Updating WinXPproSP2 Install CD - nLite

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by ErikAlbert, Sep 13, 2006.

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  1. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

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    Erik, since you have tried FolderMover, are you saying that it can not move the entire "Documents and Settings" folder from C: to D: ?
     
  2. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    That's right. MS Powertoy TweakUI, can't do it either. They both move certain folders under "C:\Documents and Settings" but not the complete folder.
     
  3. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    Upto now I was lucky. Most of the softwares I use, have a default folder for created files, I only have to change that folder in the settings.
    For Notepad, I changed the "start in:" folder in the icon properties.
    I don't like to move any files manually.
    For Firefox and Thunderbird, I was able to move the folder "profiles".
    I'm very happy with this separation, I don't have to worry anymore about my personal files and I can do what I want in my system partition.
    Besides that, data and system files are not the same and need a different approach.
     
  4. L Bainbridge

    L Bainbridge Registered Member

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    I can see a great deal of logic in that, but I'm just not sure what moving the whole of 'Documents and Settings' from your system to the data drive is going to give you - other than some system instability.
    What would worry me about moving the whole of Documents and Settings from the C:drive is that some of these subfolders in 'Docs. and Settings' (particularly the All Users folder and its Application data subfolder) almost behave like a 'system' folder rather than a 'data' folder e.g. Crypto,Network, Media Player, HTML help subfolders, which I would guess XP only looks for in that one place.
    Moving subfolders such as 'My Documents', 'My Music' and 'My Pictures' will get your Firefox and TB profiles as well as all essential data over to the partition you keep your data files.
    As an experiment I tried moving it manually and couldn't do it even using unlocker.
    I then tried in safe mode and it was possible but borked system completely on reboot to normal mode.FD-ISR couldn't rescue me (data anchoring...) and I had to restore using TI. Not a good experiment :oops:
    I suspect the reason these programs don't move the whole of 'Docs and Settings' is for that reason....
     
  5. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    I agree with you, but you can't blame me for trying. If it turns out to be a disaster, I can tell other people not to use nLite for moving the folder "C:\Documents and Settings".

    IMO the solution of nLite is TOO SIMPLE TO BE TRUE and I'm quite surprised that nLite provides this parameter to give the user the illusion that it is possible to move this folder by simply changing "%SystemDrive%" in to "D:".
    But I will give nLite at least one fair chance to do it.
    With nLite I can create different WinXPproSP2 Installation CD's at will and I have 3 harddisks to do it easily and safely. :)
     
  6. tony62

    tony62 Registered Member

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    nLite is a remarkable way of intergrating drivers and tweaks into your bootable OS. Not only that, but it is probably the best way to remove all traces of window's bloat.
    I have been using nLite for over a year and a half now and although it took me several attempts to build an OS which would still be compatable with my hardware and software requirements, i now have what i think is the perfect OS for my setup.
    Below is a copy of my .ini file:

    [Main]
    Env = 1.0 beta 6 - 1.1.4322.573.Microsoft Windows NT 5.1.2600.0
    Target = Windows XP Professional Sp2 - build 2180 - English (United States)

    [Tasks]
    Remove Components
    Unattended Setup
    Integrate Drivers
    Patches
    Tweaks
    Create a Bootable ISO

    [Components]
    ;# Applications #
    Accessibility Options
    Briefcase
    Charmap
    ClipBook Viewer
    Defragmenter
    Internet Games
    NT Backup
    Paint
    Pinball
    Screensavers
    Wordpad
    ;# Drivers #
    Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM)
    Cameras and Camcorders
    Display Adapters
    Display Adapters (old)
    Ethernet (LAN)
    IBM Thinkpad
    ISDN
    Modems
    MultiFunctional
    Portable Audio
    Printers
    Scanners
    SCSI/RAID
    Sony Jog Dial
    Sound Controllers
    Tape drives
    Toshiba DVD decoder card
    Wireless Ethernet (WLAN)
    ;# Hardware Support #
    Brother Devices
    Smart Cards
    Teletext codec
    Toshiba IDE Bus Driver
    VIA IDE Bus Driver
    ;# Languages #
    ;Arabic
    Arabic (Algeria)
    Arabic (Bahrain)
    Arabic (Egypt)
    Arabic (Iraq)
    Arabic (Jordan)
    Arabic (Kuwait)
    Arabic (Lebanon)
    Arabic (Libya)
    Arabic (Morocco)
    Arabic (Oman)
    Arabic (Qatar)
    Arabic (Saudi Arabia)
    Arabic (Syria)
    Arabic (Tunisia)
    Arabic (U.A.E.)
    Arabic (Yemen)
    Divehi (Maldives)
    Syriac (Syria)
    Urdu
    ;Armenian
    Armenian
    ;Baltic
    Estonian
    Latvian
    Lithuanian
    ;Central Europe
    Albanian
    Bosnian (Latin, Bosnia and Herzegovina)
    Croatian
    Croatian (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
    Czech
    Hungarian
    Polish
    Romanian
    Serbian (Latin)
    Serbian (Latin, Bosnia and Herzegovina)
    Slovak
    Slovenian
    ;Cyrillic
    Azeri (Cyrillic)
    Belarusian
    Bulgarian
    FYRO Macedonian
    Kazakh
    Kyrgyz (Kyrgyzstan)
    Mongolian (Mongolia)
    Russian
    Serbian (Cyrillic)
    Serbian (Cyrillic, Bosnia and Herzegovina)
    Tatar
    Ukrainian
    Uzbek (Cyrillic)
    ;Georgian
    Georgian
    ;Greek
    Greek
    ;Hebrew
    Hebrew
    ;Indic
    Bengali (India)
    Gujarati (India)
    Hindi
    Kannada (India)
    Konkani
    Malayalam (India)
    Marathi
    Punjabi (India)
    Sanskrit
    Tamil
    Telugu (India)
    ;Japanese
    Japanese
    ;Korean
    Korean
    ;Simplified Chinese
    Chinese (PRC)
    Chinese (Singapore)
    ;Thai
    Farsi
    Thai
    ;Traditional Chinese
    Chinese (Hong Kong S.A.R.)
    Chinese (Macau S.A.R.)
    Chinese (Taiwan)
    ;Turkic
    Azeri (Latin)
    Turkish
    Uzbek (Latin)
    ;Vietnamese
    Vietnamese
    ;Western Europe and United States
    Afrikaans
    Basque
    Catalan
    Danish
    Dutch (Belgium)
    Dutch (Netherlands)
    English (Australia)
    English (Belize)
    English (Canada)
    English (Caribbean)
    English (Ireland)
    English (Jamaica)
    English (New Zealand)
    English (Philippines)
    English (South Africa)
    English (Trinidad)
    English (Zimbabwe)
    Faeroese
    Finnish
    French (Belgium)
    French (Canada)
    French (France)
    French (Luxembourg)
    French (Monaco)
    French (Switzerland)
    Galician (Spain)
    German (Austria)
    German (Germany)
    German (Liechtenstein)
    German (Luxembourg)
    German (Switzerland)
    Icelandic
    Indonesian
    Italian (Italy)
    Italian (Switzerland)
    Malay (Brunei Darussalam)
    Malay (Malaysia)
    Maltese
    Maori
    Northern Sotho
    Norwegian (Bokmal)
    Norwegian (Nynorsk)
    Portuguese (Brazil)
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Quechua (Bolivia)
    Quechua (Ecuador)
    Quechua (Peru)
    Sami, Inari (Finland)
    Sami, Lule (Norway)
    Sami, Lule (Sweden)
    Sami, Northern (Finland)
    Sami, Northern (Norway)
    Sami, Northern (Sweden)
    Sami, Skolt (Finland)
    Sami, Southern (Norway)
    Sami, Southern (Sweden)
    Spanish (Argentina)
    Spanish (Bolivia)
    Spanish (Chile)
    Spanish (Colombia)
    Spanish (Costa Rica)
    Spanish (Dominican Republic)
    Spanish (Ecuador)
    Spanish (El Salvador)
    Spanish (Guatemala)
    Spanish (Honduras)
    Spanish (International Sort)
    Spanish (Mexico)
    Spanish (Nicaragua)
    Spanish (Panama)
    Spanish (Paraguay)
    Spanish (Peru)
    Spanish (Puerto Rico)
    Spanish (Traditional Sort)
    Spanish (Uruguay)
    Spanish (Venezuela)
    Swahili
    Swedish
    Swedish (Finland)
    Tswana
    Welsh
    Xhosa
    Zulu
    ;# Multimedia #
    ActiveX for streaming video
    AOL ART Image Format Support
    DirectX diagnostic tool
    Images and Backgrounds
    Intel Indeo codecs
    Luna Theme
    Media Center
    Mouse Cursors
    Movie Maker
    Music Samples
    Old CDPlayer and Sound Recorder
    Speech Support
    Tablet PC
    Windows Media Player
    Windows Media Player 6.4
    Windows Sounds
    ;# Network #
    Client for Netware Networks
    Communication tools
    FrontPage Extensions
    Internet Connection Wizard
    Internet Information Services (IIS)
    IP Conferencing
    MSN Explorer
    Netmeeting
    Network Monitor Driver and Tools
    NWLink IPX/SPX/NetBIOS Protocol
    Outlook Express
    Peer-to-Peer
    Synchronization Manager
    Vector Graphics Rendering (VML)
    Web Folders
    Windows Messenger
    ;# Operating System Options #
    Color Schemes
    Desktop Cleanup Wizard
    Document Templates
    File and Settings Wizard
    Framework
    Help
    Input Method Editor
    Manual Install and Upgrade
    MS Agent
    Out of Box Experience (OOBE)
    Private Character Editor
    Search Assistant
    Security Center
    Service Pack Messages
    Tour
    Web View
    Zip Folders
    ;# Services #
    Alerter
    Application Layer Gateway
    Autoupdate
    Background Intelligent Transfer (BITS)
    Beep Driver
    Distributed Transaction Coordinator (DTC)
    Error Reporting
    Fax Services
    Imapi
    Indexing Service
    IPSEC Policy Agent
    Message Queuing (MSMQ)
    Messenger
    Network Provisioning
    QoS RSVP
    Quality of Service (QoS)
    Remote Registry
    Removable Storage
    Secondary Logon
    Service Advertising Protocol
    System Restore
    Telnet Server
    Text Services Framework
    Uninterruptible Power Supply
    Volume Shadow Copy
    WebClient
    Windows Time
    ;# Directories #
    DOCS
    SUPPORT
    VALUEADD
    ;# Compatibility #
    Compat01
    Compat02
    Compat09

    [KeepFiles]
    msconfig.exe

    [RemoveFiles]
    blastcln.exe
    clock.avi

    [Options]
    ClassicSetup
    BlackSetupBack
    AdminName = "Tony62"
    AdminNChange
    ProfilesDir = "%SystemDrive%\Documents and Settings"
    TargetPath = "WINDOWS"
    DelDrivers
    SrvpEnabled
    NoKeepCp
    RemoveMUI
    RemoveCDPrompt
    ;#ISO maker#
    isovol = WinLite
    isoatt = -allow-multidot -relaxed-filenames -allow-leading-dots -N -l -d -D -joliet-long -duplicates-once -no-emul-boot -b boot.bin -hide boot.bin -hide boot.catalog

    [Patches]
    DoTcpip
    TcpIp = 100
    UsbPoll = 125
    DoSFC

    [Services]
    AppMgmt,3
    Browser,2
    CryptSvc,2
    DcomLaunch,2
    DHCP,2
    TrkWks,2
    DNSCACHE,2
    EventLog,2
    HTTP,3
    HTTPFilter,3
    HidServ,4
    IpInIp,3
    IpNat,3
    IpFilterDriver,3
    Ip6Fw,3
    NDProxy,3
    NetLogon,3
    Netman,3
    NetDDE,4
    NetDDEdsdm,4
    NLA,3
    xmlprov,3
    NtLmSsp,3
    SysmonLog,3
    PlugPlay,2
    ProtectedStorage,2
    RasAuto,3
    RasMan,3
    RpcLocator,3
    RemoteAccess,4
    SamSs,2
    LanmanServer,2
    Srv,3
    SENS,4
    LMHosts,2
    TapiSrv,3
    Themes,2
    AudioSrv,2
    SharedAccess,2
    Wmi,3
    LanmanWorkstation,2

    [Tweaks]
    ;# Boot & Shutdown #
    Auto-End Tasks
    Auto-Kill Hung Apps
    Auto-Kill Hung Services
    Disable saving Last Good state at boot
    Do not Parse Autoexec.bat
    Applaunch & Boot enabled
    ;# Desktop,Taskbar & Startmenu #
    Disable Status Messages
    Remove Internet Explorer icon
    Remove My Computer icon
    Remove My Documents icon
    Remove My Network Places icon
    Remove Recycle Bin icon
    ;# Explorer #
    Advanced Search: preconfigure options
    Disable Autorun
    Disable Beep on errors
    Disable Prefix: Shortcut to
    Disable shortcut arrow
    Launch folder windows in a seperate process
    Remove Send To on context menu
    Show all files and folders
    Show Drive Letters in front of Drive Names
    Show extensions of known file-types
    Show Statusbar in all windows
    ;# File Open/Save Dialog #
    Preset Places Bar to: C: D: E: DESKTOP LAN
    ;# Internet Explorer #
    Disable Download Complete notification
    Disable information bar when popup is blocked
    Disable Internet Explorer link creation
    Disable Market Place bookmark
    Disable Media Player 6.4 created bookmarks
    Disable Password-Caching
    Disable Show Desktop on quick launch
    Disable sound when popup is blocked
    Preset Homepage to google.com
    Set Internet Explorer to accept 10 connects a time
    Set popup-blocker to high
    ;# My Computer #
    Remove Shared Documents
    ;# Network #
    Disable administrative shares
    Disable automatic search for network folders and printers
    Disable DCOM protocol bindings
    Disable LM HOSTS lookup
    Disable Microsoft-DS (close port 445 TCP/UDP)
    Disable restoring mapped network drives on logon
    Disable Simple File Sharing
    Hide PC in Workgroups/Domains
    ;# Privacy #
    Clear most recently opened documents list on logoff
    Disable and Remove Documents List from Start Menu
    Disable Driver Update Internet prompt
    Disable Logging & Reboot on System Failure
    Disable Logging of executed programs
    Remove Alexa Spyware
    Use single TEMP folder for all users
    ;# Security #
    Classic Logon
    Disable DCOM
    Disable Web Open With prompt
    Remove and Disable Access to Windows Update
    Unhide Administrator account
    ;# Speed #
    Classic Control Panel
    Disable Info Tips on Files and Folders
    Disable Optimize harddisk when idle
    Disable paging of kernel and core-os
    Disable Warn on low disk space
    Do not cache thumbnails
    Increase Foreground Process Priority
    Speed-up Access to AVI Media Files
    Use Windows classic folders / No Tasks Sidepanel
    ;# Start Menu #
    Disable Highlight newly installed programs
    Disable popup on first boot
    Do not use Personalized Menus
    Expand Connect To
    Reduce popup delay
    Remove Logoff User
    Remove My Music
    Remove Search the Internet from Search
    Remove Set Program Access and Defaults
    Remove Username
    Remove Windows Catalog from Start Menu
    ;# Visual Effects #
    Disable: Animate windows when minimizing and maximizing
    Disable: Show translucent selection rectangle
    Disable: Show windows contents while dragging
    Disable: Slide taskbar buttons
    Disable: Transitions and Shadows
    Disable: Use common tasks in folders
    Disable: Use drop shadows for icon labels on the desktop

    [Unattended]
    UnattendMode = FullUnattended
    ComputerType = Automatic
    ProgFilesPath = "C:\Program Files"
    HibernationNo
    AutoLogonYes
    Resolution = 1280x800
    BitsPerPel = 32 bit (True Color)
    Vrefresh = 60 Hz
    MaximumDataStorePercentOfDisk = 12
    DefaultThemesOff
    IISInstall = 2
    DataExecProt = 0

    [Drivers]
    D:\Data Temp\Audio Drivers\WDM\stac97.inf,0
    D:\Data Temp\Broadcom 440\WinXP\v4.23\bcm4sbxp.inf,0
    D:\Data Temp\CONEXANT\del5422k.inf,0
    D:\Data Temp\Nvidia Drivers\NVDM.INF,0
    D:\Data Temp\Touch Pad Drivers\Apfiltr.inf,0

    [Hotfixes]

    Once you have made your custom OS and installed it, then i'd suggest resizing the OS partition to 2 GB and making an image using Drive Snapshot for example. You can then deploy your new OS in literally a few minutes next time you want to start from scratch.:) :)
     
  7. L Bainbridge

    L Bainbridge Registered Member

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    Posts:
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    Location:
    London,U.K.
    Fantastic guide Tony.
    My feeling is that nLite is a really good tool for customizing your XP install but of course each user's requirement is as different as their PC so there can never be a 'safe' guide of what to take out or integrate.
    I'm afraid it's a case of trial and error for everyone but it's fun playing with and certainly it can safely strip out a lot of XP 'bloat' once you know what your doing and found out what you need to keep...:)
     
  8. tony62

    tony62 Registered Member

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    Agreed,
    you'll also learn alot during the process;)
     
  9. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

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    Tony~

    I would be interested in your observations regarding performance improvement (if any) as a direct result of 'thinning-out' WinXP using nLite. I can understand the value of reducing XP's size on a legacy PC, but if one has a late model PC with a large & fast HDD, I don't think its worth the bother (and risk) to use nLite just to save disk space. Performance improvement on the other hand, is always welcome!

    I would also place value on using nLite to safely 'detach' personal data files/folders from the system drive, placing them on a secondary drive (as Erik has discussed).

    ~pv
     
  10. tony62

    tony62 Registered Member

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    For me, it's simplicity. For someone who has spent a considerable amount of time tweaking my system i.e. services and registry hacks to the removing of some of windows vulnerable areas.
    Why have all those unnecessary files, such as language packs which have to be scanned by your AV or defragged by your defragger?
    If you compare a good example of an nLite OS to a default OS installation, then you will see a huge difference in start up and shut down timings, much faster defragging, no open ports, no dodgy services running and less time setting up your OS the way you like it. Besides probably the best part is that the entire installation can be automated.
    With regards to detaching folders, then the only folder that i have detached is my peronal Documents folder as i have never considered documents and settings to be under any threat. I use Total Uninstall to monitor any applications that i install and i use GhostSecurity Suite to cover the rest (AV,AT,FW of course).
    At the end of the day is of course night:D No, at the end of the day, it is up to the user to decide on what they want to remove providing they know exactly what they are doing. Some people are daring and take the guess work approach and then there's those who are a little more apprehensive. Either way it's fun to play with and i think you'll be supprised on how little of the OS you actually need to suite your needs.;)
     
  11. Devinco

    Devinco Registered Member

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    Can you use nLite to specify a non-default windows folder (something other than C:\windows)?

    If yes, then using nLite would be the best option seeing how many other benefits it provides.

    If you are going to install XP in a non-default directory and going the double install route, you might as well install once, make your slipstream CD, and then install a second time from that with all your updates and separated application data folders.
     
  12. Devinco

    Devinco Registered Member

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    I see from Tony62's ini file there is a TargetPath option, so the answer seems to be yes you can install to a non-default windows folder with nLite.
     
  13. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    just to add to tony62's post, nlite can remove many components that could be a security risk, and it can lower the number of hotfixes that your windows may need.
     
  14. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    You are right about the removal of components, but you are not entirely right about the hotfixes.
    You are right that not all hotfixes are included in the nLite Windows CD, but "Windows Update" will add the missing hotfixes.
    I have already 69 fixes. If I install Windows with my old CD, "Windows Update" will re-install all 69 fixes again + the latest fixes. That won't happen with the nLite Windows CD.
     
  15. TairikuOkami

    TairikuOkami Registered Member

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    Location:
    Slovakia
    I had WinXP optimized (12 processes, 810 MB free RAM after startup) before I used nLite, but even then I got about 25 MB RAM (835 MB free RAM). Also nLite will save a little place as well, my Windows folder has 486 MB (after instal Win folder has 350 MB and Program Files has 0 MB).

    I removed EventLog & WMI (do not recommend it), so Win does not create countless logs now.
    As WSFuser said, the main point is security, the number of needed hotfixes (I have none now).
     
  16. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    It has been quiet for awhile around nLite, but I was really fascinated by this "Profiles path" under "Options" of nLite and I did some pre-tests.

    So I created a nLite WinXPproSP2 CD with only two changes :
    1. Hotfixes and Update patches
    2. Profiles path = "D:\Documents and Settings" (default value = "%SystemDrive%\Documents and Settings")

    First, I cleaned my two harddisks [C:] and [D:] and then I re-installed my computer from scratch, using my new nLite WinXPproSP2 CD.
    I wasn't planning to do a complete install, I only wanted to know if it was promising enough to continue or not.

    After a complete installation of Windows, I checked three things :

    1. Windows Explorer
    a. The folder "Documents and Settings" did NOT exist anymore on the system partition [C:]
    b. The folder "Documents and Settings" was completely moved to my data partition [D:] with ALL its users
    and subfolders.
    c. Also the virtual folder "My Documents" on top was available in the system partition [C:]
    That was a good sign.

    2. Registry
    I didn't check all of them, I just wanted to know if there was a change or not.
    I checked about 100 registries containing "Document and Settings" and they were all changed from "C:" to "D:"
    That was a good sign too.

    3. MS Office
    I installed MS Office 2000 Pro, because I wanted to know if the default folders of MS Word and MS Excel were also changed or not.
    Each default folder was changed from "C:" to "D:". I created one document and one spreadsheet and both were stored in the right folder on [D:] and also stored in the virtual folder on [C:]
    That was an excellent sign.

    I was stupified, I never expected this to be THAT good.
    Of course I'm not too enthousiastic, but it looks promising enough to continue with a full installation of all my application and to see how each software reacts on this separation.
    Maybe my dream comes true after all or it will be my next nightmare. ;)
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2006
  17. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

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    Erik, thanks for informing us 'nLite wantabies' of your test results. That's good enough news for me to start 'playing' with it. ~pv
     
  18. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    There is indeed an option to change the Windows folder in something else, like : LINUX, SOLARIS, UNIX, DEVINCO, ERIKALBERT or any other word in order to fool the malwares with hard coded "C:\WINDOWS" or hackers, but I didn't test it yet.
    The main problem is that testing an OS takes alot more time, than any other software. I already lost hours with my tests and I have to restore my old configuration to get back in business. :)
    Keep in mind that such a change has to be tested with Windows Update.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2006
  19. Devinco

    Devinco Registered Member

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    Thanks Erik.

    Installing Windows to a non-default folder does work with Windows Update 100%. I've tested this many times.
    There are no side effects to using a non-default folder other then when someone tells you to look in the C:\windows folder, you need to look in the C:\[non-default folder] instead.
     
  20. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    Thanks for telling me. In that case we most probably won't have any problems with "Windows Update" either, when we give the windows folder another name in nLite. :)
     
  21. peelmanG4

    peelmanG4 Registered Member

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    Erik - Have you ran into any more problems with your Docs and Settings being on a seperate drive? I set my ISo up this way and used VMWare to test it last night, i didn't run into any issues but i was hardly doing a worthwhile test of the system.

    I'm also curious how you guys cut so much space out. My fresh install on a 5GB virtual drive (in VMWare) was eating up about 3GB. I stripped out as much of the language stuff as i could find, sa well as unneeded components, etc. Are there some large areas of fat to be trimmed that i have missed or am i just requring too much stuff and i'm screwed because of it?
     
  22. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    an unmodified windows xp install uses more or less 1gb of space and my nlite'd install uses ~400mb iirc.

    maybe your pagefile and recycle bin is using some space?

    also keep in mind: dont be hasty in removing components. remove a few that your sure you wont need, otherwise leave it alone. u can also visit teh forums and see what components some programs may need..
     
  23. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    Jun 16, 2005
    Posts:
    9,455
    Those were all pre-tests, I need a full installation of all my softwares, I only tried MS OFFICE 2000 PRO and that was good. Firefox and Thunderbird are more interesting to test.
    I just wanted to know, if it was promising enough to do a full install. Keep in mind, I have to do this in my freetime. I can't install my computer manually in just one evening and I want to do this in a real situation, not in a virtual environment, I don't even know how to do this.
    I will be glad, if I can move "Documents and Settings" completely in such an easy way. I have seen ALOT WORSE methods on the internet. :)

    EDIT: my first real install won't have any removal of components, because that was not my original plan and it will take a long time before I do the next re-install.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2006
  24. Devinco

    Devinco Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2004
    Posts:
    2,524
    I am not so sure about the benefits of moving the whole documents and settings folder. Because the Windows Registry is going to be moved too.

    That is good because then all your programs will still be install when you restore a backup. It is also good that ALL your programs data will be safely stored on the data partition without having to move and configure each and every program to look in the new location.

    It is bad because if the cause for restoring is that something in the registry got messed up (not uncommon), then restoring the backup won't fix Windows. The problem will remain.

    I don't know which is better.

    What does everyone else think about the benefits versus the problems of moving the documents and settings folder?
     
  25. peelmanG4

    peelmanG4 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    Posts:
    6
    WSFUser: I've been aroudn teh block with Windows, i'm not doing anything with nLite i don't already do to my system anyway, except now i'm shaving about 40 minutes off my install time by not having to go tweak every setting individually. PLus the extras that i can load now is just fantastic.

    Yeah i have the same issue of not being abl eto do everything in one evening, but nLite looks like it can help there by shaving some precious minutes off my setup time.
    As far as doing it virtually, VMWare Server is now free and very, very cool, if somewhat of a resource hog. It was a pain to do because i actually had to use a normal windows iso to create the pair of paritions on the virtual drive, format them both to NTFS, THEN reinstall windows using my custom nLite ISO. Otherwise it died during install because iether the virtual CD ROm was taking the D:\ drive letter, or the D:\ partition wasn't formatted so couldn't be written to at install time. THese two small hurtles aside (easily remedied hurdles might i add) it worked great. My next two weekends are booked, but the following weekend i'll ghost this machine and then attempt it to see what happens. I'll try to post and share my results (from what i've seen so far they will be positive!)
    To the best of my knowledge the registry is not stored in your Docs and SEttinsg folder. At least not the Global registry, according to the stuff i'm looking at it is in windows\system32\config. Now your hkey_current_user would be in Docs and Settings, but that's not that big of a concern to me, if the registry gets corrupted on either end i'm going to have bigger problems at hand that will probably require more than a backup/reformat anyway.

    Offloading My Documents, My Music, etc is fine and dandy, except i'm looking for a full solution. The way that i use my system i end up reformatting and reinstalling quite often, if i can get an XP disc that will let me do that without having to go through the hassle of having ot backup and restore my profiles, settings, etc, i'm all about it.

    Maybe I'm just too used to Macs where you can copy the Users directory to another drive (or partition), symlink it back to the root disk, make a couple of tweaks to the NetInfo dbase and you're golden. Might be the reason why i have a new Mini en route from California as i type this :)
     
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