Building A Windows Live CD

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Building A Windows Live CD

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      Windows XP LIVE CD      Any PC user can create a CD that runs Win XP without being installed, and use it to troubleshoot and recover crashed machines.                       This is one of the best written and best composed tutorials I have seen so far, and not only is it well done but it is  extremely useful for anyone as a first aid kit but especially to Network Admins, Systems Admins/Engineers.    Let’s get started ☺      Please go to the next page …                      ...

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  1.       Windows XP LIVE CD      Any PC user can create a CD that runs Win XP without being installed, and use it to troubleshoot and recover crashed machines.     Posted by:  blackram@projectallabout   Edited by:  CairaC   
  2.                     This tutorial was posted by blackram@projectallabout .  GR8 Tutorial man!  This is one of the best written and best composed tutorials I have seen so far, and not only is it well done but it is  extremely useful for anyone as a first aid kit but especially to Network Admins, Systems Admins/Engineers.    Let’s get started ☺      Please go to the next page …                      2 
  3. .::*CREATE YOUR OWN*::. .::*WINDOWS XP LIVE CD*::. INDEX        Introduction                  …………………………………………          Page 4  Let’s Get Started               …………………………………………          Page 5  What You Need                ………………………………………………..             Page 5  Last Notes                ………………………………………………..             Page 6  Create your own Windows XP Live CD          …………………………………………          Page 7  Create Plug‐ins for Programs      ………………………………………………..      Page 8  Change the look and feel      ………………………………………………..      Page 9  BONUS            …………………………………………  Page 11      Contact details …………………………………………  Page 12     3 
  4. INTRODUCTION Any PC user can create a CD that runs Win XP without being installed, and use it to troubleshoot and recover crashed machines. A live CD contains an OS configured to run directly off the CD, ie, it need not be installed on the system. Just pop the CD into the system’s drive, boot from it and the OS will be up and running, without tampering with the OS loaded on your system’s hard drive. This can be a very handy tool for network administrators for tasks such as, recovering data from crashed desktops or doing other troubleshooting tasks. Companies that want to demonstrate their software products to clients could also use it. They would, however, need to integrate their product with the OS that is running on the live CD. Similarly, educational institutes could use it to provide training to students, or even cyber cafes could get diskless workstations, boot them off a live OS and provide Internet access. As we can see, there are plenty of uses for a live CD. Most live CDs till now had been based on Linux, with the most popular one being Knoppix. But, now there’s a live CD that runs Win XP. In this tutorial, we’ll talk about how you can create one.     4 
  5. LETS GET STARTED WHAT YOU NEED The first thing you need to create a live Win XP CD is a licensed copy of Win XP. Next, you need a tool called Bart’s PE-Builder v3, which is free and a substitute for WinPE (a tool from M1cr0soft that also creates Win XP live CDs). You can download this tool from here: It comes as a zip file, and there’s a wizard that takes you through the building process when you unzip and run it. First the wizard will ask you for the path of your Win XP installer CD. Next, it will give you a plug-in list from where you need to select programs that you want to put on the live CD. There are some very useful programs for system recovery, such as Nero for burning CDs, Ghost, Snapshot, DOS 16-bit support and Easy Recovery Pro.     5 
  6. Besides the default plug-ins that come with PE-Builder, you can also download your own from here: These are available in .cab form. To add a downloaded plug-in to the list, simply click the Add button on the Plug-ins list window and provide the path where you’ve downloaded it. After that, it will automatically appear in the list, and you just have to enable/disable it. LAST NOTES Finally, after you’ve chosen all the plug-ins, you’re ready to create an ISO image of your live Win XP CD. Click on Next, and you’ll be asked to provide a path where the program will dump all files temporarily. Tick the ‘Create ISO Image’ option and give the path and ISO file name to be created. It will start creating the content for the live CD in the output folder. If the content is created successfully, it will also automatically create an ISO image. Now you just have to use any burning software such as Nero and burn the image on a CD. Lastly, when you boot from this CD, you won’t get the familiar Win XP Start menu. Instead, you’ll get the NU menu.     6 
  7. .::*CREATE YOUR OWN*::. .::*WINDOWS XP LIVE CD*::. CREATING PLUG-INS FOR PROGRAMS AND GETTING THE WIN XP LOOK AND FEEL At the first of this tutorial we discussed how you can create a Win XP live CD from a licensed copy of Win XP using a free tool called Bart's PE-Builder v3. But, that live CD gives a non-XP look and feel-it comes with an NU2 wallpaper and NU Start button (but, no Menu bar). If you want, though, you can change each of these. The most important, of course, is adding programs and tools that you want. We will show you how to add a data-recovery tool in the Win XP live CD to recover data from a deleted partition. The steps required to add any program will be the same as the ones we will use to add the data-recovery tool. Also, you can have any wallpaper that you want-be it any default Windows wallpaper or even an image that you have on your hard disk. The example that we will use in our article shows how to get the familiar Win XP wallpaper (the one with the rolling meadows). You can also change the NU Start button to the standard Win XP Start button and Menu bar. But, remember that any customization can be done only while creating your live CD; once it has been made you will have to be content with what you get.     7 
  8. CREATE PLUG-INS FOR PROGRAMS Let's see how to create and add plug-ins for programs to your Win XP live CD. To illustrate, we'll create and add a plug-in for a disaster-recovery tool. The data-recovery tool has two files; one is an executable file (abc.exe) and the other is DLL file (xyz.dll). Copy both the files in any folder (let's say recovery folder) and then create an .inf file (say, datarecover.inf) in this folder. This file helps to install the above- mentioned files to the desired location. Win XP live CD has a run XP look and feel. To create a .inf file, write the following commands in a Notepad file. ; datarecovery.inf ; PE Builder v3 plug-in INF file [Version] Signature= “$Windows NT$” [PEBuilder] Name=”Data Recovery Tool” Enable=1 [WinntDirectories] a=”Programs\ datarecovery “, 2 [SourceDisksFiles] abc.exe =a,,1 xyz.dll=a,,1 [Software.AddReg] ;Add to Start Menu\Programs 0x2,”Sherpya\XPEinit\Programs”,”DataRecovery Tool”, “%SystemDrive%\Programs\ datarecovery \abc.exe” Note that 'Sherpya\XPEinit\' associates other plug-in tools with XPE plug-in. To add the plug-in, save the file and copy the entire folder in the plug-in folder, which is found in pebuilder\Plug-in. Now, when you run pebuilder.exe, you will find the data-recovery tool plug-in that you just created in the plug-in list window. To incorporate this plug-in into your live CD, enable the plug-in and create an ISO image of the Win XP live CD.     8 
  9. CHANGE THE LOOK AND FEEL Get any wallpaper Changing the wallpaper of your live CD is a matter of simple renaming. For example, to get the rolling meadows look, copy bliss.bmp from the c:\windows folder of any Win XP machine to a safe location. Then, rename this file to nu2.bmp and copy it to the folder where you have pebuilder.exe. That's all that is required. Get the Win XP Start button and Menu bar For this, you need to use plug-ins for the Start button and Menu bar ( You can take them from our this month's PCQ Essential CD. Win XP live CD after customization, with the familiar calling windows look and feel. Double click on pebuilder.exe, click on Next, give the path of your installer CD and then click on Next again. Now, you will get a plug-in list. Here, when you click on the Add button, it will open a window where you have to give the path of the .cab file ( Give the with the full path. After adding it, check whether the XPE plug-in is enabled or disabled. If it is disabled then click on the Enable/Disable button to include it in the live CD.     9 
  10. Now, to create the live CD with the Win XP look and feel, start by clicking on Next. In the dialog box that opens, you will see an 'Output directory' text box. Give the path of any folder name (where PE-Builder will copy the content of live CD), which can be named as output folder. Now, tick the 'Create ISO Image' option and give the path and ISO file name to be created and click on Next . This will start creating the content for the live CD in the Output folder. If the content is created successfully, it will also automatically create an ISO Image. Finally, you can burn the ISO image with Nero. After booting from the live CD you will get the Win XP default Start button and Menu bar instead of the NU menu. There is one more thing ……… but it’s on the next page     10 
  11. *********************************************************************** If you are lazy and want one already done for you, get in touch with me for the links:         AS FAR AS I KNOW YOU CAN BUILD ANY WINDOWS VERSION OS LIVE CD USING THIS TECHNIQUE.     11 
  12. CONTACT DETIALS You can contact me, CairaC, at either one of the following Forums.  You will have to register and Private Message  me for any assistance and I will do the best to my knowledge to help you out.    Project All About –  MoviezWarz –  PSP ISO –  Forum W –  Register and search for topic author “CairaC” or if the option is there, click on Member List.  THE END     12 
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