Where do I start?

Here's a quick guide for the first time you start winbuilder.


1 - Download files 2 - Project select 3 - Wich source to use?
The first step is downloading the selected files and projects to get them on your disk. All needed files are automatically selected and you only need to press the "Download Selected" button All available projects are displayed on the main window, by default the first project is selected when the program starts. On each project you find detailed instructions on how it should be used. Each project needs a source from where to copy the needed files. After selecting a project you can go to the "Paths" tab and choose a directory for the "Source directory" box.
Warning: read with atention the instructions on the project to understand wich sources you can use - please read this note
4 - Changing settings 5 - Running a Project 6 - Testing the result
Inside each project you find scripts that control the settings for your boot disk. Take your time to see what each script does and what can be changed to suit your taste. If you already selected a project, checked if the scripts have the settings you like and that you selected a source that is compatible with your project. Now it's time to create it! Press the "Play" button to start.. By default, all projects will create an ISO image that can be used to burn on a CD or copy to a USB drive. For testing the results, an emulator is included and will simulate a computer booting from your ISO image. This way you can quickly view if  everything is the way you expect. On the tools folder you'll find the needed tools to burn this image to a CD or make a bootable USB pendisk.




Diagnosing errors when running projects



This is an important issue that can be quickly solved in most cases if you follow these steps.

After your project has been created, the PC emulator (QEMU or VirtualBox)  will run the resulting ISO image and try to boot
as if it was a normal computer - if the project had errors during the build then it might be enough to create a defective result.


How to solve this sort of issues?

When a project is running it will create a log of actions that will allow you to see step by step where the error occurs.
Unless you already have some experience creating boot disks, this log might seem dificult to understand since it contains
a lot of specific instructions.



You can find the log feature inside the tab named "Log" where two separate windows allow you to easily navigate
throught all the entries related to the last processed project.





If your project failed to boot sucessfully on the emulator and you find errors inside the log window then you should
press the button "Save Log" to ensure that this result is saved to disk.





Save Log




The "Save Log" button will create a file called "log.html" wich can be found on the same path where "WinBuilder.exe" is located.





A good way to solve any complications that you may experience and explain to others what is going wrong with your project
is uploading this file to a public place on the internet where others can read it and propose valid solutions for your case.

The next chapter will explain how this step.







Asking for help and requesting new features


In case you still have questions and doubts regarding what can be done with any of the projects and can't find
the solutions by yourself, then why not ask?

The recommended way to get your questions answered quickly is joining a forum where this sort of matters
are discussed and where others can also place questions wich might be similar to your doubts.

On the Internet you'll find a community where people discuss and develop new scripts: http://boot-land.net/forums


This is also the best place to post all your questions regarding any of the projects available for Winbuilder and
respective scripts. In here you'll find the authors of the used scripts that might reply to you requests for custom
modifications or support for more programs and features.

Always include log.html when posting about errors occured with your project


Regarding boot disks, if you like WinBuilder then you might also take some interest on these projects:

Bart's PE Builder - http://nu2.nu/pebuilder
UBCD4Win - http://ubcd4win.com
Reatogo - http://reatogo.de
MicroWinX - http://microwinx.com


And a few more forums worth mentioning when looking for assistance:

http://911cd.net/forums
http://msfn.net
http://ubcd4win.com
http://neowin.net


When debuging errors, please remember to read, understand and follow the project instructions and always try to explain
the steps that you've made along with software that you have used when placing your questions.

This way others will be able to replicate your error and give an accurate diagnostic.




Wich sources can be used to build my boot disk?


What is a "Source"?

Source is the path from where needed files will be copied to create your boot disk. You can set this value under the "Paths" tab on the "Source Directory" box.

Since WinBuilder is not specific for a type of source or proejct, you will have to read the description of the project to understand wich sort of Source is valid to be used.

Each project uses different sources, and here is a small guide to help understand what is valid to be used.


LiveXP / NativeEX / PicoXP


Can use as source the following Install CD's: Microsoft Windows XP SP2 (PRO, HOME, etc) and Microsoft Windows 2003 SP1//R2

- You can copy the contents of this CD to your disk and use this folder as Source - this way it's much faster to copy files
- Please don't confuse Install CD with the path to where your Windows is already installed like "c:\Windows" - it won't work.
- OEM versions might also cause problems because they don't include all needed drivers sometimes - a few companies remove files from their OEM XP versions.
- Windows XP SP1 can likely be used but it isn't supported since it's not used as base for testing - get a CD in wich SP2 is already integrated.

In case you don't know where to find a valid Install CD to use as source then you can download Microsoft Windows 2003 R2 from the Microsoft site: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/R2/trial/installinstruct.mspx - it contains two images available, but you only need to download the first one wich is sized around 500Mb.



VistaPE

Can use as source the Install DVD of Microsoft Windows Vista and can use the Windows AIK (WAIK)

- WAIK needs to be installed before it can be used as source and is available as a free download from the Microsoft site.
- Path to use WAIK as source?
     Assuming you Programs folder is "C:\Programs" then you should select "C:\Programs\Windows AIK" as the Source Directory
- VistaPE will use the Vista DVD to add Explorer to the boot disk - but this feature isn't available from the WAIK since it doesn't contain the needed files.



ReactOS

Since this is an Open Source Operative System - it means that all needed files can be published on the internet and shared by everyone.
Therefore you only need to be connected to the Internet before starting the project and all needed files will automatically be downloaded when needed.






How do I edit or create new scripts?


WinBuilder already comes with an internal editor and a tool to create new scripts.

To create a new script, press the "Tools" button


And select the "Create script" tab


From here you will be able to create a very simple script file.

It is worth mentioning that PedroLe15 has created a very good script create tool for LiveXP/NativeEX projects and can be downloaded from boot-land.net


Editing scripts:


Browse and select the script that you want to edit from the main window, to edit the script you only need to click on the logo image or on the edit button to enter the designer mode where you change the script's description, interface, source code and add/remove files as attachments.



Scripts are not meant to be edited manually except when they are being modified by developers - since they have an interface where buttons , checkboxes, images and links can be placed - users can select the settings they need without having to edit the source code.

If you are interested in developing your own scripts or just improve the code from the ones that already exist - then the best way to learn is starting by reading the simpler scripts that contain clear instructions and gives a good overall idea on how they work.

Example: cmd.script


Language syntax - it is very simple, one command per line in most cases and they are all meant to be easy to understand for everyone. There's also no need to memorize all the available commands.

Pressing the last button from the source code editor tool bar or right clicking over the source code will present a menu with all available commands, along with an example syntax to avoid any confusions regarding how to use it properly (button on toolbar is the one marked with a red circle on this image)





Here's an example of script language:




Complete documentation can be found on the wiki at http://boot-land.net/wiki