Friday, July 18, 2008

Sysprep is loading mass storage, network and video drivers

I finally got Sysprep for XP to do a most useful thing. Now I know why it needs to load mass storage drivers. I needed to get the same image going on a Optiplex 755, GX280 and a clone with some kind of Intel chipset. I loaded the following into sysprep.inf:

;IDE chipset driver for Dell Optiplex GX270 (ICH-5)
;IDE chipset drivers for Dell Optiplex 280
;IDE chipset driver for Dell GX620, GX520
;IDE chipset driver for Dell Optiplex 745
;IDE chipset driver for Dell Optiplex 755

I also loaded some NIC and video drivers into the sysprep folder. Its best to load all of what the vendor gives you, because if you are short a file, sysprep just might crap out on you.

Think I'll build the base on the 755, it seems to have a hard time with the GX520 image. It wouldn't boot into anything but safe mode, but with enough iterations of sysprep and some additional driver installation, I got it to behave normally.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Sysprep is !$%@&!

Well... it turns out the problem is with the sysprep.inf. It is causing cmdlines.txt not to run. I had to copy the orginal from Declone 4.0.0 ETS and modify it to make it work. And furthermore do the edits on my PC as oppose to the one I'm building the image on. I wonder if the format is written differently between computers? Next time when in doubt, recopy sysprep.inf

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

More sysprep annoyances

Apparently, leaving in the sysprep mass storage references causes cmdlines.txt not to run. The following entire section must be removed.


;Need to trim this section. Only useful for the generic image

Monday, July 7, 2008

Sysprep Annoyances

I'm rather annoyed with sysprep for XP. In particular, the mass storage section. I have never used it until recently and found out that the following settings will generate hard drive activity for a full 20 min.



To get around this, one can predefine the drivers by running sysprep -bmsd. So now I have a list that looks like this.



With about 700 entries. The idea is to trim the SysprepMassStorage section so that it searches for only the drivers you need. For every driver that appears it takes at least 1-2 seconds to process. Even with half the list, it only went down to 10 min instead of 20.

I've concluded that this should only be done with a true generic image. Custom images should have the above sections remmed out and use only reseal.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Updating Windows XP

I had two cases recently where I had to update components for Windows XP Pro. One involved installing IIS and the other was loading an image onto a computer that it wasn't explicitly built for. In both cases the orginal Windows XP CD and the SP3 files were required. I had to unpack the files for SP3 using

Then it was easy... although IIS seemed to require the service to be restarted on the console for it to work properly.