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Inside Vista's Image-Based Install Process

Hemos posted more than 8 years ago | from the how-the-whole-bloody-thing-works dept.

519

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."

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Images by Tyrone Green (-1, Offtopic)

baldass_newbie (136609) | more than 8 years ago | (#15769708)

C - I - L - L my Land - lord

dual boot? (5, Interesting)

yagu (721525) | more than 8 years ago | (#15769710)

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? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15769744)

I've had installs of Linux remove my Windows MBR and force grub as the default, its not just windows

Re:dual boot? (1, Informative)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#15769823)

Fedora will help you setup dualboot.

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

tom

Re:dual boot? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15769859)

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

Re:dual boot? (1)

Nevynxxx (932175) | more than 8 years ago | (#15769931)

Other Gentoo users [like me] use windows as well, and are careful to set the boot loader up correctly. In the same way we are careful to set everything up correctly.

Most of us also don't troll, it is just the ones that do that tend to be quite vocal.

Let me appologise for my fellow Gentoo user who seems to need to grow up.

on topic, I also am saddened that there is no mention of co-existing with other OS's. Though virtualisation tech should relieve this somewhat.

Re:dual boot? (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#15769973)

I don't see the value in dual booting. My personal laptop does have both but I mostly boot windows to work on my book. My workstation [which doubles as a file store and server] runs gentoo only. I get most of my development work done there as the shell+tools+OS is better suited for the task.

Presumably if you're using Gentoo you're running a server or development team. Gentoo really isn't an OS you hand your grandmother to install.

Tom

Re:dual boot? (3, Funny)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 8 years ago | (#15770020)

"I don't see the value in dual booting" and therefore, no one else should. Everyone knows there is only one correct computer setup for everyone.

Re:dual boot? (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#15770050)

?

Gentoo and Windows hit two totally different groups of people and respective tasks.

Gentoo is totally not a commodity desktop. You don't install it just because it looks nice with Windows on a boot screen. And if you do, man you need help, or an xbox or something...

Dual booting is for people who can't really decide why they bought a PC in the first place.

Tom

Re:dual boot? (5, Funny)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 8 years ago | (#15770120)

"Dual booting is for people who can't really decide why they bought a PC in the first place."
And generalizations are for people who can't see uses for things outside of their own realm...

Re:dual boot? (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#15770141)

Name me one tangible benefit the average person gets from dual booting other than "play videa games."

I mean I can run GCC or OpenOffice in a dozen OSes... doesn't mean it's smart to use them all [unless you're testing OO.o].

I think often people just like the status of "oh I use Linux, ain't I hippie?" But use Windows for their day to day because they can't figure out the coreutils or desktop.

Tom

Re:dual boot? (1)

Zaplocked (925208) | more than 8 years ago | (#15770134)

That sarcasm just flew right over your head didn't it?

Re:dual boot? (1)

Nevynxxx (932175) | more than 8 years ago | (#15770153)

"Gentoo and Windows hit two totally different groups of people and respective tasks."

So in other words, they are good for different things, so both are useful at different times, so having both available is bad?

Your logic is quite interesting.

Re:dual boot? (2, Funny)

Ciarang (967337) | more than 8 years ago | (#15770096)

Let me appologise for my fellow Gentoo user who seems to need to grow up.

Oh dear. I feel the need to be gentlemanly and reciprocate.

I apologise for my fellow Windows users. I'm really sorry, words really aren't enough are they...

Re:dual boot? (1)

Nevynxxx (932175) | more than 8 years ago | (#15770132)

Good'oh, now we are all friends again we can go for a cooling pint down the pub eh?

:)

Re:dual boot? (1)

IAmTheDave (746256) | more than 8 years ago | (#15770010)

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.

Re:dual boot? (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 8 years ago | (#15770045)

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.

Re:dual boot? (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#15770085)

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? (4, Informative)

kailoran (887304) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Re:dual boot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15769944)

Quite incorrect, W2k can quite easily boot other OS's, I have linux on this box booting from the NT boot loader. It takes a little bit of work since some of the conventions are different than linux, but it's not that hard. Stop promoting your FUD, some linux elitists are just as bad as the some of the windows guys. Just because it's different doesn't mean it can't be done.

Re:dual boot? (2, Informative)

WhiteWolf666 (145211) | more than 8 years ago | (#15769969)

Booting another OS from the NT boot loader is significantly more difficult than using a Linux boot loader GUI setup tool.

The difference is quite extreme. Using tools like DD to generate copies of boot sectors, and then learning the NT boot.ini conventions is beyond most power users.

Re:dual boot? (3, Insightful)

Random_Goblin (781985) | more than 8 years ago | (#15770128)

Booting another OS from the NT boot loader is significantly more difficult than using a Linux boot loader GUI setup tool.

Why would you expect any different, not just from microsoft but from ANY company out to make money? Why make it easier to use your competitors' products?

Does your Ford come with an instructon book to tell you how to fit a Nissan engine? No it doesn't because there's no good business case for them to do that.

Conversely the kit car you built from parts probably can be adapted to take ford or nissan engines.Why? because the reason you get a kit car is the joy of building it, not which company sold it to you

Comparing Microsoft OS and Linux and saying who's is like asking who would win in fight between Darth Vader and Capt Picard.
Essentially pointless because they live in different universes.

Re:dual boot? (1)

Akaihiryuu (786040) | more than 8 years ago | (#15770075)

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 LILO installed, it's trivial to make either one launch Windows if you wish. You can't say that about the Windows bootloaders, where they happily assume that Windows is going to be the only OS.

Re:dual boot? (1)

nolife (233813) | more than 8 years ago | (#15770140)

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 plain non geek english, not in technical terms and I misunderstood what it was asking. That does suck!

I've had a new XP install on hdb1 wipe out a W2K install on hda1. When the XP install was done, niether would boot ever again. I followed the directions I had but the process obviously did not work as planned. I was able to boot with Knoppix and copy off the data I needed from the tanked W2K partition.

Re:dual boot? (1)

musikit (716987) | more than 8 years ago | (#15769752)

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 need to do MS shit.

Re:dual boot? (4, Informative)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 8 years ago | (#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? (4, Interesting)

xtracto (837672) | more than 8 years ago | (#15769925)

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? (4, Informative)

cyborch (524661) | more than 8 years ago | (#15769986)

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.

Re:dual boot? Multiple OS's via VM (3, Insightful)

E++99 (880734) | more than 8 years ago | (#15769912)

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.

Re:dual boot? (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 8 years ago | (#15769951)

You can do it the other way around with Colinux - http://www.colinux.org/ [colinux.org]

Wait no longer. (1)

babbling (952366) | more than 8 years ago | (#15769970)

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? (3, Insightful)

roadhog95 (462989) | more than 8 years ago | (#15770057)

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 configuration for about 4 years and havent looked back to dual boot madness since..

Re:dual boot? (5, Informative)

Soleen (925936) | more than 8 years ago | (#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? (1)

14CharUsername (972311) | more than 8 years ago | (#15769994)

Not really. XP reorders all your partitions. Not the end of the world, you can just start up with a bot disk, alter your fstab, reinstall GRUB to the MBR and you're good. But still XP does screw with other partitions, even when you're installing XP tot he first partion on the drive. I don't know why it would mess up partitions after the partition its installing to, but it does.

Re:dual boot? (4, Insightful)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 8 years ago | (#15769780)

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?

If Linux distros do (0)

Epeeist (2682) | more than 8 years ago | (#15769848)

> 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:

In logical terms this is a fallacy known as an Appeal to Common Practice.

If Linux distros can do it then Windows should be able to do it and should actually do it. What if I want to run Windows 2003 server and XP on the same box for testing purposes?

One word... (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 8 years ago | (#15769874)

"Virtualization"

-Rick

Re: Appeal to Common Practice? (5, Insightful)

E++99 (880734) | more than 8 years ago | (#15769996)

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:
In logical terms this is a fallacy known as an Appeal to Common Practice.
If Linux distros can do it then Windows should be able to do it and should actually do it.
That's hillarious. You mislabel the argument you're responding to as "Appeal to Common Practice", and then you put forth your own arguement, which IS the fallacy of "Appeal to Common Practice"!

Re:If Linux distros do (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 8 years ago | (#15770162)

What if I want to run Windows 2003 server and XP on the same box for testing purposes?

I don't know about that combination, but when I installed Vista Beta 2 (to a spare hard drive) from within XP, it set it up to dual boot just fine.

A good house guest. (2, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 8 years ago | (#15769884)

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.

Re:dual boot? (1)

rob_squared (821479) | more than 8 years ago | (#15770034)

"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. That may change.

Re:dual boot? (4, Funny)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 8 years ago | (#15770063)

"Microsoft desperately wants Linux to go away"
I think you may have got that backwards...

Users (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#15770080)

Look at the customers who make up 99% of their base:

Rather than go on about the many diverse users who make up that 99% you could have just said cattle, because this is what they mostly are. All in the same herd which doesn't care about custom installs or dual boots. Most of this herd just expect a computer in front of them to turn on and look and behave in a certain, very non-confusing (yeah, I know there's a tonne of irony there, but we'll leave it for now) manner. Someone else, the vendor or a tech weasel, installs the OS for them and defaults all the fiddly bits.

Given the opportunity to perfom an OS install most of the herd would panic and stampede towards calling Microsoft Support or the nearest suspected tech savvy person they know and plead with them to do it for them. As they just don't know or ever want to know how much disk space they would like for a primary partition or what SWAP is all about.

Perhaps image based install is the little bit of hand holding the more adventurous could cope with, but in the event it still is too much for their faint hearts, leave your phone off the hook for the next 3 years.

Re:dual boot? (1)

14CharUsername (972311) | more than 8 years ago | (#15770106)

Because I might partition my drives so that I keep all of my pictures of my cats on the D: I do this so that I when I reinstall windows (which I have to do because I use IE and my computer gets filled with spyware), the pictures of my precious kitties don't get wiped along with the spyware.

But then when I'm done reinstalling window... oh noes! All my pictures of fluffy are gone! WHY, MICROSOFT, WHY?!?!

It's probably not a good idea to wipe a partition unless the user tells you its ok. If someone partitioned the drive, they probably have a reason for doing it. It's just arrogance to assume that you know how to partition a drive better than the user.

And its not just MS, Ubuntu seems pretty eager to wipe drives too. Some us know what we're doing, but still want an easy OS. Easy shouldn't mean the same as assume the user is stupid and take away all their options because they're too stupid to do things right.

Re:dual boot? (1)

kailoran (887304) | more than 8 years ago | (#15769802)

Using a bootcd to restore lilo or grub is pretty much the obvious solution if you have to (re)install windows when there's already some other OS there.

Re:dual boot? (2, Informative)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 8 years ago | (#15769907)

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 unofficial GUI tools as well).

I don't know if it supports Linux. bcdedit.exe allows you to specify a drive and path to the OS loader file, but I'm guessing the boot loader probably only supports NTFS and FAT32...

Also it's worth noting Vista's bcdedit.exe can be used from within XP successfully,

Re:dual boot? (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 8 years ago | (#15770095)

"I know XP actually offers to NOT format the install partition for you"
So did 95, 98, and 2000 - this is not a new feature to XP. I used to re-install 98 right over the top of the existing 98 about 1-2 times a year, without formatting and losing all my data..

Re:dual boot? (1)

notdanielp (244035) | more than 8 years ago | (#15770055)

I agree that 99% of Windows users have no understanding of dual booting and I feel they would be unnecessarily confused by a "DUAL BOOT? YES/NO" option at the install screen. A hidden keystroke to enable a dual boot menu would be great for the rest of us. Maybe press and hold F9 as the installer loads or something. This command wouldn't even need to be shown onscreen as an option - those of us who regularly dual boot know about it soon enough.

EAT ME !! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15769728)

Well are you going to eat me or not?

At last (5, Interesting)

Toreo asesino (951231) | more than 8 years ago | (#15769735)

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?

Re:At last (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15769794)

Try it. Take a modern Linux install, and move it to another machine. Chances are, it won't complain. I've used it to move between AMD and Intel (obviously with completely different chipsets) without any problems. Kudzu should pop up and try to install new hardware, but that's because new hardware is present. It doesn't freak out and blue screen like Windows does.

Re:At last (1)

niol_ (840140) | more than 8 years ago | (#15769796)

I had a Pentium II 300MHz running Debian GNU/Linux sarge that I upgraded last month to an AMD Sempron 2800+ : I stuck the very same hard drive in it. I didn't have to configure anything except the ip addresses of the network interfaces (names like eth0, eth1 had changed) and the cdrom device name (hdc -> hdd). It's still running perfectly although I plan to reinstall to take advantage of the amd64 architecture.

Re:At last (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 8 years ago | (#15769819)

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. There's a few other things as well mostly related to X (such as merging configs when I've made things like map up the side buttons of my mouse), but on the whole it's been better.

Re:At last (1)

mgblst (80109) | more than 8 years ago | (#15769890)

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 (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15769904)

No faggot, XP handles hardware changes much better than Linux from my eXPerience. Stop making unfounded claims.

Re:At last (5, Informative)

OfNoAccount (906368) | more than 8 years ago | (#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 (2, Funny)

utopianfiat (774016) | more than 8 years ago | (#15770002)

Will Duke Nukem Forever also be image-based?

Linux is an OS kernel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15770008)

If linux has drivers for your hardware compiled in or availiable as modules it can try to autoload them. I don't understand what everybody else is talking about, WTF is "Kudzu" when it's at home? I've also never heard of compiling X into a kernel, however if you swap brands of gfx card (or upgrade linux) you'll need to (re)install the appropriate kernel blob for your card. Most linux and BSD distros ship scripts to autoconfigure their windowing systems.

Re:At last (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 8 years ago | (#15770014)

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 (2, Informative)

infosec_spaz (968690) | more than 8 years ago | (#15770070)

On linux responding better when upgrading MB, or CPU...No, Not really. I have tried, and it pukes just as readily.

Linux/MacOS loosing advantages (0)

vdboor (827057) | more than 8 years ago | (#15769740)

Souds like Microsoft knows how to deal with the advantages people can mention about Linux. It's getting annoying to hear "well.. vista will have it" each time you try to name another advantage of MacOS or Linux.

Re:Linux/MacOS loosing advantages (1)

mindcruft (990434) | more than 8 years ago | (#15769836)

No, it just means they know how to steal ideas.

Re:Linux/MacOS loosing advantages (1)

Kiaser Wilhelm II (902309) | more than 8 years ago | (#15770011)

When Microsoft improves their install process, its "stealing" ideas (I don't see how, images have been around for ages and were not the innovation of one particular person, OS, or platform).

When Linux adds functionality that Microsoft has, its being "flexible, agile, compatible, and innovative". Its even funnier coming from the "information wants to be free" crowd.

Re:Linux/MacOS loosing advantages (3, Insightful)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 8 years ago | (#15769894)

Ease of installation is not an applicable issue for most of the computing public, who buys computers with the OS already installed.

Re:Linux/MacOS loosing advantages (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 8 years ago | (#15769993)

Linux/MacOS loosing advantages

I hope their are not, from the pictures of the goatse guy I have seen loosing advantage seems to be pretty painful

Re:Linux/MacOS loosing advantages (2, Insightful)

sensei85 (989372) | more than 8 years ago | (#15770069)

Perhaps, although they still have one huge advantage over Vista - they've both been released. Microsoft is settling into the role of Sisyphus [wikipedia.org] , and every time they get close to the release date, their giant stone goes rolling back down the hill for months of additional changes.

Either MS is really taking their time and putting out a stable, low bug system (for a change), or this is just a sign of trouble to come once the install is available on your Dell custom PC...

Fewer Choices? (3, Interesting)

stealie72 (246899) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Re:Fewer Choices? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15769790)

since when does the average user install windows?

Re:Fewer Choices? (1)

mgblst (80109) | more than 8 years ago | (#15769862)

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.

Re:Fewer Choices? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15769979)

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.

You should try Linux, any flavor. It asks your preferences up front, usually on one or two screens before it starts installing. After that it only needs you to change CDs. And when it's done, you don't have a bare OS with no apps but Notepad, IE, Lookout and Solitaire but you have a whole suite of browsers, office apps, games, and all kinds of other tools that you have selected at the get go.

Installing Windows and then installing all the applications you need, one by one, is a royal PIA. Installing Linux is a breeze. You should try it.

This being "news for nerds" I am continually surprised at the number of people here who have never tried Linux. No wonder non-nerds all run windows, even the (pseudo?) nerds haven't tried Linux.

Re:Fewer Choices? (1)

mindcruft (990434) | more than 8 years ago | (#15769903)

What choices did you have before? Networking options and where to install. Microsoft is not about giving options, its about making it so the average 80 year old grandmother can install.

Re:Fewer Choices? (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 8 years ago | (#15770136)

The average 80-year-old grandmother probably *can't* install Windows, and I'm damn sure she wouldn't want to.

Autodetect. (2, Funny)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | more than 8 years ago | (#15770071)

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>

Does it install faster? (2, Insightful)

Poromenos1 (830658) | more than 8 years ago | (#15769755)

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?

Re:Does it install faster? (1)

mgblst (80109) | more than 8 years ago | (#15769906)

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)

Re:Does it install faster? (2, Informative)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | more than 8 years ago | (#15769908)

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 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.

IKEA catelog? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15769760)

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.

And this means (-1, Troll)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 8 years ago | (#15769798)

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.

So now MS can find out what you're installing on your computer when it makes contact with Redmond, and thereby apply patches that will bollix up any software MS doesn't like! Brilliant!

Boot CD (1)

HugePedlar (900427) | more than 8 years ago | (#15769799)

Sounds like it might be trivial to make a nice little boot disc for Vista, in this case.

Pros & Cons summarized (5, Insightful)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Ok, so what is a regular install? (1)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 8 years ago | (#15769811)

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?

File based imaging format?!?! (5, Funny)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 8 years ago | (#15769824)

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....

Re:File based imaging format?!?! (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 8 years ago | (#15769929)

On the plus side, no need to worry about patents here due to the decades' worth of prior art.

Re:File based imaging format?!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15770031)

Nah! I'm sure they'll get a revolutionary way of untar'ing files (probably using a BSD cpio?)

By the time... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Re:By the time... (1)

GotenXiao (863190) | more than 8 years ago | (#15769905)

At this rate, we'll all have memory chips embedded in our arms. Or HVD, whichever is further away.

Hasta La Vista, La Manzana (4, Funny)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#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 (5, Insightful)

MarkByers (770551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15769864)

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.

GB? (1)

William Robinson (875390) | more than 8 years ago | (#15769880)

the install DVD is actually a preinstalled copy of Windows that simply gets decompressed onto your PC

Yeah.. And by the time Vista will be released, we will have 100 GB DVDs to accomodate it.

Vista apes Linux yet again... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15769886)

...with an article on Slashdot devoted to its installer.

Is it the same thing that we see on Ubuntu? (5, Insightful)

namityadav (989838) | more than 8 years ago | (#15769910)

So is this revolutionary install concept an exact copy of what we see in Ubuntu?

Re:Is it the same thing that we see on Ubuntu? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15769972)

Yeah, and no one before Ubuntu did this. Give me a break.

Sounds like you'll need a www connection ... (0)

guysmilee (720583) | more than 8 years ago | (#15769927)

Sounds like you'll need a www connection to install everything not in the image (drivers, etc). Just a guess :-)

Knoppix - Kanotix - Ubuntu - Windows (4, Interesting)

bfree (113420) | more than 8 years ago | (#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 (2, Interesting)

Doctor Faustus (127273) | more than 8 years ago | (#15770009)

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.

Darn, I was looking for a source-based install (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15770028)

I'd love to spend a week -emerge(ing) a Vista designed specifically for my computer.

Rootkit (3, Insightful)

Darth Cider (320236) | more than 8 years ago | (#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 (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15770117)

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 gatekeeper of unattended installs. [microsoft.com] This stuff dates back to win2k, and probably earlier. Ok, so the HAL is no longer an issue for people who liked to goober things with hardware specific images. From the sound of it, the option of a hardware specific image is gone, so the Pro is we lose features?

Oh wait, it looks like the *biggest* change [microsoft.com] is that unattended.txt (the configuration file for automated installs) is now unattended.xml. Other good ideas used to further extend the Microsoft monopoly on your workstation environment include "binary based image format" (like people have had with ghost for years...)

I've still failed to realise why this would be interesting to someone other than people who work in IT, and even then it fails to be more than a footnote to the vista image deployment gotchas.

does vista break ghost then? (1, Offtopic)

jd142 (129673) | more than 8 years ago | (#15770130)

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.

Smalltalk and Emacs did this. (4, Interesting)

bobs666 (146801) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.
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