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The mistery of Windows 7 install required CD/DVD


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#151 steve6375

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 10:03 AM

Just put the autounattend.xml on a flash drive (any size/type as long as it is seens by Windows as a removable drive) and it will work!

#152 Agent

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 02:10 PM

I know :smiling9:

But Unfortunately this is not an option.
Explaining why would complicate it to much, so please
just take it as:

The answerfile could not be places on removable drive, and I need to find a way to start the install from hdd with having the answerfile on hdd as well

I know this sounds strange, but I have to take this as a limitation as well.
So any feedback on how to achieve that with the given limitation is really very much appreciated.

Regards Agent

#153 ilko

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 02:28 PM

...The answerfile could not be places on removable drive, and I need to find a way to start the install from hdd with having the answerfile on hdd as well

I know this sounds strange, but I have to take this as a limitation as well.
So any feedback on how to achieve that with the given limitation is really very much appreciated.

Regards Agent


...
Check location of the answer file:
http://technet.micro...415(WS.10).aspx

In case of non-removable (fixed) drive you are limited to:
unless you modify your boot.wim and add it to one of the several locations in it. Or in %SYSTEMDRIVE%, checking first which one that variable refers to. Cross check in the link given what file name is expected.

Next edit boot.wim and place it in the appropriate location using the right name.

By the way, did you check the log files?

#154 Agent

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 04:14 PM

Thats what I did :cheers:

I added an answerfile called autounatted.xml to the /sources directory of the boot.wim file.
Boot.wim has 2 images and I used the second one (2) called Microsoft Windows Setup (x64) to apply this answerfile to.

Content of the answer file is:



<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>

<unattend xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:unattend">

    <settings pass="windowsPE">

        <component name="Microsoft-Windows-Setup" processorArchitecture="amd64" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">

            <RunSynchronous>

                <RunSynchronousCommand wcm:action="add">

                    <Order>1</Order>

                    <Path>x:\sources\setup.exe /unattend:c:\unattend.xml</Path>

                </RunSynchronousCommand>

            </RunSynchronous>

        </component>

    </settings>

    <cpi:offlineImage cpi:source="catalog:c:/sources/install_windows server 2008 r2 serverenterprise.clg" xmlns:cpi="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:cpi" />

</unattend>

The reason for trying the approach to start setup again via this answer file is because the
real answerfile to be used is on c:\ called unattend.xml.
This unatted.xml was previously modified within an automated task to hold the pc individual infos like
name, IP, and so on. As this varies from pc to pc, it can not be copied static to the 2nd image of boot.wim

Booting with this modified boot.wim at least makes use of the autounattend.xml file previously added, but finally cause the following error:

Windows could not apply the Windows PE bootstrap specified in the unattend answer file

Not sure if trying to start another setup is a good approach, but that was something that comes to my mind
when thinking about a static change withing the boot.wim that force to use the unattend.xml on c:\

Not sure on how and where to check log files at this point in time and. :smiling9:

Regards Agent

#155 steve6375

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 04:24 PM

Why not add my command to run ImDIsk to your unattend.xml file?

1. Change your C:\unattend.xml to add the original WinPE section that calls ImDisk to load the ISO
2. Edit the boot.wim image windows\system32\startnet.cmd file to run wpeinit -unattend=%DRV%:\unattend.xml (instead of just wpeinit)
where you precede this with a search for the drive letter of the C: drive (which should always be C: anyway??)

or just change startnet to search for the USB drive's Autounattend.xml file and then use it with wpeinit.

#156 Agent

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 10:55 AM

@steve6375

Why not add my command to run ImDIsk to your unattend.xml file?


Can you please explain your idea a little bit more?
Cause I´m not sure if your suggestion can be an option for my case.

Let me explain again what I have done so far.

Two partitions, 1st bootable freedos, 2nd where the OS should be installed. Fixed hdd fat32 partitons.

1st partiton have the content of the original installation media extracted to c:/
there also is an answerfile on c:\ that does not get recognized when starting the bootmgr vie grub4dos. It doesn't matter how I call it (unattend.xml or autounattend.xml) and it also doesn't matter where I put it on the 1st partition
None of the possibilities MS mentioned in their documentation is working, I assume this is because it is not a removable drive.

The answerfile on c:\ (unattend.xml) is generated dynamically (means during an previous automated task it gets pc individual values like name, ip ....)

The idea now was to add an autounattend.xml file to the sources directroy of boot.wim (image 2 = Microsoft Windows Setup (x64)) with the content mentioned below to simply start setup pointing manually to the unattend.xml on c:
As mentioned this is causing the "Windows could not apply the Windows PE bootstrap specified in the unattend answer file" error.

So it looks like that the autounattend.xml in the 2nd image of the boot.wim file
is recognices, but not working (don't know why)

I do not have the ISO on the 1st partiton, so I do not understand your

1. Change your C:\unattend.xml to add the original WinPE section that calls ImDisk to load the ISO

also not because the anserfile on c: is not recognized when stating bootmgr via grub4dos.

But I´ve tried to adjust the boot.wim (image 2 = Microsoft Windows Setup (x64)) adjusting the startnet.cmd file as mentioned (wpeinit -unattend=c:\unattend.xml
). But that is without any effect when booting the bootmgr via grub4dos.


@ilko
Any idea why the autounatted.xml below, placed in /sources of the 2nd image of the boot.wim file, that start setup with the unattend switch is causing this error?

Posted Image

It looks to me as the most promising way to proceed with.

Looking forward to your guys feedback.
Glad to have you sharing your brain with me :dubbio:

Cheers Agent

#157 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 12:15 PM

What about using the reversed dummydisk driver to make the hard disk seem "removable"?

AFAIK it does work under 7 (32 bit, cannot say if there is a 64 bit version available).

:dubbio:
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#158 sambul61

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 04:26 PM

I recently needed to install Win Server 2008R2 from ISO (and that's the prime way most ppl now get these install files - by downloading them). I looked through several methods available at this time, and found that the only quick and dirty method that works in minutes for someone with Grub4DOS already installed on ANY drive (SATA, USB, etc.) is offered by steve6375 in one of his Tutorials:

ADDENDUM - How to quickly add Windows Vista/7/SVR2K8 ISOs to your existing USB bootable drive (http://sites.google....ials/winiso#top). Just drop your Win7 ISO file and WINISO.ZIP content (I used ImDisk folder only) from Steve's site to the drive, add Win7 ISO menu item to your existing G4D Menu, and run once ImDisk from Command Prompt during Win7 install as Steve explained. That's it.

steve6375

May I suggest you to add to the Addendum that after first Win Reboot Prompt a user needs to select in the BIOS the drive with newly installed Win7 as the first drive to boot from. There will be no need to use the source ISO after the reboot. Right now its a bit unclear worded, if at all. As to your Tutorial 32, it didn't work without preparing a new USB bootable drive or partition that many Reboot.pro members already using G4D wouldn't need.

#159 steve6375

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 05:36 PM

I recently needed to install Win Server 2008R2 from ISO (and that's the prime way most ppl now get these install files - by downloading them). I looked through several methods available at this time, and found that the only quick and dirty method that works in minutes for someone with Grub4DOS already installed on ANY drive (SATA, USB, etc.) is offered by steve6375 in one of his Tutorials:

ADDENDUM - How to quickly add Windows Vista/7/SVR2K8 ISOs to your existing USB bootable drive (http://sites.google....ials/winiso#top). Just drop your Win7 ISO file and WINISO.ZIP content (I used ImDisk folder only) from Steve's site to the drive, add Win7 ISO menu item to your existing G4D Menu, and run once ImDisk from Command Prompt during Win7 install as Steve explained. That's it.

steve6375

May I suggest you to add to the Addendum that after first Win Reboot Prompt a user needs to select in the BIOS the drive with newly installed Win7 as the first drive to boot from. There will be no need to use the source ISO after the reboot. Right now its a bit unclear worded, if at all. As to your Tutorial 32, it didn't work without preparing a new USB bootable drive or partition that many Reboot.pro members already using G4D wouldn't need.

Why did you prefer this method to that of Tutorial #32? - you still use SHIFT+F10 but you only need to type LOADISO instead of the whole ImDisk command??
Also this should be easily add-able to any existing grub4dos stick??? I don't understand why you think you need to reformat? You do need to update grldr though with the latest version - so just overwrite your current version with the one in the RMPrepUSB folder or just run RMPrepUSB 'Install grub4dos' to overwrite your grub4dos with the new version.

#160 steve6375

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 06:41 PM

As mentioned this is causing the "Windows could not apply the Windows PE bootstrap specified in the unattend answer file" error.


This usually means the WinPE section of an unattend.xml has bad syntax or commands. Can you check both and if they look OK post them here for us to see?

PS you have pathed the unattend as C: but are you sure that it is the correct drive letter?

#161 sambul61

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 08:08 PM

steve6375

#32 just didn't work for me after 2 hours of trying to fix. "File not found" G4D message without clarification, and it appears your RMPrepUSB should drop 2 WinPE versions onto the disk (that on top was external multi-partition SATA/USB and didn't roll in any of the 2 modes), which was all unnecessary for me, already using G4D on that disk's partition. I by chance found your Addendum, and in 15 min enjoyed new OS installed from ISO. It wasn't a matter of typing more or less - your #32 just didn't work at all, not enough info on your site to cover existing G4D disk case. May be because of not updating grldr... I think you need to add similar Addendum to #32: how to install from ISO, when a G4D SATA & USB drive already exists, and cover multi-partition internal&external HD in it too, since the task of installing Win from ISO is broader than USB Prep agenda. :cheers:

In fact, the only commands I needed to type after adding ImDisk folder to G4D drive, amending G4D Menu, and pressing SHIFT+F10 when OS install started to check G4D and ISO drive letters from CP and mount the ISO:

dir D:
dir E:
.................
D:
\imdisk\mountdrive F:\iso\WinServer2008R2.iso

Then OS install proceeded as usual on its own, requiring a couple of reboots (and changing the boot drive in BIOS or adding "Boot from 2-nd HD" command beforehand to G4D) to complete, but not using the source ISO and not requiring its re-mount after any reboot.


I appreciate your Addendum method - it worked flawlessly for 64-bit Win Server 2008R2 install onto an internal SATA drive from an ISO placed on another SATA drive (my ISO files depository) after booting from yet another SATA drive with G4D installed on it. Hence it appears to be a universal fast way to install any Win7 version from ISO located on any drive with min headache and typing. You just need to add some clarification about the reboot drive, and suitability for non-USB drives to the Addendum.

#162 steve6375

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 09:01 PM

steve6375

It just didn't work for me after 2 hours of trying to fix. "File not found" G4D message without clarification, and it appears your RMPrepUSB should drop 2 WinPE versions onto the disk (that on top was external multi-partition SATA/USB and didn't roll in any of the 2 modes), which was all unnecessary for me, already using G4D on that disk's partition. I by chance found your Addendum, and in 15 min enjoyed new OS installed from ISO. It wasn't a matter of typing more or less - your #32 just didn't work at all, not enough info on your site to cover more complex existing disk case. May be because of not updating grldr... I think you need to add similar Addendum to #32: how to install from ISO, when G4D drive is already long used without your tools, and cover multi-partition internal&external HD in it too, since the task of installing Win from ISO is broader than USB Prep agenda. :cheers:

Anyway, I appreciate your Addendum method - it worked flawlessly for 64-bit Win Server install onto an internal SATA drive after booting from another SATA drive with G4D installed. Hence is appears to be a universal fast way to install any Win7 version from ISO located on any drive with min headache and typing. You just need to add some clarification about reboot drive, and applicability to non-USB cases.

I have added some text nowPosted Image. I think it was just that you needed later version of grldr - just clicking on the Install grub4dos button would have updated your drive. No special formatting is needed for #32. It should have worked. The menu does contain special commands which are only understood by the latest versions of grub4dos though.
Was your drive NTFS or FAT32?

P.S. See bottom of #32 - I added extra line to menu.lst which should help if the ISO is on another drive. You need to add wenv to the USB drive though.

#163 sambul61

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 09:37 PM

G4D drive was NTFS. I think, your #32 Video also has some discrepancies: shows selecting DOS boot for USB drive, while in the text you suggest to select WinPE. That was the final departure point for me, as the G4D commands didn't work for unknown reason - you should mention the need to update grldr to the latest version in the Tutorial. In the Addendum to #31 it was unclear, what drive to boot to after the 1-st install reboot, and whether ISO re-mount will be needed.

#164 steve6375

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 11:51 PM

Hi sambul61
Just for you I have changed/added to the tutorial at the end of Tutorial #32 (How to make universal Windows install flash drive). Now you can boot from a USB flash drive (or hard drive) but keep your ISO files on a hard disk. The menu lists all the available ISO files and then the user types in the name of the iso that he wants. I have tested this on an NTFS formatted USB flash drive with an ISO on the hard drive (in the C:\ISO folder) and it seems to work fine.Posted Image

P.S. I did find some problems with the tutorial. This should now be fixed. The ISO files now do not need to be on the same drive as the ImDisk folder, it will search all drives for the ISO file specified and use the highest lettered drive that has the ISO (if it is on more than one drive). There is a new ZIP download with some modifications - please try it again and let me know how it goes.

#165 sambul61

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 04:53 PM

Thanks steve6375 !

I'll try it a bit later, when installing Win 8 Beta to a new partition - hope it will work for Win 8, its already being broadly installed by the kind of folks visiting this site. :) Right now I'm installing extra soft to the new server.

Just wanted to stress that the standard task of installing new Win releases from ISO saved on an internal & external HD is frequent and important for a lot of users, so don't be shy to highlight it in your Tutorials. Some folks might not have neither DVD-burner no fast Thumbs suitable for a large ISO placement, and would prefer SATA to USB at every chance. They can benefit a lot too from using simple technique you described.

In fact, having 4 thumb drives and a few external HDs at home, I still prefer to install OS on my PC from ISO placed to an internal HD, right where it was downloaded - its simpler and faster. What's interesting, Utorrent downloads leave ISOs already defraged and ready for install. :) I wonder if there is a way to list all drives with their root dirs shown by a single CP command in Win7 PE?

#166 steve6375

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Posted 25 June 2011 - 06:06 PM

see http://sites.google....ials/firawiniso - better method using FiraDisk!

#167 steve6375

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Posted 01 July 2011 - 11:16 PM

I have discovered that grub4dos now handles variables and IF statements, so I have changed the Windows Install ISO booting tutorial using FiraDisk to use grub4dos variables instead of using wenv to handle variables. An example is shown below for the curious.
Note the way in which you have to form a whole command line using set mm=(some command with variables) and then execute the command using %mm%, it does not seem to work if you use a command and then use a variable for a parameter

e.g.

map /ISO/%myiso% (0xff)

does not work, so you have to write

set mm=map /ISO/%myiso% (0xff)

%mm%






title INSTALL WINDOWS - Boot from any Windows ISO to install Windows\nThis menu allows you to type in the name of any Windows ISO file and boot from it

# find the ISO folder by looking for a marker file

find --set-root /ISO/choose_an_iso

clear

echo

# list all files in the /ISO folder so the user can see them

ls ()/ISO/

echo

# Ask user which iso they want (name is converted to uppercase as /u is specified)

set /p /u ask=Enter iso filename WITH NO .ISO EXTENSION (e.g. Win7Pro32 ) :  

if "%ask%"=="" echo No iso file specified! && configfile /menu.lst

clear

# check if user entered a valid filename with no ISO extension!

ls /ISO/%ask%.iso || echo Cannot find /ISO/%ask%.iso !!! && pause --wait=3 && configfile (bd)/menu.lst

echo Loading /ISO/%ask%.iso - please wait ...

#set root drive to USB stick

find --set-root /firadisk/loadiso.cmd

map --mem (md)0x800+4 (99)

dd if=()/firadisk/au.xml of=()/AutoUnattend.xml

set mm=find --set-root /ISO/%ask%.iso

%mm%

# run the grub4dos map command and specify the iso file we want to load

set mm=map /ISO/%ask%.iso (0xff)

%mm%

map (hd0) (hd1)

map (hd1) (hd0)

map --hook

# Specify the same iso file for when firadisk runs in winpe

find --set-root /firadisk/loadiso.cmd

set mm=write (99) [FiraDisk]\nStartOptions=cdrom,vmem=find:/ISO/%ask%.iso;\n\0

%mm%

chainloader (0xff)/BOOTMGR || chainloader (0xff)

clear



#168 sambul61

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Posted 02 July 2011 - 03:06 AM

Great! There is no limit to sophistication of G4D usage. This is one of remarkable small programs truly invaluable for someone in-the-know what kind of jewel it is.

Your G4D Menu meanwhile is getting more threatening than ever. :whistling: I wonder, how people discover things that are not documented by the program developers?

#169 halikus

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 10:32 PM

a slightly different way to load an ISO you choose. put iso's in a directory called "ISO" in the root. It will list the isos and you can choose one to boot (for quick and dirty testing).

title Choose and boot any ISO in directory ISO
ls /ISO/
set /p MYISO=Which ISO do you want to boot?
ls /ISO/%MYISO% || echo ISO %MYISO% NOT FOUND! && configfile /boot/grub/menu.lst
map /ISO/%MYISO% (0xff)
map --hook
chainloader (0xff)
boot

#170 Brito

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 09:04 AM

I see. :)
The issue about redistributability of the files does not applies in this case at all, IMHO (unless of course someone re-distributes them ;)).

The proposed app should be both 32 and 64 bit, if I recall correctly, so the current limitation ONLY apply to those that only have a 32 bit OS and only a 64 bit 7 .iso AND want to install it through USB AND don't have a spare machine to install temporarily the 64 bit 7 AND don't want to/cannot download the WAIK. :dubbio:

I feel allowed to presume that he above represents a limited number of peeps.

The last one AFAIK that attempted doing something like it (and is currently MIA :() besides of course Igor Pavlov :worship: and his 7-zip, was booty#1, just for the record:
http://reboot.pro/5308/


:cheers:
Wonko


I've meet in person Booty#1 last year. He is ok, just busy with other tasks.
:cheers:

#171 steve6375

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 03:04 PM

I have been speaking to Fabrizio who was complaining that Easy2Boot would not work with his Italian Retail Win7 64-bit Pro SP1 ISO.

 

I downloaded a 2GB Italian ISO  X17-59215.ISO and tried it and sure enough it did not work.

The LOADISO ran, firadisk loaded the ISO as a virtual drive correctly, then Setup ran, then I got the dreaded 'Driver required' message!

So I tried ImDisk with the same result. I can see the virtual drive and all contents and the \Sources\Install.wim but Windows Setup cannot seem to find it!

 

Then I made a standard Bootmgr USB flash disk by simply extracting the whole ISO to a USB drive - same result!

 

Then I tried an English ISO - X17-24281 - same result!

I deleted the ei.cfg but it made no difference.

 

But a large OEM ISO (3GB+) which has all SKUs and languages works fine and Setup can see the Install.wim and all SKUs.

 

Then I tried SARDU and it would not extract the files from the ISO correctly. It uses 7zip. I used 7Zip to load the ISO in it's GUI manager and got the [BOOT] and README.TXT of  "This disk contains a UDF filesystem". However, if I mount the ISO using ImDisk, I see the full Windows folders.

If I use 7Zip on the 'full' OEM ISO then I can see the full Windows source files. So there is something different about the way these ISOs are made.

 

Has anyone any ideas or suggestions as to what is happening?



#172 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 05:57 PM

Steve

what has 7-zip to do with this?

 

Your methods/tools use either firadisk or imdisk, (and NOT 7-zip) right?

 

7-zip is just "something else" that behaves differently, right? 

 

:unsure:

 

And you are saying that both firadisk and imdisk can access the disk contents correctly, right?

Only Setup cannot "see it", right?

 

Could this be connected to the UDF filesystem (and it's driver)? (I don't think so, but maybe some of the options or versions in CDIMAGE or OSCDIMG may make the difference).

:dubbio:

 

Search the two different .iso's (the one working and the one not working) for the tool used to make them, a hex editor searching for 0x4344494D should do nicely. (and/or goto sector 16 of the .iso).

 

A good tool to have an idea of what happens would be isoinfo (cdrtools) but AFAIK the Windows port has not UDF support and possibly not even the native Linux one, though there must be *somewhere* a "patched" version with UDF support:

http://lists.gnu.org...0/msg00026.html

It seems like our friends using BSD encountered a similar issue, and seemingly it is - if not the same - another version of a Windows 7 64 bit install .iso :ph34r: :

http://forums.freebs...ead.php?t=33680

It would be hard to post under "news" that the good MS guys have managed to create something "non standard",  still ......

 

:cheers:

Wonko



#173 steve6375

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 06:05 PM

I forgot to mention that on the X17 ISOs which seem to cause the trouble, even the Official MS USB preparation tool says that the X17 ISOs are not valid Windows ISOs!

 

The thing is that it is there as a virtual drive created with the correct files. It has been loaded correctly and I can see \sources folder and Install.wim, etc. but Setup just doesn't see it!



#174 halikus

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 06:35 PM

Good news.  I found the answer and its the best possible bug.  The iso is buggered.

From this site, i used the ISOs you mentioned.
https://sites.google...ary/windows-iso

Windows 7 SP1:
http://msft.digitalr...n/X17-24281.iso 2147483647 X17-24281.iso Windows 7 Professional x64 English

Windows 7 SP1 Media Refresh:
http://msft.digitalr...n/X17-59215.iso 2147483647 X17-59215.iso Windows 7 Professional x64 Italian

X17-59215.iso is 2.97 GB (3,190,665,216 bytes) whereas you said it was only 2 gig. The hash is
File: X17-59215.iso
CRC-32: f4678677
MD4: ca37dcfd75e4fa62b231aaa5a47d0dad
MD5: 33fda618c6ed880d43ef7ce1debd7a99
SHA-1: c4c4a6493e2c45649baf75a045ca922db0c7ca58
 
 When i open it with 7zip 9.20 or UltraISO it opens fine and displays the file contents.  When i boot, the "press a key to continue" is in Italian, the "Windows is loading files..." is in English, "starting Windows" is in English, it says something in Itallian before firadisk, firadisk loads and says H:\sources\install.wim found, say no to repair, it says something in Itallian, then asks for the language and proceeds to the SKU selection.  Works!
 
http://i40.tinypic.com/5l31tx.jpg
 
 The only differences and possible bugs are:
Yes - Bad ISO
    -Ones media refresh, one isn't
    -Ones Italian, one isn't
?   -x64 firadisk problem due to language?
?   - 'Driver required'  is usually when setup does not find a valid (same as x:\sources\setup.exe) CD:\sources\setup.exe in the same directory as the install.wim.
No  - files are different names as they are in Itallian?
?   - DVD is authored wrong.

 



#175 steve6375

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 06:49 PM

Thanks! I will try the download again. Still doesn't explain Fabrizio's problem. His ISO (win7 32 and 64 and Win8 64) are over 3GB and all don't work  (though they don't have an ei.cfg file in them)!






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