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26 Nov 2008
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I purchased one of these two weeks ago:

I now have 10 gig of RAM in it and I have to say it's GREAT for testing bootable ISOs. The only limitation is now my motherboard's bus speed. It blows away even SSD's as far as speed goes.

The problem I'm having now is I was going to ask if anyone knew of a program that was great for making an existing XP SP3 ultra-slim post-install. I've done all that I can so far, but the thing that is really nice about this piece of hardware is that it has a "backup to CF card" ability. It can also restore to CF card. So I'm planning on buying a couple CF cards and just swapping them out whenever I want to load a different OS configuration.

This comes in handy with games like World of Warcraft and others that can fit on one CF card along with the entire OS.

You could almost look at this like the hardware version of what everyone here has been doing at boot-land. Anyway, I just wanted to mention this and ask about a way to shrink my OS installation down. Thanks!
28 Mar 2008
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Creating images
Suppose I wanted to use space network space and create image files. What software would be best for this if I intend to also use IMDisk to mount those drives. I'm looking for what would be the most efficient.

Specifically, I have a copy of Windows Home Server running on one computer. The intention is to install IMDisk on this computer and then create image files of varying sizes on spare computers throughout the home. These would be mounted as drives, and Windows Home Server has a unique service called "Drive Extender" that is like a software RAID where you can dynamically add and remove drives. I figure that as long as one drive never fails (or only one computer is ever turned off) I'll have a large amount of space.

Anyway, all I'm asking is what is the most efficient drive image to use with IMDisk, both from a CPU usage and network bandwidth usage standpoint. Thanks.
7 Feb 2007
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Complete newb's guide to build a Live Windows XP CD/USB boot disk
Here are the steps I took to getting my first Windows XP-based build working for both a Live CD and a Live USB build. Do not even attempt to build and test this if you have less than 512 meg of RAM. I would highly suggest having at least a gig of RAM, but you might be able to pull this off with less.

What you need:
Windows XP SP2 CD
USB Fixed Disk (Hard drive) or USB Removable Disk (Flash drive)
Windows computer with 512 meg RAM for testing/building

The system that you run the end product (Live CD or Live USB) on can have as little as 256 or maybe even 128 meg of RAM, but I wouldn't suggest it.

How to build a Live Windows XP CD/USB boot disk:
1. Download 7zip and install:
http://www.7-zip.org/download.html (4.42 .exe or .msi is fine)

2. Download Thuun's stable debugged build kit of LiveXP and unpack:
(Original thread)
(Direct link - Note, this might not be the latest version so try the link above first, but if that doesn't work, you can try this one.)

Please use the version of WinBuilder included in the kit (else it may malfunction).

3. Download PEtoUSB (PE2USB is a different executable) and extract to a safe location:
(Get the English version, not the German)

4. Download virtual PC 2004 and install to DEFAULT LOCATIONS:
(Click Download button)

5. Mount Windows XP SP2 ISO with MagicDisc/DaemonTools or insert your XP CD into your CD/DVD drive. In my case, I mounted it as drive E:. Ignore any windows that pop up and don't run anything from the CD/DVD, it isn't necessary. Just note which drive your XP cd is located in. If you have used BartPE before, you know you can sometimes point to your C:\Windows directory or other locations. With WinBuilder you MUST point to the root of your Windows XP Install/Build CD.

6. Extract and then run Thuun's stable Winbuilder compilation if you haven't already. If you know how to use Winbuilder, you'll be fine. If you're new to Winbuilder or Windows PE-type builds as a whole, then click the "Paths" tab and set the target directory to E: or where ever your XP CD is located.

7. Click "Scripts" tab. Scroll down to the bottom of the list and expand the last "Build" folder. Look for "Run on VPC 2004" and be sure to change the amount of "RAM for loaded VPC" to 384 meg or higher if you have 768 meg RAM or more. I would highly suggest not changing anything else in this area as of yet. You just want to run a default setup and then after confirming it works in Virtual PC 2004, you can look into tweaking the options. Note that it does take a long time for the build to complete.

8. After you're happy with what you ended up with (I CANNOT STRESS ENOUGH THAT IF YOU ARE NEW TO WINBUILDER THAT YOU DO NOT CHANGE MANY IF ANY OF THE OPTIONS), navigate to the directory where thuun's build kit is installed and look for the ISO folder. Determine if you want to burn the Standard_RAM or want it on a thumb drive or USB hard drive.


9. Right-click on Standard_RAM.ISO and using 7zip, select the 'Extract to "Standard_RAM\"' option. This may take a while.

10. Open the new "Standard_RAM" folder, open the "I386" folder, right-click and create a new folder naming it "system32" without the quotes. We are creating this empty folder to trick PEtoUSB, whose author didn't account for users maybe wanting to try booting from RAM.

11. Find where you downloaded PEtoUSB and run it. Since it never hurts to assume that something *might* go wrong, you can save your current MBR using "Tools->Backup MBR..." it should be very small in size. I would highly suggest saving your MBR if you've been running syslinux boot configurations off the drive currently and believe you might want to go back to doing that.

This is a great tool but can get confusing with the multiple options. The big choices we are concerned with here are the USB Removable or USB Fixed (Thumbdrive/Flashdrive or USB 2.5"/3.5" hard drive). Select the right one and then find your drive.

This paragraph is separate as a complete warning:
IT IS BEST TO DO THIS WITH A FORMATTED DRIVE. Backup any files you have on your USB stick or USB hard drive and then create your partitions as you need to in Disk Manager. The information on how to do this is available elsewhere on the web and is beyond the scope of these instructions. Suffice to say, HP has a utility to do this that might help, otherwise if you right-click on "My Computer" and go to "Manage" and then click on "Disk Management" there's some partition setup that you can do with this tool. Again, IT IS BEST TO DO THIS WITH A FORMATTED DRIVE. Also, ASSUME YOU WILL LOSE ANYTHING OF IMPORTANCE ON YOUR USB DEVICE, regardless of whether or not it is a USB Removable or USB Fixed drive and whether or not you think you know what you are doing. I cannot stress enough that the likelihood of destroying files on other partitions on a USB drive is very high when you're fiddling around with getting a USB drive to boot.

12. For "Source Path to Built BartPE/WinPE Files:" click on the "..." button and navigate to and select the ISO folder from #8 and #9 above. Select it and then click "Ok". The button would have remained greyed out till we put the "system32" folder in the "i386" folder.

13. A few certainties are in order before moving on:

The rest of the options I left at default, but you might know what they mean/do. I leave "Enable File Copy" checked and do "Overwrite Always". I don't claim to be an expert on this, but when doing things with the above options not set correctly, I ran into a lot of problems. If jaclaz comments here, he'll probably have the most accurate info on what is ok to check or not check.

14. Click "Start". Do not unplug your USB drive. The part that will take the longest is the "Copying...RAMBOOT.ISO" stage. When it is done, you should have a LIVE XP USB Boot Disk that boots from RAM!

If you run into problems, post them here and I'm sure someone can help. There's a lot of bright individuals on the Bootland forums. Also, the nice thing about Winbuilder is that if you mess a built up by changing too many options, you can always delete the whole WinBuilder folder and re-extract it and start fresh, it shouldn't be saving anything to the registry.
1 Feb 2007
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Booting from a USB hard drive, NOT flash
This device uses a USB enclosure for a laptop sized 2.5" hard drive. I have the drive partitioned into two partitions, one is 200 meg NTFS and the other is 119 gig NTFS. I have tried the HP tool, ufdprep, and various other tools in a futile attempt to simply format the drive and make the appropriate changes so it looks for either NTLDR or SETUPLDR.BIN.

I used 7zip to extra my Winbuilder ISO and now have a directory that says:

I'm so close I can taste it. I know I should do something with the .img file in the [BOOT] folder, but I don't know what. Anyone got any help? (by anyone of course, I'm implying jaclaz, but I know some of the rest of you have done this before too) Please note that this is NOT a flash drive, but it does plug in via USB. The ufdprep tool simply stated that the drive is not "Removable Media" and when I looked in My Computer it did say type was "Local Disk".

Thanks in advance.
16 Nov 2006
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Updates not really working for me
For example, Ove's script "USB Sticks" will report that there is an update available, but then when I try to get it by clicking on the satellite icon it will say:

"Error downloading URL: http://www.ove.boot-land.net/updates/usbsticks.script."

Why is this?

Also, I found:

Is there a way I can just get everything from there immediately? It would be nice for me to have one button that checks the sandbox for the most updated scripts and then, if the script isn't sandbox, maybe checks the developer's site or something.

This is with WinBuilder 51. I know 52 has more functionality, but 51 is the latest stable. I think. When I go to click "update" in 51, it says something about 049 being the latest version and that I have a newer one. Weird.

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