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How to boot/install from USB key ?


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#351
wimb

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In my newly build computersystem with ASUS M2A-VM HDMI motherboard,
the BIOS provides two ways to change the boot sequence.

By pressing F8 it provides a BIOS boot menu,
from which one can select a temporary desired boot device.
The USB-stick is seen as second Harddisk and can be selected as boot device.
This is usefull for booting from USB-stick Puppy Linux, BartPE or MS-DOS,
but it is not usefull for Windows XP Setup from USB-stick !

For Windows XP Setup from bootable USB-stick it is necessary to enter BIOS Setup by pressing [Del]
and change Boot settings more permanent so that Harddisk is used as first Boot device type
and USB-stick is seen as first Harddisk. In this case everything works very well.
In Windows Setup from USB-stick it is essential that also after Restart for the GUI-mode of Setup,
booting occurs again from USB-stick and that USB-stick remains to be seen as first harddisk = rdisk(0).
After Setup has completed, binifix4.cmd will make the necessary correction in boot.ini on computer harddisk
by changing rdisk(1) in rdisk(0).

More INFO:
http://www.911cd.net...o...=19731&st=7

Regards,

wimb

Edited by wimb, 02 October 2007 - 01:10 AM.

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#352
lilas

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Hi all,

I succeeded to install XP using wimb's usb_prep2 package.

1- Due to lack of real hardware, I used qemu with two disk images, one image simulating the USB key, the other is is the hard disk to install XP to.
So I have to comment out one line (vdk remove) in the usb_prep2.cmd otherwise it would close my USB key (vdk) drive during USB stick preparation!

2- In my system (and also under QEMU), disk with fat32 formatted with XP cannot be booted (disk error, press any key to restart), so I have to use
grub4dos grldr loading directly the boot loader. Adapting grub4dos menu.lst to get equivalent to boot.ini entries is not a problem, this has already been
used at the first topics of this thread.

3- During text mode setup, the hard disk to install XP to is seen as D: (which is normal, since under QEMU the USB key is set as first hard disk).
Upon reboot after first text mode setup, I do not have to select GUI setup, curiously (fast timeout?) it chains automatically to GUI setup.

4- Then at later reboots, if I keep the USB key as first hard disk, no problem. I see that on D: (second hard disk) there is no boot.ini/ntldr/ntdetect.com
on the root, so I copy them from USB stick, with modification to boot.ini for correct rdisk(0). Afterwards I change QEMU config so there is only one disk:
the XP installed HDD (so it is equivalent to remove the USB stick). The systems boots OK.


If I understand things correctly, normally after text mode setup, we should remove the stick, then the GUI set would take place on the HDD where XP
will be installed? Is it correct? In my simulation, there is no real USB stick so that probably the ntldr/boot.ini/ntdetect.com are not copied to the root of the disk.
Which could be a problem.

#353
wimb

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If I understand things correctly, normally after text mode setup, we should remove the stick, then the GUI set would take place on the HDD where XP
will be installed? Is it correct?

Your statement is wrong. In the normal situation for install of Widows XP from real bootable USB-stick, the stick remains all the time connected and can only be removed after first logon of Windows XP, when setup has completely finished.

I have no experience with the use of QEMU, but it seems to me that the use of real hardware is preferred and will make things less complicated.
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#354
ilko_t

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Hi,

Thanks for the feedback :)

3- During text mode setup, the hard disk to install XP to is seen as D: (which is normal, since under QEMU the USB key is set as first hard disk).
Upon reboot after first text mode setup, I do not have to select GUI setup, curiously (fast timeout?) it chains automatically to GUI setup.

Have you checked menu.lst timeout? In some of the earlier posts default entry is changed dynamically using "savedefault XX" command, 1-st boot TXT, next boot will be auto dafaulted to GUI.

4- Then at later reboots, if I keep the USB key as first hard disk, no problem. I see that on D: (second hard disk) there is no boot.ini/ntldr/ntdetect.com
on the root, so I copy them from USB stick, with modification to boot.ini for correct rdisk(0). Afterwards I change QEMU config so there is only one disk:
the XP installed HDD (so it is equivalent to remove the USB stick). The systems boots OK.


Using QEMU doesn't simulate real scenario with USB boot.
Windows TXT Setup writes boot files (boot.ini, ntldr, ntdetect.com) to the first hard disk, first active partition, that was your SOURCE disk, not the destination one.
With USB sticks, seen as removable (not fixed as USB hard disks) despite the fact USB stick was first on boot, it's seen as SECOND when TXT Setup detects hard disks to install on. Boot files are saved to 1st disk (IDE or whatever).
If destination hard disk is SATA and IDE device is present, IDE must be disconnected or controller disabled for the proper order, this has been discussed several times already.
Boot.ini on destination hard disk is wrong, rdisk(1) instead of (0). Binifix.cmd corrects that, rdisk(z) gets rdisk(z-1). Thanks to jaclaz for his scripts, guidance, and willingness to help :thumbup

Setup could be installed from 3 media types, Setup detects that and adjusts accordingly - CD/DVD, hard disk, RIS. For CD source folder must be I386, for hard disk $win.nt$.~ls and .~bt. Leave RIS alone.
For hard disks folders $win.nt$.~ls and .~bt are considered as TEMPORARY, as such are being deleted on a few stages- some files when TXT part copies (moves) them, all are from ~LS folder, at GUI T-1 both folders are deleted completely.
What we do is to write-protect USB device during TXT mode via MIGRATE.INF (many thanks to cdobfor that :) ), and temporarily rename source folders during GUI mode, so Setup cannot find them and delete. On first logon they are renamed back, that's why USB stick MUST be leaved plugged until after first logon.

You used QEMU, source disk was NOT write-protected. I bet you couldn't do another install from the same disk unless using the original image again, some source files were deleted (from the ~LS folder only, but not all files). GUI trick saved the rest, but many files are deleted, the ones which are copied (moved) during TXT part.
Wimb has spent a lot of time to test, added other features and polished the initial usb_prep.cmd. :)
Now I am waiting someone to help with dummydisk.sys in order to use USB hard disks.

Thats briefly what is happening.

ilko

Edited by ilko_t, 01 October 2007 - 12:31 PM.

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#355
jaclaz

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@ilko_t

Cannot remember if we talked about this :unsure::
http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=19422

Can you (or someone else) test it with USB hard disks?

Or it has been already tested and it does not work? :blink:

jaclaz

#356
ilko_t

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@ilko_t

Cannot remember if we talked about this :unsure::
http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=19422

Can you (or someone else) test it with USB hard disks?

Or it has been already tested and it does not work? :blink:

jaclaz

Umm...that's what we use, what cdob suggested to write-protect USB during TXT mode.
It does work for USB hard drives, but those are seen as first hard disk during detection, Setup tries to put boot files there, it's write-protected and Setup aborts with "disk is corrupted".
Remove write protection, boot files go to USB disk, and source files are being deleted during TXT mode. Catch 22.
Get a new (waiting for that on few forums-no responses so far) from dummydisk.sys to force USB fixed disks to be seen as removable, source should not be listed as first disk, boot files go on destination hard drive, exactly how it works with USB sticks. Tests needed, and a way to load dummydisk.sys early.

ilko

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#357
lilas

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Thank wimb, ilko_t, jaclaz and all.

It is true that using QEMU does not reflect real USB condition (removable, USB etc...).
And after verification it is true that some files have been deleted in $WIN_NT$.~LS and 3 other files
modified :
\$WIN_NT$.~BT\migrate.inf
\$WIN_NT$.~BT\winnt.sif
\$WIN_NT$.~BT\migrate_inf_org.txt

Question:
migrate.inf
before installation:
uniqueid="C:\WINDOWS\CON"
after installation:
uniqueid="C:\WINDOWS\MOI"

Is it normal this change ? Or only due to USB key simulated not protected under QEMU (since it is not a real USB key).

Also in migrate.inf I have a change in:
Language=00000409
to country specific code (choice of language).

Congratulations for all your effort to put a working solution for USB key. It remains as ilko_t said to complete for USB hard disk.
For your information, another interesting experimentation direction is to get XP install ISO on the USB key which appears as
a real CD (CDFS) like U3 USB key:

http://ubcd4win.com/...?showtopic=9333

My preferred way (but not fulfilled now) that grub4dos can (as bcdw currently can) boot directly iso file
from the USB key. This will probably open lot of new possibilities. grub4dos (and syslinux) has already the capability
to boot diskette images, now they lack booting CD image (ISO). Maybe some developers are on the way? :-)

#358
ilko_t

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These 3 files are modified by usb_prep.cmd. Not sure where this one came from:

migrate.inf
before installation:
uniqueid="C:\WINDOWS\CON"
after installation:
uniqueid="C:\WINDOWS\MOI"

as I believe that should be in winnt.sif (typo?) and (the entry) is created/changed by winnt32.exe. If winnt.sif exist in your source folder it's used, if doesn't winnt32.exe creates a generic one.

Same applies for language=....

Thanks for the info about U3, I found it interesting :)

My preferred way (but not fulfilled now) that grub4dos can (as bcdw currently can) boot directly iso file
from the USB key. This will probably open lot of new possibilities. grub4dos (and syslinux) has already the capability
to boot diskette images, now they lack booting CD image (ISO). Maybe some developers are on the way? :-)

That would be sooo nice :) You are not the only one wanting it, I think Jaclaz keeps himself very well informed in that matter and would ring the bells if there is something new.

ilko

Install Windows from USB, boot Linux, multiboot and a lot more with WinSetupFromUSB


#359
jaclaz

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@ilko_t
Thanks for the clarification, I lost myself a few posts ago. ;)

So, next step is to find a way to "reverse" the logic of the dummydisk.sys. :)

@lilas
Unfortunately the CDFS trick implies fiddling with the USB controller firmware (actually the U3 is an "already fiddled with" firmware) I have found at least one controller (and it's manufacturer utilities) that allow setting the USB Flash mamory as a CD, but this would only apply to that model, and to this you add, if they were not enough the peculiarities of the various BIOSes.


@All
The problem with grub4dos booting from .iso is a non-problem, I am afraid. :(

Though most probably this feature will eventually be added to grub4dos, we already have ISOEMU, but the limit it has (being able to boot DOS and Linux images, but NOT 2K/XP/2003 ones) will remain in grub4dos.

The problem, AFAIK, is not in grub4dos code, but rather in the way NTDETECT.COM works.

The solution will be when (and if) someone will find a way to use a disk image driver (like filedisk, VDK or Imdisk) instead of the RAMDISK driver, or when (and again if) someone will write a "monolithic" "miniport" USB driver, that can be used as NTBOOTDD.SYS.

Or maybe when the guys at tinykrnl.org or at reactOS.org will produce a new "compatible" set of loader files. :unsure:

Here we are in a real CATCH-22 situation:
Anyone interested in this has not the knowledge/experience to write this code.
Anyone who is capable to write such a code is not interested in this.

jaclaz

#360
lilas

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@ilko_t
Yes, it was a typo. It is winnt.sif.

For the U3, it seems (I may be wrong) that some articles talk about converting/simulating plain USB key to U3, so
that it presents a CDFS interface on the first partition. And the mentioned article is only to hack this process to get bigger partition
to host bigger ISO like BartPE or XP install.

@jaclaz
I agree with the file disk driver instead of RAM disk driver.
By the way how does bcdw code work since it can boot iso files (it is already in CD so probably this must be easier).
In some posts I remembered you said bcdw author does not leave source code and remains unreachable. It is really a waste!

#361
ilko_t

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@wimb

I found 2 minor glitches in the procedure:

1. Some addons for Nlite place their files in \I386 and/or in subfolders in I386. This is not reported in dosnet.sif and/or txtsetup.sif, thus winnt32.exe doesn't copy those files/folders, which causes errors during setup. We need a final check when copying files to the virtual drive, like copy all from I386 to I386, including subfolders, do not overwrite if file/folder exist.
This way we won't need the option for XP/Tablet, folders will be copied anyway.
Actually dealing with winnt32.exe on anything but an original source is such a pain...

2. I had a custom $OEM$ folder with NLite cmdlines, and this was overwritten by the batch, put some prompt or check if such folder exist.

This could be helpful- put in boxes with the default values like drive letters etc. [currently: none], then [currently K:] or something like that, what do you think?
The other thing was marker file for BTS mass storage, did you change that already? Can the drive letter be typed without : ? Would be easier.

If you have the time could you look at these, if not I will try during the weekend.

Regards,
ilko

Edited by ilko_t, 03 October 2007 - 10:41 PM.

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#362
lilas

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I have a conflict between UBCD4Win and Install XP from USB.
I have a multiboot USB key using grub4dos.

UBCD4win uses:
title Ultimate Rescue USB key for Windows
find --set-root /minint/setupldr.bin
chainloader /minint/setupldr.bin


The XP install uses:
title Phase 1 Install XP from USB key (text mode)
find --set-root /setupldr.bin
chainloader /setupldr.bin

Before XP install, I do not have in the root the file txtsetup.sif and UBCD4Win works well.
Now with this file, /minint/setupldr.bin invokes same thing as XP install, so I lose UBCD4Win.
How can I manage to have both functions ?

#363
wimb

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@ilko_t
I was not aware of the two problems when using NLite,
because I was using RyanVM Integrator for integrating Updates in XP.
But I think that the changes that you proposed for the usb_prep2.cmd file can solve the problems with NLite
and I will try to make an updated version.

I noticed also that for some cardreaders (ICIDU) the valdid drive check for USB-stick in undoren.cmd results in an ERROR Alert, which can be overuled by clicking Continue for each cardreader drive.
This might be overcome by limiting the range of valid driveletters for USB-stick e.g. that the valid range is M-Z,
so that the probable range where cardreaders might occur is excluded.

@lilas
Your problem in combining UBCD4Win and XP Install in a MuliBoot USB-stick corresponds to what occurs for BartPE.
I found in this case a nice solution by using a small Hexedit of peldr as described here:

http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=20089

For a MultiBoot USB-stick combining BartPE ( minint folder ) and the LocalSource of Windows XP Setup (see below),
I found the following solution to make BartPE boot from the minint folder, instead of launching Windows XP setup.
Hexedit peldr using TinyHexer. Change in peldr the first occurrence of txtsetup.sif in notsetup.sif
Now BartPE will boot from minint folder and will not use WinXP txtsetup.sif from root directory.

I think a corresponding solution will be possible for MultiBoot USB-stick with UBCD4Win
by a similar Hexedit of setupldr.bin in minint folder.

Regards,

wimb

Edited by wimb, 04 October 2007 - 12:05 PM.

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#364
lilas

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@winmb

The hexedit of /minint/setupldr.bin as mentioned works perfectly. Thank you!

#365
jaclaz

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This might be overcome by limiting the range of valid driveletters for USB-stick e.g. that the valid range is M-Z,
so that the probable range where cardreaders might occur is excluded.


As I see it, 99.99% of users of this method will normally use on their PC's, at one time or another, a PE of some kind, and of those 99.99% will use a SP2 build, so we can make the drive letter X: as fixed, and that will cover in 99% of cases, then provide an easy way for the remaining 1% to change letter manually.

jaclaz

#366
lilas

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I have today the opportunity to test the XP install procedure on real hardware. The USB key is prepared with usb_prep2.cmd.
Internal drive IDE empty, but already NTFS formatted.

Got 3 missing files that I solved incrementally by copying from source ISO (i386 directory). My ISO is French one, with SP2 integrated.

1)
\$WIN_NT$.~BT\vgaoem.fon could not be loaded. The error code is 14.
2)
\$WIN_NT$.~BT\c_437.nls could not be loaded. The error code is 14.
Setup cannot continue. Press any key to exit.
3)
cannot load kbdus.dll (missing).

So looks like although it is French installation, the 3 above files are still needed.

After putting those 3 files (vgaoem.fo_, c_437.nl_, kbdus.dll), so far so good, I got to the screen to select the hard drive (C:),
but then I hit a big problem:
4)
In file .sif used by setup corrupted or missing:
Value 0 at line of section [SourceDisksFiles] with the key "SP2.cab".

Setup cannot continue. Press F3 to quit.

I do have a file \$WIN_NT$.~LS\I386\sp2.cab

I do compare txtsetup.sif between root of USB key and in \$WIN_NT$.~BT\ and they differ only by new 3 lines present
only in \textsetup.sif (root):
[SourceDisksFiles]

binifix4.cmd = 100,,,,,,_x,2,0,0
undoren.cmd = 100,,,,,,_x,2,0,0
ren_fold.cmd = 100,,,,,,_x,2,0,0

Do you have any idea to solve this? Thank you.

Edit: it looks like that the error was due to missing some files win51, win51ip, win51ip.sp2. They were deleted by previous install (?).
With those files, the file copy by setup is OK.

Edited by lilas, 05 October 2007 - 11:11 AM.


#367
lilas

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OK I just do an install XP from scratch, all it worked ! Except two points:
1)
the boot.ini on the installed (C:) disk still invokes rdisk(1) which is bad once I unplug the USB key.
I believe somewhere there is an automatic procedure to do this rdisk(z-1) ?

2) After successful install, the directories
$WIN_NT$.~BT
$WIN_NT$.~LS
are changed (renamed) on the key to
WIN_NT.BT
WIN_NT.LS

(no $ nor tilde). So the key cannot not be reused as is for another install, unless to rename the 2 above directories.
Apparently there is a problem somewhere ?

Edited by lilas, 05 October 2007 - 01:07 PM.


#368
ilko_t

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OK I just do an install XP from scratch, all it worked ! Except two points:
1)
the boot.ini on the installed (C:) disk still invokes rdisk(1) which is bad once I unplug the USB key.
I believe somewhere there is an automatic procedure to do this rdisk(z-1) ?

2) After successful install, the directories
$WIN_NT$.~BT
$WIN_NT$.~LS
are changed (renamed) on the key to
WIN_NT.BT
WIN_NT.LS

(no $ nor tilde). So the key cannot not be reused as is for another install, unless to rename the 2 above directories.
Apparently there is a problem somewhere ?

Did you leave stick plugged in until after the first logon?
At first logon binifix.cmd and undoren.cmd should fix BOOT.INI to Z-1 and rename the 2 folders back, there is also txtsetup.sif renamed.

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#369
lilas

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@ilko_t
Maybe I missed something, but on USB key boot (boot.ini), I got either text mode or GUI mode setup.
First I select text mode, then install in text mode.
On first reboot, I select GUI setup and install in GUI mode;
On second reboot, if I do not unplug the key, I will have only the same two choices: text and GUI setup.
Or GUI setup is already done. So which choice I had to ? This is why I have to unplug the key then found
a mean to edit the c:\boot.ini on the HDD to manually fix the z-1 order.

Sorry but probably I missed some step apparently.

Another question: in
\$WIN_NT$.~LS\$OEM$\CMDLINES.TXT
I add another call to another .cmd file:
"useraccounts.cmd"
"install.cmd"

Each cmd above has its own exit as last line. Is this correct? Or only the last .cmd has to have "exit" line?

Edited by lilas, 05 October 2007 - 01:56 PM.


#370
ilko_t

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@lilas


After GUI Setup leave stick plugged, on next reboot windows will be launched. The default entry in BOOT.INI on USB stick applies for both GUI Setup and normal launch.
So your first normal launch (after GUI mode) should be made from the stick again, then on the first logon files will be fixed- boot.ini to Z-1 and the 2 folders + txtsetup.sif renamed back to their original names.
Once you complete your first login you may remove stick.

You raise makes sense- the entry "GUI Setup" in boot.ini is a bit misleading. May be rename it to "GUI Setup and First logon" or something like this.


About cmdlines- without being an expert at all in cmd I think EXIT should not affect the other CMD files listed, I may be wrong, somebody with better experience should comment on that.

I am glad it worked for you, seems just a few minor fixes should be made.

Regards,
ilko

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#371
lilas

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@ilko_t

OK thank you for your explanations. So maybe for real newbie and clearer presentation, boot.ini could be like this:

C:\SETUPLDR.bs="Step 1: TEXT Mode Setup Windows XP"
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Step 2: GUI Mode  Setup Windows XP" /FASTDETECT
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Step 3 (final): First logon Windows XP (unplug USB key after logon)" /FASTDETECT

The user will understand that there are 3 steps, each step is done after a reboot, step 3 is final step.
I don't know whether value could be hard-coded as is, but if yes, then maybe no more need for dynamic substition with z-1.

I redo a full install again and all works well. The missing 3 files I mentioned in previous post were most probably due only to a wrong USB key
(I have two USB keys to experiment with). So you can ignore this problem.

For the "exit" in cmd file, I was afraid that it could cause the following cmd file not to be executed. Maybe somebody could confirm/infirm this.
In the meanwhile, to be sure, I merge the content of useraccounts.cmd with my install.cmd, leaving only one "exit" at the end of file.

Thank you for all of you for creating a beautiful working procedure on this passionating subject of XP install from USB key.
See all of you soon,

#372
ilko_t

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hi lilas,

The boot.ini entry for GUI and normal start is no different, hard drive is still seen as rdisk(1), USB stick is still rdisk(0). If GUI setup is not performed yet it will be, if it's completed a normal start will occur when using the second entry. So the boot.ini should look like this:

[Boot Loader]
Timeout=10
Default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[Operating Systems]
C:\SETUPLDR.bs="Step 1: TEXT Mode Setup Windows XP"
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Steps 2 and 3: GUI Mode Setup and First logon" /FASTDETECT

We should also put a clear message somewhere not to unplug stick until the first logon has completed.

Regards,
ilko

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#373
lilas

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@ilko_t
OK I understand and agree with you. My separate Step 3 entry in boot.ini of the key is useless since the key as you said will still be rdisk(0).

Note that the logon is important to rename and change the ini entry to z-1. Since in my installation after GUI setup I do not see any logon, I
access directly to the desktop (maybe with a default user ?). So after checking that boot.ini and folders are not changed/renames, I do a manual
close session and then logon as administrator. And then I did verify that c:\boot.ini is well changed (z-1), and the two folders on the USB key
are renamed back correctly.

Question: is it really z-1 or hard coded to zero (since z=1?). What happens if I install to another partition then the first partition? also maybe on another disk
than the first disk, e.g. HDD2 (USB key, HDD1, HDD2) ? Could you confirm that these cases are covered ?

Also is there a project to install Vista from USB key, or is it already covered? As far as I understand, it seems that for Vista it is easier,
since normally you prepare/format the key under Vista (diskpart/bootsect), copy all the files from Vista CD to the key, that's all. Is it true?

#374
jaclaz

jaclaz

    The Finder

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@lilas
The ideas of the z-1 came EXACTLY because some people might want to install XP on a non-first disk:
http://www.msfn.org/...B...html&st=204
http://www.msfn.org/...B...html&st=240

Latest version:
http://www.msfn.org/...B...html&st=280
with this amendment:
http://www.msfn.org/...B...html&st=286

Just open the .cmd in notepad, it should not be too difficult to follow it's way of working.

You might think of the way XP sets arcpaths as a FIFO stack, if you boot off a drive, it will get a z of 0, effectively "pushing" all other arcpaths for (n) drives to z(n)+1, what the batch does is simply to reverse this behaviour for the newly installed system.

Partition numbers w, being "relative" to hard disk number, are unaffected by this inserting the USB stick before normal boot drive.


VERY GOOD WORK :thumbup
in reporting, we need more feedback as accurate as yours.

jaclaz

#375
wimb

wimb

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  • Joined 21-March 07
NEW RELEASE is Available as usb_prep3.zip file in Attachment.

All necessary changes regarding NLite, boot.ini and Cardreader have been taken into account.

The new release was tested twice with success on different computers.

GOOD LUCK !

Regards,

wimb

Attached Files


USB Booting - UEFI_MULTI

MBR-Backup - Make-PE3

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