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Make a multi-install USB Flash drive using grub4dos and Windows ISO files


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#101 steve6375

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Posted 08 January 2019 - 11:21 AM

If an ISO is in a standard menu folder, then \_ISO\e2b\grub\QRUN.g4b contains the code that runs it.

 

Look for the :.isodef label in the file.

 

The things that may stop the ISO from using wimboot if placed in the \_ISO\WINDOWS\xxxx folders are:

  • TOTAL RAM <1300MB
  • WinHelper drive present
  • NOHELPER set
  • non-standard ISO


#102 wimb

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Posted 08 January 2019 - 11:57 AM

 

If an ISO is in a standard menu folder, then \_ISO\e2b\grub\QRUN.g4b contains the code that runs it.

 

Look for the :.isodef label in the file.

 

The things that may stop the ISO from using wimboot if placed in the \_ISO\WINDOWS\xxxx folders are:

  • TOTAL RAM <1300MB
  • WinHelper drive present
  • NOHELPER set
  • non-standard ISO

 

 

Thanks, finally I found the code for wimboot in grub4dos menu  :)



#103 wimb

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 02:24 PM

Apparently wimboot does support UEFI, so you can UEFI-boot to grub2 and inject and boot in that way.

However, since the normal E2B process does not use grub2, I did not try it.

I may try it from the E2B grub2 menu system, but I am not sure how to get grub2 to write/change file contents in order to write the full path of the ISO into a file somewhere...

 

AIOBoot-v0.9.8.17.7z supports to boot WinPE via wimboot from Grub2 in Legacy mode and iPXE in UEFI mode.

 

For me wimboot from Grub2 in Legacy mode is working OK, but wimboot using iPXE in UEFI mode fails with Error double free at 0x97523140 Aborted.

 

I don't get the iPXE menu, but I don't know how to fix it ....

 

Anyway booting to WinPE in BIOS Or UEFI mode and Windows Setup is very well supported by using Windows Boot Manager menu

as made by Microsoft Media Creation Tool (Architecture both 32 and 64 bits) .



#104 steve6375

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 02:51 PM

Yes, WinPE booting is well supported by normal MS techniques BUT if you want to boot from an ISO AND specify an unattend.xml file then it is not well supported (and very confusing too!).

 

In many versions the XML file is only detected by Setup if it is on a Removable drive.

 

By injecting batch files into the WinPE X: drive using wimboot, we can run Setup.exe and specify any XML file of our choice.

 

There is no dependency on having to use a Removable USB flash drive.

 

Using E2B, you can select an ISO, select an XML file and then let it fly. The XML file can wipe, partition, format and install a specific SKU of Windows and configure it all unattended. When a new ISO is available, just use that instead of the old ISO.

 



#105 wimb

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 03:39 PM

Yes, WinPE booting is well supported by normal MS techniques BUT if you want to boot from an ISO AND specify an unattend.xml file then it is not well supported (and very confusing too!).

 

In many versions the XML file is only detected by Setup if it is on a Removable drive.

 

By injecting batch files into the WinPE X: drive using wimboot, we can run Setup.exe and specify any XML file of our choice.

 

There is no dependency on having to use a Removable USB flash drive.

 

Using E2B, you can select an ISO, select an XML file and then let it fly. The XML file can wipe, partition, format and install a specific SKU of Windows and configure it all unattended. When a new ISO is available, just use that instead of the old ISO.

 

OK, using such XML file and wimboot is a very nice solution for booting in BIOS mode, but for Install on GPT partition then booting in UEFI mode is needed.

 

In BIOS and UEFI mode it is handy to boot with Win10 x64 VHDX from Portable SSD and then use WinNTSetup and ISO file for Install of Windows 10 x64 on GPT partition.

WinNTSetup also has the advantage that you can use some Tweaks and it allows to Create VHDX with direct Install of Windows 10 x64 into VHDX.



#106 steve6375

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 08:22 PM

Do Windows updates work OK when booting from a VHDx ? I thought there were some issues if it does a major update + hibernation + fast save issues etc?

Presumably if iPXE wimboot UEFI could be made to work then we could run similar batch fie inside boot.wim to run setup with specified XML?



#107 wimb

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 08:47 PM

Do Windows updates work OK when booting from a VHDx ? I thought there were some issues if it does a major update + hibernation + fast save issues etc?

Presumably if iPXE wimboot UEFI could be made to work then we could run similar batch fie inside boot.wim to run setup with specified XML?

 

Windows Update is working fine for Win 10 x64 in VHDX. Windows 10 x64 in VHDX booting from USB on my computer is also activated.

I have hibernate off and no pagefile so that the VHDX is on its own and Windows System of the VHDX is not connected to other filesystems.

 

Using AIOBoot I could not get wimboot working for iPXE in UEFI mode, but may be you are able to do this ....

 

Attached File  W10x64NL-VHDX.png   388.76KB   0 downloads






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