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Universal HDD Image files for XP and Windows 7

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#951 gbrao

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 04:03 AM

has anyone used  Windows Embedded POSReady 2009 (http://www.microsoft...s.aspx?id=11196) as the source to create a portable/compact version ? booting the vhd from g4d (filedisk or ramdisk) does not work for me. winvblock problem ?



#952 wimb

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 05:21 AM

has anyone used  Windows Embedded POSReady 2009 (http://www.microsoft...s.aspx?id=11196) as the source to create a portable/compact version ? booting the vhd from g4d (filedisk or ramdisk) does not work for me. winvblock problem ?

 

Never tried POSReady 2009.

 

Did you try VHD_XP_Create.exe to Install POSReady 2009 in VHD ?

That seems to me the first thing to try.

 

I tried and Setup of POSReady 2009 in VHD using WinVBlock driver is Starting from Grub4dos Menu.

Could not continue since license key is required ....

 

:cheers:



#953 wimb

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 05:36 AM

Thanks for making changes for VC++ Redist. I did a quick check on changes in copy_8vhd.txt and mini_8vhd.txt. It seemed to me those changes would not make any difference in terms of files being copied. I then look at the VHD file I created with VHD_W8C_54, those VC++ related did get copied. That being said, I haven't actually tested this new version though. Or maybe I am missing something, could you please explain in more detail how those modification would make any changes to the output VHD?

 

I also noticed that in copy_8vhd.txt and mini_8vhd.txt, you commented that "FiraDisk and WinVBlock do not work in Win 8". However, I have been using firadisk in Win 8 for months and did not have any problems.

 

Install of VC++ 2005 and 2008 is required in running Win8 Source (After Install of Win8 ISO in partition), since Install in Compact VHD fails.

After booting with other OS then Version 55 will copy the extra VC++ files that appear in winsxs\*_microsoft.vc80.*\*.* and winsxs\*_microsoft.vc90.*\*.*

whereas version 54 would only copy winsxs\*_microsoft.vc80.crt*\*.* and winsxs\*_microsoft.vc90.crt*\*.*

In the last case you would not copy a lot of extra VC++ files.

You would miss e.g. file ATL80.dll in WinSxS\x86_microsoft.vc80.atl_1fc8b3b9a1e18e3b_8.0.50727.6195_none_d1cb102c435421de

vc80.atl and vc80.mfc and vc80.mfcloc and vc80.openmp contain VC++ files and so on  ........ :suda:

 

VC++ 2010 and 2012 can be Installed in Compact VHD

They give extra files in System32 and not in WinSxS , so there is no problem for these redistributables.

 

The rules for FiraDisk and WinVBlock can be uncommented by removal of leading

It dates from the PreRelease version where initial tests with FiraDisk and WinVBlock failed for me.

Nice to hear that FiraDisk is working for you. 

 

:cheers:



#954 gbrao

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 07:18 AM

hi, no, i had already installed posready to hdd. will try what you suggested. thanks again.



#955 gbrao

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 04:39 PM

i use BOOT_USB quite often to (only) format UFDs. it does not allow me to format a UFD if run from a XP PE. What are the requirements to enable format ? I can add it to the XP PE.

btw, it works from a 7 PE.



#956 wimb

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 06:44 AM

Format of UFD is disabled in case of XP PE, but I have to look why it was disabled in the code of BOOT_USB

If possible I will enable it .....

 

:cheers:



#957 doveman

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 03:34 PM

There's so much info about XP in the first post I rather feel that the Win7 info would benefit from it's own thread but anyway.

 

I was a bit confused that I couldn't find WinNTSetup2_x86.exe after downloading IMG_XP_74 but I downloaded it separately from the link now and extracted it to the IMG_XP\XP-W7-Setup\WinNTSetup2_x86_x64 folder, which just contained an .ini and .txt file originally.

 

I note when clicking Setup it has a "Enable native USB Boot of Windows 7" option and I wonder if I should be ticking that but presume not as it's not mentioned in the guide, or perhaps it's a new option that has been introduced since it was written? Perhaps it would negate the need to use USB_W7_Fix.exe but as we're going to be using VHD_W7_Compact.exe to compact it, perhaps we might as well just let that do the USB fixes, unless there's some benefit to having Setup do them?

 

I got a bit nervous with the Boot Drive option in case it messes anything up but from what I can tell, it adds an option to the Win7 boot menu and if I set it to "Do not update the boot code" it'll leave g4d mbr and menu and then load the Win7 boot menu when I select the appropriate partition to boot from the menu.lst.

 

I note that the Tweaks have settings to Disable Pagefile, Disable System Restore, Disable Hibernate, Disable UAC and so in theory it's redundant to advise checking these in steps 7 unless the Tweaks sometimes don't work.

 

 

Boot Win7 VHD Image file from USB

- Direct Install Windows 7 in a VHD file on local harddisk created by WinNTSetup2_x86.exe with Ctrl + Shift + V
- Copy Win7 VHD file to USB and use USB_W7_Fix.exe to fix for booting from USB-drive
- Make Boot Manager menu on USB for Win7 VHD Image file

Thanks to JFX for creating the very handy WinNTSetup2 tool to Install Windows 2k/XP/2003/Vista/7 x86/x64

Info in folder IMG_XPWinNTSetup2_x86_x64 and here http://www.msfn.org/...-winntsetup-v2/


WARNING: Boot menu of your computer and your USB-drive will change needed for booting with Win7 VHD file.
WinNTSetup2_x86.exe will create or change Boot Manager menu (folder Boot and file bootmgr)


Details of Procedure to create Win7 VHD file for booting from USB-drive
1. Boot with Windows 7 or 7PE
2. Use R-mouse menu to Mount Windows 7 Setup ISO file in ImDisk virtual drive (if needed first Install imdiskinst.exe)
3. Run WinNTSetup2_x86.exe and use Ctrl + Shift + V to create Win7 VHD file on local Harddisk (or use Disk Management)
4. In WinNTSetup2_x86.exe adjust Windows 7 Tweaks and Select install.wim and Bootdrive and your attached Win7 VHD
Select all System-Only Tweaks except Turn OFF USB and select other tweaks that you like
Select Checkbox to Mount Installation drive as C:
5. Use Setup to prepare Win7 VHD file and Boot drive menu and Reboot to Start Install of Windows 7
6. Reboot 2x with Win7 VHD to finish Install of Windows 7 in VHD
7. Check that System Protection and UserAccount Control are set Off and Reduce Size
If needed e.g. Change settings to get rid of pagefile.sys and hiberfil.sys
No pagefile.sys - Run as Administrator in cmd window: sysdm.cpl
and Change Advanced Performance Virtual memory Settings - Set to use No paging file
No hiberfil.sys - Run as Administrator in cmd window: powercfg.exe -H off
- Install Missing Drivers and Install Standard Controllers for IDE and USB and VGA
- In Device Manager instead of Hardware specific Controllers you must Install Standard Controllers for IDE and USB and Install Standard VGA Adapter
Install anything you need like ImDisk and 7Zip and connect your USB-harddisk to Update registry
Use Computer Properties and Set System Protection for Win7 VHD drive Off and Reboot Win7 VHD
8. Reboot with Windows 7 or 7 PE
9. Copy Win7 VHD to bootable USB-drive and use Disk Management to Attach Win 7 VHD located on USB
10. Open cmd prompt and create Boot Manager menu on USB-drive by running

 

bcdboot N:\Windows /s P:

where N: is your attached Win7 VHD and P: is your USB-drive

11. In Disk Management Detach Win7 VHD
12. If your USB-drive was NOT formatted in Windows 7 OS, then you need to fix the Bootsector of USB-drive P: with

 

bootsect.exe /nt60 P: /force

13. Run USB_W7_Fix.exe of IMG_XP package to fix the registry of Win7 VHD file on USB
14. Reboot with Win7 VHD from USB

Instead of points 9-13 you can make use of VHD_W7_Compact.exe to make Portable Windows 7 VHD file of 2 GB booting from USB-harddisk.

 



#958 wimb

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 04:10 PM

@doveman

WinNTSetup2 is NOT included in IMG_XP package, and as you noticed there is only an ini file with settings.

"Enable native USB Boot of Windows 7" option is in my opinion not sufficient and I don't use it.
USB_W7_Fix.exe and VHD_W7_Compact.exe use the same set of fixes to enable booting from USB.

With Boot Drive you can select USB drive and specify with System Drive where the the VHD is to be found e.g. HDD or USB drive.
The advantage is that boot files and VHD can be on different drives.

The Disable Hibernate tweak does not work in case of 32-bits version but it works in case of 64-bits version.
Checking if everything is set as desired is always good.

@gbrao
discrussion continued here

The same Win7 VHD having either WinVBlock or FiraDisk driver (and NOT both drivers)
can be booted from Grub4dos Menu. Let USB_W7_Fix.exe or VHD_W7_Compact.exe do the work to create the menu's.
Booting from Boot Manager menu is only possible in case of Ultimate version.

:cheers:

#959 doveman

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 07:15 PM

@wimb

 

That's fine, I thought perhaps it had got lost or something ;)

 

I found the System Restore tweak didn't work and it was still enabled for the C: partition (Win7 x86 SP1). As for Hibernate, it seems to be disabled and I get an error about it being disabled internally or something when running "powercfg -h off". Sleep/Standby are also missing from all the places you'd expect to see them (Start Menu, Power Options, etc) which is weird.

 

I originally used a dynamic expanding 25GB VHD for the install, which is now 5.34GB. To transfer to my USB, I used VHD_W7_Compact.exe to do a Full Copy to a 7GB VHD and on the first try it overran and run out of space (68kb free!) which I guess was due to my unticking NTFS Compress, as I thought that the intended system is rather old and slow and that having to decompress the filesystem would slow it down even more. Anyway, I redid it leaving NTFS Compress ticked and it came out around 5.6GB.

 

I'm wondering when I should do the Windows Updates. If I do them on the original VHD, then will VHD_W7_Compact.exe strip out all the leftover files to keep the size down?  I'm not sure they'll be space to install them all in the 1GB free on the Full Copy 7GB VHD and I want to keep that around that size or smaller so that I can stick it on a USB stick to take it to the intended system and copy to the HDD and then run VHD_W7_Compact.exe again once it's installed the necessary drivers, to get it down to around 2GB.

 

The other problem I've run into before is how to install a Win7 Boot Menu on a system that's currently only running XP (booted from g4d), so that I can boot the Win7 VHD? I know I could install WinvBlock and boot it from g4d but I believe it's better to use the Win7 VHD driver and boot it from the bootmanager.



#960 doveman

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 11:46 PM

Just did an install with WinNTSetup2 on another system and that also has the Sleep/Standby options missing so something seems up there.

 

Edit: I redid the install just using Imagex to expand install.wim to the VHD and it was the same, so that rules out anything that WinNTSetup2 is doing. I can only assume that Sleep isn't supported when running from VHD. This particular install I'm making as a backup if I can't fix the problems with my current Win 7 x64 install, so assuming I need to use it, will I be able to clone the VHD to a proper partition and will that get the Sleep working again? If not, I might as well forget about using the VHD for this and just install directly to the partition if I find I need to.



#961 wimb

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 09:03 AM

I never use Windows Update in preparing VHD's for Service purpose.

It is not needed to have Updates and I want to keep the VHD's as small as possible.

 

The other problem I've run into before is how to install a Win7 Boot Menu on a system that's currently only running XP (booted from g4d), so that I can boot the Win7 VHD? I know I could install WinvBlock and boot it from g4d but I believe it's better to use the Win7 VHD driver and boot it from the bootmanager.

 

When used in 7/8/7PE then VHD_W7_Compact.exe and USB_W7_Fix.exe will create in Grub4dos Menu an entry to launch Boot Manager Menu 

and the VHD is added to Boot Manager Menu.

 

So we can use booting with Grub4dos Menu > Boot Manager Menu > Win7-x-VHD

 

:cheers:



#962 gbrao

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 11:00 AM

This is in reply to http://reboot.pro/to...e-6#entry172272

 

OK, maybe I'm not doing it right.

 

What I'm really interested in is having a W7 vhd that I would boot from memory most of the time. However to update it I need to boot as 'filedisk' once in a way. The vhd is on a HDD.

 

The procedure I follow :

- Install W7 Ultimate SP1 32 bit to a vhd. Boot the vhd from W7 Ultimate installed on HDD using bootmgr. Make necessary changes like disable pagefile etc.

- Run VHD_W7_Compact.exe to get a 2GB vhd with portable Win 7 Ultimate. It has boot folder & bootmgr.

- Boot the 2GB vhd from Win 7 Ultimate on HDD using bootmgr just to check if the 2GB vhd is OK.

- From now on I follow the instructions given in http://reboot.pro/to...7-from-ramdisk/ :

---Drag'and'drop the BCD file on the WIN32.cmd, Drag'and'drop the BCD file on the ENUM.cmd file, INSTALLING FIRADISK.

 

Then I boot the vhd from menory using grub4dos using :

title W7 VHD RAM

map --mem (hd0,0)/1.vhd (hd0)
map --hook
root (hd0,0)
chainloader /bootmgr

 

This works OK.

 

But if I use 

map  (hd0,0)/1.vhd (hd0)

...

 

it does not work, I get a BSOD 7B.

 

The guide at http://reboot.pro/to...7-from-ramdisk/ also does not mention booting with "map  (hd0,0)/1.vhd (hd0)" that's why I assumed a W7 vhd cannot be booted as filedisk directly from g4d ( that is, it needs to be booted from windows 7 bootmgr ).

 



#963 wimb

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 11:31 AM

- Install W7 Ultimate SP1 32 bit to a vhd. Boot the vhd from W7 Ultimate installed on HDD using bootmgr. Make necessary changes like disable pagefile etc.

 

- After booting with the Win7 Ultimate VHD, then Install FiraDisk driver by R-click on firadisk.inf in folder IMG_XP\makebt\firadisk-driver-0.0.1.30

and Reboot with VHD to finish Install of FiraDisk Bus driver

- After booting with 7/8/7PE then run VHD_W7_Compact.exe and use Win7 Ultimate VHD as Source and keep all settings as given

- Boot from Grub4dos Menu with the New created Win7-1.vhd VHD using FiraDisk FILEDISK or RAMDISK option

 

VHD_W7_Compact.exe will do everything like USB-fix registry settings and add waitbt driver and Creating Grub4dos and Boot Manager Menu.

 

Do it like this and it will work for you .....

 

:cheers:



#964 gbrao

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 12:48 PM

the only difference is that firadisk is installed on the original w7 vhd rather than the portable vhd ?

 

i'll try that.

 

btw : is the g4d menu created by VHD_W7_Compact when the target vhd is on a HDD partition rather than a USB drive ? I'm not really sure, but I don't think it is.

 

Thanks.



#965 wimb

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 01:23 PM

btw : is the g4d menu created by VHD_W7_Compact when the target vhd is on a HDD partition rather than a USB drive ? I'm not really sure, but I don't think it is.

 

Target Drive where VHD is created can be HDD or USB.

In both cases the Grub4dos FiraDisk entries for booting VHD are created when FiraDisk driver is found in source VHD 

and these FiraDisk Grub4d4dos entries are quite different from what you used .....

 

:cheers:



#966 brojo

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 01:38 PM

gbrao,
IGNORE THIS POST I am making: yours seems to be a different problem than I had (but it may perhaps still help to read my experiences on the previous two pages and how I got it to work.  It should work with any method you like if you make sure in the registry your DosDevices\C: has the correct disk unique id).
Now my post:
I had just the same goal and n my experience only the latest firadisk driver works well to boot a 'vhd' as both filedisk and ramdisk... Did you make sure to used simple NTFS (NOT compressed)?
I ask this because after much pain I found out it will give your BSOD (CORRECTION: gets stuck when running certain exe's or .inf's) if you use NTFS compressed (e.g. a selected option in Wimb's IMG_XP_Compact) while booting it as filedisk (see my previous postings on the topic),
Other than that you should be able to install in any way you like with latset firadisk driver booting both file- and ramdisk...
Another option could be just to use Winvblock (note that at the moment it has sleep disabled, switching between that and firadisk, disabling once the one then the other is asking for trouble, i tried that :-)) in combination with something as Extended Write Filter (which has very limited capacity) or in W8 Unified W.F. (which may be much better). Or what worked very well for me was FancyCache (which is free to use for now as it is in beta)...
Good luck!
Brojo
About the firadisk G4D entries see also my previous posts (thanks also to Shao for that pointer)


Edited by brojo, 11 May 2013 - 01:56 PM.


#967 doveman

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 01:58 PM

I never use Windows Update in preparing VHD's for Service purpose.

It is not needed to have Updates and I want to keep the VHD's as small as possible.[quote]

 

Indeed but I'm not making this VHD for service purposes, but to use as a RDP station so it seems advisable to update it to ensure it's not exposed to known vulnerabilities, making it a possible attack point into the network.

 

When used in 7/8/7PE then VHD_W7_Compact.exe and USB_W7_Fix.exe will create in Grub4dos Menu an entry to launch Boot Manager Menu 

and the VHD is added to Boot Manager Menu.

 

So we can use booting with Grub4dos Menu > Boot Manager Menu > Win7-x-VHD

 

:cheers:

 

That's all very well but if the machine doesn't already have Win7 installed, there's no Win7 Boot Manager Menu for g4d to launch or for the VHD entry to be added to.



#968 wimb

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 02:07 PM

That's all very well but if the machine doesn't already have Win7 installed, there's no Win7 Boot Manager Menu for g4d to launch or for the VHD entry to be added to.

 

You are wrong.

 

Booting with 7/8/7PE allows VHD_W7_Compact.exe to create Win7 Boot Manager Menu on Target Drive and to add VHD to Boot Manager Menu.

 

:cheers:


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#969 wimb

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 02:16 PM

Did you make sure to used simple NTFS (NOT compressed)?
I ask this because after much pain I found out it will give your BSOD (CORRECTION: gets stuck when running certain exe's or .inf's) if you use NTFS compressed (e.g. a selected option in Wimb's IMG_XP_Compact) while booting it as filedisk (see my previous postings on the topic),

 

Unchecking NTFS Compress can help indeed, but you need to increase VHD Size by e.g. 0.5 GB

Thanks brojo for your remark about NTFS Compression :)

 

I had problem booting Win8 VHD from Grub4dos  Menu as FiraDisk FILEDISK,

but now by Unchecking NTFS Compress the problem is solved.

Win8  VHD is booting fine now from Grub4dos Menu as FiraDisk FILEDISK.

 

Another disadvantage of NTFS Compress is that the files in the VHD are severely fragmented - 95 %

Unchecking NTFS Compress gives 0% fragmentatition.

 

:cheers:


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#970 brojo

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 02:17 PM

doveman, gbrao,
W7 will not have sleep enabled if WinVblock is running.
Firadisk has sleep enabled (best use the latest, optional: change its .inf: the LoadOrderGroup must be changed back to "SCSI miniport" instead of "BootBus Extender" as Wimb has noted)  but you need NTFS not compressed, delete the DOsDevices/C: entry in registry (it will correctly recreate itself on boot) and the correct Grub4Dos menu entry to boot it as filedisk (see my post 895 and 902 in the previous pages).
My principal OS i work from is a W7 64 bit (!)  'vhd' filedisk (and ramdisk) with firadisk, booted always from the entry below (or the standard Ram entry if I want to) as we speak. It's really great and I want to thank the community for this brilliant possibility!
 
title Boot W7-v VHD as Filedisk with G4D boot entry
map --heads=2 --sectors-per-track=18 --mem (md)0x800+4 (99)
find --set-root --ignore-floppies --ignore-cd /W7-v.vhd
map /W7-v.vhd (hd0)
map --hook
write (99) [FiraDisk]\nStartOptions=disk,vmem=find:/W7-v.vhd,boot;\n\0
root (hd0,0)
chainloader /bootmgr
pause --wait=0 Booting.

Edited by brojo, 11 May 2013 - 02:22 PM.


#971 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 02:25 PM

@gbrao

Again, you mixed approaches.

And now you managed to hijack two different threads.

 

If you want to understand the matter, try (for a moment) FORGETTING the tutorial:

http://reboot.pro/to...7-from-ramdisk/

and read the more textual, but actually more detailed threads available on the board.

 

As you have seen mem mapping with firadisk is easy.

 

Non-mem mapping is more complex, our good friend wimb :worship: has a knack for "subtracting" knowledge :w00t: by including it in his (nice) automated tool(s) and then referring to the latter ones (and not to the original pieces of info), but there are exceptions ;):

http://reboot.pro/to...-with-firadisk/

 

MInd you this info is available on the firadisk thread:

http://reboot.pro/to...k-latest-00130/

 

Now, compare a grub4dos entry for a "ramdisk" firadisk .vhd:

 

 

 



title VHD-WIN7(RAM)
find --set-root /win7.vhd
map --mem --top /win7.vhd (hd0)
map (hd0) (hd1)
map --hook
rootnoverify (hd0,0)
chainloader /bootmgr

 

against one for a "filedisk" firadisk .vhd:

 

 

 



title VHD-WIN7(HHD)
find --set-root /win7.vhd
map --heads=2 --sectors-per-track=18 --mem (md)0x800+4 (99)
map /win7.vhd (hd0)
map (hd0) (hd1)
map --hook
write (99) \nStartOptions=disk,vmem=find:/win7.vhd,boot;\n\0
rootnoverify (hd0,0)
chainloader /bootmgr

you do understand how your test could not possibly work, right?

 

 

:cheers:

Wonko



#972 doveman

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 02:26 PM

@brojo, thanks for the advice about WinVblock and NTFS compressed. My original VHD doesn't use NTFS compressed but I did when running VHD_W7_Compact to make a second VHD but neither have Sleep available. I'm not using WinVblock but the MS VHD driver to load it from the Boot Manager Menu.



#973 brojo

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 02:28 PM

It is great that you'r working on W8, Wimb. Thanks for that!

One (not so important) request I thought of is to have a IMG_XP_Compact (and W7_Compact) for 64 bit versions because they get crippled by deleting the wrong files.
So I wondered, as I assume you have W8 which has priority for now (and just out of curiosity actually, for customisabilty's sake, e.g. keep WinUpdate or other components):
can I edit the files in your packages as to delete the correct files instead? And where is the best information to be found to list the correct files to delete to customise to one's needs?
Thanks!
S.



#974 wimb

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 02:28 PM

Firadisk has sleep enabled (best use the latest, optional: change its .inf: the LoadOrderGroup must be changed back to "SCSI miniport" instead of "BootBus Extender" as Wimb has noted)  but you need NTFS not compressed, delete the DOsDevices/C: entry in registry (it will correctly recreate itself on boot) and the correct Grub4Dos menu entry to boot it as filedisk (see my post 895 and 902 in the previous pages).
My principal OS i work from is a W7 64 bit (!)  'vhd' filedisk (and ramdisk) with firadisk, booted always from the entry below (or the standard Ram entry if I want to) as we speak. It's really great and I want to thank the community for this brilliant possibility!
 
IMG_XP package takes care of these things and the Grub4dos FiraDisk FILEDISK entry created by VHD_W7_Compact.exe 
corresponds to what you do manually ....
 
:cheers:


#975 brojo

brojo

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 02:35 PM

@Wimb, that's true just as long as the correct G4D entry is made and no NTFS compression is chosen!
I just do all this manually because it's the only way I know to make differently sized .vhd's and backups of .vhd's untrimmed OS...
@Wonko: my firadisk filedisk G4D entry above is slightly different but it's working perfectly for months now!
@doveman
NTFS compressed is not a limitation with WinVblock, only Firadisk.
As for your 'vanilla' windows native vhd boot not having sleep, that's odd because mine has it with simple installation and no tricks to get it to enable sleep.  Maybe it also has WinVblock installed (even if not booting from it) and is keeping you from going to sleep (try disabling/uninstalling it with device manager)? I forgot from my tests if that was the case with me but it could be...


Edited by brojo, 11 May 2013 - 02:39 PM.






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