Free Guide for WinBuilder with New VistaPE Scripts

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by mustang, Nov 30, 2007.

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  1. mustang

    mustang Developer

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    I've created a free brief guide to using WinBuilder with VistaPE scripts for True Image and Disk Director. WinBuilder is a BartPE replacement for use on Vista computers. It builds a bootable VistaPE disk. The VistaPE scripts add programs to the CD much like plugins are added to BartPE. You can view the guide here.

    I have VistaPE scipts for the following list of Acronis programs for sale at my website:

    Disk Director Suite 10.0
    True Image Home 10.0
    True Image Home 11.0
    True Image Echo Enterprise Server
    True Image Echo Server
    True Image Echo Workstation
    True Image Enterprise Server 9.1
    True Image Server 9.1
    True Image Workstation 9.1
     
  2. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

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    This is terrific. Makes me wish my notebook came with a Vista installation disk ;-)
     
  3. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    I've tried this with mustang's guide and his plugins for TI 10 and DD 10 with good success.

    I still need to work out a few driver kinks (VistaPE related) and do a setup with TI 11.
     
  4. mustang

    mustang Developer

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    Hi shieber,

    Actually, you're in luck. You can do it all on a WinXP or Vista computer. You don't even need a Vista installation disk. You can use the free Microsoft Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK) for Vista as the source. Download the WAIK here. It can be installed on a Vista or WinXP computer. Once it is installed, WinBuilder can use it as the source for the build. The resulting CD can be booted on WinXP and Vista computers and will be running under WinPE 2.0 with all of it's advantages.
     
  5. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

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    Terrif. I have the WAIK image. Put it on DVD and installed on C:. Is there a guide to buy to tell me where to point in the WAIk directories?
     
  6. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Does the WAIK installation have a sources directory? For Vista, you want to reference the folder that contains that folder. It may be the same for WAIK. If you get the wrong directory reference, WinBuilder will just error that it can't find the files.

    For WAIK, I think the default is: C:\Program Files\Windows AIK
    (At least, that's what's listed as the default in the 0 - PreConfig step.)
     
  7. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

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    Thanks, that's what I tried and it made the iso.

    Ran a backup in about 6 or 7 minutes that usually takes about 8 or 9. Guess it helps to be rid of the burden of memory overhead like security software, etc.


    Is this iso machine specific -- do specific driver files have to be installed?
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2007
  8. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    It's not machine specific.

    It has the same drivers that the Vista DVD has (as far as I know). Most newer hardware is supported. Eventually it will be like XP and you'll need to add drivers.

    If your build is detecting your hardware correctly, then it should be okay.
     
  9. mustang

    mustang Developer

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    I've updated the VistaPE Guide. It now has more detailed instructions on how to run WinBuilder. There is also a section on how to download and install the Windows AIK and set it as the source for WinBuilder. There is also a link to a free program that will directly burn the downloaded WAIK .img file to DVD.
     
  10. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

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    Just for the record, I've built BartPE and Reatogo disks before and this was much easier. Took a while because the WAIK is about a GB to download. Mustang's guide was simple and straightforward. After downloading WAIK, you burn it to a DVD and then load the DVD to install WAIK on you machine. For the Vista source you just point winbuilder at C:\program files\waik.

    Best morning I've had in days :)
     
  11. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    I'm going to have to give this a go myself; it looks like a better recovery environment than BartPE.

    Does anyone know if you can put VistaPE on a USB flash drive instead of putting it on a CD?
     
  12. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    I'm sure it can be done, but I haven't tried it yet. I'm going to though, and if it works out good, I'll use it instead of BartPE.

    Copy VistaPE to any USB Device

    Also, this.
     
  13. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    Excellent!

    Your second reference has pretty good information about how to do this, and together with what we've learned recently about the Vista boot process, it sounds doable. Here is what I think should work:

    1. Using DD, format and partition a 2 GB USB flash drive into 3 partitions; 1 GB pri active FAT32 for VistaPE; 700 MB pri ext2 for Knoppix; 300 MB pri ext2 for Knoppix persistent home.
    2. Plug the drive into a Vista machine and write a Vista bootsector to the first partition:
    Code:
    BOOTSECT /NT60 x: (where x is the letter of your USB drive)
    3. Copy the VistaPE files to the drive.
    4. Plug the drive into a Linux machine and copy the Knoppix files to the second partition on the drive.
    5. Install GRUB to the MBR of the flash drive.
    6. Write a menu.lst file for GRUB to allow booting to:
    a) VistaPE
    b) Knoppix
    c) memtest86+

    I suppose an alternate to the last 2 steps would be to add Knoppix and memtest entries to the BCD and let Vista's bootloader handle those tasks...

    A tool like this would be really handy for repairs to XP, Vista, and Linux systems; truly a "Swiss army knife" of PC repair tools.
     
  14. caseyse

    caseyse Registered Member

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    Hello Mustang,

    I have a True Image Echo Server for Linux license. Since I don't have the Windows True Image binaries, I suspect I'm not able to create a BartPE boot disk, unless I purchase the personal version. Any thoughts?

    Thanks, Sean
     
  15. mustang

    mustang Developer

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    There's nothing you can do with BartPE. I don't know if it is possible to install the Linux version in a live CD like Knoppix. Maybe the Linux people can help you.
     
  16. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

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    I don't know the process for that but I can tell you that following Mustang's guide, and using his script, the iso is about 240MB -- almost small enough to fit on one of those 3" pocket-size CD-Rs ;-).

    The Disk I made runs on all my machines -- four very diff machines that I've tried. With Bart I need special drivers for each machine and even then, on some machines I couldn't get it to work. I'm not blaming Bart -- just saying that the VistaPE disk is very easy and broadly applicable.

     
  17. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    As a follow-up to my post #13, yes, it is possible to put VistaPE on a USB flash drive. The general procedure that I outlined worked.

    For anyone who currently has BartPE on a USB flash drive, it is very easy to change to VistaPE. Here is what you do:

    1. Follow Mustang's guide to build VistaPE using WinBuilder. So that you don't make the same mistake that I did, do exactly what he says in step 1. I made the mistake of locating the WinBuilder folder in my user directory. If you do this then the NTFS permissions of your user directory will be transferred to the VistaPE build, and when it boots up you will boot to a black desktop. If instead you locate the WinBuilder folder at the root of your C: drive, then the permissions will be set correctly in the VistaPE build.

    2. When the build is finished you will find an iso image in the folder C:\WinBuilder\ISO that can be burned to a CD if desired. However, if you don't want to make a CD then you will find all of the files needed for installation on a USB flash drive in C:\WinBuilder\Target\VistaPE.

    3. Plug your target USB flash drive into a PC and delete all of the files on the drive. Then copy either a) the contents of the VistaPE CD or b) the contents of the folder C:\WinBuilder\Target\VistaPE to the flash drive.

    4. To make the flash drive compatible with the Vista boot manager you need access to a Vista DVD (any edition). If you have a Vista PC, plug in the flash drive and also insert a Vista DVD into your optical drive. Start an elevated command prompt (right-click on Command Prompt and choose "Run as administrator"). **{Perhaps this same procedure will work on an XP machine; I haven't tried it.}

    5. In the following example I will use D: as the drive letter of the DVD drive and E: as the drive letter of the USB flash drive. Change these if they differ on your machine. <enter> means to press the "Enter" key. The following command will change the partition boot record on the flash drive to be compatible with Vista's boot manager. Do the following:

    Code:
    D: <enter>
    cd boot <enter>
    bootsect.exe /nt60 E: <enter>
    exit <enter>
    6. Now the flash drive will be able to boot directly into VistaPE.

    Thanks to Mustang for the guide and the Acronis plugins. VistaPE seems to be a better repair environment than BartPE and the build occupies a lot less space. In my case I loaded up my custom build with Firefox, Foxit, TI 10 Home, DiskDirector 10, PuTTY, and a number of other utilities and the whole build only occupies 264 MB. There was plenty of room on the flash drive to add extra partitions and include Knoppix Linux, so I did that also.
     
  18. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Mark,

    I'm just about to start on this project. Using a CD and not a flash drive. How do I add my plugins? Just like BartPE?
     
  19. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    Brian:

    Mustang's guide has instructions for adding his plugins. For the others it's just a matter of checking a checkbox in the WinBuilder program. Several popular programs are listed and unchecked by default.

    BTW, VistaPE on a flash drive takes about 15 seconds to load the initial set of Windows files whereas VistaPE on a CD takes about 60 seconds.
     
  20. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Mark,

    Thanks, I understand.
     
  21. bodgy

    bodgy Registered Member

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    I'm obviously having a dumb moment.

    Not only will WAIK not work if asked to make a XP CD, but I can't get Mustangs script file to be recognised at all.

    Back to BartPe - I found that one easy!

    Colin
     
  22. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    Bodgy:

    Don't give up yet. If you're using Mustang's guide mentioned in post #1 then the purpose of WAIK is to make a VistaPE CD, not an XP CD. You will also need Mustang's new plugins meant for building VistaPE. The older plugins for XP won't work.

    The VistaPE environment is really nice; I've been having a ball playing around with it. It is a little rough around the edges but I'm sure it will eventually make BartPE obsolete.
     
  23. MKairys

    MKairys Registered Member

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    Um, can I jump in here with a "maybe I don't even know what I don't know" kind of question?

    I made myself a Bart PE disk back when I was running TIH 10 and both my desktop and laptop were XP. Since the last time I used it I upgraded TIH to 11 and changed the desktop over to Vista. I bought Mustang's new plugins and have been assuming I would just rebuild my Bart PE disk with the new plugins, and would then be able to use it on either the XP or Vista system.

    Now having read this thread and some others I seem to get the impression that I won't be able to use the Bart PE disk on Vista? Do I need to build two disks, Bart PE for XP and Win PE for Vista?

    Please straighten me out before I get in trouble :)
     
  24. mustang

    mustang Developer

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  25. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

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    Hold onto your hats and read carefully.

    BartPE is a disk that runs a trimmed down version of XP on a CD, which will run XP versions of programs including ATI. Bart requires XP plug-ins. Bart PE disks with ATI can be used to restore XP Vista and other hardddisks.

    Vista PE is a Vista disk that runs a trimmed down version of Vista on a CD, which will run Vista versions of software including ATI. VistaPE requires Vista plug-ins. VisatPE disks with ATI on them can be used to restore XP Vista and other hardddisks.

    The beauty of the VistaPE disk is, for now anyhow, neither you nor winbuilder have fool around with finding unique drivers and putting them into special directories when you build your VistaPE disk -- the Vista drivers have you covered.

    What isn't automated, such as downloading winbuilder, waik and the ATI script, is outlined in steps in Mustang's guide.
     
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