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Old 07-30-2006, 12:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Doing a lot of formatting

Recently, all I have been doing is recently for my customers formatting formatting and formatting. I blame the holidays.

Now as a new man to the world of computer repairs, I have explorered many ways of automating the process such as unattended installs etc, but Im still quite sure the process can be optimized even more. I charge much less than anyone nearby and occasioanlyl i egt computers with software modems and such that I can spend hours finding drivers etc. Now this isn't a problem, this is the way we did things at my last place of work, however it can mean it can be a gamble when charging a flat format fee, because some computers can take 50 minutes, otheres can take a few hours.

I was wondering if there was a way if I can add common drivers to the xp install process without obviously violating the elgal windows requirements. I am more or less looking for information how to add drivers in their raw form (like .inf etc) drivers into the install process so that if windows needs them during install it will use them.

I stress on the legal, I understand that making a cd image is not possible with modifications.

Any thoughts?

Its just a small business but it would be nice to make it more efficient.

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Old 07-30-2006, 02:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If you can't add them to an install disk why not have a copy of all the drivers on DVD... so after the install you just pop that in for drivers and away you go?? With all the different system possiblities out there I think it would be highly improbable that you could fit all of them AND Windows OS (I'm assuming you'll have a copy of each one. Home, media, PRO... Don't quote me, but doesn't windows already have the most common drivers in the initial install?

I would make a master list of all the drivers you ever would work with and go from there...


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Old 07-30-2006, 02:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Doing a lot of formatting

Originally posted by dakta
I stress on the legal, I understand that making a cd image is not possible with modifications.
Making an ISO image is 100% legal. Linux distrobutions use it pretty much exclusively. It works just like a Windows CD. The only hassle is that you have to purchase a program that will "compress" the files into a .iso format, and they cost around $30USD (UltraISO). You might be able to find a "free trial" or even freeware edition of an ISO utility. Essentially, an ISO is a bootable ZIP file, although, ZIP files are focused on compression to save space, while ISO's are not.

Either way, i believe it is only legal so long as you are not trying to sell the new Windows CDs with all your drivers on them. If you only have ONE CD and ONLY you use it, you should be fine.

Also, google "slipstream XP CD." If it was illegal, why would there be so many results?

As a final note: i did a little research and slipstreaming is creating an ISO image of Windows, and burning it to a disc, exactly like Linux.
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Old 07-31-2006, 08:34 AM   #4 (permalink)
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heres an idea, if you make a CD for the customers, make each one a slipstramed CD with all the drivers, and make it automated.. (unintended install).

Tell them when they bring in the comptuer they MUST bring the CD (you can consider a small charge if they dont ).

Buy a decent size hard drive and save copies of the ISO with the customer order number not names (just to be safe). This way if they forget the CD, than you can burn a new one, and just have a small 1 or 5 dollar service charge (to pay for the hard drive and CDs and labor, I wouldnt make it more than 5. Actaully you can write off the hard drive as a business expense)

Anyways, to reformat, shove the CD in, and hit go. when tehy get it back, (depending on how the slipstream was made) the username will still be the same. Just let them reset the password.

Hows that?
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