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Universal HDD Image files for XP and Windows 7

vhd tutorial

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#576 ChrisR

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 12:28 AM

Great, thanks :thumbsup:
the copy of Win8-1.vhd on a 2 Gb key 2 is in progress....

:cheers:

#577 TheHive

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 07:11 AM

thanks for the screenshots. mini8pe

#578 wimb

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 10:20 AM

Update of VHD_W8_Compact.exe to version 4.9

Download - not available ....

Run VHD_W8C_49.exe and Extract to simple path

The portable App was tested in Windows 7 with User Account Control Off (also x64 version)

1. Boot with Windows 7 or 7 PE and then Install Windows 8 in 8 GB VHD (details see some posts above)
2. In Win7 run VHD_W8_Compact.exe to prepare in 10 min the 1.8 GB Win8 VHD for booting from USB Target Drive

You can make Win8-1.VHD on local harddisk which is faster and
then use BOOT_USB.exe to make USB-drive bootable with Win8-1.vhd using BootManager Menu.
USB-stick is too slow for this pupose and it is much better to use USB-harddisk

http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=24424

Normal Win8 VHD Size is 1.8 GB
- For Size Increase use:
.NET Framework 4.0 needs 200 MB extra
x64 - SysWow64 needs 1.2 GB extra



:cheers:

#579 ChrisR

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 09:08 AM

copy of PM (not work right now)

2. In Win7 run VHD_W8_Compact.exe to prepare in 5 min the 1.8 GB Win8 VHD for booting from USB Target Drive

For me, With an old USB 2 key, it takes me over an hour to copy files in the attached VHD file (on USB).

also, I made a change in your nice au3 script VHD_W8_Compact_4.9.7z

Instead to create the VHD file in TargetDrive (USB), I create it in HDD $TempFolder=". VHD_W8 temp".
after Being detached Win8-x.vhd,it is copied to the targetDrive, for continue the current process.

That Greatly Improves the copy speed for me, ~5 mn now.

If it suits you ;)

:cheers:

#580 wimb

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 11:43 AM

For me, With an old USB 2 key, it takes me over an hour to copy files in the attached VHD file (on USB).

also, I made a change in your nice au3 script VHD_W8_Compact_4.9.7z

Unfortunately my warning Not to use USB-stick as TargetDrive came to late.
It is much better to use Portable USB-harddisk or Local Harddisk as Target Drive where to create New VHD file.

Thanks for testing and giving modified AutoIt3 script.
The modification probably ensures that the VHD is not created at USB-stick.

Booting from USB-stick with Portable Windows 8 takes too long for me
and the performance on USB-stick is also rather poor.
For me Portable USB-harddisk is preferred in any case .....

:cheers:

#581 ChrisR

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 12:25 PM

Booting from USB-stick with Portable Windows 8 takes too long for me
and the performance on USB-stick is also rather poor.
For me Portable USB-harddisk is preferred in any case .....

You are right, indeed the flow is not the same and here it is just for a first test with VHD_W8_Compact, and others will do it too probably.

the modified au3 script allowed me, also, to understand your nice process to reduce Win8 vhd and keeping a full win8 :)

I believe that in all cases, Usb 2/3, USB-stick, USB-harddisk, Go through a temp folder in HDD is certainly faster.
you saw the au3 changes, they are slightly, as you feel it ;)

:cheers:

#582 MedEvil

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 12:47 PM

Has anyone done a performance test and compared the performance, when run from different USB-Sticks and when run from USB-HDD?

Cause when the performance is so poor, even from fast USB-Sticks, that their use is pointless, the shrinking from 8GB to 2 GB is imo as well.

:cheers:

#583 wimb

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 02:53 PM

Performance of Windows 8 when booting as VHD on Portable USB-harddisk is quite OK and far better than any PE
and for the case of VHD on USB the reduction in size by 6 GB is very welcome (easier to copy and maintain)
and may become even more interesting when booting from RAMDISK will be possible .....

Besides it is possible to use Installed Windows 8 as Source, so that you don't need any Setup DVD .....
In VHD_W8_Compact.exe you simply select your User account (if needed create first a fresh one so that it is clean).

However, 32-bits Ultimate Windows 7 or XP are preferred as Source to make Compact versions
by using VHD_W7_Compact.exe or IMG_XP_Compact.exe of IMG_XP package respectively.

The Compact HD Image files of Windows 7 and XP can always be chainloaded from Grub4dos menu
whereas when Win8 is set as Default then selecting a Non default option in BootManager Menu
results in the BCD store that the /bootsequence option is used to set once booting with that option after a forced Reboot.
This behaviour of Windows 8 is Not so nice for Multiboot admins ......
The solution is to use EasyBCD to set e.g. XP or Win7 Image file as default in BootManager Menu.

If Windows 8 VHD has Boot Failure e.g. due to missing component or to overflow,
then the dirty bit is set in NTFS FileSystem at all local drives, which forces chkdsk to scan and repair the drive at next Reboot.

To repair NTFS filesystem on drive C: use
chkdsk /F C:

To check NTFS filesystem on drive C: D: and E: use
chkntfs C: D: E:


:cheers:

#584 wimb

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 10:24 AM

-
*** VHD_W8_Compact 5.0 - Make Portable Windows 8 - Size 1.3 GB in 1.8 GB VHD on USB ***

Download - VHD_W8C_50

Run VHD_W8C_50.exe and Extract to simple path

The portable App was tested in Windows 7 with User Account Control Off (also x64 version)

1. Boot with Windows 7 or 7 PE and then Install Windows 8 in 8 GB VHD (details see below)
2. In Win7 run VHD_W8_Compact.exe to prepare in 10 min the 1.8 GB Win8 VHD for booting from USB Target Drive

USB-stick is too slow for this pupose and it is much better to use Portable USB-harddisk e.g. Samsung S2
The temp VHD file Win8-1.vhd is created on local harddisk in folder VHD_W8CVHD_W8temp
and then copied to TargetDrive where the BootManager Menu is made - Thanks to ChrisR
To prevent the light blue screen with : ( bla, bla .... INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE (the old BSOD 7B)
we need to set USB Services as Boot Bus Extender with Start=0
These settings are applied with the HKLM System Tweaks Checkbox.

http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=24424

Normal VHD Size is 1.8 GB - Size Increase use:
.NET Framework 4.0 needs 200 MB extra
x64 - SysWow64 needs 1.2 GB extra

================================================================================

Boot with Windows 7 or 7 PE and then Install Windows 8 in 8 GB VHD
Win 8 Setup ISO was mounted via R-mouse in ImDisk Virtual drive
In WinNTSetup - Tweaks select all System Tweaks so that UAC is off etc.
Then WinNTSetup was used to prepare the 8 GB VHD Target drive

On Reboot then Install of Windows 8 is extremely fast (a few minutes).

After booting with Windows 8 VHD then Take care to have Switched Off :
UAC + Defender + pagefile + System Restore + Hibernate + Windows Update

Install EasyBCD and 7-zip from VHD_W8CPOST_INSTALLINSTALL_PRGS

================================================================================

Portable Windows 8 - Size 1.3 GB in 1.8 GB VHD on USB

Posted Image

:cheers:

#585 wimb

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 09:25 AM

-
*** Make Portable Windows booting from VHD on USB ***

Download - BOOT_USB_46 - mirror

Download - IMG_XP_48 - mirror

Download - VHD_W8C_51 - mirror

Run the Download and Extract to simple path
The portable Apps were tested in XP and Windows 7 with User Account Control Off (also x64 version)

BOOT_USB.exe - Make Bootable USB-Drives, Booting with Grub4dos Menu and using Boot Image files
More Info - http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=24424

IMG_XP_Compact.exe - Make Portable Windows XP booting from IMG on USB
VHD_W7_Compact.exe - Make Portable Windows 7 booting from VHD on USB
VHD_W8_Compact.exe - Make Portable Windows 8 booting from VHD on USB

Source can be drive where Windows is installed, but better use fresh full XP Image file Or Windows 7-8 VHD file
In case of using existing Installed Windows as source, it is handy to first create a NEW user in Windows,
so that this NEW user folder is small in size e.g. only contains very few Documents and Pictures and Music.

In case of USB Target Drive then temporary Image files are made on Local Harddisk and copied later to USB
The temp Images are made in IMG_XP_Ctemp and VHD_W7temp folder of IMG_XP and in VHD_W8CVHD_W8temp

In any case use Portable USB-harddisk e.g. Samsung S2 because USB-stick is NOT suitable for this purpose.

:cheers:

#586 doveman

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 10:19 AM

doveman #571
I feel this is probably disk geometry problem.
Windows XP MBR code access disk by using CHS addressing.
The last time I check, VirtualBox's BIOS disk geometry is not consistent. It changes depend on content of MBR.
GRUB4DOS access disk by using LBA it is not affected by BIOS disk geometry.
You may try Windows 7 MBR code. I think it use LBA.


Thanks, that's an interesting idea I'll give it a go.

I've created XP VDI's in Virtualbox itself which boot fine, but the VHD wasn't created by Virtualbox but by Windows7/VHD_XP_Create.exe, so perhaps that's caused the geometry to be incorrect for Virtualbox.

#587 ericgl

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 09:58 PM

Thanks, Wimb.
I will try VHD_W8C_51 once I have enough time.

#588 doveman

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 03:46 PM

doveman #571
I feel this is probably disk geometry problem.
Windows XP MBR code access disk by using CHS addressing.
The last time I check, VirtualBox's BIOS disk geometry is not consistent. It changes depend on content of MBR.
GRUB4DOS access disk by using LBA it is not affected by BIOS disk geometry.
You may try Windows 7 MBR code. I think it use LBA.


I tried NT5 and NT6 and it's the same with both, just hangs on a black screen, no error or anything. Only with grub4dos MBR can I boot it in Virtualbox. I'll try with NT5 and NT6 MBR again when I'm booting on real hardware.

Can anyone help me with the filter driver. I need to be able to switch it on and off, so that I can occasionally change things, install drivers, etc. I presume I'll need to boot, toggle it off, reboot and change whatever I need, reboot again to fix the changes if necessary, then toggle it on again and reboot.

When the filter driver is on, does it cache any writes to RAM, as I'm worried this could fill up the RAM? Anyway, I'm not sure which filter driver I should use or how to install it, so any pointers would be appreciated :)

#589 doveman

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 04:55 PM

Not going too well booting on the real desktop. Firstly the USB mouse and keyboard aren't working, so I couldn't enter the password! I booted the VHD in virtualbox and set it to autologin to get past that. Then, on the first boot it detected the PCI bus and had to reboot (had to press the power button to shut it down, soft shutdown thankfully). On the next boot it detected APCI Power Button and again I had to shut down with the power button. On the third boot, it's now popped up a "Do you want to search for this driver on the Net" box, but as the mouse and keyboard still aren't working, I can't do anything.

I could boot the VHD in virtualbox again and add a VNC server so that I could control the install remotely, but as it hasn't installed the NIC driver yet (it's not showing on the router) I won't be able to connect to it anyway. Any ideas?

#590 wimb

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 05:04 PM

Forget about Virtualbox and don't use nLite.
Follow the Tutorial to prepare XP Setup Source and boot always on real hardware.
Use IMG_XP_Create.exe or VHD_XP_Create.exe and do fresh Install of XP in IMG or VHD.

After succes, use IMG_XP_Compact.exe to make Portable XP Image file for booting from USB.
That will bring the desired reduction in size.

:cheers:

#591 doveman

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 05:46 PM

OK, but will doing that make the mouse and keyboard work from first boot or am I going to end up in the same situation where it's prompting me for input and the mouse and keyboard aren't working?

I'm making a VHD to boot from HDD or CF Card, not USB, so will XP_Compact still be suitable and reduce the size/RAM usage as much as Nlite? I also need to be sure it doesn't remove anything that I need for RDP (including USB printer and flashstick network sharing), new hardware detection, etc.

#592 wimb

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 07:08 PM

I think that your mouse / keyboard problems are related to using first Virtualbox.

Just have a try what IMG_XP_Compact.exe can do for you.
In any case it tries to keep as much functionality as possible.

Mini XP = OS Size 400 MB - including IE8 + WLAN + Audio + Printer + 7-Zip + ImDisk and all installed drivers
Port XP = OS Size 600 MB - extra system32 complete + Windows Media Player - Multimedia support

#593 doveman

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 10:22 PM

I think that your mouse / keyboard problems are related to using first Virtualbox.

Just have a try what IMG_XP_Compact.exe can do for you.
In any case it tries to keep as much functionality as possible.

Mini XP = OS Size 400 MB - including IE8 + WLAN + Audio + Printer + 7-Zip + ImDisk and all installed drivers
Port XP = OS Size 600 MB - extra system32 complete + Windows Media Player - Multimedia support


Yeah, you might be right. I think I'll try making a fresh nlite VHD and a Vanilla one and see if they both work or not (without using Virtualbox) and if so, compare sizes after compacting them both to Port_XP (which sounds like it should have all I need). As I found before, I can't install the Driverpacks into the nlited setup though, as it messes up the TXTSETUP.sif and prevents it booting, but if the mouse and keyboard work I should be able to install the drivers I need manually.

The reason I wanted to boot it and get some stuff done at home is I only get access to the intended machine once a week for a few hours, so it's really slows me down if I have to do everything there. Maybe I could boot it on my AMD machine but as I found before "installing on my AMD AHCI system installs a SCSI/RAID controller and I can't find a way to switch this to Standard PCI/IDE controller as that's not listed when doing Update Driver, whether or not the Show Compatible Hardware box is ticked." and obviously if I can't switch it to Standard PCI/IDE it won't boot on the Intel 815-based intended machine.

#594 doveman

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 07:43 PM

EDIT: Not to worry, I found a guide that confirms the folder should be $OEM$$1Tweaks :)

I found some useful tweaks at http://unattended.ms...xp/view/web/17/ which might not cover everything I did in nlite, but will save a lot of time doing them manually after install.

So I've created a $OEM$ folder and in that I have HKCU.reg and HKLM.reg, as well as HKLM.bat, useraccounts.cmd, autologon.reg and cmdlines.txt. cmdlines.txt contains:

[COMMANDS]
"useraccounts.cmd"
"REGEDIT /S hkcu.reg"

which creates the user account and applies the CU tweaks to all users. I'm not sure about the right way to apply the HKLM tweaks though. I understand I have to put something like this in WINNT.sif:

[GuiRunOnce]
"%systemdrive%$OEM$HKLM.bat"

which will then run HKLM.bat which contains:

ECHO.
ECHO Applying Registry Tweaks...
REGEDIT /S %systemdrive%$OEM$hklm.reg

but I'm not sure that's the right path or if $OEM$ get's copied to %systemdrive% during install, so if you could clarify that, I'd appreciate it. Another place suggested using something like:

[GuiRunOnce]
"%systemdrive%TweaksHKLM.bat"

and putting HKLM.bat and HKLM.reg in $OEM$$1Tweaks, which will then get copied to %systemdrive%Tweaks during install, so I should edit HKLM.bat to:

REGEDIT /S %systemdrive%Tweakshklm.reg

I've also added the following to WINNT.sif to avoid installing these unwanted components:

[Components]
msmsgs=off
msnexplr=off
zonegames=off
Dialer=off
Fax=off
Media_clips=off

#595 doveman

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 03:04 PM

OK, I've built my XP with Driverpacks VHD, but trying to boot it on real hardware it doesn't work. In menu.lst I've got:

title Boot Windows XP from Image - XPSP3.vhd
root (hd1,2)
map /VHD/XPSP3.vhd (hd0)
map --hook
root (hd0,0)
chainloader /ntldr

but I get error 62: The number of heads must be specified...

I'm using grub4dos 0.4.5b. If I test it in Virtualbox, using the same version, with the VHD mounted as a VHDD and using

map (hd1) (hd0)
map --hook
root (hd0,0)
chainloader /bootmgr

that boots fine, but obviously that's mapping a HDD rather than a VHD file.

#596 wimb

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 03:59 PM

OK, I've built my XP with Driverpacks VHD, but trying to boot it on real hardware it doesn't work. In menu.lst I've got:

title Boot Windows XP from Image - XPSP3.vhd
root (hd1,2)
map /VHD/XPSP3.vhd (hd0)
map --hook
root (hd0,0)
chainloader /ntldr

but I get error 62: The number of heads must be specified...

I'm using grub4dos 0.4.5b.

Can you give more details on how you arrived at your XPSP3.vhd and the grub4dos menu entry ?
What procedure did you follow ? Was XP Setup in VHD successful or what are you doing ?

:cheers:

#597 doveman

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 05:11 PM

Well I made the VHD with VHD_XP_Create.exe, then mounted the VHD and my SP3 ISO in Virtualbox (I know you told me not to but it's so much easier and I'm stubborn!) and booted from the ISO, installed XP and rebooted once it had finished and that worked fine in Virtualbox.

Knowing that you'd probably not be impressed that I still used Virtualbox, I'm now trying to install on real hardware instead. I copied the IMG_XP folder and my SP3 ISO to my other PC, created a VHD and added the three entries to my menu.lst. The TXT-Setup part went OK, but at the start of the GUI-Setup, it gave me an error about the drive being inaccessible but I clicked continue and then it unpacked the driverpacks and continued OK. Now it's looking for winvblk.exe in C:WindowsOEMDIR and not finding it, so I guess something's gone wrong again. Do I need to switch my BIOS from AHCI back to IDE mode to do the setup perhaps? Although I don't think that'll sort out the missing winvblk.exe problem.

Did I mess up by not doing "Use IMX_XPmakebtimdiskinst.exe to Install ImDisk driver"? I didn't bother as it says "Imdisk is used by USB_XP_Fix.exe to mount VHD and HDD Image files in a virtual drive" and I'm not planning to use USB_XP_Fix.exe (and that's not used until step 8, after XP has been installed, so I don't think that would explain it either). I've just started again, installing the ImDisk driver this time. I note VHD_XP_Create.exe gives a couple of errors towards the end about not finding a couple of files (NTLDR was one I think) in makebt (I think, the messages flashed by rather quickly). Anyway, I attached the VHD to check and it's empty, so I don't know when the WindowsOEMDIRwinvblk.exe is supposed to be added to it.

These are the entries that I took from the created menu.lst and pasted in my own with a few edits to point to the right partition (I made it create them on my I: partition where the VHD, winvblock.ima and ISO are, as I don't like things messing with my proper menu.lst)

title Continue GUI-mode XP Setup on XP-1.vhd - WinVBlock driver - 2000 MB
root (hd1,2)
map --mem /winvblock.ima (fd1)
map --mem /winvblock.ima (fd0)
map /XP-1.vhd (hd0)
map /XPSP3UN.iso (0xff)
map --hook
root (hd0,0)
chainloader /ntldr

title Start - TXT-mode XP Setup on XP-1.vhd - WinVBlock driver - 2000 MB
root (hd1,2)
map --mem /winvblock.ima (fd1)
map --mem /winvblock.ima (fd0)
map /XP-1.vhd (hd0)
map /XPSP3UN.iso (0xff)
map --hook
chainloader (0xff)

title Boot Windows XP from Image - XP-1.vhd - WinVBlock driver - 2000 MB
root (hd1,2)
map /XP-1.vhd (hd0)
map --hook
root (hd0,0)
chainloader /ntldr

#598 doveman

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 06:31 PM

Trying with the BIOS set to IDE mode, I still get a "Windows - No Disk, Exception Processing Message" at the start of GUI-setup, but clicking continue a couple of times allows it to proceed to unpacking the Driverpacks as before.

Got the same error as it tried to find winvblk.exe in C:WindowsOemdir as well, but I pointed it to the floppy drive this time and it continued and completed OK and booting XP went OK after that :)

So I tweaked a few things, ran Purge_DLLCache.bat (although there was only about 7MB of files in dllcache, not 350MB), installed the ahci driver and registry entries in case, rebooted, switched the BIOS back to AHCI and booted back into my normal Win7 to continue with the next steps.

#599 doveman

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 06:45 PM

Hmm, now I see there's no VHD_XP_Compact, only a IMG_XP_Compact, which is not much use for my XP VHD! Any suggestions?

#600 wimb

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 05:14 AM

Hmm, now I see there's no VHD_XP_Compact, only a IMG_XP_Compact, which is not much use for my XP VHD! Any suggestions?

Just use IMG_XP_Compact.exe
it works also with XP VHD Source file.

:cheers:





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