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Universal HDD Image files for XP and Windows 7

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#26 wimb

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 07:29 AM

If you want to boot XP from USB-harddisk connected to various machines with different hardware,
you have got to make your XP Image file first Universal before using IMG_XP_Restore.exe

Universal means you need a learning procedure in which you improve the XP registry by
booting created XP Image from FiraDisk RAMDISK on various machines (use BOOT_IMG.exe to Install).
On each machine you let auto-adjust the image in about 3 minutes to the specific hardware
and may be need to install few missing drivers (look in device Manager)
Then you use IMG_XP_Update.exe to improve the XPRAM_1.img
and perform the same procedure on other machines with the improved XPRAM_1.img
Also USB-Harddisk on which you plan to Install XPRAM_1.img must be connected at least in one occasion,
so that also the USB-harddisk is known in the XP registry.
Each time you improve your XPRAM_1.img registry and make XP more Universal.

After the learning procedure you can use IMG_XP_Restore.exe to install the improved XPRAM_1.img on your USB-harddisk.
Then booting with XP from USB-harddisk will be OK on several (and many more) machines.

XP can be made quite easily Universal when booting from Firadisk RAMDISK is used,
whereas booting direct from USB-harddisk is not the way to make it Universal.

http://www.911cd.net...o...=23553&st=0

#27 maanu

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 07:54 AM

If you want to boot XP from USB-harddisk connected to various machines with different hardware,
you have got to make your XP Image file first Universal before using IMG_XP_Restore.exe

Universal means you need a learning procedure in which you improve the XP registry by
booting created XP Image from FiraDisk RAMDISK on various machines (use BOOT_IMG.exe to Install).
On each machine you let auto-adjust the image in about 3 minutes to the specific hardware
and may be need to install few missing drivers (look in device Manager)
Then you use IMG_XP_Update.exe to improve the XPRAM_1.img
and perform the same procedure on other machines with the improved XPRAM_1.img
Also USB-Harddisk on which you plan to Install XPRAM_1.img must be connected at least in one occasion,
so that also the USB-harddisk is known in the XP registry.
Each time you improve your XPRAM_1.img registry and make XP more Universal.

After the learning procedure you can use IMG_XP_Restore.exe to install the improved XPRAM_1.img on your USB-harddisk.
Then booting with XP from USB-harddisk will be OK on several (and many more) machines.

XP can be made quite easily Universal when booting from Firadisk RAMDISK is used,
whereas booting direct from USB-harddisk is not the way to make it Universal.

http://www.911cd.net...o...=23553&st=0


WIMB , i was thinking the other night , if it is possible SOMEHOW to adopt your IMG XP UPDATE to make a new image of the BOOTED PE with installed drivers from multiple machines ?

i know we have a tool already for this purpose , but it is for wimboot only , made by Nikzzzzz . it imagecreator or something like that .

#28 wimb

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 08:12 AM

WIMB , i was thinking the other night , if it is possible SOMEHOW to adopt your IMG XP UPDATE to make a new image of the BOOTED PE with installed drivers from multiple machines ?

i know we have a tool already for this purpose , but it is for wimboot only , made by Nikzzzzz . it imagecreator or something like that .

Thanks maanu, and Yes, I am thinking already in this direction.

One of my wishes is to keep the settings in pe3_x86.iso but I need to find a good procedure to do so.
On succes I will apply this in some program PE3_ISO_Update.exe .......

Do you have a link to the program of Nikzzzz ?

#29 maanu

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 08:57 AM

Thanks maanu, and Yes, I am thinking already in this direction.

One of my wishes is to keep the settings in pe3_x86.iso but I need to find a good procedure to do so.
On succes I will apply this in some program PE3_ISO_Update.exe .......

Do you have a link to the program of Nikzzzz ?



here is the link

http://filebeam.com/...7cabbca41178330

by the way , the following link is down , and it is official page

http://nikzzzz.boot-land.net/

#30 wimb

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 01:12 PM

here is the link

http://filebeam.com/...7cabbca41178330

Thanks maanu :cheers:

But how to use WimIc.exe ?
Can it be used to update in some way my pe3_x86.iso boot images ?

#31 maanu

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 01:30 PM

Thanks maanu :cheers:

But how to use WimIc.exe ?
Can it be used to update in some way my pe3_x86.iso boot images ?


u r most welcome .

here is the page which has all the details about it .

http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=1580

(i have a feeling that it is ONLY for pe 1.x)

#32 supaJ

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Posted 15 May 2010 - 01:08 PM

If you want to boot XP from USB-harddisk connected to various machines with different hardware,
you have got to make your XP Image file first Universal before using IMG_XP_Restore.exe

Universal means you need a learning procedure in which you improve the XP registry by
booting created XP Image from FiraDisk RAMDISK on various machines (use BOOT_IMG.exe to Install).
On each machine you let auto-adjust the image in about 3 minutes to the specific hardware
and may be need to install few missing drivers (look in device Manager)
Then you use IMG_XP_Update.exe to improve the XPRAM_1.img
and perform the same procedure on other machines with the improved XPRAM_1.img
Also USB-Harddisk on which you plan to Install XPRAM_1.img must be connected at least in one occasion,
so that also the USB-harddisk is known in the XP registry.
Each time you improve your XPRAM_1.img registry and make XP more Universal.

After the learning procedure you can use IMG_XP_Restore.exe to install the improved XPRAM_1.img on your USB-harddisk.
Then booting with XP from USB-harddisk will be OK on several (and many more) machines.

XP can be made quite easily Universal when booting from Firadisk RAMDISK is used,
whereas booting direct from USB-harddisk is not the way to make it Universal.

http://www.911cd.net...o...=23553&st=0


Thanks Wimb. I tried the RAM_IMAGE on my laptop and it worked. Therefore, I can now conclude that it is a USB issue and not CPU or Chipset architecture. I thought the USB issue was taken care of with the mass storage driver pack. I will update the RAMDISK_IMAGE on the laptop, restore to USB and see if it works this time. BTW, why is my fresh XP installation so big? I disabled systems restore, deactivate the page file, deactivated hibernation- yet the installation is 2.4GB. I only installed with the mass storage driver pack; and after that I did a windows update.

One last question: is it possible to install XP to a writeable-filedisk? Sort of like Windows 7 on VHD. That would be like a dream come true!

#33 wimb

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Posted 15 May 2010 - 02:42 PM

You should NOT use Windows Update. That is very inefficient and increases the size of XP too much.

Instead before Install of XP you must improve your XP Source with XP3 and use RyanVM Integrator to integrate post-XP3 Update Pack as described here in Section 2.
http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=21883

And you can after install remove the dllcache of 350 MB with sfc /purgecache

ExplorerXP will give you insight in foldersize so that you can see what may be can be optimized.

#34 supaJ

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Posted 15 May 2010 - 03:34 PM

You should NOT use Windows Update. That is very inefficient and increases the size of XP too much.

Instead before Install of XP you must improve your XP Source with XP3 and use RyanVM Integrator to integrate post-XP3 Update Pack as described here in Section 2.
http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=21883

And you can after install remove the dllcache of 350 MB with sfc /purgecache

ExplorerXP will give you insight in foldersize so that you can see what may be can be optimized.

1) I did most of that. My XP was already SP3 configured. I suspect the bloated-post-installation was due to Windows update. Thanks anyway.

2) I booted the XP image on the notebook, plugged in the USB-HDD(it was detected), run IMG_XP_Update and restored the image to USB. I still get the 0x07B error. Why?

3) What about my last question in the previous post? I need a head-start (if one exist)

#35 wimb

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Posted 16 May 2010 - 05:20 AM

2) I booted the XP image on the notebook, plugged in the USB-HDD(it was detected), run IMG_XP_Update and restored the image to USB. I still get the 0x07B error. Why?

Try first plug-in USB-HDD and then boot with XPRAM_1.img into FiraDisk RAMDISK.
Check in Device Manager that all devices are installed OK.
Then run IMG_XP_Update to Update XPRAM_1.img
Then Restore XPRAM_1.img on USB-HDD using IMG_XP_Restore.exe
Then Reboot from USB-HDD

If still no succes, try to use different USB-HDD
Not every USB-HDD is really Plug and Play

I have no answer for the third question, may be you find something ....

#36 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 16 May 2010 - 09:12 AM

One last question: is it possible to install XP to a writeable-filedisk? Sort of like Windows 7 on VHD. That would be like a dream come true!

NO.

But there are some expectations, it is a feature that will be hopefully added to firadisk or winvblock (or both).

Keep an eye on these:
http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=8168
http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=8804

:cheers:
Wonko

#37 ccuappz

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Posted 31 May 2010 - 04:52 PM

Although I installed FiraDisk, after pressing GO the program states it is not installed.
I already posted a thread HERE.

#38 Doodoo

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Posted 07 June 2010 - 11:13 AM

I tried your Universal XP method and I was able to boot a 2.9GB image to RAM. The same image was restored to USB and that also worked fine. The only issue is that the USB-HDD fails to boot off my 2 laptops. I get 0x07B immediately after the XP splash screen, around the time mup.sys is loaded. I have tried the modified NTLDR found elsewhere in this forum but I still get a blue screen.

Here's my procedure:
1) Update XP Pro installation with Mass Storage drivers from DriverPack.net
2)...

Hi everyone,
Not sure if this is really related, but I'm experiencing a similar problem with Mass Storage drivers. I have an old desktop PC (based on DFI nForce4 Lanparty + Athlon 64) which I'm using to create XP images on a USB stick, in order to boot a notebook (NC10) without CDROM.

Here is the thing.
1/ Install plain XP Pro (without Mass Storage drivers) on the desktop PC, with the usual tweaks (pagefile, windows update, etc..), including ImDisk and FiraDisk - Plug the USB stick to have it recognised - At last add the EWF filter to protect the USB stick.
2/ Boot from another XP partition
3/ Direct use of IMG_XP_Restore to create the universal XP on the USB stick (I am not trying to create an image first, then boot from the RAM loaded image, as it just won't fit into RAM).

This USB stick will now perfecly boot (direct from the stick, NOT from RAM) on the desktop PC, and will also boot on qEmu, but won't boot on the notebook (BSOD 07B). I suppose this is not a big surprise since I didn't install the mass storage drivers.

Here is where something goes wrong.
Same procedure as above, except prior to installation, XP is slipstreamed with Mass Storage drivers in text mode from DriverPack.net.
Now the USB stick won't even boot on the desktop PC where the image was created (BSOD 07B), and nor on qEmu or on the notebook...

The modified NTDETECT.COM doesn't help... Any idea what can go wrong ? Is it a problem with MassStorage drivers ? A problem with IMG_XP when an image is not explicitly created first ?

Anyway, many thanks for the amazing work on this subject, even if it does not (yet) work for me !

#39 wimb

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Posted 07 June 2010 - 01:43 PM

Same procedure as above, except prior to installation, XP is slipstreamed with Mass Storage drivers in text mode from DriverPack.net.
Now the USB stick won't even boot on the desktop PC where the image was created (BSOD 07B

Try first to make small Image of about 1.4 GB (only install XP + slipstreamed MassStorage drivers) so that you
are able to boot it from FiraDisk RAMDISK using grub4dos menu on your HDD.
About 3 minutes after booting, the drivers will have been silently installed (check in device manager).
Then Update your Image and use that file to Restore on USB.

In this way you keep it first simple and have more chance that XP will boot from USB.

Also boot first with Image from FiraDisk RAMDISK on other computer and use same procedure to make it Universal.

#40 Doodoo

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Posted 07 June 2010 - 01:55 PM

Try first to make small Image of about 1.4 GB (only install XP + slipstreamed MassStorage drivers) so that you
are able to boot it from FiraDisk RAMDISK using grub4dos menu on your HDD.

I'll give it a try, but the whole problem is that both my desktop and notebook have 1 GB RAM, so I'm not sure it will be possible at all to boot from RAMDISK.

Little RAM available is the very reason why I'm trying to boot direct from the USB stick (as if I was booting from a HDD). This makes even more sense, e.g. to rescue older PCs which may have even less RAM :D

#41 Sha0

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Posted 07 June 2010 - 02:12 PM

The WinVBlock driver now supports boot-from-file with GRUB4DOS. If your Windows image file includes WinVBlock and the storage adapter drivers for the target hardware, you should be able to boot the image file. (Not as a RAM disk.)

#42 MedEvil

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Posted 07 June 2010 - 02:27 PM

Missing or wrong mass-storage driver have no impact on the boot process from USB.
If the needed driver is missing, you simply won't see the HDDs and, depending on your system, the CDVD drives.

Slipstreaming all additional massstorage drivers, on the other hand, is known to cause troubles on some older machines, which do not need any additional drivers.

I havn't yet been able to figure out, what exactly goes wrong.
But generlly speaking, for some reason an incompatible driver get's loaded.

:D

#43 Sha0

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Posted 07 June 2010 - 03:02 PM

Missing or wrong mass-storage driver have no impact on the boot process from USB.

USBSTOR is the storage adapter driver for USB storage devices, for Windows XP/2003. Its service descriptive name is USB Mass Storage Driver. Make sure it's included (along with any dependency services), if you wish to boot from a file on a USB disk using WinVBlock.

...Slipstreaming all additional massstorage drivers, on the other hand, is known to cause troubles on some older machines, which do not need any additional drivers.
I havn't yet been able to figure out, what exactly goes wrong.
But generlly speaking, for some reason an incompatible driver get's loaded.

I've seen troubles from an HP disk filter driver filtering on non-HP hardware. Maybe a filter driver could cause you grief.

#44 Doodoo

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Posted 07 June 2010 - 03:23 PM

The WinVBlock driver now supports boot-from-file with GRUB4DOS. If your Windows image file includes WinVBlock and the storage adapter drivers for the target hardware, you should be able to boot the image file. (Not as a RAM disk.)

Sorry for the silly question, I'm no expert but I'm willing to learn... Do you mean that the combination WinVBlock/GRUB4DOS allows to boot an ISO image, without actually loading the ISO into RAM ?

USBSTOR Maybe a filter driver could cause you grief.

As described in my first post, because I'm trying to boot direct from the USB stick, I have the EWF filter installed. However it does not seem to cause any problems, when mass storage drivers are not slipstreamed.

#45 Sha0

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Posted 07 June 2010 - 03:35 PM

... Do you mean that the combination WinVBlock/GRUB4DOS allows to boot an ISO image, without actually loading the ISO into RAM ?

Uhh... Sorry, I thought you were after a hard disk image of an XP to boot on all hardware, not an .ISO. I do have a WinVBlock version that will do .ISOs, but am just putting some finishing touches on the user-land utility before releasing it. So right now, you're limited to HDD images (for another day or so). But yes, you can use GRUB4DOS+WinVBlock to boot an image either as a RAM disk or as a sector-mapping of a contiguous image file to the backing disk it resides on (your USB stick, in this case).

As described in my first post, because I'm trying to boot direct from the USB stick, I have the EWF filter installed. However it does not seem to cause any problems, when mass storage drivers are not slipstreamed.

I don't see any problems with using GRUB4DOS+WinVBlock+EWF. If it's an .ISO boot (but non-RAM) you seek, please give me the day to finish the release. Otherwise for an HDD image file, download the latest WinVBlock.

#46 Doodoo

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Posted 08 June 2010 - 08:17 AM

Uhh... Sorry, I thought you were after a hard disk image of an XP to boot on all hardware, not an .ISO.

No worries really, I understand the concepts but none of the details, and from my ignorant point of view an IMG or an ISO is the same thing really... At the moment all I get is BSODs, so I'd be more than happy to boot at all, whether from an IMG or an ISO is a cosmetic issue for me.

Try first to make small Image of about 1.4 GB (only install XP + slipstreamed MassStorage drivers) so that you
are able to boot it from FiraDisk RAMDISK using grub4dos menu on your HDD.

I gave it a try last night, but with the current version of IMG_XP_Create the smallest image you can make is 1 Gb (even if the OS fits on much less), and then GRUB4DOS complains that it doesn't fit into RAM (I have 1 GB). Wimb, is it reasonably easy for you to provide the ability to create smaller images ?

If it's an .ISO boot (but non-RAM) you seek

This thought just came to my mind, and I'm asking all the experts there... In theory, is it feasible to:
  • Prepare a fresh XP, with mass storage drivers, no pagefile, etc..
  • Install WinVBlock
  • Make an .IMG with IMG_XP_Create
  • Boot from this .IMG (but non-RAM) - Then image size vs RAM doesn't become an issue
  • Use (a plain or modified version of) IMG_XP_Update to commit changes in the .IMG, as if it was booted from RAM ?


#47 wimb

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Posted 08 June 2010 - 08:43 AM

For Image size less than 1 GB use version of joakim

http://www.911cd.net...o...62777&st=25


#48 Doodoo

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Posted 09 June 2010 - 10:15 AM

Just a quick question, further to Shao's answer with regards to booting an .IMG file with GRUB4DOS, without loading it into in RAM

I don't recall if IMG_XP_Create sets the needed USB drivers to boot start. Essentially, you can accomplish it by setting the following drivers' Start value to 0 (meaning boot-time):

  • usbccgp
  • usbehci
  • usbhub
  • usbstor
  • usbuhci

Looking carrefully in wimb's explanations(look for HKLM_systemdst_BOOT_USB.reg), it would appear that IMG_XP_Restore sets the needed USB drivers to boot start, but IMG_XP_Create does not. Can anyone confirm ?

By the way this might explain why I get BSODs when booting from my USB stick. Because I don't have enough RAM to create an IMG and then boot it from FiraDisk RAMDISK, I don't use IMG_XP_Create first and IMG_XP_Restore next, but I only use IMG_XP_Create to make a direct copy of the the source WINDOWS directory onto my USB stick with a few tweaks on the fly (i.e. I don't tick "install RAMBOOT image"). Maybe HKLM_systemdst_BOOT_USB.reg should also be merged to the registry by IMG_XP_Create ?

At last, comparing with Shao's answer above it looks like HKLM_systemdst_BOOT_USB.reg also sets usbohci to boot start, but not usbccgp. You are the experts and I appreciate there is a almost aways a good reason to do exactly what you suggest... But is this discrepancy normal ?

#49 wimb

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Posted 09 June 2010 - 11:11 AM

By the way this might explain why I get BSODs when booting from my USB stick. Because I don't have enough RAM to create an IMG and then boot it from FiraDisk RAMDISK, I don't use IMG_XP_Create first and IMG_XP_Restore next, but I only use IMG_XP_Create to make a direct copy of the the source WINDOWS directory onto my USB stick with a few tweaks on the fly (i.e. I don't tick "install RAMBOOT image").

That explains a lot.
It means that you did NOT follow the described correct procedure of section 2 in
http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=23553

IMG_XP_Create does NOT make a direct copy of the the source WINDOWS directory onto your USB stick.
IMG_XP_Create makes XPRAM_1.img Image file which can also be installed as boot option in grub4dos menu.
You must have done wrongly something else to get the source WINDOWS directory onto your USB stick. :)

You should use IMG_XP_Restore to restore XP on USB. :)

#50 Doodoo

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Posted 09 June 2010 - 11:27 AM

It means that you did NOT follow the described correct procedure of section 2 in
http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=23553

Well... Maybe I didn't make it clear, but there is no way I can follow this procedure to the letter, even if I want to, because I just don't have enough RAM to boot the XP Image file from FiraDisk Ramdisk ...

IMG_XP_Create does NOT make a direct copy of the the source WINDOWS directory onto your USB stick.
IMG_XP_Create makes XPRAM_1.img Image file which can also be installed as boot option in grub4dos menu.

Fair enough, but in this case, please could you explain a bit more what the purpose of IMG_XP_Create is when "install RAMBOOT image" is not ticked ? I thought it was doing the very same job, except, as it says on the tin, it does not create an IMG, and simply happens to copy the WINDOWS source directory (with a few registry tweaks on top, etc...)





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