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#1 okhomer

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Posted 03 April 2017 - 05:52 PM

Background:  We have been using a 128GB drive formatted with RMUSBPrep for installing different versions of windows with no problem.  We had to move to a larger drive and used the same steps we used with the smaller drive.

 

Problem:  We have noticed since moving to the new drive it will not load Firadisk to load the ISOs.  Found out it is because the new drive is marked as "fixed". 

 

Resolution?:  Is there a way to mark the drive as "removable" or are there other ways to load the ISO's to install windows without the need of a "helper disk".

 

Thanks.



#2 steve6375

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Posted 03 April 2017 - 06:03 PM

There is no easy way to change it to 'Removable'.

You can  add a 'Helper' USB flash drive (removable type) and Windows Setup will get the XML file from there.

 

Or use Easy2Boot and convert the ISOs to .imgPTN files (which also gives you Secure boot UEFI  capability).

 

Another way is to use a IODD 2053 and load a virtual Removable Drive .RMD file. Then the IODD will act as a USB HDD and the .RMD file will act as a small removable drive and this will work with E2B in the same way that a Removable drive worked.

 

Note that many BIOS have a 137GB USB drive limit bug, so don't use any file which is past the 137GB point on a large drive. It's OK once you load an OS, but under grub4dos you will have problems on many systems!



#3 okhomer

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Posted 03 April 2017 - 06:08 PM

Thanks.  Does .imgPTN files play nice with autounattend files?



#4 steve6375

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Posted 03 April 2017 - 06:15 PM

A .imgPTN file, when used with E2B, is a partition image.

So it will behave the same way as a flat-file structure would on a USB HDD (e.g. like a USB HDD prepared with Rufus).

 

To use a variety of different XML files with the same Windows install payload, you will need to modify the boot.wim.

 

Chandra's new Split_WinISO utility makes this really easy! It will convert an ISO to a .imgPTN file and also inject the winpeshl.ini code into the boot .wim file for you. This means you just have to add all your XML files onto the image and edit the \auto.cmd file to present the user with a menu to choose the correct XML file.

 

See http://www.easy2boot...m-imgptn-files/  Method 3



#5 steve6375

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Posted 03 April 2017 - 06:19 PM

P.S. depending on your requirements, you might want to look at WinNTSetup.

The latest version allows you to run diskpart scripts to wipe and partition the drive and then run Setup from any Windows ISO - it is a slightly manual process though (although it can be scripted).

 

The other possible solution is WinSetupFromUSB.



#6 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 03 April 2017 - 06:28 PM

Just for the record, at the time the loading of the ISO via the Loadiso.cmd (triggered by unattended.xml) was found as being the most straightforward solution, but it was not the only one,  maybe OP may modify the actual .wim and solve the issue, here as a reference is when this workaround was found:

http://reboot.pro/to...cddvd/?p=123783

 

The "whole" thread should contain other possible ways, but they will need either manual intervention (shift+F10) or modifying the .wim.
http://reboot.pro/to...required-cddvd/

 

:duff:

Wonko



#7 okhomer

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 03:35 PM

Thanks Steve.  I have done all above and all is working except the unattended files.  It is not loading them or running the Auto.cmd.  I am looking a the boot.ini file and I do not see the winpshl.ini just a .exe and also not seeing the mysetup.exe.  Should I inject them?



#8 steve6375

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 04:28 PM

The link I gave refers to Method 3

1. Mount the boot.wim file as in method 2 above using GimageX (make sure you select the Setup image - usually #2 - inside the boot.wim file)

2. Copy in the winpeshl.ini and mysetup.cmd file to the  windows\system32 folder of the mounted boot.wim image - e.g. F:\mount1\windows\system32

3. Commit the changes and Unmount boot.wim (close ALL Explorer windows first or you may get an error!)

Read more: http://www.easy2boot...m-imgptn-files/

 

If you used Chandra's Split_WinISO utility it would have added the files into the boot.wim for you.

 

Steve



#9 okhomer

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 04:37 PM

Thanks.  I am using Chandra's Split_WinISO utility.  I see the auto.cmd.  Inside it says

 

@echo off
color 1f
FOR %%i IN (C D E F G H I J K L N M O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z) DO IF EXIST %%i:\Auto.cmd set UNAT=%%i:
if not exist %UNAT%\Auto.cmd echo Could not find Auto.cmd & pause & exit
 
:loop
cls
echo.
echo Choose an option
echo.
echo 1 Install Windows
echo 2 Choose later and enter the Product Key manually
echo.
set ask=
set XML=
set /p ask=Please choose :
if "%ask%"=="" goto :loop
if "%ask%"=="1" set XML=AutoUnattend.xml
if "%ask%"=="2" set XML=AutoUnattendBlank.xml
if "%XML%"=="" goto :loop
 
x:\setup.exe /unattend:"%UNAT%\%XML%"
exit
 

​From there is should prompt me

 

1 Install Windows
2 Choose later and enter the Product Key manually

 

But instead it is just going through the install like normal.


Edited by okhomer, 06 April 2017 - 04:39 PM.


#10 steve6375

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 04:40 PM

Chandra's Split-WinISo should have prompted you to add the winpeshl.ini files - did you see that?

The files are added inside the boot.wim file (image #2).

Has the boot.wim file been modified?

 

When boot.wim boots, it will execute the winpeshl.ini file which will then run the \windows\system32\mysetup.cmd script which will then look for and run \auto.cmd on the USB drive.



#11 okhomer

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 04:46 PM

I did not see that prompt.  I will try again.



#12 steve6375

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 04:47 PM

Did you use the latest version?

Did you use the MPI button?



#13 okhomer

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 05:06 PM

I am using 1.1.1 with the exe in the MPI folder.  I am also selecting MPI button.  I do see the notice and clicking yes to add the files, then convert it to .imgptn



#14 steve6375

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 05:07 PM

Sounds correct. If you open the boot.wim using 7Zip afterwards, you should see the extra files have been added into image #2???



#15 okhomer

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 05:16 PM

No.  I am not seeing those 2 files.  Just a winpeshl.exe.



#16 steve6375

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 05:17 PM

Are you looking at image #2???



#17 okhomer

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 05:18 PM

Yes.  I also looked at 1 and nothing there either.



#18 steve6375

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 05:19 PM

strange, it worked for me last time.

You will have to add them in yourself.



#19 steve6375

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 05:25 PM

So Split_winISO made the .imgPTN file - you added it to your E2B USB drive and then Switched the .imgPTN file in so that your USB drive now has a 'flat-file' folder layout with \sources\boot.wim accessible in Explorer?

just checking...



#20 okhomer

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Posted 07 April 2017 - 11:54 AM

Ok. So now after injecting the files it looks like it is going to start something but then the PC restarts. Could it have something to do with me working on a Win 10 PC?

Edited by okhomer, 07 April 2017 - 11:54 AM.


#21 steve6375

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Posted 07 April 2017 - 12:00 PM

Attached File  CaptureAutocmd.JPG   46.64KB   1 downloads

 

I used a Win 10 64-bit 1607 Microsoft ISO and Split_WinISO 1.1.1 and MPI Tool Kit 0.073.

It worked just fine for me (on a Win 10 1703 64-bit system).

I switched to the .imgPTN file and MBR booted to the CSM menu and then chose option 1 for MBR boot.

It booted to PE and I got a blue cmd shell with the prompt to choose an XML file.

UEFI-booting also gave me the same blue cmd shell.

 

So what ISO are you using?

Did it modify the boot.wim?

 

 



#22 okhomer

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Posted 07 April 2017 - 12:26 PM

What the hell am I doing wrong then.  Should be so strait forward.  I am currently trying it on a Windows 7 AIO that we downloaded from somewhere some time ago. 



#23 steve6375

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Posted 07 April 2017 - 12:34 PM

AIO's may not work!

They may not boot to image #2 boot.wim or the \windows\system32 folder may be modified so that winpeshl.ini is ignored.

Check the BCD to see what boot.wim image is being run and then check inside that image for new/changed files.



#24 Hydranix

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Posted 07 April 2017 - 05:20 PM

Hate to crash your thread with an alternative solution after all the progress you've made so far but...


You could always reconfigure the flash drive firmware to present two LUNs to the system, splitting the size of each to be some ratio of the total size of the flash drive. That gives you some flexability while also avoiding the "fixed" disk flag.


You could even go a step further, as most flash drive firmwares support splitting the total size of to 2 to 4 LUNs, and simultaneously presenting a virtual CDROM to the system which is created from an ISO file during the reconfiguring of the drive.

So that even the BIOS sees not 1 block device over USB, but 1 or more block devices, and optionally a cdrom all at the same time from a single usb flash drive, using a single usb port.


My current primary fixer flash drive is set up exactly in this way. It contains 1 read/write scratch area, 2 virtual cdrom for booting, 1 read-write firmware encrypted and hidden storage space for sensitive information in the event that i drop that damn thing on the train, and a 1 read-only LUN that appears as a floppy/hdd for pesky buggy BIOS.



#25 okhomer

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Posted 07 April 2017 - 06:10 PM

I would love to do that.  That is how this thing started. 






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