with WU/MU and then actually installing the updates obtained, which I assume you feel is important to do. Nor have I seen it even mentioned about whether all of the apps you want to run will all work correctly. Sure, they all "should", but then you thought getting the OS to run would just be a matter of converting the partition with PartitionMagic. There are bound to be unforeseen "gotcha's". IMO, this just doesn't seem like a smart progression from your stable XP x64.  Just a few things to think about.

 

Cheers and Regards


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#42
JodyT

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Thank you for your comments (very well thought out I must admit).  Are you saying in your closing statements that I should stick with Windows XP x64 Edition?  Will the stability I have with it remain as exploits are possible down the road?

 

I wrote this on the XP x64 Forum; maybe you can give me your thoughts:

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

I mentioned on the Vista forum that soon, I'll be ready "upgrade" to Vista x64 Ultimate in January.  For some reason, the bios and SCSI subsystem on my HP XW8200 Workstation doesn't fully support Windows 7, so I'll move to Vista x64 instead (I ran a test installation back last year for a couple weeks and Vista ran REALLY well on my system).

 

So that means I am on my last two months of Windows XP x64 Edition.  As I mentioned in the other post, it's almost bittersweet, since I'm looking forward to using something more updated and supported, but my XP x64 installation runs so smoothly.  I guess my concerns are two-fold.  One is that support for current software will be increasingly dropped week by week, and month by month.  Gradually, I won't be able to browse a modern web, and that concerns me.

 

Also, I am concerned about the lack of support when it comes to Windows Updates after April.  Now I know there are convoluted workarounds to allowing Windows Server 2003 updates to install on Windows XP x64 Edition, but even then; that's only fixes me until July 2015.  So I figure I may as well jump to Vista now and enjoy three years of having a supported OS.  That should last the life of the machine.

 

I would love to stay on XP x64.  I loved using three specific operating systems in my computing life: OS/2 Warp v3.0, Windows 2000 Professional and now Windows XP x64 Edition.  They have been absolutely trouble free (acutally OS/2 had that single input queue freeze up issue but oh well...lol).  But I wish there was a direct replacement for XP.  I wish there was a newer version of Microsoft Windows that had a low memory footprint, and worked well with a wide variety of apps.  XP was also easier to streamline thanks to nLite...lol.

 

Oh well, thanks for the memories Windows XP.



#43
bphlpt

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It probably depends on your true needs.  If XPx64 and all your current apps meet your needs for the foreseeable future, then I don't know that you need to be in a hurry to change.  I assume we are talking about home use?  IIRC, even after extended support was dropped for Win2K, updates continued to be released for some time for the truly critical problems that came up.  And it is very likely that anti-malware apps will continue to be updated for XP, and by using them along with a hardware defense mechanism such as a good router, and of course being careful and aware when you are on line and having and using a good backup strategy, you really should be fine for quite a while.  Since XP still enjoys such a large market share, there very well might be some third party that steps in with some kind of support program.  I have seen rumors of such, but so far they are strictly rumors.  And even if XP is not updated much, if at all anymore, the advantage to that is that no new problems will be created.  New ones might be "found" but none will be "created". :)  And as the majority of users shift further "upward" to Win7 and beyond, new exploits will be more and more focused in that direction as well.  Some folks now say that Win98 is one of the "safest" OS out there since no one bothers to target it anymore.

 

If you feel you need, or want, to make a change, personally, I would suggest making every effort to see if you could get Win7 to run on your system, even if you need to make some hardware changes in order to do so, if you can afford it that is.  It would seem likely to "future-proof" you better, since that seems to be a concern.  I won't even tease you with suggesting Win8.  I wouldn't do that to my worst enemy. :)

 

But I also do not really see a problem with Vista x64.  It seems it would be the easiest change for you and would still give you official support for a while, and would give you a chance to get used to the newer ways that MS does things now, such as NTFS and WinSxS.  Yes I know they seem more inefficient and bloated than you are used to, and they are from a hardware perspective.  But look at it from a software creation cost perspective.  People keep wanting their software to do more and more.  In the old days, that meant having to tweak every bit of efficiency out of every byte of code, because, compared to today, memory and disc space were limited, CPU speed was slow, and all of those things were expensive.  Now as hardware has improved, your smart phone is faster and has more storage space than desktops of old, and it's even "free", with a 2-year service plan. :)  "Real" computers, ie desktops or laptops, are fast and have vast amounts of memory and storage space, for less money than the old systems cost, especially when you take inflation into account.  What has gotten more expensive is what it costs to develop the software, ie manpower costs.  And since the memory, disk space and CPU cycles are available, it is cheaper and quicker for the software developer to get more features by writing bloated, inefficient code, than to take the time it would require to write code like they used to write it.  Also, some of those "inefficiencies", do provide more features, like the WinSxS folder.  It gives you more abilities to uninstall updates that you wouldn't have otherwise, for example.

 

Again, because of the hardware improvements, there is just not the need for the normal user to do the kind of "liting" of their OS as there used to be.  Even if any improvements in performance could be measured or even noticed, it just won't make enough of a difference to matter in normal day-to-day use.  As an old timer that predates PCs, I remember using the early PCs that used 8" floppies or cassette tapes or even paper tape, and the 1MHz 8-bit CPU ran its OS and apps in a total of 64K bytes of total memory, at most, so it is horrifying to see the amount of memory and disc space that OS and apps take up today.  But when I wrote code "back in the day", we would spend days optimizing routines to save 10 bytes and 6 machine cycles because it mattered back then.  Now it doesn't.

 

If you choose to try Vista or Win7, I would suggest not trying  to "lite" the OS at all at first.  In fact I would suggest installing it with every option enabled and live with it a while.  Try all the features and options.  Absolutely tweak and enhance it however you want, but don't remove or disable anything at first.  (This will also ensure the most compatibility with other software and cause less problems with "missing" features or future updates.)  Once you have seen what you truly don't need or don't like or doesn't meet your particular needs with your other software or whatever, then you can begin disabling features.  Continue to live with it like that for a while so that if you were wrong, then it's easy to re-enable the feature and you're back in business.  Only after you are really, really sure you don't need or want something should you even consider removing it, and even then, will it really make a difference?  If not, just leave it disabled.

 

Sorry for getting off topic. :)  I know all of these suggestions aren't really appropriate to someone who has used computers for as long as I'm sure you have, but you got me started and it all seemed to be related.  heh-heh  :)

 

Anyway, I don't know if anything I said will make any difference to you, but good luck with your decision.

 

Cheers and Regards


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#44
jaclaz

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@bhplt

An exceptionally good and interesting breakdown of the reasons :yes:, BUT you will need to properly define "people" in this sentence :whistle::

 People keep wanting their software to do more and more.  

AND you omitted mentioning Wirth's Law :w00t::

http://en.wikipedia....iki/Wirth's_Law

 

:)

 

jaclaz



#45
dencorso

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+1 (in reference to bphlpt's post #43 above). :)
Those are wise words.
And consider multibooting... 9x/ME brought me to MSFN. Here I learned about multibooting. Nowadays, I just wonder how did I manage to survive using single boot machines for so long. With XP x64, Vista x64 (and a bootable image of Vista PE x86 or a Live Linux image for emergencies) you cover all the bases.



#46
JodyT

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It probably depends on your true needs.  If XPx64 and all your current apps meet your needs for the foreseeable future, then I don't know that you need to be in a hurry to change. ....  And even if XP is not updated much, if at all anymore, the advantage to that is that no new problems will be created.  New ones might be "found" but none will be "created". :)  ....  I won't even tease you with suggesting Win8.  I wouldn't do that to my worst enemy. :)

 

But I also do not really see a problem with Vista x64.  It seems it would be the easiest change for you and would still give you official support for a while, and would give you a chance to get used to the newer ways that MS does things now, such as NTFS and WinSxS.  ... Again, because of the hardware improvements, there is just not the need for the normal user to do the kind of "liting" of their OS as there used to be.  Even if any improvements in performance could be measured or even noticed, it just won't make enough of a difference to matter in normal day-to-day use.  .... If you choose to try Vista or Win7, I would suggest not trying  to "lite" the OS at all at first.  In fact I would suggest installing it with every option enabled and live with it a while.

 

Anyway, I don't know if anything I said will make any difference to you, but good luck with your decision.

 

Cheers and Regards

Some of your points I wanted to address.  And this was exactly the sort of viewpoints I was looking for.  I am a capable person when it comes to systems, but I like to hear others opinions.  So no worries about being off-topic.

 

( a ) I didn't "Lite" the installation of Vista x64 when I used it last year, and it was on an alternate hardisk.  I am the first to say that it ran VERY WELL.  Other than the boot logo/welcome screen taking much longer than XP (I use classic logon with XP x64), once the desktop appeared, it was likety split fast.  I even foucsed on authoring MMC plugins using the Trusted Installer creds (so for example, I could customize my services screen), running all of the apps I needed (I know now that I had to install Windows Help so that I could use "Help" on classic apps using the Help code based on v3.0. Everything ran pretty smoothly.

 

( b ) I did defeat services and processes,  I found that turning off Indexing, and removing the Index Pointers on the NTFS partition gave a resonably noticeable performance boost (except of course with searching...lol, but that's OK).  Defeating SuperFetch also performed better (I retained conventional Prefetch).  An I have many years experience with NTFS parttions since the Windows NT 3.5x days, modifying cluster sizes, etc....  I have just always noticed that FAT32 performed better on small volumes (It certainly did in Windows 2000 and XP) and I didn't yet try to see if Vista followed suit.  But given the difficulties, I'll stick with NTFS :)

 

( c ) I still hate to hate something bloated just because we have ample hardware resources to our disposal.  I like things quick and tight.  Just because I can get a 1 TB drive doesn't mean I want my OS to gobble up half of it.  I want it so I can store insame ooodles of data.

 

( d ) I will definitely go with Windows 7 on my next machine (I am not a fan of Metro, so Windows 8 is out; though I hear that when using the Explorer shell and Explorer based apps, it's actually faster than Windows 7), but since I have the Vista OS and it's legit, I'll use this until 2017.

 

I really appreciate your comments.  Have a super weekend.



#47
jaclaz

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( b ) I did defeat services and processes,  I found that turning off Indexing, and removing the Index Pointers on the NTFS partition gave a resonably noticeable performance boost (except of course with searching...lol, but that's OK).  Defeating SuperFetch also performed better (I retained conventional Prefetch).  An I have many years experience with NTFS parttions since the Windows NT 3.5x days, modifying cluster sizes, etc....  I have just always noticed that FAT32 performed better on small volumes (It certainly did in Windows 2000 and XP) and I didn't yet try to see if Vista followed suit.  But given the difficulties, I'll stick with NTFS  :)

 

That is not an issue at all if you start using a good searching tool that parses the $MFT, such as ;):

http://reboot.pro/to...y-that-is-fast/

http://sourceforge.n...ts/swiftsearch/

 

jaclaz



#48
jaclaz

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I was just indirectly reminded of this thread, and - in order to keep things as together as possible - here are the results of some experiments with 7 (32 bit) on FAT32:

http://reboot.pro/to...rdlinked-files/

 

 

The current 7-zip version is fine to "apply" the .wim, but the sheer number of stupid Winsxs Manifest files is the show-stopper (but user ztron has posted a possible way out :)).

 

jaclaz


Edited by jaclaz, 12 April 2014 - 10:34 AM.


#49
oldskool

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I tried to read this thread and I just can't.  Author of the thread is under the assuption that running vista on fat32 will be faster.  So wants to do this.  That being said an assumption is just that.  So if OP wants to do this just becasue he/she can and wants to by all means do so.  Without proof that vista will run faster on Fat32 or even run the idea or want to do this is entirely under false pretenses.  I think by now OP has his answer so I will leave as that. Would like to add if you want a fast system why run vista. So basically the whole discustion is moot in my opinion.



#50
jaclaz

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Without proof that vista will run faster on Fat32 or even run the idea or want to do this is entirely under false pretenses.

Sure :), but unless someone tests it (and reports), noone can say whether it will be faster or slower. :whistle:
That's more or less the whole background of "experimenting" :yes:.
JFYI:

Life is "trying things to see if they work".

 
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