Re: DriverPacks with Sysprep HOWTO

I have played around with virtualbox, but never really got it to work right and I have let it gather dust, although I did actually fire it up today.
I remember having some trouble getting it to connect to my host system's hardware, and also to PXE boot and upload the image file to the server.

But yeah, that could make things even better and easier, I need to look back into virtualbox.

Re: DriverPacks with Sysprep HOWTO

Vmware is great also even though it isn't free. I use it over virtualbox. It is also a great addition to your/my resume tongue

Re: DriverPacks with Sysprep HOWTO

I remembered why I gave up on VirtualBox, I am an hour in and still cannot get it to even connect to my network. Maybe I should look into vmware, but have you ever used VirtualBox, and what network settings did you use?

Thanks

Re: DriverPacks with Sysprep HOWTO

I just use the default settings.  Once you install the "guest additions", my network shares show up on demand no problem.

Re: DriverPacks with Sysprep HOWTO

This thread has been really useful to me and I use my universal image(s) almost every day at work, especially because we are still on XP.

I have moved along with the virtual image(s) pretty nicely but VirtualBox is a little bit crash-prone, which can make it seem unreliable; I haven't delved into VMWare yet. After upgrading my machine the network resources do work, but it is hard to create an image in a timely manner because it is so slow. My machine is far from state of the art (Core2 1.8, 4GB RAM, 256MB Video RAM) and I have a dedicated HDD for the VirtualBox disk images; I have given 1.5GB of RAM and 128MB Video RAM to the virtual machine and turned on all the virtual processor capabilities in the BIOS, but it is still quite slow.

But more importantly (bigfoot especially) the sysprep mass storage sections that have been customized and shared on this forum have been really useful, but the one bug that I get is when sysprep is loading before shutdown (reseal) it asks to "Continue anyway" or "Stop Installation" on certain controllers/drivers and it can get stuck in a loop where it just asks to continue forever. This is actually more common in the virtual image world than say when I am making an image on an Optiplex 755, but I have seen it on both. If you force shut down the machine it does load sysprep but it doesn't really work correctly.

My question is, is there a way to force all these drivers to load without the confirmation before reseal? When I used my much more limited mass storage section it didn't happen because I didn't have so many drivers listed in there. The one that I received from bigfoot has been far more useful, but occasionally it has this weird thing where it loads the same driver over and over. Also, I have driver signing policy set to ignore, but I believe that only affects the drivers that load after a resealed boot?

Thanks for reading.

I should add that where it gets stuck loading the same driver over and over isn't really repeatable or predictable, it just seems to happen randomly; occasionally on a real optiplex 755, but it happens all the time on VirtualBox. Thanks!

Last edited by triplej057 (2011-08-09 14:00:12)

Re: DriverPacks with Sysprep HOWTO

I haven't done anything with virtualbox lately, so I cant help you troubleshoot your slowness. I changed to vmware awhile back and have had good results with it. I do have a beefier system than what you have.
As for the continue/stop issue, I have never seen it get stuck in a loop. In order to get rid of those messages, I would have to remove the drivers that would cause the conflict. That would be a lot of hwids that wouldn't be included then.( I blame manufacturers for not making unique file names for files and/or universal drivers with all hwids.)
I will be redoing the pack shortly and will see what I can fix.

Re: DriverPacks with Sysprep HOWTO

Thanks for the reply bigfoot,
I will try to post the actual driver name / file name that it gets stuck on when I get a chance, but like I said, it is not really repeatable in any reliable way.

And yes, I agree, you wouldn't want to actually remove those driver entries because they can be super useful.

I am interested to see what you can do when you get a chance to rebuild the pack and I would be super grateful if you would share it.

Thanks again!

Re: DriverPacks with Sysprep HOWTO

Again this thread has been so, so, so useful to me, but I have encountered a new annoyance that has escalated into a major problem.

Has anyone ever run into the Windows XP stop error 50, "PAGE_FAULT_IN_NON_PAGED_AREA" when using a "driver-packs-powered-windows-xp-image"?? The affected machines almost always recover after a reboot and maybe some driver tweaking, but it has still become a major issue for me.

In my setup the universal image is great for getting a machine to boot in Windows XP. This way the newly imaged machine(s) have all of my software and settings, I have a workable system, and I can tweak the drivers after initial boot if need be, then re-upload the image to a "machine specific image". The stop error 50 shows up quite often on many different types of machines but usually it is during the initial imaging process and it never returns after a reboot or two. If it does return I tweak the drivers by installing the factory chipset, LAN, and graphics drivers and I install the latest version of "Intel Matrix/Rapid Storage Manager".

But the real curse of this error is when I deploy the universal image to a single machine of a given type (often a GX260) and then I tweak the image a bit and re-upload it to a machine specific image, (removing the need for the extra driver packs installer which costs time and HDD space). Then finally after a mass image deploy to say a lab of matching machines I deploy a program called "Deep Freeze" (which freezes the machine and makes all changes impossible and therefore makes the image very clean and very robust because it can't be changed in any way) I get the blue screen on boot with Windows stop 50 and the page error. So essentially the machines are frozen in "blue screen boot".

I do not need to go down the path of troubleshooting hardware because this happens very often across many different types of machines with new and old hardware so I am SURE that it is some problem with my universal image. And I am also confident that it is not Deep Freeze that is causing the problem because my old images made from factory installs/drivers work just fine. It is just that some machine-specific images built from my general universal image suffer from this problem. Newer Optiplex 745/755 and 520/620 do not suffer from this, but I have seen the exact same problem on GX260, GX270, GX280, HP 6000, HP7600, and HP7700.

Lastly, there is A TON of misinformation out there about stop 50, and 95% of it does not apply to my situation, so I thought that I would ask here.

Thanks again for any/all advice, this thread has been so great!!

P.S. - I know that there has been a lot talk about virtual images and I am coming along in that world, but I have had less success than building them on actual hardware (which has tried/true/proven results) and also time is an important factor for me. When I have the time, I hope to get everything running with virtual images, but for now I have to make do with what I have built up to this point and I have to get our labs operational VERY soon, no matter what method I use... and of course it would be painful to go back to some old, non-universal/non-sysprep/non-driver packs, machine specific image (which would be missing all of my new software/updates/settings) because it would be so much work to get it up to date, and I would have to do it for EVERY machine-specific image, which would be a HUGE task, and in some ways would defeat the purpose of universal/sysprepped images.

Thanks!!

Last edited by triplej057 (2011-08-18 18:40:56)

Re: DriverPacks with Sysprep HOWTO

Wow, what an assortment of intel chipsets; 845G, 865G, Grantsdale, 945G, Q43, Q965.  Are there any common add-on cards or peripherals?  I assume that all images are 32-bit.

This is like you say, probably a previously-unrecognized bug, yet if not, here's some troubleshooting tips that you may or may not find useful. smile

Dell's have been notorious for bad capacitors.  Google 'Capacitor Plague'.  'Borderline' caps tend to settle down after warming up.  Try pre-heating a dissimilar set of machines for an hour (or two) before the install process.  If the BS show up, it's likely not simply a 'borderline' cap.  Smaller form-factors are more prone, due to limited cooling capacities.  Often the blown caps are under the main cooling fan, nearest the CPU. 

Use a portable AM radio to tune in to a faint station, then turn on the power supply.  This works great for testing Remote Controls too, if a digital camera isn't handy; just put the remote up to the radio & press a button.  EMI harmonics (or dis-harmonics) at a very noticeable level can indicate some potentially serious problems inside the case.  Ensure to use grounded cords, or this trick won't work so well.

Check for overheating components with a non-contact infrared thermometer.  Temperatures above 55°C are to be avoided (@20°C ambient, dell spec for gx280 says 35°C max operating), as capacitor lifetime doubles with every 10°C decrease.
Oh yeah, many of the smaller caps on these boards may only be rated at 85°C, instead of the usual 105°C!  This usually only comes in to play inside thermal-zones.  Then again, when a power supply starts failing, it usually starts 'trying' to take other caps on the mainboard with it (excessive ripple-current is a killer too)

Power supplies are another potential vector.  Wires leading from the power supply to the mainboard should be 18 gauge minimum for 350W power supply, & 16 gauge for a true 600W+ (usually not a problem with these OEM's).  How clean is the power to the workstations?

How many hours have the machines been running from day one, total?  Can you venture an educated guess?

If you are confidant that your HW is up-to-snuff, then ensure all BIOS's are all up-to-date.

Last edited by TechDud (2011-08-19 01:24:41)

Re: DriverPacks with Sysprep HOWTO

TechDud wrote:

I used the FreeWare 'IMGburn' to make the A1232 Diagnostic CD.  http://www.imgburn.com/ big_smile

Check this post concerning possible malware 'Ask.com Toolbar' included in ImgBurn:  http://forum.driverpacks.net/viewtopic. … 757#p45757 sad