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[GUIDE] Creating The Ultimate Windows XP Installation CD/DVD

Discussion in 'Computer Talk' started by rado354, Dec 3, 2007.

  1. rado354

    rado354 Chieftain

    Joined:
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    This tutorial will guide you through the process of creating an unattended Windows installation CD with the latest hotfixes, drivers, DirectX, IE7, WMP11, Office 2007 and any other software that you would like to include on the CD. Remove useless components, apply tweaks and system hacks for the highest possible performance and productivity.

    Don’t miss the video version of this tutorial where you can actually see the whole process of creating a fully customized, unattended installation CD and the result tested and running in VMware Machine.

    Requirements:
    - nLite 1.4
    - Net Framework 2.0
    - WinXP CD

    1. Copy the entire content of your WinXP CD in some local folder.

    2. Install .Net Framework 2.0 and nLite.

    3. Choose your preferred language on the first screen:


    4. Tell nLite where are your WinXP files. Select “Browse” and navigate to the local folder you created in step 1:


    5. Choose what you want to do. You can choose only one operation, all of them, or any combination. For example, you can choose to create an ISO and skip the rest:


    6. Service Pack: Slipstream a Service Pack into the installation. Just download SP2 for WinXP and nLite will do the rest. If you integrate SP2 you will not need SP1 because SP2 supersedes it.


    7. Hotfixes, Addons and Update Packs: Add hotfixes and/or update packs to your installation. Any addons for nLite that you add here will be installed silently during Windows Setup also.


    How to get all hotfixes after SP2:

    * Use RyanVM Post SP2 Update Pack.
    * Install WinXP. Run Windows Update and write down all the required hotfixes. Download them manually from Microsoft.
    * Windows Updates Downloader - let this program download all hotfixes for you.
    * Information about the hotfix releases could be found here: MSFN, TheHotfixShare and SoftwarePatch



    * Windows Media Player 11: Download WMP11 Integrator and the WMP11 installer. Use WMP11 Integrator to slipstream WMP11 into your WinXP CD before making any changes with nLite. Once WMP11 is slipstreamed you can proceed with nLite.
    * Internet Explorer 7.0: Just download IE7 and slipstream the .exe with nLite.
    * Office 2007: Work in progress!
    * Addons: Download more than 350 addons for nLite from WinAddons. These .cab addons will be installed silently during Windows Setup.

    Video tutorial: Slipstream Windows Media Player 11
    Video tutorial: Slipstream Internet Explorer 7 with nLite
    Video tutorial: Integrate addons with nLite

    8. Drivers: Integrate drivers into the installation. Browse to some .inf files and nLite will do the rest. Thanks to http://driverpacks.net/ you can create an installation CD with drivers for almost any piece of hardware. During setup Windows will only use the drivers required and will ignore completely the others. Unused drivers won’t be copied on your hard drive.


    Video tutorial: Integrate drivers with nLite

    9. Components: Select the components you want to remove from the installation. Make sure to read the short info before removing components especially those in red. Check the Components Removal Example to get an idea about the most important components you should not remove.


    By clicking on Advanced you will be given the opportunity to keep some specific files. For example you can remove “Command Line Tools” but you can preserve ping.exe, ipconfig.exe, etc. which are part of this component by adding them to the Keep Box:


    Power users could ignore the Compatibility Wizard:
     
  2. rado354

    rado354 Chieftain

    Joined:
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    10. Unattended: Set personal settings in advance so you don’t have to during the installation like Users, CD-Key, Regional settings, etc. Here you can also add Windows themes:


    Video tutorial: Unattended installation CD with nLite

    Adding themes: you’re using some neat Windows theme and want it on your CD as well? Here is an example how to slipstream Luna Element 4 and set it as a default theme:
    Video tutorial: Integrate themes with nLite

    11. Options: You can pretty much ignore the General tab and go directly to Patches:


    * Maximum unfinished simultaneous connections (TCP/IP patch): Set it to 100 or 1000 for max P2P performance.
    * USB Port Polling Frequency (Hz): Increase for smoother USB mouse movement. Not for wireless mice or any other USB device, use with caution! Works on Logitech MX, MS IntelliMouse Explorer 3, Razer Viper and possibly others.
    * Unsigned Themes Support (Uxtheme Patch): Set it to enable and you will be able to use a 3rd party themes (from DeviantArt for example).
    * SFC (Windows File Protection): Set it to disable to stop the automatic recovery of replaced or deleted system files and folders. Although it might sounds like a useful feature, it’s highly recommended to disable it. The duration of your installation will be reduced drastically.



    Video tutorial: Patch Windows with nLite

    12. Tweaks: this is pretty much self-explanatory. Apply your favorite registry tweaks and configure Windows Services. Once Windows is installed all your tweaks will be applied, no need of post-install tuning.


    It’s possible to configure the services as well.
    Here you will find an excellent Windows Services Guide.


    13. Bootable ISO: we’re almost ready. Once created just burn on CD the ISO or test it in a virtual machine. You can burn the ISO with nLite or your favorite CD/DVD burner like Nero for example. It’s recommended to use rewritable media (CD-RW or DVD-RW) to avoid media loss in case you’re not happy with your WinXP copy and want to create another one.


    Video tutorial: Create a Bootable CD with nLite
    Video tutorial: Burn ISO files with Nero
    Video tutorial: Test ISO in VMware Machine 5.5 – shareware
    Video tutorial: Test ISO in Virtual PC 2004 – freeware
    Video tutorial: Test ISO in VirtualBox 1.5 – freeware

    Credits: Rado@WinAddons
     
  3. kcwong

    kcwong Emperor

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Hong Kong
    :hmm: I seem to remember this has been posted before. Is this an advertisement?

    I would NEVER recommend downloading patches and drivers from any non-official site. If you need to update driver, you visit the manufacturer's site. If you need Windows service packs, patches and hot fixes, you visit Microsoft. Using any other source is a great way to introduce spyware, virus and trojan into your system.
     
  4. rado354

    rado354 Chieftain

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    I wrote this guide a few days ago, so I doubt it very much it was posted before ;)

    Yes, it's an advertisement, I'm getting $100 for every copy of WinXP you buy from Microsoft.com :p

    What non-official site with patches and drivers?
    What viruses, what trojans?

    Did you even read the guide before discussing it?
     
  5. kcwong

    kcwong Emperor

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    In your first post, you have these lines:
    The Downloader and RyanVM, and links to http://driverpacks.net/ are what I'm talking about.

    e.g. In RyanVM's site (http://www.ryanvm.net/msfn/updatepack.html)
    You have a link to "Post-SP2 Update Pack" (version 2.1.11). In the section above the link, it claims to contain a long list of hotfixes from Microsoft. It even includes a MD5 checksum so you can verify *RyanVM's update pack*, but what you really want is to verify the hotfixes it contains.

    Ryan and the other sites could be innocent and are just providing an easy way to do things, but they could as well be trying to invade your system.

    The bottom line is you have no way to check who they really are and what they have done in their softwares. So if those fixes are available on official sites, you use the official sites.

    It's true that if you can't trust anyone, you will be writing your own assembler compiler, and you will be reading all the source code before you use anything. But since those hotfixes are available from an official source, you would be taking unnecessary risks downloading them from anywhere else.

    I have no problem with teaching people to customize their XP install disc, but I will not recommend using drivers and hotfixes downloaded from anywhere other than the official sites.
     
  6. GVBN

    GVBN Emperor

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    Only useful if you're planning to install Windows on several computers
     
  7. rado354

    rado354 Chieftain

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    If you don't trust RyanVM's Post SP2 Update Pack then just:

    This way you will slipstream the official updates.

    Same goes for the DriverPacks: download your drivers from their official sites and integrate them.

    @ GVBN - when I install Windows it takes ~ 400MB on my HDD and there is no need to do Windows Update, apply any registry tweaks, install drivers, etc. ;)
     
  8. GVBN

    GVBN Emperor

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    Made a WinXP SP2 cd image with IE7, WMP11 and all critical hotfixes. Now I'm getting a billion msiexec crashes. Thanks for "highest possible performance"
     
  9. Zelig

    Zelig Beep Boop

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    They're legit, they're associated with MSFN, which is pretty much the source for unatended Windows installs.
     
  10. Quintillus

    Quintillus Archiving Civ3 Content Supporter

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    I would at times recommend downloading non-official drivers from third-party sites, and have done so in the past. One example is for laptop video card drivers; nVIDIA almost never releases them, and the manufacturers rarely do, but there are third party sites that are quite reputable where you can download the very latest drivers that are often unavailable elsewhere.

    Reputable must be emphasized, but so long as you trust the source that recommends a site, and there is an advantage to not just getting it from the traditional source (i.e. more optimized drivers), I see no problem in third-party drivers. I wouldn't trust just any third-party drivers, however.

    Patches to games are often distributed through third-party sites, sometimes exclusively. But so long as it's not a no-name site (or so long as the manufacturer lists it as a download site), I have no problem downloading patches from third-party sites.

    For Windows updates the only advantage I could see is the convenience of getting them all at once from a third-party site, but generally I wouldn't do so, just because other than convenience there is no advantage to it.

    Or if you expect to have to reinstall Windows several times on the same computer. I've done so four times on the same computer, twice because of problems Windows caused, once because I decided to for fun (more to it than that but that's the short version), and once because I messed it up. A slipstreamed startup disk may have saved some time, though it isn't too bad even without one so long as you have something else to do while it updates.

    Can't say for sure what the cause is, but "msiexec" was listed as the cause of my C3C Vista crashes earlier this year. It's somewhere in the CivIII tech support subforum, though as no solution was ever found, I doubt that will help. I'm assuming you've already reinstalled from the original CD, since you're posting here again. Certainly always a disappointment when Windows doesn't work, though, as the installation, though not requiring as much supervision as in floppy days, does take a decent amount of time.
     
  11. Padma

    Padma the Inbond Administrator Supporter

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    I sure this is the thread he was thinking of. ;)
     
  12. rado354

    rado354 Chieftain

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    @ Padma - yes, I thought so too.
    However IMHO this is a much more detailed and complete guide :)

    @ Quintillus - some nice thoughts, I couldn't say it better. 100% true!

    @ GVBN - I have no idea what's the cause of your problem.
    I've made hundreds of modified WinXP copies, I've got problems sometimes, but never this one :lol:
     

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