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Newcomer's Tutorial - LiveXP, Win7PE & Portable Apps!


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#126 amalux

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 05:09 PM

I just tried WinBuilder W7PEX on a 64-bit Win 7 system using a 32-bit Win7 SP1 MS ISO.
It said that I need to install the WAIK - but the WAIK is already installed!!
I found from the log that it was looking in c:\program files (x86) but my WAIK is installed in C:\program files - I moved the Tools folder to C:\program files (x86) and now it is running. Is this a bug in the script?

The best option (for now) is to supply the WAIK location to script
Posted Image

There is problem in x64 recognizing system variables like %ProgramFilesDir% or even %ProgramFiles(x86)%, %ProgramW6432% etc. I'm looking into updating capi (and winbuilder) to hopefully resolve but so far, not playing nice...

#127 amalux

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 05:15 PM

Looking forward to Win7PE_SE (W7.021012) becoming available again, as i believe that version, when slightly customized, will be perfect!!

Take care,

Tony.

uploading now, check links soon... ;)

#128 tony62

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 10:02 PM

Great job amalux! You are a true legend!!

#129 Hy T. Diep

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 05:39 PM

Is there an eta? :D

#130 tony62

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 06:10 PM

One quick question, how do i change the title bar font, as i use a black theme & your tile bar font is black?

Thanks!!!

Edited by tony62, 21 March 2012 - 06:49 PM.


#131 amalux

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 02:49 AM

Is there an eta? :D

It was up (briefly) but upon finding a serious bug in auto-import script, I pulled it for correction. Should be up soon but on hold for the moment...


One quick question, how do i change the title bar font, as i use a black theme & your tile bar font is black.

You can, of course, change manually in PE but I assume you want a script option. Please confirm which script(s) are involved in your custom theme so I can have a look.

Please be aware, everything is on hold due to a health crisis of a loved one I take care of. Hopefully things will settle down by next week...

#132 tony62

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 08:16 PM

Hi amalux,

I just add my own aero.msstyles to the custom theme in display option.

Please focus on your personal circumstances & do not worry about this petty item.

Sincerely,

Tony.

#133 tony62

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 08:27 PM

Hi amulux,

I have found it:

RegWrite,HKLM,0x1,"Tmp_DefaultControl PanelColors",TitleText,"0 0 0"


#134 JanuszChmiel

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 12:52 PM

Dear excellent Amalux,

I have good notice for You.
Yours live XP project is automatically supporting Creative Sound blaster live sound cart out of The box. I must only add The driver and wait for a longer time. So if USB stick is containing The drivers for Sound blaster live at The root folder, driver autoimport is working much more better than i have thought. I have even found out, how totally blind user can detect various situations related to The computer activity.
The procedure is simple and device for detection is not expensive.

Buy USB loadspeakers with input cable equipped with 3,5 MM jack. You must have Yours loadspeakers turned on and connected to The USB port of The computer, which You want to use.

Plug The little headphones to The output connector of The USB loadspeakers. Turn The potentiomether of tThe loadspeakers to The maximum level. Do not have Yours headphones too near of Yours ear.
Plug The input cable of loadspeakers to one of The output connector of integrated or other sound cart of Yours computer.
Listen The sounds received by The transistors build with USB loadspeakers. The technique is safe, do not press The output loadspeakers cable to The connector to The end of The possibility. To receive The sounds.

Thanks to this, i do not have to use non reliable radio receiver for detecting The computer activity.
This technique works with newest and most modern computer, which are using anti radio colision techniques, new techniques of shadows.

So i could find out, when drivers were initialized, i could hear The sound of integrated circuits of The computer motherboard.

Very useful for visually impaired system administrators.

So dear and kind Amalux, Yours project is working excellently.
I will try Yours Windows7 live project, if sound drivers for Windows7 would be autodetected also so reliably like with Windows Xp lie project.

#135 amalux

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 05:20 PM

Dear JanuszChmiel,

Wonderful news! Glad you've discovered it working and helpful. Please be patient with the Windows 7 live project; links should be available in a few days.

#136 sebus

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 06:51 PM

W7.031812.exe as the link on first page points to nowhere

sebus

#137 amalux

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 05:40 AM

Fixed soon, I promise!

#138 Jabez Jarber

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 09:28 AM

Hi Amalux and thanks for a great tutorial.

I have carefully followed your instructions and have successfully built and tweaked a few LiveXP projects. I have even managed to get these booting from a USB Pen Drive following your instructions, although I was a little surprised to note that a 85MB ISO, which loads from a CD in less than a minute, takes over 10 minutes to load from a Kingston DataTraveler pen drive, which supposedly reads at 30MB/sec. This led me to trying to run the build from a external USB hard drive, and I'm afraid I've hit a brick wall.

If I understand your tutorial correctly, I need to set the USB hard drive as active, format it in NTFS, then copy the contents of the Winbuilder/ISO/HddBoot/ folder to the root of the USB hard drive.

For whatever reason, this doesn't work for me, even though the drive is hooked up to the same USB port that the pen drive boots from. All I get is a blinking white cursor. I have experimented with 3 different hard drives, and get the same result each time. I'm now questioning whether I'm neglecting to do something.

At the relevant section of your tutorial, you link to an image called usbhdboot.jpg as an example. This suggests something different may be required.

My HddBoot folder contains...

BOOTSECT.BIN
NTLDR
PE.DRIVE
PKELDR
/I586/nt.s
/I586/BootSDI.wim

Your usbhdboot.jpg shows...

BOOTSECT.BIN
NTLDR
PE.DRIVE
LiveXP.wim
NTDETECT.COM
WINNT.SIF

The disparity has me confused.

Do I need copy in NTDETECT.COM or go through some other process to create it?
Do I need to rename BootSDI.wim, and/or move it to the root?
Do I need to hunt down and install WINNT.SIF?
Should there be a BOOT.INI?
Do I need to 'sys' the drive, and if so how do I do this?

I do hope that I'm not being unduly stupid, but I've been fiddling with this for several hours now, and despite trying all sorts of permutations, I'm getting absolutely nowhere.

#139 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 03:28 PM

The blinking cursor (in top left corner) is usually an issue with partitioning/formatting.

The 10 minutes time is really strange for an 85 Mb build :w00t:, unless, for any reason, the motherboard is much slower when loading from the BIOS (USB 1.1 speed). :dubbio:
We may later try to use PLoP as "main" or "secondary" USB loader.

Let's troubleshoot the hard disk setup first.
Forget (temporarily) anything about PE, LiveXP, etc.
Simply partition the hard disk the way you want it to be (or leave it partitioned as is) the partition MUST be smaller than the 128 Gb LBA28 limit (as a number of motehrboards, while supporting LBA48 on the internal buses do have a 28 bit limit on the USB bus).
Format the first, active partition on it as NTFS from within a booted XP.
Copy to it these files:The BOOT.INI as follows:
[boot loader]

Timeout=15

default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)WINDOWS

[operating systems]

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)WINDOWS="Disk 0 Partition 1" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect

C:grldr="Grub4dos"

and try booting your machine from the USB hard disk.
Is the cursor still there?
Can you see the two choices in boot.ini?
Can you choose both?
You should get an error when choosing the first and a grub> prompt when choosing the second.
Report.

:cheers:
Wonko

#140 Jabez Jarber

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 10:46 AM

Thank you very much for your assistance Wonko, which finally got me on track..

I followed your instructions and was once again greeted by the blinking cursor. This led me to focus upon your opening comment about partitioning/fomatting, so I repeated the entire procees again, using XP’s native tools.

This made no difference, which led me to play with Make_Usb

When I ran this on the USB HD it popped a box…

“Warning- Windows MBR Boot Code NOT Found”

“Fix MBR with Windows MBR Boot Code?”

I let it do this, and lo and behold the USB HD then booted.

I replaced the files created by Make_USB with your recommendations, and again it booted.

Finally, I then replaced the files with the contents of theWinbuilder/ISO/HddBoot/ folder, namely…

BOOTSECT.BIN
NTLDR
PE.DRIVE
PKELDR
/I586/nt.s
/I586/BootSDI.wim

…and that booted LiveXP.

I suspect the root cause to my problems has been Partition Wizard, which was used to create of my original partitions. This seems to do things slightly differently to XP. Partitions created with Partition Wizard do not respond to Make_USB as per above, and they still refuse to boot after Make_USB has been run on them.

One thing is confounding me though. I've found that once Make_USB has been run on a particular drive, even if I delete and recreate the partition within XP, the new partition will continue to boot.

However, if I delete the MBR before deleting and recreating the partition within XP, then even though that process recreates a new MBR, the drive will refuse to boot until I tweak it via Make_USB once again.

Running Make_USB (set as Standard MBR) at least once on a drive therefore appears to be a vital step.

In fact, I have also discovered that if you run Make_USB on a USB Flash drive, then replace all of the files it creates with the contents of the Winbuilder/ISO/HddBoot/ folder, the USB Flash Drive will boot LiveXP the same way as the USB HD does, without any need to involve the grub loader or anything else! This information could perhaps simplify the tutorial?

Booting from the USB HD was still fairly slow, taking 7 minutes to fully boot the 87.5MB build that takes just a minute from CD and over 10 minutes from the USB Flash Drive. I’m not sure what’s causing this because a 1.5GB file writes to the USB HD in 15 seconds, and reads from it in 35 seconds.

#141 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 01:26 PM

Good. :) (about the hard disk).
What you need to know is the following piece of info.
In windows NT/2K/XP, etc. the MBR CODE is written to a HD-like device "automatically" and *only* when you access Disk Management AND it prompts you to "Initialize the disk".
All the activities you later do in Disk Management only change the MBR DATA (the partition table).
The thing that "triggers" the "Initialize the disk" is a check for last two bytes of the MBR being the "Magic bytes" 55AA.
If they are already set, no MBR code is written (or - if you prefer - bytes from 0 to 446 are left as they are) and you need to use an utility like MBRFIX or the fixmbr in Recovery console to actually write the MBR code:
http://www.sysint.no...ting/mbrfix.htm
http://www.microsoft...r.mspx?mfr=true



Now back to the timing issue.
The times you report are COMPLETELY crazy.
Let's assume that you have an 87.5 Mb build (which is actually what you have) ;).
So you transfer 87.5 Mb in roughly 420 seconds, i.e. 87.5/420=208 Mb/s which is actually SLOWER than USB 1.1, which at it's max could be something like 0,750KBps (6Mbps).
Definitely your USB bus is booting with the "old" standard.
Which EXACT motherboard/make/model is your PC?
There are a number of motherboards that do have USB 2.0 chips BUT that have a BIOS that operates them exclusively in USB 1.1 mode.
Obviously if your hardware has USB 1.1 bus, the only way to speed up the booting is to add an USB 2.0 add-on card.
But if your hardware has USB 2.0 chips there are two workarounds, one that solves the issue "completely" (if it works) and one that may alleviate the problem.
First solution is using PLoP:
http://www.plop.at/

Second one is using a "kicker image", to see if this latter approach is working, try putting aside (again temporarily) the current LiveXP experiments and try this:
http://www.911cd.net...topic=21702&hl=

:cheers:
Wonko

#142 Jabez Jarber

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 02:57 PM

Your first paragraph explains a lot. Thanks.

My system may be painfully slow at booting from USB, but I don't believe this relates to transfer speeds. The mobo is a MSI MS-7514 v1 P45 chipset and seems to manage USB 2.0 OK otherwise.

I experimented with 1.5Gb Avi file. Transferring this to the USB HD took 15 seconds, whilst the return trip took 35. Transferring it to the Kingston Data Traveler flash drive took 85 seconds, and the return trip took 50.

However, is was simply a matter of reading the 86.1Mb ISO or 85.4Mb WIM (I've double checked!) the flash drive will actually read the file in less that 4 seconds and the USB HD in 2.

Something else must be going on.

#143 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 04:44 PM

Your first paragraph explains a lot. Thanks.

My system may be painfully slow at booting from USB, but I don't believe this relates to transfer speeds. The mobo is a MSI MS-7514 v1 P45 chipset and seems to manage USB 2.0 OK otherwise.

I experimented with 1.5Gb Avi file. Transferring this to the USB HD took 15 seconds, whilst the return trip took 35. Transferring it to the Kingston Data Traveler flash drive took 85 seconds, and the return trip took 50.

However, is was simply a matter of reading the 86.1Mb ISO or 85.4Mb WIM (I've double checked!) the flash drive will actually read the file in less that 4 seconds and the USB HD in 2.

Something else must be going on.

NO. :frusty:
I haven't yet checked your motherboards specs, but you need to have the concept clear.

The speeds you are talking about are NOT comparable.
When you boot (first part of booting), you boot in "real mode" and the ONLY support for USB you have (driver) is the one provided by BIOS.
Once you have booted a NT based system (be it a PE or a "full" XP/whatever) the HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer) is "inserted" between the hardware and the OS.
This is the reason why in NT you need software drivers.
You can have hardware capable of USB 2.0 speed (IF driven by USB 2.0 capable drivers, such as the ones provided by the OS) BUT your BIOS may use internal "drivers" that are "capped" to USB 1.1 speed.

Until you get the above, you won't get very far. . :(
Please do review the "common sense advice":
http://reboot.pro/2420/
mind you the idea is not to somehow "deprive" you of your ideas and/or prevent you from freely thinking :), only to make VERY sure you know what you are talking about.



:cheers:
Wonko

#144 Hy T. Diep

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 04:54 PM

Curiously, Wonko, do you think bios updates would help?

#145 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 05:51 PM

Curiously, Wonko, do you think bios updates would help?

Cannot say, quite obviously IF the updated BIOS contains a USB 2.0 stack, Yes :), otherwise No :(.

What PLoP does is exactly this, i.e. it behaves as a BIOS extension, providing an USB 2.0 stack to the BIOS booting, and - as an example - it can even be "burned" on a Flash/EEprom/Eprom (like the one of a network card) that is actually a BIOS extension:
http://www.plop.at/e...anager/rom.html
(IMHO inserting it in the actual BIOS - though possible - is VERY risky business :ph34r:)

Since it is chainladable by grub4dos or Syslinux and the like, the above is not really-really *needed*.

The real issue with PLoP is -though lessening at every release :thumbsup: - that it does not yet work on *all* hardware, and in some cases, notwithstanding the abilities and dedication Elmar :worship: has, it is difficult or impossible to make it compatible with other hardware without Elmar having the actual hardware physically in his hands.

:cheers:
Wonko

#146 Jabez Jarber

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 06:00 PM

OK - I'm learning a lot this weekend, and understand real mode now.

I have just tried the Kingston Flash Drive in my son's PC, and it booted in just over a minute. Quite a sight to behold!

My motherboard is using the final release of the BIOS, so there's nothing that can be done there I'm afraid.

I set out on this route for the sheer fun of trying, and am more than happy with my LiveXP builds. I have learned an awful lot, through trawling this forum and without asking any questions until yesterday. USB booting was to be the icing on the cake, but I probably have no real need for it. Had Amalux's example agreed with his text, I would never have raised my initial question on this matter. I have nevertheless successfully discovered the cause of my original problem, created a bootable USB HD, and discovered an alternate way of booting a USB Flash Drive. On balance I'm happy.

Moreover, I will most likely build myself a new own PC within the next few months, which in turn will probably lead to my finally migrating away from XP; hence a whole new world will open to me.

#147 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 06:11 PM

OK - I'm learning a lot this weekend, and understand real mode now.

Good. :thumbsup:

I have just tried the Kingston Flash Drive in my son's PC, and it booted in just over a minute. Quite a sight to behold!

Q.E.D. :whistling::
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Q.E.D.

My motherboard is using the final release of the BIOS, so there's nothing that can be done there I'm afraid.

I set out on this route for the sheer fun of trying, and am more than happy with my LiveXP builds. I have learned an awful lot, through trawling this forum and without asking any questions until yesterday. USB booting was to be the icing on the cake, but I probably have no real need for it. Had Amalux's example agreed with his text, I would never have raised my initial question on this matter. I have nevertheless successfully discovered the cause of my original problem, created a bootable USB HD, and discovered an alternate way of booting a USB Flash Drive. On balance I'm happy.

Moreover, I will most likely build myself a new own PC within the next few months, which in turn will probably lead to my finally migrating away from XP; hence a whole new world will open to me.

Simply dedicate some time next weekend to try the kicker and PLoP ;) and have some more fun :thumbup:.

Can I count you in the happy bunny basket or is it premature? :dubbio:
http://www.msfn.org/...ic=128727&st=10

:cheers:
Wonko

#148 Jabez Jarber

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 06:56 PM

Yes I am a happy bunny, and most likely won't be able to resist the urge to fiddle some more whenever time permits :)

#149 amalux

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 07:45 PM

Had Amalux's example agreed with his text, I would never have raised my initial question on this matter.

Old image removed, thanks for reporting ;)

#150 steve6375

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 10:16 PM

See Tutorial #60 on my site for help with Plop.




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