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Universal HDD Image files for XP and Windows 7

vhd tutorial

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#526 gbrao

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 07:01 AM

wimb :
- since i built a unixp, i never went back to PEs. i have total control over my unixp, i don't have to depend on WB, scripts, driver import pe, penetwork etc. that's why i built a very small unixp ( 334 MB used out of a 0.4GB img ). i wanted to use vhd but saw min size is 1GB, i would have liked to use vhd instead of img, but doesn't really matter.
- i first used the 0.4GB img to install XP, it went to completion but later i saw many things failed when using the unixp. only recently i realised that the install was flawed, most prob because install of DP failed as mentioned above. so i first installed xp to a 0.8GB img, created a 0.4GB img and tried to use IMG_Copy but it would not allow me because the uncompressed size of files in the 0.8GB img was more than 0.4GB. i then mounted both imgs using imdisk and copied all files from the larger to the smaller. this worked. thats why i requested a app that would take compressed size into account.
- i made a modded (shrunk) XP ISO. ( nlite : XP VLK ISO + Xable update - lots of stuff ) then ( DPs_BASE : install MS, L, CS, P driver packs ) then ( nlite : create ISO ). Used this ISO to install, went really well.

sambul :
- i did not install to a larger img and then copy to a smaller to save space. installing to a very small img fails, IMO. silently ;-) .
- the smallest size i got was about 280MB compressed ( this includes the DPs ). however once i started actually using it i liked it so much i added stuff to it to make it more functional for everyday use. i have two .imgs : one 0.4GB that i use as a PE substitute and a 0.6GB img ( booted from ramdisk ) that i use when i'm only browsing/chatting/e-mail/music/videos, it has opera, 1by1, potplayer and video & audio drivers for my system. almost like using a ssd which i cannot afford. btw since i won't be needing the DPs in the larger img (it will be used only on my system) i deleted the DPs after i got everything working ok.

#527 wimb

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 10:38 AM

-
Mini 7 - WinVBlock driver - in 1.2 GB RAMDISK

Attached File  Mini7_WinVB_RAM.png   1.05MB   51 downloads

==

Mini 7 - WinVBlock driver - in 1.2 GB FILEDISK

Attached File  Mini7_WinVB_FILE.png   929.23KB   46 downloads

EasyBCD requires .NET 2.0 which is working !

Adobe Flash player for Google maps does work in Mini 7 running from RAMDISK

VLC Media Player is working in Mini 7 booting as FILEDISK
The size of the OS is about 700 MB

:cheers:

@gbrao
I understand now and see what I can do ....
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#528 wimb

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 11:14 AM

Mini 7 - WinVBlock driver - in 1.2 GB RAMDISK - Printer Support OK

Attached File  Mini7_WinVB_RAM_PRT.png   721.59KB   14 downloads


:cheers:
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#529 wimb

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 02:58 PM

Portable Windows 7 - FiraDisk driver - 1.6 GB FILEDISK

Attached File  Port7_Fira_FILE2.png   906.76KB   31 downloads

=

Portable Windows 7 - VHDMP driver - 1.6 GB VHD File

Attached File  Port7_VHD.png   1.28MB   28 downloads


:cheers:
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#530 MedEvil

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 04:14 PM

Wimb, i seemed to have droped the ball and don't understnad, what you wanna say with those screenshots.
Could you enlighten me?

:cheers:

#531 wimb

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 04:36 PM

The screenshots just illustrate what kind of Boot Image files you can make with VHD_W7_Compact.exe program.

The VHD files can have WinVBlock or FiraDisk driver Or the Microsoft VHD HBA driver (= vhdmp.sys)

WinVBlock or FiraDisk driver allow to boot as FILEDISK or as RAMDISK.
In case of loading in RAMDISK you need sufficient RAM, otherwise e.g. IE8 will not work correctly.
In my case I have only 2 GB RAM available,
which is just (but not really) enough for the 1.2 GB file to work when loaded in RAMDISK.
On the other hand booting as FILEDISK is working for both Mini 1.2 GB and Portable 1.6 GB perfect.
The size of the Mini 7 OS is only 700 MB and for the Portable 7 it is about 1 GB

Microsoft VHD HBA file allows to boot as FILEDISK and is in fact the best driver for that purpose,
but this driver is only available in the Ultimate and above versions.
In this case booting from RAMDISK failed .... with BSOD 7B

The small size VHD files behave like full Windows 7 and perform in this respect much better than 7 PE
as illustrated by Printer support and .NET 2.0 support for EasyBCD
Besides such portable OS can remember installed drivers and programs
and they can be made Universal so that they adapt to any hardware.

:cheers:

#532 wimb

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 01:11 PM

so i first installed xp to a 0.8GB img, created a 0.4GB img and tried to use IMG_Copy but it would not allow me because the uncompressed size of files in the 0.8GB img was more than 0.4GB. i then mounted both imgs using imdisk and copied all files from the larger to the smaller. this worked. thats why i requested a app that would take compressed size into account.

If you would have used IMG_XP_Create.exe Or VHD_XP_Create.exe to make Image file for direct Install of XP
then the XP Image file has NTFS compression.
When this XP Image file is used as Source in IMG_Copy.exe then there is no problem at all in Size measurements
since Source and Destination have both NTFS compression.

How did you create your Image file for Install of XP ?

:cheers:

#533 gbrao

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 12:49 AM

.img created with img_xp_create.

see pic : http://img6.imagesha.../4246/icopy.png

source is 0.6gb UniMXP.img : used space is 422MB.
i try to copy to a 0.5gb .img, get error, see pic. 422MB should fit in a 0.5GB (compressed) .img. right ?

btw : I mounted UniMXP.img after running img_copy, just to get the pic.

#534 wimb

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 06:38 AM

.img created with img_xp_create.

see pic : http://img6.imagesha.../4246/icopy.png

source is 0.6gb UniMXP.img : used space is 422MB.
i try to copy to a 0.5gb .img, get error, see pic. 422MB should fit in a 0.5GB (compressed) .img. right ?

btw : I mounted UniMXP.img after running img_copy, just to get the pic.

You think you can run XP on disk with less than 100 MB Free Space ?

:cheers:

#535 gbrao

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 08:27 AM

^ I was just trying to show you that IMG_Copy.exe doesn't work in cases like that.

When this XP Image file is used as Source in IMG_Copy.exe then there is no problem at all in Size measurements
since Source and Destination have both NTFS compression.


btw : xp does run with < 100MB free space. i use a 0.4GB img as a PE substitute, it has < 50MB free space.

One of the reasons I'm doing this :
http://reboot.pro/15...post__p__149468

The contents of the 0.6GB img are mentioned at the end of this post :
http://reboot.pro/98...post__p__149393

#536 gbrao

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 09:33 AM

Hi, sorry to bother you again.

When using USB_W7_Fix.exe, if one does not want to install the disable registration tweak, how does one do that ?

Or, after running USB_W7_Fix.exe can I just delete the reg entries (Disable sppsvc and sppuinotify) ?

#537 wimb

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 09:57 AM

Or, after running USB_W7_Fix.exe can I just delete the reg entries (Disable sppsvc and sppuinotify) ?

You should NOT delete reg entries after using USB_W7_Fix.exe
Originally those Services have value Start=3 and you can use regedit to change Start=4 into Start=3

Alternatively, you can modify file IMG_XPmakebtregistry_tweaksHKLM_systemdst_Add_W7.reg
and use leading ; to disable rules for tweaking ssppsvc and sppuinotify services, so that it will not occur when running USB_W7_Fix.exe

#538 gbrao

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 04:17 PM

^ sorry, i meant restore values in reg to the orig values. not delete.

one more doubt : your program makes a universal image that boots from a usb drive. can the same image be used from another usb drive ? or will something more have to be done ? eg. boot the os from filedisk, plug in the new usb drive, reboot (to another os) and then copy the image to the new drive.

#539 wimb

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 07:34 PM

In general it is better when new USB-drive is known in registry (the registry settings are quite important)
So I would boot from FILEDISK and connect new USB-drive and Reboot from FILEDISK with new USB-drive connected and Shutdown.

Then Reboot with other OS and copy Image to bootable new USB-drive or use BOOT_USB.exe for this purpose to make it bootable with Grub4dos Menu.

#540 wimb

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 11:02 AM

-
*** Update IMG_XP package Version 4.6 ***

  • Added - Option gzip compression for faster loading Image in RAMDISK
  • Added - VHD_W7_Compact.exe - can use Installed x64 Windows 7 as Source to make 2.0 GB VHD - Portable x64 Windows 7
  • Update - General improvements in program code - some bugs removed
  • Changed - Program Version - latest version is 4.6
Download - IMG_XP

Run IMG_XP.exe and Extract to simple path

The portable Apps of IMG_XP were tested in XP and Windows 7 with User Account Control Off (also x64 version)


Portable x64 Windows 7 - 2 GB VHD

Attached File  VHD_7x64_P.png   956.74KB   23 downloads


:cheers:

#541 i

i

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 03:48 PM

Does it also optimize?
While gzipping fully optimized image (gzip -1 file.img), process explorer showed compression speed at 8MiB/s (for used space) and 20MiB/s approx (for unused free space). :huh: i was searching for newer version of gzip.exe (multi core using or something optimized) however, failed to find any such build. 7zip's fastest profile and lowest dictionary size is very similar to gzip.exe's -1 switch (which created at 8.x MiB/s & 20+MiB/s) HOWEVER my 4GB file size is now 481MB with 7zip's app (gzip.exe made 513MiB) :huh:

7zip's normal profile created 460MiB file at the cost of loooooong creation time (not worth it)

EDIT2: Sadly the following doesn not work with grub4dos otherwise... on atom processor,...

7zip's .XZ created file 423 MiB @ (10MiB/s used and 30MiB/s unUsed) speeds (all 4 cores used by app)
WinRAR created file 478 MiB @ (6MiB/s used and 13MiB/s unUsed) speeds (only 1 core used by app)
LZO.exe created file 594 MiB @ (30MiB/s used and 70MiB/s unUsed) speeds (only 1 core used by app) :hyper:

#542 wimb

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 08:22 AM

Support for x64 Windows 7 as source required an additional small program fix for nusb3 driver.
Please download the Updated version IMG_XP_46.exe

Download - IMG_XP

:cheers:

@i
optimazation of Image files is not included in the programs,
but should be done with specialized programs for this purpose, like Piriform Defraggler (to defragg and compact) and CCleaner (to wipe FreeSpace)

#543 wimb

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 11:10 AM

FiraDisk driver can be used in x64 Windows 7

The 64-bit FiraDisk driver will not load on 64-bit Windows 7
unless the machine is running with testsigning switched on.

Open Command Prompt at System32 as Administrator:


bcdedit /set testsigning on


Reboot to activate this.
http://msdn.microsof...y/dd419910.aspx

Install FiraDisk driver with R-mouse on firadisk.inf in IMG_XPmakebtfiradisk-driver-0.0.1.30 - folder
and Reboot to Install the driver.

Thanks to karyonix - more Info see:
FiraDisk - http://reboot.pro/8804/
Forum FiraDisk - http://reboot.pro/forum/94/
Windows 7 - http://reboot.pro/forum/77/
Windows 7 on USB-HDD - http://reboot.pro/9196/

Portable x64 Windows 7 - 2.5 GB VHD - FiraDisk driver

Attached File  VHD_7x64_Fira.png   1.25MB   12 downloads

:cheers:

#544 sambul61

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 02:44 PM

A small suggestion: add info what Firadisk was added for, and what Win7 64-bit versions are supported with what drivers by IMG_XP 4.6. :)

#545 wimb

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 03:31 PM

Ultimate and above versions have Microsoft VHD HBA driver which allows to boot as FILEDISK and is in fact the best driver for that purpose,

For all other versions of Win 7 booting as FILEDISK or if you wish to boot Ultimate and other versions as RAMDISK, then WinVBlock or FiraDisk driver is needed.

In x64 Win7 the FiraDisk driver allowed me to boot VHD as FILEDISK (don't know about RAMDISK since I don't have enough RAM for that purpose).
With WinVBlock driver in x64 Win 7 VHD then I could not boot (it was waiting forever with running progress bar).

:cheers:

#546 wimb

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 08:31 AM

-
*** Update IMG_XP package Version 4.7 ***
  • Added - VHD_W7_Compact.exe - testsigning on is set in BootManager BCD menu in case of Windows 7-x64 VHD
  • Added - Create Empty VHD or IMG of various size by using VHD_XP_Create.exe and IMG_XP_Create.exe
  • Update - MBR_Backup.exe - update of MbrFix and tinyhexer
  • Changed - Program Version - latest version is 4.7
Download - IMG_XP

Run IMG_XP.exe and Extract to simple path

The portable Apps of IMG_XP were tested in XP and Windows 7 with User Account Control Off (also x64 version)

:cheers:

#547 doveman

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 03:43 AM

Hi wimb

This looks like it might suit my project, which is to create a trim Win7 install to run as a RDP client (with support for Aero, Printer and USB redirection, etc) from a CF card (on a 512MB desktop mainly, but possibly also on a 256MB laptop which might seem like pushing it but I see that there's a Tiny7 which says it only uses 145MB, although even if that was legal it has RDP removed so wouldn't be much use to me). I probably don't even need to run from inside a VHD but as I intend to have a similar XP install (and thinstation) on the same CF, maybe that's the best way. I need it to be semi-persistent, in that I can get the drivers installed initally and if I need to add any later (e.g. for printers) I can save the changes, but other than that I'll want to use a filter driver to protect the CF. I've tried building a Win7PE, but I have to run HwPNP to get it to install the basic drivers and haven't worked out how to save these changes to survive a reboot.

Anyway, I don't need to use a USB so could you advise how to follow your guide but only install into a VHD and not do the USB steps? I presume that I'll be able to copy the files from the VHD onto the CF and it will boot OK without any modifications (assuming it boots from the VHD OK in the first place and I make the CF bootable of course!) I've looked at WinNTSetup but it seems like the USB part is not optional and selecting the Bootdrive makes me nervous as I don't know if it's going to write anything to that and potentially mess up my OS or if it just reads files from that drive :dubbio:

#548 wimb

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 09:22 AM

I have not tried Win7 VHD on CF card, but I think you can treat the CF card as USB-drive .
The best way is to make first Portable Win7 VHD on local drive by using VHD_W7_Compact.exe
If you wish you can uncheck the Make Boot Menu Checkbox, so that your OS Boot Menu will not change,
but then you cannot test your VHD on local drive, which can be quite handy.

Then you can use BOOT_USB.exe to prepare your CF card for booting Portable Win7 VHD.
- You can use the Format Stick procedure to make NTFS formatted bootable CF card.
- You can select your Portable Win7 VHD file as Boot Image file and then use GO

You did not discuss your Win 7 source (do you have Ultimate version or not ?)
Do you want to use Installed Win7 as source or do you want first to do a fresh Install of Win 7 in VHD file ?

#549 doveman

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 12:46 PM

It may work to treat the CF card as a USB drive but it's not necessary as it'll be plugged into a IDE adapter so appears as a normal IDE HDD to the system I think.

Yes, I have Win 7 x32 Ultimate SP1 Refresh CD and I want to do a fresh install of Win 7 in the VHD. I wonder if perhaps it's better to use FAT32 rather than NTFS to save writes to the CF card. Perhaps it doesn't matter in the long run as I'll be using a write filter, but maybe it will help in the initial stages before I install the filter, when Win 7 is detecting and installing the drivers, etc?

I already have grub4dos on my system, so perhaps I can just add an entry to that to boot the VHD?

#550 wimb

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 01:00 PM

Fresh install of Win7 in VHD is OK and easy with WinNTSetup of JFX, however it will change your BootManager Menu and set the VHD as default.
You can use WinNTSetup to create the VHD of abot 8 GB for 32-bits Win7
Afterwards you can use EasyBCD and set your OS as default boot option.
I would prefer NTFS instead of FAT32 for the CF card.

Since you have Ultimate version, you can use the Microsoft VHD driver and then booting of the VHD will be via BootManager Menu and not via Grub4dos.
In case of other versions then you need to Install either WinVBlock or FiraDisk driver and booting will be through Grub4dos menu.
When the Checkbox Make Boot Menu is checked, then the appropriate boot options are made by VHD_W7_Compact.exe depending on the driver found in the VHD.





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