March 6th, 2006, 10:04 AM
Create your own personalized Windows cd
I have been a big fan of Norton ghost since I first used it in 1995. Since then I have made ghosts of all my computers immediately after I installed all hardware and apps. The only problem is this is a time consuming task. Having to enter the cdkey, locate application and driver cds, etc is a pain so in my quest I have finally been able to streamline this process. In the past I’ve did unattended installs but have never been able to make it 100% “unattended”.
1. Copy the contents of your windows cd to a folder named xpcd.
2. Delete the folders DOCS, VALUEADD, and SUPPORT. This will free up 22.3 MB or so.
If you don't plan to use this CD to upgrade from a previous OS, you can delete the following folders:
WIN9XMIG, WIN9XUPG and WINNTUPG. This will free up 37.6 MB
If you have a localized language version of Windows in your own language, then you can also delete:
LANG. This will free up approximately 99 MB (This may vary) Approx size of cd is now 330mb.
3. Download the deployment tools http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/d...displaylang=en
4. Run setupmgr to create the answer file, unattend.txt. After it’s created it will need to be renamed Winnt.sif and copied to the i386 folder. Edit the i386\winnt.bat file to reflect your system settings such as letter of cd-rom drive.
Example contents of winnt.sif file:
Example of winnt.bat:
rem This is a SAMPLE batch script generated by Setup Manager.
rem If this script is moved from the location where it was generated, it may have to be modified.
D:\i386\winnt32 /s:%SetupFiles% /unattend:%AnswerFile%
Now that the folder is ready all that is left is to create an El Torito Bootable CD-ROM. Microsoft has a command line iso maker, cdimage. Use it with cdimagegui to make the process quite easy. http://unattended.msfn.org/unattended.xp/view/web/15/ has cdimage, cdimagegui and boot.img. It also has basic info on how to create the bootable cd.
If the procedure is followed correctly you will now have a cd that will load Windows without any interaction! If your hardware is windows hcl compatible you won’t even have to load any device drivers!
http://unattended.msfn.org/unattended.xp/view/web/1/ has a beginner, Intermediate and advanced walkthrough of this procedure.
March 6th, 2006, 01:32 PM
As for slimming down a Windows disc, I recommend nLite. For example, deleting the LANG directory outright could lead to problems down the road. nLite has been refined enough now that it works incredibly well without any bugs creeping up during or after Windows install.
March 6th, 2006, 02:56 PM
Thanks for the feedback @tt!tud3! I'll add a nLite build to my toolkit archive.
March 6th, 2006, 05:57 PM
I know you can use a floppy disk with this info on it, and install windows that way. Man you are bring back memories of my college days. By the way great post...