Release of Windows XP PowerPacker RC12


Windows XP PowerPacker is a program I made to help users create Universal Windows XP Disks. It allows you to install any kind of XP edition on any computer without the need to install drivers and it packs everything onto one disk!

Release of Windows XP PowerPacker RC12

Postby SpinningCarrots » Sun Jul 24, 2011 5:16 pm

Hi folks,

I've released PowerPacker RC12 with support for USB thumb drives. Thanks to Ilko for allowing reuse of his code.

I've adapted it to support compact packing, as described in the changelog here:

1. Added the capacity to pack files to usb thumb drive and hard drive using code from WinSetupFromUSB. Thanks go to Ilko for permission to reuse his code.
2. Added the capacity to pack installations in the same directory. This compact packing means that if a file is already present in the powerpacker destination directory, there will only be one copy of it. For example, let's say you are packing XP Pro Corporate, Retail and OEM edition. In reality, almost all the files from these editions are identical. Compact packing takes advantage of this fact by putting all the files in the same directory, except the ones that are different. The different files are relocated elsewhere and txtsetup.sif is adjusted accordingly. This feature works for ISO Packing and USB Packing. This feature is the most interesting for USB Packing since it means you can pack more installations onto your thumb drive.
3. Added Tablet version among the possibilities of the Xp version. The menus are created accordingly.


The principle is from here as explained by Siginet. I've automated the process.

I suggest that you pack all your editions of XP Pro together. Then, in another directory, pack all your home editions. Then, in another directory, your MCE OEM editions. My attempts to pack together MCE OEM and VLK were not successfull. Finally, I suggest you pack all your tablet editions together in a fourth directory. Then, repeat the process for other languages. In other words, you should have 4*NumberLanguages different packing destinations.

I have tried packing Home and Pro editions together, and managed to differentiate the only file that is different in the boot directory, setupreg.hiv, but upon entering into GUI mode, the installation gives an error message. That is why I suggest packing them in different directories.

I've removed WinSetupFromUSB's code that checks if there is enough space left on the destination drive, as compact packing needs so little space. I suggest, however, that you keep about 1.5Gig free at one time on the usb drive since Driverpack integration is done directly on the usb drive. For instance, let's say you pack together pro vlk, oem, retail. Then you pack home oem, retail. Then you pack tablet oem, vlk, retail... Move the first directory containing pro onto your internal hard drive, and when the pack is done for tablet, move the pro directories back. You may not have to do this, it is just a suggestion.

WinSetupFromUSB packs files into the temporary directories used when windows is installed from dos. The newer beta versions of WinSetupFromUSB use another strategy, but the code is not yet released, so I used the available code. When you pack another windows installation onto your thumb drive using WinSetupFromUSB, it renames the directories for you. I do that right away with Powerpacker, and have tweaked the GRUB menu system a bit so it looks mostly like PowerPacker iso generated files' interface.

Also, sometimes, windows setup erases the setup files from the usb drive. The way the generation works, is that a file named migrate.inf is created whose role is to make the usb drive read only so that windows does not erase the setup files from it. Sometimes, the migrate.inf generated does not work. I'm not sure why. To work around that, I suggest you back up the contents of your usb drive to your internal drive before installing windows. Then, if the installation is not deleted, make sure your migrate.inf files are all the same in your other installation directories. That way you should be safe.

Lastly, to test your USB thumb drive installations, you may want to test it on your machine, or on a virtual machine. I find that VMWare's USB 2.0 support works well with my thumb drive. Use plpbt.iso to add the ability to boot from a usb drive and voila, you can test your usb installation at usb 2.0 speeds! Or burn the iso file to add the ability for your computer to boot from a usb thumb drive. Why do that? Simply to test the thumb drive before you use it on your netbook which does not have a cdrom drive and which does support usb booting.

Feedback is appreciated; let me know if you find any bugs.
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Postby mr_smartepants » Sun Jul 24, 2011 9:51 pm

Very nice. I'll try this soon hopefully, since I'm rebuilding my 3 OEM sources.
Thank you.
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Postby SaK » Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:13 am

Seems like this ver. freeze on Generating Boot DIRECTORY
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More Details

Postby SpinningCarrots » Wed Jul 27, 2011 7:58 pm

May I ask what XP source you are using and what update packs you integrated before powerpacking? That will help me reproduce the problem. Include at least your powpack.ini. Thanks.[color="Silver"]

---------- Post added at 11:58 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:04 PM ----------

[/color]Ok I think I found it. When packing from a mounted XP CD source (or burned CD), using ISO packing and Compact Packing, I copy dosnet.inf but don't remove the read-only attribute. I'll issue a fix soon.
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Postby SpinningCarrots » Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:58 pm

RC13 should fix this issue.
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Postby SaK » Thu Jul 28, 2011 5:17 am

I'm impressed with your speed. A+++ Will recommend :) ) Thank you
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Postby SpinningCarrots » Tue Aug 23, 2011 4:15 pm

Further comments on RC13:

If you pack a pack with driver packs and without driverpacks in the same common directory, when you install the pack without the driverpacks, it attemps to run driverpacks finisher at the end of the install and reports not finding it. This is because is it not in the txtsetup.sif file and that all files in the $OEM$ directory are run. Consequently, you have to click ok when it says file not found. I think this is acceptable for the space it saves and I don't see a way around it except not packing them together. Otherwise, it's clean.

Also, if you run driverpacks integration from within PowerPacker, since driverpack Mass Storage replaces some txt mode driver files, it affects those files from other packs which do not have driver packs. But since those files are updates from previous versions, I think this is also a minor issue. If you have to circumvent this, you can pack the pack that has no driver packs last inside that common directory. That way you are sure that it has no altered files.

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Postby mr_smartepants » Tue Aug 23, 2011 8:13 pm

I have to say that RC13 has been working great for me. I hadn't noticed the DriverPacks issue you mentioned, probably because I use DriverPacks in all my builds. ;)
Great job! Time to take it to 1.0 final!
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Postby SpinningCarrots » Tue Aug 30, 2011 10:56 pm

A few more bug fixes. Thanks to Sathanas for helping find the packing bugs. Here is the changelog.
- when driverpacks are previously integrated outside powerpacker, usb packing had trouble dealing with that because of the preexistence of presetup.cmd. Fixed.
- During Compact packing, SvcPack.Inf is now also treated appropriately if it is not identical to the other versions in other packs. It is now moved to its differentiating directory (\i386\conv\????).
- Various interface fixes when loading ini files from within the gui
- boot directory is now generated only once during usb packing if driverpacks are used. It is also now only generated at the end, like it is already the case with iso packing. The reason it was changed is because otherwise some older drivers ended up being used for mass storage.
- added summary of errors at end of log file during compact packing
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Postby SpinningCarrots » Sat Nov 19, 2011 7:17 am

If GUIRunOnce is used as a dp_base integration method instead of of RunOnceEx, the problem mentioned 3 posts earlier does not appear, so pacls using compact packing, driverpacks and no driverpacks can co exist in the same directory without problems.
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