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Windows XP Cloning or Universal system installation

By
Sysnetadmin.co.nr
How to install a Windows XP ( Windows 2000) in about 10-15 minutes, including all the
necessary software and settings. This method was tested many times, almost unattended.
System is working on practically every known motherboard.

Well, let's begin... First, we need to install the system on a single computer. Make all the
necessary settings, changes and configuration. Install all the necessary software. In other
words, setup the system and prepare it for cloning process. By the way, It is strongly
recommended to use distributive, that does not require activation. After installing the
system, you can clean it up a bit, but it's up to you to decide what you should keep and
what is to be removed from the system.

For example you can perform a little cleanup:

a) Clean the DLL cash. You can perform this operation by running the following
command:

"sfc / cachesize =5" ? "sfc / purgecache"

b) Clean the Recycle bin

c) Turn off the System restore and remove the System Volume Information folder from
the root

Now let's create a configuration file for cloning. On the CD Windows XP, we look for
[cd]:\SUPPORT\TOOLS\DEPLOY.CAB.

Unpack all the files from the CAB. Create the SYSPREP directory on disk "C" and copy
all the files you extracted from the DEPLOY.CAB. Now, lunch SETUPMGR.EXE and
the Wizard is taking on from here.
Choose Create a new answer file, then Sysprep Install and carefully choose Your
Windows version. In the next window, mark yes, full automates the installation. The new
window is popped, where you get to choose different type of options. The Providing the
Product Key field requires a special attention. The next field is for system administrators.
If you fill the computer name field, all your clones will have that same name and that is
not a very good option. If you select the automatically generate computer name option,
the system will provide a random name to every clone computer. If you leave this field
empty, the system will ask you for the computer name.
There is a whole bunch more interesting parameters that can be configured in this
program. It is recommended that you to carefully study every option. In the end, all your
settings should be saved in the sysprep.inf fail and it should be contained in the
C:\SYSPREP directory.
Everything that is happening from this moment should be performed without rebooting
your system.

The general problem, when you transfer the Windows to a different computer, is the hard
drive controller driver.
In most cases, the motherboard, support the standard IDE controller. Therefore, it is
recommended to setup the standard IDE driver. The standard IDE driver components,
should be placed in the system32\drivers directory. The folder can contain these files
already, in that case it is not recommended to replace them. There is another REG -file.
You can download it from en.n-admin.com. Download and run the file. It adds to your
Windows XP registry, the information on all available types of IDE-controllers.

Now, it wouldn't hurt to delete the following registry key:


HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM \MountedDevices\

By doing so we avoid the comparability problem with the signature categories.

As probably most of you know, the Windows XP separates all of it's components on
different types.
For example the "standard PC", "ACPI PC" and the "ACPI Uniprocessor PC".
It is recommended that you to copy from your distributive disk, to your windows folder,
different types of HAL's, to be able to choose from them on your first boot step. If you
choose to ignore this step, you might face a few unexpected problem with booting. It is
also recommended to slightly edit your boot.ini. After you done editing, it should look
more or less like so:

[boot loader]
timeout=10
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional"
/fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Standart PC" /fastdetect /hal=halstd.dll
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="ACPI PC" /fastdetect /hal=halacpi.dll
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="ACPI Uniprocessor PC " /fastdetect
/hal=halmacpi.dll

And now for the final stage.


From the RUN menu, run the following command:

c:\sysprep\sysprep