Sunday 8 July 2012

82 - install XP from XP ISOs

This new tutorial shows you how you can place a number of different XP install ISO files on a grub4dos bootable USB drive and have multiple grub4dos menu items so that you can have a fully automated install without modifying the ISO - even if the ISO is a standard MS one.
The grub4dos menu allows you to specify a diskpart script so you can partition and format the drive however you want, an unattend.txt answer file so you can automate the install and change any settings you like, and a folder that will be copied over to the target C: drive during the install. This folder can contain all the drivers for a specific system, so you can use the same ISO to install a Dell PC or an Asus laptop and specify a different driver folder, diskpart script and answer file for each.

You can also have different answer files for different languages and timezones but use the same XP install ISO. This process will also work with nLited ISOs or XP install ISOs that are already semi-automated.
It uses WinPE v3 as the bootable OS and then runs diskpart and winnt32.exe to start the install. Only a single USB boot is required - the next boot is off of the hard disk.

Sunday 1 July 2012

81 - Make your own automatic image restore partition

If you want a hard disk backup partition which can be easily restored by a newbie, it can be done using imagex. This allows you to make a backup of the Windows volume and then restore it at a later date just by selecting it from a boot menu.
A full Windows XP restore on my laptop takes less than 2 minutes.
Checkout Tutorial #81 to set up your grandma's system with a 'reset' feature for when it all goes horribly wrong!