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Everything posted by anyweb

  1. ImageX is a tool which is part of the Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK) and can be used to mount and modify the content of Windows Image (WIM) files. To use imageX you could create a WinPE cdrom or usb key with the imagex tool on it, then boot a system that you wish to create an image of or copy an image to, for example (to copy the contents of a machine to a Windows Image (WIM) file) do as follows:- e:\imagex.exe /compress fast /capture x:/vistaultimate.wim "Windows Vista Ultimate Edition" /verify where e:\ is the usb Key/CD with WinPE on it, and x:/ is your network share (or external hdd). To image another machine with this captured image do as follows:- Boot from the cd/usb key with WinPE and the imagex.exe tool on it, then e:\imagex.exe /apply x:/vistaultimate.wim 1 c: To edit a WIM file using imageX see this post. cheers anyweb
  2. The Windows Vista hardware assessment tool is an inventory, assessment and reporting tool that can help you determine the number of computers on a network that are ready to run the Windows Vista operating system. The data provided by the tool helps to simplify the migration process, in other words, it tells you if the machines on your network are good enough to run Vista or not, and can also give you a nice word Doc to give to your boss along with an impressive XL spreadsheet. To skip all the technical details and to see the tool in action, click here for the 10 step guide to see are your networked computers Vista ready To install the tool you'll need Microsoft SQL server 2005 Express Edition (available on MSDN downloads), it's a required component of installation of the tool and is used to store the inventory and assssement data. You can download the Windows Vista Hardware Assessment tool from Microsoft. The webpage above will prompt for registration but it is not necessary to download the tool. The download page will list the following files:- Getting Started guide.doc Windows Vista Hardware Assessment Readme.htm Windows_Vista_Hardware_Assessment_Setup.exe <--- this is the tool Windows-Vista-HArdware-Assessment-Datasheet-1.0.doc Before using the tool, read the Getting Started guide.doc You'll have a choice when you run the tool to generate custom reports (word doc and excel spreadsheet) however word/excel 2003 sp2 or word/excel 2007 must be installed *see more about the MUST word below, the tool just won't install otherwise*. Note: The below Test is the results that I got when I tried to use this tool in Windows XP SP2 connected to a Windows 2003 SP1 server (Active Directory) domain. Your mileage may vary (with a bit of luck!). Real World test below:- I've installed the tool on a Windows XP SP2 box (which in turn is connected to a Windows 2003 server sp1 Domain), and the first thing it prompted for was the .net framework version 2.0 package, so get that from Microsoft and install it and try again. Once I tried the install again, this time the file ran, and popped up a Wizard which informed me that if I hadn't installed Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express Edition (didn't mention whether it had to be that version or the SP2 version also on MSDN), that I would need a valid internet connection to download the required installation files. I clicked 'next'. Required Software Not Found Ok, now it's telling me What does it want ? Microsoft Word 2003 Sp2 or Word 2007, same for Excel. So I installed Both Word 2003 sp2 and Excel 2003 sp2... Finally, after doing that and re-running the setup.exe I was presented with a License Agreement. Clicking next you'll be prompted where to install the tool, then clicking next again, it'll ask you to either * download and install SQL server express 2005 * install from a previously downloaded installation files I chose the second option as I already downloaded it. Thankfully that gave me another license agreement (for SQL Server 2005 Express Edition), I was getting somewhere. I clicked install and..... got an error. So I downloaded the Windows installer 3.1 redistributable. That required a restart of XP. Once restarted, I ran setup again. This time, it installed with no errors *phew*. 'Installation Succesful' ! Next, you are greeted with the Windows Vista Hardware Assessment Wizard, click next to continue. (It tells you that you'll need local admin priviledges on each computer on the network and the remote administration and file and printer sharing will need to be enabled, in addition, windows firewall exceptions as defined in the Getting started guide must be implemented on each computer.... So easy really. Clicking next will 'configure Microsoft Office professional' followed by a Inventory database screen asking you to create a database or use an exisiting one. I chose 'create' and gave it the name 'test' (how original). The next set of options were all ticked, so I continued on....next up was what workgroup and domains to collect info from, i chose next. Next up it asked for the domain name, and user (with LOCAL admin privs)/pass, I entered those details. I click next and wait.... as it does it's magic. Now it wanted me to enter Inventory Accounts (the wizard will connect to each computer using WMI. Specify domain or local accounts that are a member of the local admin group on the computers being scanned, by default the domain admin group is added to each computer. (It goes on..) For testing purposes only, I enter the following info * domain name (not specified as using local account) * account name (administrator) * password ********** * confirm password ********** * account use 'use on all computers' and click 'save', followed by a summary of what I did (excluding all the errors above) and clicking 'start' (in the wizard, not the start menu). Up popped a screen with the following info:- Which almost sarcastically beeped at me with yet another error. 'Windows Vista Hardware Assessment 'A Socket operation was attempted to an unreachable host'. I clicked ok., and was given the option of 'The wizard cannot continue' and 'other things you can do' which comprised of 'view summary details of the wizard options'. After reading the Getting started guide again, I realised that I had to have 'file and printer sharing' enabled on the clients, and firewall rules set, I did this, re-ran the tool (via start/programs/windows vista hardware assessment) and went through all the steps, except this time instead of creating a new database i used the second option (use existing database, test2). This time it worked and it generated a report for my clients on the test network. When you examine the XLS spreadsheet, you'll see a 'clientassessment TAB'. Under the WMI status, you may see the following errors:- Failed - Machine not found (if this is the case, check the firewall settings as per the Getting Started Guide) Failed - Access Denied (make sure the local USER you specified, has a password). The Word doc and Excel spreadsheet are attached here for you, and below please find a '10 step guide' of screenshots to show you the wizard in action. If you find this article useful, then please Digg it. cheers anyweb test12_Report_20070420_102046.xls test12_Summary_20070420_102049.doc
  3. more info > http://windowsvistablog.com/blogs/windowsv...on-firefox.aspx via osnews.com
  4. more info > http://www.microsoft-watch.com/content/des..._diet_plan.html via osnews.com
  5. BDD (Business Desktop Deployment) 2007 is one way that Microsoft recommends that you manage the installation of your computers, it is currently aimed at assisting you in deploying Windows Vista and/or Office 2007 installations and in addition it has the following features from > http://www.microsoft.com/technet/desktopde...07/default.mspx O.k, sounds interesting, so where can I download BDD and is it free ? you can download it from Microsoft and it's free to download. You will also need to have the .net framework (2.0) preinstalled and MSXML 6.0. to see an overview of Lite Touch with BDD 2007 see here Once you have installed BDD 2007, start it up and click on the Components section on the left, then click on Actions and 'check for updates'. If you then highlight (for example) Windows Automated Installation Kit in the 'available for download' section, you'll see a Download button appear, click on it to automatically download the WAIK (The Windows Automated Instalation Kit contains tools such as ImageX, Windows PE 2.0, PEIMG, and Windows System Image Manager, that are essential to the Windows deployment process). In addition to the WAIK, you'll also see other files available for download such as the User State migration Tool, MSXML 6.0, MKS management pack, Windows Vista Hardware Assessment, Volume Activation Management tool and Office Migration Planning Manager. Depending on what you want to do, you may also download/install any of these. When you have finished downloading your selected packages from within the BDD 2007 Deployment Workbench, you can install them by clicking on the Install button (bottom right). Both BDD itself and WAIK allow you to install the program elsewhere than c:\Program Files.
  6. full article > http://blogs.msdn.com/wga/archive/2007/04/...bios-hacks.aspx
  7. more info > http://www.heise-security.co.uk/news/87709 via osnews.com
  8. more info > http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,2107715,00.asp via osnews.com
  9. more info > http://www.microsoft-watch.com/content/vis...s_too_high.html via osnews.com
  10. more info > http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1895,2106626,00.asp via osnews.com
  11. here's a guide I put together to teach you how to setup a RIS server in 3 easy steps. Note: this download is for Windows 2003 Server GOLD (ie: no service pack's installed yet) setup_a_ris_server_in_3_easy_steps.pdf and this download is for Windows 2003 Server Service Pack 1 setting_up_a_windows_2003_SP1_server_as_a_RIS_server.pdf any questions ? just ask cheers anyweb
  12. For those of you that don't know Service Pack 2 is now available (on windows update and as a separate download) for Windows 2003 Server. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details...;DisplayLang=en Some people may inadvertently upgrade their Windows 2003 sp1 servers to sp2 without reading the relase notes, and if that server was a RIS server (remote installation services via pxe boot) then you may be in for a surprise. Amonsgt other things (release notes) Service pack 2 upgrades your RIS server to act as a Windows Deployment Service, however in the process of doing so it effectively renders the 'old' Remote installation SERVICE obsolete (and this explains the cryptic errors below). What does this mean ? If they didn't know about it what they will see is all PXE boot attempts to their 'RIS' server will FAIL. Symptoms include:- Error on startup of the server immediately (and after every reboot) after installing Service Pack 2, stating 'a service failed to start, please check the event viewer for details'. PXE boot failure on the client (no boot filename received error). RIS service on the server fails to start with the following error if you try to start it manually - 'Could not start Remote Installation Service on local computer. Error 127: the specified procedure could not be found.' Steps to alleviate the problem:- Advise customers to open administrative tools and to click on 'services'. Scroll down to 'Windows Deployment Services server' service, it will NOT be started and it's state is set to 'manual'. Ask the customer to start the service (they may wish to set it's startup type to 'automatic'. Now, the customer should be able to PXE boot their clients as normal to the RIS server and deploy images exactly as they did before. Other things to note:- The new service is actually very useful to your customer, because now they can deploy Vista images via this server, however as SP2 is forcing the change gently from RIS to Windows Deployment Services what you will see are three modes for the new service (shown below). So effectively if the customer upgrades a SP1 RIS server to SP2, then they will be able to use the Windows Deployment Services in legacy mode to retain compatability with RIS. More info about this below:- Windows Deployment Services Overview on technet > http://technet2.microsoft.com/WindowsVista...3.mspx?mfr=true Initial server mode The method of installation and subsequent configuration actions dictate the initial server mode as follows: Task Procedure To get to Legacy mode: 1. Install the RIS optional component on Windows Server 2003 with SP1. 2. Install the Windows Deployment Services update. 3. Run RISETUP and add an image. To get to Mixed mode: 1. Install the RIS optional component on Windows Server 2003 with SP1. 2. Run RISETUP and add an image. 3. Install the Windows Deployment Services update. 4. Run WDSUTIL /initialize-server. To get to Native mode: 1. Install the RIS optional component on Windows Server 2003 with SP1. 2. Install the Windows Deployment Services update. 3. Run WDSUTIL /initialize-server. here's an example of that D:\Program Files\Windows Resource Kits\Tools>wdsutil /verbose /progress /initialize-server /reminst:"e:\RemoteInstall" the /verbose command is very useful for seeing errors (such as access denied). I did receive access denied errors when running the Windows Deployment Services GUI wizard, and after much searching It turned out to be possibly related to 1. I had renamed my RemoteInstall folder to Remoteinstall2k3 (easy to rename back, but then you must re-share it to REMINST and then re-scan the domain controller in Active Directory users and computers, select the domain, choose properties, choose Remote install, choose verify, it will find errors and correct them. 2. verify your permissions on the REMINST share, if they are read-only for EVERYONE then WDS will fail with 'access denied'.
  13. more info about where the rest of your 4gb ram goes here > http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/000811.html
  14. as per this article on osnews.com http://www.osnews.com/comment.php?news_id=17390 i've posted this screenshot showing memory consumption on my 1gb laptop fyi cheers anyweb
  15. http://vistarewired.com/2007/02/16/how-to-...-windows-vista/ cheers anyweb
  16. spot the difference http://img510.imageshack.us/my.php?image=o...rdforummvz8.png http://img463.imageshack.us/my.php?image=f...orummainqy8.png cheers anyweb
  17. if you are testing vista and the 30 days are about to run out (and you want to preserve your MSDN keys...) then try this for an extra 30 days Approx 29.5 days in, press Windows + R and type cmd.exe then Enter. When the Command Prompt appears, type: slmgr -rearm (press Enter) cheers anyweb
  18. if you have windows vista and 4gb ram you might not see it all reported in the os, if so consider getting the 64bit edition of vista instead, but make sure that your hardware will run with it (plus 64bit drivers are harder to get) cheers anyweb
  19. have a look at this photo (top) found on the intarweb today http://www.googlethedamnthing.com/mirror/v...owned/owned.jpg reminds me of this one (bottom) a few years back http://img401.imageshack.us/img401/3107/xplaunch8vs.jpg
  20. during windows setup you got an error 'no hard disc drives found'. This is due to the fact that windows doesn’t know how to communicate with the AHCI sata controller, and hence, cannot see the hard discs, To solve this we first had to determine what Massstoragedrivers section he had to add to his winnt.sif file (same applies to unattended and Ris installs of xp..) Here's a sample one (note- the sample below is only for precision 470/ 670) [MassStorageDrivers] "Adaptec Embedded Serial ATA HostRAID Controller" = "OEM" "IDE CD-ROM (ATAPI 1.2)/PCI IDE Controller" = "RETAIL" The first line (in bold) is the line that tells the unattended (ris) install what driver it should be loading from the corresponding TXTSETUP.OEM file, Below we can see the reference to that in the TXTSETUP.OEM file Ok now that we know the above, let's apply that logic to the Precision Workstation 490, Looking at the TXTSETUP.OEM file (suplied from support.dell.com here > http://ftp.us.dell.c...ATA/R126479.EXE ) We can see the following sections:- However, adding the following secion to winnt.sif or ris.sif file does NOT work [MassStorageDrivers] "Intel Matrix Storage Manager driver" = "OEM" "IDE CD-ROM (ATAPI 1.2)/PCI IDE Controller" = "RETAIL" The above will still generate 'hard disc drive not found' type of error messages, so how exactly DO we determine the correct controller from the 9 listed, The answer is suprisingly straight forward, Go into device manager Once you've opened Device Manager,expand the IDE/AHCI/SATA controller listed double click on it and choose the details TAB. Scroll down to hardware IDs section with the drop down menu Now here's the important bit….. Make a note of the PCI\VEN….. Linesand verify if any of them MATCH with the corresponding lines in TXTSETUP.OEM In the case of the Precision Workstation 490 (no screenshots sorry, don't have the hardware) the pci ven/dev ID's matched to the following line in the Hardware.Ids.scsi section of TXTSETUP.OEM [HardwareIds.scsi.iaAHCI_ESB2] id = "PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_2681&CC_0106","iaStor" That line above in turn is tied to the second one in the 'scsi' list of TXTSETUP.OEM [scsi] iaStor_ESB2 = "Intel® ESB2 SATA RAID Controller (Server ESB2)" iaAHCI_ESB2 = "Intel® ESB2 SATA AHCI Controller (Server ESB2)" iaStor_ICH7MDH = "Intel® 82801GHM SATA RAID Controller (Mobile ICH7MR/DH)" iaStor_ICH7DH = "Intel® 82801GR/GH SATA RAID Controller (Desktop ICH7R/DH)" iaAHCI_ICH7R = "Intel® 82801GR/GH SATA AHCI Controller (Desktop ICH7R/DH)" iaAHCI_ICH7M = "Intel® 82801GBM SATA AHCI Controller (Mobile ICH7M)" iaStor_ICH6R = "Intel® 82801FR SATA RAID Controller (Desktop ICH6R)" iaAHCI_ICH6R = "Intel® 82801FR SATA AHCI Controller (Desktop ICH6R)" iaAHCI_ICH6M = "Intel® 82801FBM SATA AHCI Controller (Mobile ICH6M)" So armed with this information you can now add the correct values to your [MassStorageDrivers] section of winnt.sif/ris.sif file for precision workstation 490/690 And in case you havn't figured it out yet, here's what it should now look like
  21. I'm sure some of you have come across this problem (or will..) so I'm going to tell you how to solve it, Please archive this, you'll need it one day... Customers scenario:- The customer has a whole load of computers and they want to do RIS (remote installation services) installs on their new computerss and they want to use the OEM provided Windows XP SP2 OEM cd, I normally would NOT recommend this method as it is troublesome and may lead to activation issues amongst other things. If you use the OEM cd to install computers using RIS, please note that the OEM cd has modified files on it that can cause errors during the RIS process. The first error you may encounter is likely to be something along the lines of File iastor.sys caused an unexpected error (21) at line 3540 in d:\xpsprtm\base\boot\setup\setup.c. The above error is misleading as you might think you actually need this file (and you most likely don't as the drivers you require can be installed properly via the oempnpdrivers path or install.bat). NOTE: This error can also be seen on workstations, and if so, have a read of this http://www.msfn.org/board/index.php?showtopic=7454 To get around this problem we have to understand where it's coming from. When risetup is run on the RIS server, a read only file called txtsetup.sif is created at risserver\risdrive\remote install\setup\english\images\<baseinstallname>\I386. Remove the read only properties from the file then open it in notepad and find the [sCSI Load] section. In this section you will find the driver that is causing the error. Comment out any lines that produce a similiar error when you try to load the system. DO NOT comment out all the lines in this section, as the system will not be able to find a hard drive after getting past the errors. What happens here is the OEM cd has several references to drivers (for raid/scsi and so on) that you won't find on a Volume License Key cd's txtsetup.sif file. Have a look at the two samples below, the first part is from a (danish winxpsp2) OEM txtsetup.sif file, the second part is from the VLK cd txtsetup.sif file. And now here's the same part from the VLK txtsetup.sif file… As you can see from above, there are quite a few differences between the OEM txtsetup.sif file and the one on the VLK cd. So the first step in resolving your customer's 'iastor.sys errors' is to very simply copy/paste the VLK section directly into their original OEM txtsetup.sif file's [scsi.load] section (marked in RED above) replacing the OEM references with the original VLK references (which leaves out the OEM iles which cause the issues in the first place). Once this is done, you can restart the RIS service and attempt another RIS install. Things will look much better but then half way through the RIS install there will be several references to files 'not found… press ESC to ignore' , the files that are 'missing' are likely to be any of the files below (or more) To resolve those issues we need to edit the TXTSETUP.SIF file some more. We need to locate another section in the TXTSETUP.SIF file called '[sourceDisksFiles]'. NOTE: you will find SEVERAL references to [sourceDisksFiles] in the TXTSETUP.SIF file, but only ONE of them is the one we need to edit, the one we need to edit will have the following line in it bootvid.dll = 1,,,,,,3_,2,0,0,,1,2 So once you've located the right one do as follows:- delete everything between [sourceDisksFiles] and bootvid.dll = 1,,,,,,3_,2,0,0,,1,2 so it now starts to look like... (the file list continues on and on and on, only delete the lines BETWEEN '[sourceDisksFiles] and bootvid.dll = 1,,,,,,3_,2,0,0,,1,2 Ok, now that you have completed editing the TXTSETUP.SIF file, save it, and restart the RIS service, then complete another PXE boot to the RIS server and enjoy the fact that it's working now !! For your reference I'm including a copy of the VLK TXTSETUP.SIF file and the Danish TXTSETUP.SIF file (there will be minor differences between the languages but the scenario will always be the same, to fix an OEM ris install, you must edit the TXTSETUP.SIF file. txtsetup.sif_fromVolumeLicenseKeyWINXPsp2CD.txt txtsetup.sif_fromOEMcd_Danish_.txt
  22. Hi, In case you come across this one ... Problem:- Customer is using a windows 2003 server (probably Windows Server 2003 R2 Standard Edition) and attempts to do a RIPREP install on their newly acquired computers. The first phase of the RIPREP install (ie: getting riprep to run on the computer and copy the contents over to the server) works fine, nothing to report. However, when the customer then boots the computer via PXE to test RIPREPing the image back they get the following cryptic error message: Unable to display the operating system (OS) choices. You may not have sufficient network permissions to view the OS choices on the server, or the server might not contain any OS images. For assistance, contact your network administrator. Workaround:- Verify if the customers Group Policy settings for end users on the active directory are set to the following settings:- (On the server select start/programs/administrative tools/group policy management or the GPMC snap in in MMC.) If they appear as above (and by default they do if you are using active directory on your domains….) then get the customer to set them as follows Restart the RIS service and the customer should be able to see the OS coices (sif files) stored on their server, please note that if they have only RIPREP'd one machine that the menu will auto RIPREP the machine without displaying the os list, you need at least 2 or more SIF files in order for RIS to list the 'choices'. If the customers Group policy settings are not being used then try editing the SIF file directly and rem out the HalName=halmacpi.dll entry and it will become visible...or enter the correct one. here's a list of HAL's you could experiement with HAL descriptive name HaLname=halmacpi.dll HaLname=halaacpi.dll HaLname=halacpi.dll HaLname=halsp.dll HaLname=halapic.dll HaLname=halmps.dll HaLname=hal.dll HaLname=halborg.dll
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