Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Inside Vista's Image-Based Install Process 519

Posted by Hemos
from the how-the-whole-bloody-thing-works dept.
KrispyGlider writes "Vista's installation process is dramatically different from any previous version of Windows: rather than being an 'installer,' the install DVD is actually a preinstalled copy of Windows that simply gets decompressed onto your PC. It is hardware agnostic, so it can adjust to different systems, and you can also install your own apps into it so that your Vista install becomes a full system image install. APCMag.com has published an interview with a Microsoft Australia tech specialist on the inner workings of it as well as a story that looks at some of the pros and cons of image-based installs."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Inside Vista's Image-Based Install Process

Comments Filter:
  • dual boot? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by yagu (721525) * <yayagu.gmail@com> on Monday July 24, 2006 @11:06AM (#15769710) Journal

    This reminds me of other Microsoft installs I've done over the years, and it smacks of such disdain for the rest of the OS universe. Nowhere in the article, nor can I find evidence anywhere else is there an accomodation for an install where XP is just another OS. I remember my first experience with this, when I installed a Win98 on a linux box, and not only did Win98 not offer a dual boot, it (seemingly) gladly removed my linux MBR and formatted my partition without asking if it was okay, and without saying it had done so. That was quite a surprise.

    Does anyone know if there is a way to do this? (Though, knowing XP can point to more than one OS to boot, I'm guessing Microsoft is more gentle if there is a pre-existing Windows OS there.)

    I've googled for dual boot information, it looks to be similar to what I already know -- it's easier to set up a dual boot machine on a pre-existing Windows machine.

    • Re:dual boot? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 24, 2006 @11:10AM (#15769744)
      I've had installs of Linux remove my Windows MBR and force grub as the default, its not just windows
      • Re:dual boot? (Score:2, Informative)

        by tomstdenis (446163)
        Fedora will help you setup dualboot.

        Gentoo users [like me] just don't run Windows, e.g. not an issue.

        tom
        • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 24, 2006 @11:23AM (#15769859)
          Windows users [like me] just don't run Linux, e.g. not an issue.
          • by grammar fascist (239789) on Monday July 24, 2006 @01:43PM (#15770983) Homepage
            Windows users [like me] just don't run Linux, e.g. not an issue.

            Mac users [like me] just can't fathom why anyone would want to run anything else; i.e. not an issue.

            Grammar fascist time. Now, you didn't make the original mistake, but you perpetuated it, and now you're on my "bad" list. (Snakes in your stocking this year, boy, and I'm not talking about the kind you hang over the fireplace.) "E.g." means "for example," and "i.e." means "in other words." (Translated, of course.) The way I remember is to consider how stupid I'd sound using it wrongly.

            Okay, not really. Mentally substitute "for egzample" whenever you use "e.g." to see if it works.

            I've also got a great mnemonic device that involves skinning purple hamsters for remembering how to use "who" and "whom" correctly if anyone is interested.
        • Fedora will help you setup dualboot. Gentoo users [like me] just don't run Windows, e.g. not an issue.

          See, Linux has such insider hate between the people involved. I'm Gentoo, I'm better, I do all my own compiling. Fedor is for Windows users... blah blah blah.

          Mac fanboi's unite! Except for those 10.3.x users - upgrade to a real OS already. Geeze.

          • Mac fanboi's unite! Except for those 10.3.x users - upgrade to a real OS already. Geeze.

            Tell me how to get 10.4 on my iMac G3 266 MHz without doing arcane things then. No DVD, no firewire.
          • I never said Gentoo was better than Fedora. I just said that Fedora helps you dual boot. And for the typical windows user Fedora is a bit more useful.

            Gentoo is not something the average hardcore Windows users will understand.

            And seriously, if you go through the pain of building the 400 packages required to make a decent gentoo workstation, do you want to then throw that away and boot windows at the slightest change of mind?

            Tom
      • Re:dual boot? (Score:4, Informative)

        by kailoran (887304) on Monday July 24, 2006 @11:21AM (#15769845)
        The thing is that unlike the Windows' MBR, grub can actually be configured to run the other OS if the user wants. Most distros autodetect and add the appropriate configs, so that there's zero effort needed.

        Installing Windows just nukes the existing MBR and the only thing you can do is run Windows, or start searching for a rescue cd/floppy.
        • Exactly. Linux DOES have to take over the MBR (with either GRUB or LILO), but unlike the Windows bootloader, GRUB and LILO can both be configured to launch either OS quite easily. I have two machines dual-booting Gentoo and XP via GRUB (Gentoo set as default on both, one of the machines often runs headless and I often need to do stuff on it remotely...it's connected to everything via a KVM switch, but it's usually set to the other computer, which happens to be the gaming system). Once you have GRUB or LI
      • That is definatly not the norm from my experience. You stated plural installs but do you happen to remember the distro and versions? That would be distro I myself would avoid testing on my own dual boot computer as well. I've installed quite a few dual boots and I vaguely remember one of the "Windows friendly" Linuxes like Lycoris, Lindows, or Linspire (could be wrong) not directly asking where to put the boot loader, I don't remember if it used LILO or Grub either. I later found it does ask but in plai
    • partition magic used to have a utility for this sort of thing.

      there is one built into linux too. however you need to install MS first everything else second.

      MS wants to be king of your computer even if you dont want it to be. friends i know used to invest in articon (spelling) drives and just swap out drives whenever they wanted to use linux windows or whatever.

      frankly im waiting for someone to give me the ability to "Alt Tab" between OSs. i'd love to run linux primary and just alt tab to windows when i ne
      • Re:dual boot? (Score:5, Informative)

        by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Monday July 24, 2006 @11:16AM (#15769810)
        frankly im waiting for someone to give me the ability to "Alt Tab" between OSs. i'd love to run linux primary and just alt tab to windows when i need to do MS shit.

        Have you tried VMWare (or any other virtualization system)?
        • Re:dual boot? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by xtracto (837672) on Monday July 24, 2006 @11:30AM (#15769925) Journal
          frankly im waiting for someone to give me the ability to "Alt Tab" between OSs. i'd love to run linux primary and just alt tab to windows when i need to do MS shit.

          Have you tried VMWare (or any other virtualization system)?


          MMM yes but no...

          There is something interesting in what GP wrote. Of course virtualization exists but I think it would be quite interesting to have some kind of BIOS program that allowed you to change OS whenever you pressed a predetermined key combo.

          How to achieve this?, well I think the "hibernation" faccilities of current Operating systems will do the trick. What should happen is that, when you turn on your computer you boot in whatever OS you had, then when you press the supposed ALT+TAB shortcut the BIOS function sends the current system to hibernate (saves RAM to HD file, etc , etc) and boots the second OS. Then, if you press ALT+TAB again the same process will be done but instead of booting the computer will just restore the state from the hibernation file.

          It may seem something difficult but I think that will be way cool and unlike virtualization solutions you will not have any performance loss due to the software overhead (I am proposing some kind of software interrput which the guest OSs will call when the user presses the hotkey).

          Now that I think of it, please forget what I said, I am going directly to the USPTO :)
        • Re:dual boot? (Score:5, Informative)

          by cyborch (524661) on Monday July 24, 2006 @11:39AM (#15769986) Homepage Journal

          The new duo core CPUs have facilities for this. See Parallels [parallels.com] for the first signs of alt tab'ing between OS'es.

          In addition rumor has it that Leopard (the next version of OS X) will have something like this built in.

      • frankly im waiting for someone to give me the ability to "Alt Tab" between OSs. i'd love to run linux primary and just alt tab to windows when i need to do MS shit.
        It already exists, and it's only about ten thousand times easier than configuring a system for dual-boot. Go to vmware.com, and download the free "player" for your native OS, then download one of the many free pre-configured OS's or apps to run.
      • Three ways of doing this come to mind. Take your pick:
        - Synergy [wikipedia.org] (more or less a software KVM, minus the V)
        - QEMU [wikipedia.org] (processor emulator, similar to VMware, but Free Software)
        - Hardware KVM switch [wikipedia.org]
      • Re:dual boot? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by roadhog95 (462989)
        You should try Vmware. (i believe the player and server version are now free). I have a server that runs fedora 5 and vmware GSX server. Installed in vmware (as guests) is windows 2003, windows XP and windows 2000 all on the same machine.

        Each server runs as if it were an independent machine, if one goes down it doesnt take the whole box with it, each machine bridges to the main interface and has full network connectivity, viruses that affect one guest dont affect the others. I have been running this confi
    • Re:dual boot? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Soleen (925936) on Monday July 24, 2006 @11:13AM (#15769779)
      You can format, delete, or leave anoutched any partitions you want. becisally the same as in Windows XP, except they added GUI to that, and also you can't format into FAT32, it must NTFS from now on. As far as Boot Sectors go, I think Vista still does not give you any choices...
    • Re:dual boot? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dreamchaser (49529) on Monday July 24, 2006 @11:13AM (#15769780) Homepage Journal
      Just to play Devil's Advocate here, but why SHOULD they facilitate the use of other OS'es? Look at the customers who make up 99% of their base:

      1. Home users who buy a machine with Windows pre installed. No worries about dual boot here.
      2. Corporate users who load a custom Windows image on new machines. No worries about dual boot here either.

      ALSO, if it really is just an image it would be a simple matter to just load it onto a partition then setup dual boot using GRUB. Anyone who feels they NEED dual boot probably already knows how to do it. Most modern Linux distros do a pretty good job of it for newbs too.

      Very very very few people NEED dual boot. Some do. Most do not. From Microsoft's point of view, why should they facilitate it when the people who really NEED it (i.e. developers) will have no problem either setting up dual boot or using virtualization?
      • by jellomizer (103300) *
        I feel allow duel boot is a good house guest option. People took the effort to purchase your program, and take time to install it. It would be nice if it didn't kill what you already had installed. Microsoft doesn't need to make it a default but an option, I would love it if Install had a checkbox marked Overwrite Boot sector. If it detects more then 1 partition.
        • by Random_Goblin (781985) on Monday July 24, 2006 @12:13PM (#15770272)
          I feel allow duel boot is a good house guest option

          You keep using that word... I do not think it means what you think it means.

          mind you...

          After a long boot sequence...
          XP: You are wonderful!
          Distro in black: Thank you -- I've worked hard to become so.
          XP: I admit it you are better than i am...
          Distro in black: Then why are you smiling?
          XP: because i know something you don't know.
          Distro in black: And what is that?
          XP: I am not left-handed....
      • "Just to play Devil's Advocate here, but why SHOULD they facilitate the use of other OS'es?"

        Image.

        Microsoft desperately wants Linux to go away. Granted the things Microsoft does to the MBR can interfere with BSD/x86 Solaris, or anything else on the drive, this kind of move is great against linux. The problem is it makes them look desperate. It also annoys those who work in IT departments (the group MS loves the most: corporations).

        Microsoft doesn't usually have to to worry about pissing off customers. T
    • Re:dual boot? (Score:3, Informative)

      by The MAZZTer (911996)

      I know XP actually offers to NOT format the install partition for you, which is nice if Windows has bricked and you don't do backups as often as you should.

      Vista can install to a secondary hard drive (from what I read it's the first MS OS to be able to do so, probably thanks to the new boot loader) and it automatically supports dual booting with older Windows' (NT based at least) and will detect them and automatically set up the boot loader (it can be changed with bcdedit.exe and there are a couple unoffi

  • At last (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Toreo asesino (951231) on Monday July 24, 2006 @11:09AM (#15769735) Journal
    Hopefully this'll mean Windows may actually be able to deal with changing mainboard & cpu without freaking out and throwing its toys out of the pram.

    XP takes a swift nose-dive for me when I upgrade my core components; it makes upgrading an even more painful process. As for Linux, I've yet to test this, but I gather it responds much better than XP to new hardware?
    • XP takes a swift nose-dive for me when I upgrade my core components; it makes upgrading an even more painful process. As for Linux, I've yet to test this, but I gather it responds much better than XP to new hardware?

      Assuming the new hardware is supported, yes for the most part. Most things seem to get auto-detected at boot, so... only thing I can think off of the top of my head is that X always asks me manually what gfx driver to run, but unless you're swapping manufacturer I think that's cool as well. Ther
      • Will this slow down the booting of Vista? Hopefully it won't, it will keep a record, and only if there are problems or changes will it start to detect things - which seems like a reasonable idea.
    • Re:At last (Score:5, Informative)

      by OfNoAccount (906368) on Monday July 24, 2006 @11:34AM (#15769954)
      Simple solution - immediately before you upgrade a major component, run:
      sysprep -nosidgen

      You have the choice of running with existing settings or running mini-setup if you're running XP SP2. The only thing I can't recall is what effect that'll have on activation...

      Otherwise the only other thing you'll have problems with is changing the underlying HAL from ACPI to non-ACPI.

      See: MS sysprep kb article [microsoft.com] and more usefully Killian's sysprep guide [geocities.com]
    • Re:At last (Score:2, Funny)

      by utopianfiat (774016)
      Will Duke Nukem Forever also be image-based?
    • Two linux examples for you.

      1 - mandrake 10. ran an important app server in my old work, Hardware died and the non IT tech at the other end of the phone near the hardware was able to take the hard drive out and slap it in a completely different computer and say yes to all prompts on reboot to get a 100% functional machine back running in 15 minutes.

      2 - Wifes Ubuntu PC. Changed motherboard & video. rebooted and it happily chugged along using new drivers.
    • Re:At last (Score:2, Informative)

      by infosec_spaz (968690)
      On linux responding better when upgrading MB, or CPU...No, Not really. I have tried, and it pukes just as readily.
  • Fewer Choices? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by stealie72 (246899) on Monday July 24, 2006 @11:10AM (#15769746)
    If this is basically going to just decompress windows onto your drive, where do the install options come in to play?

    Still, anything that makes installs easier is probably a good thing, at least to the average user.
    • Good, install options are stupid anyway. I can understand when size of the hdd was a problem, but not anymore. Being able to remove stuff would be good, but installing by windows was a load of crap anyway. If I could select everything at the start, then that would be fine, but for xp you still couldn't do that.

      What a lot of fun it is, to sit and wait for the next box while it installs. Hopefully we won't have to do that anymore.
    • If this is basically going to just decompress windows onto your drive, where do the install options come in to play?

      <sarcasm>
      Perhaps they will be automatically detected/deduced for you by the same infallable logic engine we have come to know and love from the 'Windows Genuine Advantage' pirate software detector thus rendering manual configuration unnecessary in which case the manual configuration utility may well have been removed from Windows Vista.
      </sarcasm>
    • Re:Fewer Choices? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Tim C (15259) on Monday July 24, 2006 @12:01PM (#15770177)
      Still, anything that makes installs easier is probably a good thing, at least to the average user.

      While I agree in principle, generally speaking the average user will not be installing Windows, or any other OS.
  • by Poromenos1 (830658) on Monday July 24, 2006 @11:11AM (#15769755) Homepage
    Does this make it install faster? How is it different from copying files? Going of on a rant, why are current installers so bloated? InstallShield is like 2 MB in itself, and MSI takes ages to install something. The only good installer I've seen is NSIS (and it's VERY good), it's like 30 KB, copies your files/makes whatever changes you want and that's it.

    What do other installers do that make them take hours to finish?
    • 2 MB is ridiculous, but app installers (like MSI) also need to keep a record of what changes are made, so that you can uninstall an app. It also needs to create registry entries, and keep track of dlls that are used by other applications.

      For XP, 2k and 98, not all files were installed, so it need to extract certain files from an archive, and auto-detect hardware. (which is easier and faster these days)
    • I'd say it is much different from copying files because it has to test for all kinds of hardware, generate a lot of configs and other file structures.

      The alternative to the image based install? Up until recently the betas have used the traditional installer and it was like watching paint dry - literally, it took 2 to 3 hours (with a non-working progress bar to boot). The latest beta took about 20min to install and an extra 10min to do first boot configuration.

      Compared to XP's install, Vista takes mayb

      • 8GB and 12GB is absolutely rediculous for a base OS to use. For that matter, it's also rediculous for any end user system without hard disk hogs like modern games, video editing apps, graphics collections, etc installed. I actually long for the days of hard disk and RAM constraints. Developers and dev tools built with this in mind yester-year and could even today even if the constraint was artificial. At 8GB and 12GB, it sounds like Vista is going to throw in not only the kitchen sink but also the whole
      • Compared to XP's install, Vista takes maybe 10 minutes longer and that's not bad considering the astounding 12GiB (for the x64 version. I think x86 takes 8GiB) it copies to the HDD.

        Does WinXP or Vista use anything but PIO mode to transfer from CD/DVD to the HD?

        I always wondered if that was one of the reasons Windows took so freaking long to install. Not only would they be decompressing the CABs, but this would have to happen while the CPU is running 100% to negotiate the disc ---> HD transfer.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    My geek karma must be off today. When I read the title, instead of thinking CD image, I thought "what, is windows going to just be a bunch of pictures of guys pointing and clicking with no actual instructions like an IKEA assembly manual"?

    Anywho, this is a cool idea and it's begging for someone to create a "Vista Live" hack, much like the current *nix live CD's (Knoppix anyone?).

    Yeah, it's Monday.
  • Sounds like it might be trivial to make a nice little boot disc for Vista, in this case.
  • by neonprimetime (528653) on Monday July 24, 2006 @11:16AM (#15769807)
    This wasn't a Pros & Cons. It was a love-fest of the new Image-Based install process. Everything he wrote in that article was happy go lucky, no cons in site.

    • this means that the image isn't a bit-for-bit image of your disk layout, and hence you can apply the image to a new system without destroying the contents of the hard drive
    • Vista is hardware-agnostic, so you can use a single system image as a source for multiple hardware platforms, even if they have quite different hardware configurations
    • When capturing a system to a WIM file you can specify exclusions. For example, you can have a work directory on the system with temporary data.
    • Interestingly you can have as many images contained within one WIM file as you think you can manage, and any one of them can be marked as bootable.
  • So then, if an image install is so different from a regular install procedure, what is a regular install procedure? How different is an installation from copying a bunch of files?
  • by brunes69 (86786) <slashdot AT keirstead DOT org> on Monday July 24, 2006 @11:18AM (#15769824) Homepage

    However, all this is about to change. Windows Vista is based entirely around Microsoft's Windows Imaging Format (or WIM), a file-based imaging standard rather than a sector-based. this means that the image isn't a bit-for-bit image of your disk layout, and hence you can apply the image to a new system without destroying the contents of the hard drive.

    Wow how revolutionary.

    Oh, hang on a second while I untar this archive....

    • On the plus side, no need to worry about patents here due to the decades' worth of prior art.
    • by EXMSFT (935404) on Monday July 24, 2006 @02:34PM (#15771344)
      I don't believe TAR includes ACL and metadata information related to the filesystem. Or does it?
      • They can be. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by pavon (30274) on Monday July 24, 2006 @03:30PM (#15771736)
        The tar file format, like most unix things has undergone several revisions and branches. In POSIX.1, a new format, called the Pax Interchange Format, was created as a backwards compatible extention of the tar format, that allowed for storing of arbitrary metadata. How this metadata is used is naturally left up to the system's implementation of tar and pax. I don't know how widely these extentions are used. I know that in Mac OS 10.4, metadata including resource forks are supported, but I think they implemented them using thier normal flat-file hacks (._myfile holds metadata for myfile), and not the pax extentions. This man file [freebsd.org] has a little more information.
      • Most (all?) versions include security permissions (user/group/other, etc). Not sure about ACLs, I don't use them on *nix.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 24, 2006 @11:19AM (#15769828)
    Vista's released, won't DVDs be obsolete anyway?

    Maybe they can put both Vista and Duke Nuke Em 3D on the same HD-DVD/BluRay disc when they're released in a few years.

  • by digitaldc (879047) * on Monday July 24, 2006 @11:20AM (#15769837)
    Some say Vista's image is tarnished, but I think we should wait until the next Apple commercial to see if it really works or not.
  • Article is stupid (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MarkByers (770551) on Monday July 24, 2006 @11:23AM (#15769864) Homepage Journal
    The final linked article starts with this dubious sounding statement:

    The bottom is about to fall out of the market for imaging tools like Symantec Ghost ... The Vista install DVD is, in fact, just one big system image.

    But then immediately contradicts itself by pointing out:

    But this flexibility only extends to the installation of Windows itself. To clone a full system with apps installed, Symantec Ghost or a similar utility must be used to create that image.

    People don't use Ghost to make a copy of an unconfigured fresh install of Windows, they configure it first, then Ghost it. This new installer will have no effect whatsoever on sales of Ghost, or any other imaging software. After such a terrible start to the article, I'm not sure it's even worth reading the rest.
    • Re:Article is stupid (Score:5, Informative)

      by mwalleisa (561970) <michael.e.wallei ... t ['st.' in gap]> on Monday July 24, 2006 @12:21PM (#15770335)
      When talking about using Symantec Ghost (or other), the author is referring to Windows XP installations, not Vista.
      FTFA:

      In the XP world, most advanced users are used to customising the Windows install disc. It's a straightforward, if tedious, process to slipstream service packs and patches, add extra drivers and create answer files that allow XP to install with no user input.

      But this flexibility only extends to the installation of Windows itself. To clone a full system with apps installed, Symantec Ghost or a similar utility must be used to create that image.

      However, all this is about to change. Windows Vista is based entirely around Microsoft's Windows Imaging Format (or WIM), a file-based imaging standard rather than a sector-based.

      (bold emphasis = mine)
  • by namityadav (989838) on Monday July 24, 2006 @11:28AM (#15769910)
    So is this revolutionary install concept an exact copy of what we see in Ubuntu?
    • Isn't it a bloody obvious method for installing an operating system? Copy the image over, apply some hardware configuration scripts (and whatever else you need, such as default packages).

      The most revolutionary part is giving you a legitimate method of creating other install images. And that's not terribly revolutionary, given nLiteOS.
  • by bfree (113420) on Monday July 24, 2006 @11:32AM (#15769942)
    I'm sure the idea goes back even further in time but I still find it interesting to see that the technique taken by knoppix, embraced by Kanotix and finally mimiced by Ubuntu is now being used by MS. The question is will you be able to carry around these vista images as a live system taking advantage of it's hardware detection to run your own copy of windows on any machine (real or virtual)? If not officially, will someone be able to produce a neat hack to do it? I would have thought everyone would like to have their own liveDVD of their system, featuring all the stuff they wanted installed and all their settings.
  • The wrong problem (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Doctor Faustus (127273) <[grO.dnalevelCmailliW] [ta] [todhsalS]> on Monday July 24, 2006 @11:42AM (#15770009) Homepage
    This is vaguely interesting, I suppose, but I'd much rather see an image-based boot sequence. It should be much faster to copy 100 meg or so of stuff to RAM that to actually wait for all the programs to start up. You'd only need to do the real boot process after installing something, and make a new image before handing control to the user.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 24, 2006 @11:44AM (#15770028)
    I'd love to spend a week -emerge(ing) a Vista designed specifically for my computer.
  • Rootkit (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Darth Cider (320236) on Monday July 24, 2006 @11:45AM (#15770038)
    MS is just anticipating virtual rootkits. Having an image to compare to the installed system will provide a check of subverted files etc.
  • Old hat, old news (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Major hardware vendors have been doing this with Microsoft OS's for years. HP has their smart start CDs that come with server rigs, and their restore disks that come with workstations that are all based off of the Unattended install principle. Other major vendors (dell, gateway) are no exception. It seems pretty much everybody who deals with thousands of systems knows and uses this capability. The article is just a dog and pony show, touting how wonderful it's going to be now that Microsoft is the gatek
  • Has anyone else tried using ghost with vista? I did an experiment this morning where I created a ghost image of a vista box and tried to restore it on another, identical computer. Vista wouldn't boot; it said that the selected entry could not be loaded because the application is missing or corrupt. Booting from the install cd and selecting repair fixed it though.

    Haven't had a chance to google this yet, so it may be a known bug.
    • does vista break ghost then?

      Doubtful, seeing how vista isn't even out yet, and Ghost has been broken for many years.

      (couldn't resist)
    • I made a ghost image of Vista Beta 1 with no issues on systems with both IDE and SATA hard disks. I don't think this is related to ghost, but rather Vista's suckage. There are forum threads where people got this error on the initial install. Like you said, it may be a known bug.

      Regarding the WIM imaging format, has anyone else here attempted to use the operating system deployment feature pack for SMS 2003 to build or deploy a WIM image? WIM is FS Based. Bad sectors on the hard disk, you still need ghos

  • by bobs666 (146801) on Monday July 24, 2006 @11:58AM (#15770159)
    IMHO Imaging an OS install is a good thing.

    The mother of all windows, Smalltalk, Did just this.
    And when you where finished for the day ST did
    a sort of core dump to disk. When you want to
    start up it restored your workspace just where you left off.

    Emacs was so slow to load all of its lisp macros
    the authors did the same thing dumping the core
    image into an a.out file and starting that each time.

    Perhaps You think Imaging a disk is different.
    But I propose that its just the same thing as a different
    level of the memory hierarchy. You just install into
    a 800meg partition and dump to CD. same thing.
    Make it bootable, add a start up that rus the installer
    and copy it to disk.
  • Just Plain Wow! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Monday July 24, 2006 @12:39PM (#15770466)
    Wow, a Live CD install. Where or where have I ever heard about that idea before?

    I know. I'll just wait for Microsoft to give credit-where-credit-is-due. They'll do that. They're fair. They respect other people's ideas. I'll just wait.

    Waiting...
    .
    .
    .
    Still waiting.
    .
    .
    .
    Sigh!

  • by Aslan72 (647654) <`psjuvin' `at' `ilstu.edu'> on Monday July 24, 2006 @12:41PM (#15770486)
    I'm partly responsible for an image that goes on around 5-600 machines at a Midwestern University College lab. We tried RIS when it was out, but althought it was cool, it was simply not practical. The savings of having 'one' image really didn't outweigh the impracticality of it taking 2-3 hours per workstation per lab.

    This is no different; currently it doesn't support multicasting and so although it's 'revolutionary' (read: RIS) it still doesn't beat the ability to push down and image to a workstation is less than 20 minutes...oops, did I say a workstation, I meant a lab.

    It still won't beat Ghost any time soon, IMO.

    • by gruhnj (195230) on Monday July 24, 2006 @02:04PM (#15771123)
      This is no different; currently it doesn't support multicasting and so although it's 'revolutionary' (read: RIS) it still doesn't beat the ability to push down and image to a workstation is less than 20 minutes...oops, did I say a workstation, I meant a lab.

      Windows Deployment Services, the replacement for RIS that will be comming out around the same time Vista ships, does exactly that. RIS only does the OS install well. Once you create your master image, you can place that onto a WDS server and multicast it out to as many computers as you have bandwidth. My current image when run deployed with imageX comes in at 25% less space (both images on max compression) and deploys in aprox 12 min for the image copy, plus the normal mini-setup time.

      Ghost aint going away, but it will be eaten away from at the bottom with WDS.
  • by radarsat1 (786772) on Monday July 24, 2006 @02:05PM (#15771127) Homepage
    Damn it, one of the things that always annoys me about Windows is that it's NOT as simple as copying a bunch of files.
    This is mostly due to their inane and out-dated drive lettering scheme.

    In Linux (or any Unix), I can move my installed system to a different drive or partition just by copying it. I can install an entire system within a folder of another system. All I have to do is change my drive mounts, add some symlinks, or use chroot, and I can put the entire system anywhere and it's as if nothing changed.

    When my Dad bought a new harddrive because his old one was dying, we tried in vain to copy his old system over to the new drive. First we tried imaging it using "dd" on a liveCD, but that didn't work. Then we tried making a new filesystem and using "cp" to just copy the whole thing. That didn't either. We didn't want to spend money on Norton Ghost, just for a one-time thing.. He ended up having to re-install and re-activate XP, re-install all his MS Office software he'd had some trouble with installing in the first place, and finally setting up a whole new system. Just because he wanted to replace his drive!

    That, compared to the number of times I've moved my Linux system without a single hitch... I can't believe people put up with this crap. Now instead of keeping things simple, they're moving even FURTHER away from a file-based approach?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      If you're not a Windows user, this can be confusing. Not confusing on the order of Linux, but I digress...

      First, copy everything from the old drive to the new drive. Remove the old drive. Boot off of a Windows cd, and tell it to do a repair install. A few minutes later, you're done.
  • by val1s (581256) on Monday July 24, 2006 @02:06PM (#15771133)
    I thought Microsoft finnally caught up with a GUI installer for windows. ;)
  • by os2fan (254461) on Tuesday July 25, 2006 @03:55AM (#15774502) Homepage
    I had a look at the beta build 5112. WIM is by no means new. Both the technology and the name of the exe (XIMAGE), first made their debut with Compaq restore disks. The process is different to, say, GHOST, and is more akin to a giant RAR file or something. OS/2 has been doing something along the line with PACK and PACK2 files from way back. The two WIM files represent respectively, a version of WinPE, and the installation. With a slight edit of the WinPE, you can change the shell to cmd.exe, and add your own utilities to it. It then becomes a boot Windows diskette that lives in RAM. After WinPE boots, it runs its default shell, like the eCom station version, is setup. Unlike the OS/2 version [which is about 5 years old], you can't do anything other than install the OS. Oh, well, still 5 years behind the edge. What you can't do with WIM, is to install it from a different version of Windows. Basically, the setup does the rego check etc before it bothers to process the data .WIM. It does "install" faster, largely because most of the files are in one archive. On the other hand, those of you who had to deal with a faulty file on a cdrom.... W

fortune: not found

Working...