Welcome guest. Before posting on our computer help forum, you must register. Click here it's easy and free.

Author Topic: WINDOWS REPAIRS, FREEWARE, BOOTDISKS, ETC  (Read 55208 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


  • Guest
Slipstreaming Service Packs
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2005, 04:09:21 AM »
For a simple and effective means of slipstreaming service packs.

A novice can use this one.



In the above example the XPSP1 CD is in the CD-ROM drive and the entire
contents of the SP2 CD have been copied to a folder on the hard-drive.
Do this if you have a problem running the SP2 CD from a second CD drive.

When you have made the new .ISO file burn a CD-ROM(ISO) or go to Recorder > Burn Image.
Don't choose to make a Bootable CD as this is not necessary. The CD will be bootable anyway.
You can choose to finalise the CD so that no further burning is possible.


For a clean install where you want to be selective about what gets installed.

This one is for Expert use and you really need to know what you are doing.

As nLite deletes and modifies files, do NOT use nLite on the original I386 folder, use a COPY!
Once you have typed in the path to the I386 folder click on the blue Arrows at the end of the window.

A copy of the entire I386 folder has been placed in the F:\NLITE folder.
If asked for -win51ip - type - Windows - (with one space after the s ) in Notepad.
Save as WIN51IP with no file extension. (Not confirmed.)

When you use nLite for the first time don't remove any components and don't apply any tweaks.

That way you have the FULL range of components available, just in case you ever need them.
Only then prepare your own custom CD.

When you have made the new .ISO file burn a CD-ROM(ISO) or go to Recorder > Burn Image.
Don't choose to make a Bootable CD as this is not necessary. The CD will be bootable anyway.
You can choose to finalise the CD so that no further burning is possible.

Recovery CDs
If you have an option to make Recovery CDs, or a Recovery DVD, you should do so at the FIRST opportunity.
If you loose the drive due to electro-mechanical failure you will also lose the Recovery partition and then this option will no longer be available.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2006, 11:53:03 AM by Mac »


  • Guest
Example Installation - Partitioning - Backup
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2005, 04:10:58 AM »
RAM, Performance & File Maintenance.

You will see an improvement in the Performance of XP with 512Mb, or more, of system RAM, and you need a good amount of RAM to run automatic background defragmentation, anti-virus scanners and anti-spyware scanners seamlessly so that they don't disturb the system when you are working with it. 1024 MB is not an uncommon starting level these days for professional use.

Defragmentation of Paging files, Master File Tables, and the Padding of Master File Tables, for systems running on NTFS, is vital for good performance. FRAG-SHIELD is part of Diskeeper 10 Professional and will do this job perfectly for you.

The RAM in a computer can be shared by the Video system, this is termed Inclusive Video RAM. So you can buy a computer with 512Mb of RAM (total) where 128MB is used by the video system and 'only' have 384MB available for the main system. Adding another 512MB module overcomes this problem. (Fitting a separate video card will also improve performance.)

It is better to purchase a computer which does not share the main memory with the video system (Exclusive) so that you can have 512MB (or more) system memory plus the - additional - Video memory on the video card itself. So always ask if the video memory is inclusive (shared) or exclusive (not shared) with the main memory.

A common example is: 256MB main memory less 64MB video memory = 192MB of system memory. Not enough to get really good performance from XP when multi-tasking.

It is usually better to fit RAM in equal sized modules, 2 x 512MB, 3 x 256MB, 4 x 1024MB and so on, depending on your use of the computer, the type and number of programs you are using, and the allowable maximum for the mainboard. With some mainboards this doesn't matter, as long as the RAM modules are compatible and of the correct type.

If the mainboard has different coloured slots use two of the same colour first of all and then fit more RAM in the other two if you need to. Check your mainboard manual for the correct procedure.

Use EVEREST HOME EDITION DIAGNOSTIC PROGRAM to check the computer's mainboard details.

Example of partitioning an 80Gb drive: (Maxtor Diamondmax 7,200 rev/min with an 8MB drive-cache.)

What you do is up to you of course and if you have two physical drives Master & Slave, then so much the better.

80GB (Decimal size) = 80,000,000,000 Bytes , divide by 1024 three times to give the Binary sizing:

78125000 KB
76293·95 MB
74·51 GB

(10·0GB = 10,000,000,000 Bytes (÷ 1024) = 9765625 KB (÷ 1024) = 9536·74 MB (÷ 1024) = 9·313 GB)

Drive C: 10240 MB (10·0GB) Operating System & Programming. (Drive Image Backup to CDRs or Data DVDs)

Drive D: 10240 MB (10·0GB) (My) Documents & Email Folders.
(Copy Backups to CDRs or Data DVDs)

Drive E: 20480 MB (20·0GB) Music only.
(Drive Image Backup, otherwise original Audio CDs)

Drive F: Remaining Drive Space. Archive, Video, etc.
(Archive Copy Backup to CDRs and/or Data DVDs)


All drives are partitioned & FULL formatted, directly from the Windows XP CD, to NTFS.

The installation uses Diskeeper 10 Professional, with Frag-Shield, to defragment the paging file and Master File Tables and to pad the Master File Tables when necessary.

When installing just make the Primary partition using the Windows XP CD and format it. When you have completed the installation you can use XP's Disk Management to make an Extended partition in the remaining unallocated space and put up to three Logical partitions within the Extended partition.

You can then FULL format them one at a time. (Note: Quick formatting is - only - for deleting files from a FULL formatted partition. To prepare a Primary or Logical partition for use you should always use FULL formatting.)

Defragmenting the paging file and Master File Tables does improve performance, as does running on - 4096 bytes in each allocation unit - clusters, which is the default size for NTFS systems. You can check  this by typing - cmd - in the Run window to open a Command window, and then typing - chkdsk - at the prompt.

Delpart.exe can be used to delete partitions which cannot be deleted otherwise. (See: Bootdisks.)

To save you having to alter your BIOS settings use this bootdisk BOOT SEQUENCE REDIRECTOR

It works with old and new BIOS's automatically redirecting the boot sequence to the CD-ROM drive.

System used in the above example...

Intel PIII 1000MHz with 3 x 256 MB SDRAM

XP Professional SP2 US English

Dual Language Dual Boot Variant...

Dual boot XP Professional SP2 US English on drive C: and XP Professional SP2 FR French on drive D: The My Documents and Email Folders are moved to drive E: and drive images are made of the C: and the D: drive.

Support Software...

AVG Anti-Virus, AdAware SE, SpyBot SD, SpywareBlaster, Erunt, Ntregopt, User Profile Hive Cleanup Service, CCLeaner, EmpTemp, TweakUI, XP Support Tools. (You should be able to find the installer for these on the XP CD.)

Diskeeper 10 Professional & TuneUp Utilities

Startup time - 60 seconds. Shutdown time - 10 seconds. Most applications open in under 2 seconds.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2006, 11:53:24 AM by Mac »


  • Guest
Cleaning up the drive before making a drive image
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2005, 04:12:03 AM »
Your hard-drive needs to have a mimimum of 15% free-space to be able to run defrag. If the free-space is too low the computer may not start if there is insufficient room for the paging file.

Run Disk Cleanup and remove all but the last restore point. See if your System Restore cache and Recycle Bin size is set at a reasonable level (Say 1024Mb) on each drive, and reduce the IE Temporary Internet Files cache and History cache to the minimum. Install CCLeaner and clean out all of the junk files. Unhide all files and folders and remove the hotfix uninstallers ( $NTUninstaller$ ) from the hidden C:\Windows folder and remove their entries from Add-Remove programs.

To unhide the hidden files and folders open 'Explorer', click on 'Tools' and choose 'Folder Options', then click on 'View', uncheck the txo boxes 'Show hidden files and folders' and 'Hide protected operating system files', click OK and close the panel.

Some Security updates should - not - be removed!

Check in add-remove programs - before - doing this task.

Then remove the contents of:

The C:\WINDOWS\Downloaded Installations folder
The C: WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution\Download folder
The C:\WINDOWS\Temp folder
The C:\Windows\pchealth\helpctr\Datacoll folder, and...
The C:\Windows\Prefetch folder

You can add these folders to EmpTemp if you have this program installed.

Run Disk Cleanup, choose the drive you want to clean up and click on OK. See which boxes are checked and then click on 'More Options'. If you have just made a new System Restore point, 'User Checkpoint', manually, then you can remove all but the last System Restore point if you need the additional space.

(If you also make a drive image backup, now that the drive is clean, so much the better.)

Then run chkdsk and defrag.


(I would not use EmpRunner, as it can remove temp files which are required to stay in the Temp folder during a re-boot, when either installing programs, or updating the operating system.)

To make your shutdown work cleanly install the USER PROFILE HIVE CLEANUP SERVICE

TweakUI is essential for certain repairs POWERTOYS

To backup and optimise your registry use ERUNT-NTREGOPT

If disk-cleanup hangs on 'Compressing Old Files' type - regedit - in the Run window and search for - Compress Old Files - backup the key first of all by exporting it to a safe folder, then delete it, and all sub-keys, completely.


This computer's start up time is 60 seconds. Shut-down is 10 seconds.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2006, 11:53:47 AM by Mac »


  • Guest
Drive Imaging and Partitioning
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2005, 04:12:56 AM »
1. Start the Drive Imaging program...

(HPFS = High Performance File System) (NTFS = New Technology File System)

2. Put a checkmark against the drive you want to image and click ... Next...

3. Select the destination, either a file on another partition, or data DVD / data CDRs...

4. If you have chosen to save to a drive partition, type in, or Browse for the path...

5. Click on Next to proceed to the next window...

6. If you have chosen to burn to data DVD or data CDRs a different window will appear...

7. In both cases click on Finish...

8. PHYLock will get a lock on the drive. Don't touch anything until the imaging has finished!

9. After Imaging the validation process starts, showing the run time...

10. The Imaging process completes successfully!

This is the FIRST line of defence when it comes to restoring your drive in the event of a mishap!

Restoring the image wipes ALL data off the drive you are restoring to, along with any virii and Trojans which may have damaged the operating system.

This is a much more reliable way of - Restoring - a drive when compared to System Restore which only provides a  - 'roll-back' - service and NOT a full restore.

It also provides a - sure - way of safeguarding your personal settings!

After restoring the drive image update your anti-virus program and run a FULL scan then update the operating system and your other programs and you are back in business!

Periodically make a new drive image when you are certain that all is well with the system.

Restoring using a bootdiskette


See also: Partitioning...


The Extended partition is shown by the green outline.

The elusive 8 MB

Which does not always show in Disk Management.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2006, 11:54:06 AM by Mac »


  • Guest
Drive fitting - USB to IDE Adaptor - IDE Cable
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2005, 04:16:14 AM »

This is the standard LAPTOP to IDE HARD DRIVE ADAPTER

There are also USB to IDE and USB2 to IDE adaptors available.

This one is the best as it will work with both USB1.1 and USB2 and can be used with both laptop and desktop drives.


It has the advantage of being self-contained and portable and you don't need to open up your tower PC to use it.


Be sure to order the right type of power plug, flat pin, round pin, or square pin.

If you use the standard adapter make sure that the tower PC has an IDE cable which will accept a slave drive. It should be an 80 wire IDE cable and should not be longer than 18" in length.

Blue = Mainboard  Black = Master  Grey = Slave


Western Digital...


« Last Edit: January 13, 2006, 11:55:29 AM by Mac »


  • Guest
Metric to Binary Drive Sizing
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2005, 04:26:41 AM »
Metric Kilo = 1000
Binary Kilo = 1024
1.073741824 is a constant value
1·0 GB = 1,000,000,000 Bytes

100 GB = 100,000,000,000 Bytes
Divide by 1024 three times to obtain KiloBytes, MegaBytes and GigaBytes, in that order.
100 GB is 93.13 GB in binary sizing which gives, 95367.43 MegaBytes and 97656249.10 KiloBytes.
To make the conversion easy divide metric GigaBytes by 1.073741824 to obtain the binary size.
E.G. 100 ÷ 1.073741824 = 93.13
If there is a recovery partition of 5 GB that will leave 88.13 GB.
The initial 'reduction' caused by the binary sizing is 100 - 93.13 = 6.87 GB
(You still have all 100,000,000,000 Bytes, as the physical size of the drive has not changed.)
Any further loss of available drive-space is usually caused by the use of a hidden Recovery partition.
E.G. 6.87 + 5 = 11.87 GB
This represents the apparent 'reduction' due to binary sizing - plus - the size of any recovery partition.
Therefore 100 - 11.87 = 88.13
B = Bytes, b = bits.
You should use GB, MB & KB and not Gb, Mb & Kb
« Last Edit: January 13, 2006, 11:56:33 AM by Mac »


  • Guest
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2005, 03:59:28 AM »




"Download Accelerator" utilities should be disabled when downloading any drivers.
Do not run virus protection software in the background while installing the drivers. This prevents the driver from configuring itself properly.
Before installing new drivers make sure you uninstall all NVIDIA display drivers from the Windows Control Panel. Browse to the Start Menu > Windows Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs and search for "NVIDIA Windows Display Drivers" or "NVIDIA Display Drivers" and select remove.


Driver Detective will cost you US$30 but it might save you a lot of time.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2006, 11:56:57 AM by Mac »


  • Guest
Bootdisks for all Windows Operating Systems
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2005, 12:42:32 PM »



BOOTINIEDIT Use to edit your boot.ini file on NTFS partitions.
MEMTEST86 RAM memory tester which preferably needs to be run overnight.

WXPBOOTDISK WITH DELPART Use only if having problems installing XP or deleting NTFS partitions.

(To use DELPART type A:\>cd delpart [Enter] then A:\DELPART>delpart [Enter])


(Use instead of changing your BIOS settings manually. Put it into the A: drive and put your CD in the CD-ROM drive. This bootdisk does not make any changes to your BIOS.)

You should also make a floppy with - your - ntldr, ntdetect.com and your own boot.ini files on it.

If any of these files become corrupt you can use it to boot the computer to the hard drive.

Bootdisks should be write protected so that they cannot get a virus.

To make a bootdisk save the downloaded file to a hard-drive and double-click on it.


« Last Edit: January 13, 2006, 11:57:26 AM by Mac »


  • Guest
Creating an XP CD from your Hard Drive  
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2006, 12:23:30 PM »
Building an XP Home or XP Professional Installation CD from your OEM installation.
This is how it was done after first reading the article...
It is good practice to update your Anti-Virus and scan your computer before doing this operation.

If you have a Recovery CD from your computer manufacturer, the Recovery CD will install the Windows installation files to a folder, normally to C:\I386 or C:\Winnt\I386 or C:\Windows\I386 . Open the Windows Explorer and look for them. Make sure you have the file Winnt.exe, Winnt32.exe and EULA.txt. Each version of Windows has a different number of files and almost all the files will be compressed so they will have an underscore at the end of the file extension like "Shell32.dl_"

You can do a search for the folder I386. You will need to copy the entire folder to your CD burner. Do not change the name of the folder and do not make it a sub folder as in E:\Windows\I386 , it must be E:\I386. This folder will contain about 1000 or more files, in some cases nearly 1500 files.

The I386 Folder can be found by unhiding files and folders. (Explorer, Tools, Options, View.)

Now comes the easy part, getting the Windows CD Key. The NT platform does not store the CD Key in the Registry in plain text as on the Windows 9x platform. It stores only the Product ID, which is different each time you reinstall windows. So you will need to check your computer for it. My coputer has a Windows CD Key pasted to the bottom of it. Your Recovery CD may have it on its label, or your paper work has it written somewhere.
You can also retrieve it using the MAGICAL JELLY BEAN KEYFINDER
1. Follow these instructions to copy any OEM drivers. (N.B. I have NOT checked this out fully at this stage.)

If you have proprietary hardware or if you are not sure if you do, you should copy all your drivers to the CD as well. Most of the manufacturers use some proprietary hardware to cut costs in manufacturing. When Windows installs the hardware many times it sees that it needs a standard Windows driver like Serial.vxd. But the manufacturer's hardware may need a different driver. So they either rewrite the standard Serial.vxd or replace it with their own version of the driver once Windows installs it.

To determine which ones they are use the Device Manager. Right Click the My Computer Icon on your desktop, select Properties, click the Device Manager tab, now click on the plus sign, next to the CDROM icon. The first one should be CD-ROM. Click on the CD-ROM device(s). Now select the properties button and then the Drivers Tab. Now select Driver File Details. If the button is grayed out then there are no required drivers that you will need to copy. If not copy all the files in the window that appears after you click on the Driver File Details button. Many of these files may not be needed. But better safe than sorry.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2006, 12:19:46 PM by Mac »


  • Guest
Creating an XP CD from your Hard Drive, Contd.
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2006, 12:38:42 PM »
These were the files which I copied for this particular machine.
Driver files copied to the I386 folder:
2. With the driver files copied to the I386 Folder burn the I386 Folder, with all of its contents, to a CDR.
3. Now the tricky part...
If you would like the CD to autorun you need these files from an XP CD and to identify it as SP1.
If your installation is XP Home you MUST use files from a XP Home CD.
If your installation is XP Professional you MUST use files from a XP Professional CD.
You should now have a bootable Autorun XP SP1 CD.
4. Install AUTOSTREAMER and have either the Free Microsoft SP2 CD or the 266Mb SP2 file at hand...
The filename is WINDOWS XP-KB835935-SP2-ENU.EXE, if you have an English language system.
If you have the Free SP2 CD copy the entire contents of the CD to a folder on a hard-drive...

In this instance the CD-ROM drive is G: and the Service Pack File window reads F:\XPSP2\XPSP2.EXE
If you had the 266Mb download the Service Pack File line would read F:\XPSP2\WINDOWS XP-KB835935-SP2-ENU.EXE
After AutoStreamer Analyses the Service Pack File it will show the build. E.G. Build 5.1.2600.2180.(SP2)
Press NEXT and type in the .ISO file name for the new file. I.E. F:\XPSP2\XPHOMESP2.ISO
Now click FINISH to build the .ISO file. (This takes about 25 minutes.)
5. When the .ISO file is complete exit AutoStreamer and burn a CD-ROM(ISO) from the newly made .ISO file. (NERO Burning will do this.)
The finished result will be an XPSP2 CD, either Home or Professional, according to your particular installation, made from YOUR files in the I386 folder on your drive.
6. You should now be able to use this XPSP2 CD on your OEM installation to run SFC /SCANNOW or to do a clean install of XP when you no longer require the use of any of your outdated OEM software, or if you ever fit a new drive and don't want to do an OEM install procedure.
7. These CDs can be used when you need to run SFC /SCANNOW or SFC /SCANBOOT to repair damaged files or replace missing files on the system if you don't have the (hidden) I386 folder in its usual location, C:\I386.
When SP3 comes along just use AutoStreamer to update the CD again and burn an XP SP3 CD.
It is up to you to test this CD as to its suitability.
I accept NO responsibility for what YOU do with YOUR computer.

If it does not run for any reason, try going into the I386 folder and running WINNT32.EXE
« Last Edit: January 13, 2006, 11:55:57 AM by Mac »


  • Guest
Please Note!
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2006, 10:17:21 AM »
No questions or comments on this thread please as I would like to be able to add or edit it from time to time.

To ask any questions please make a new post in the appropriate forum.    
Thank you.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2006, 05:26:26 AM by Mac »