Adapting Windows on the JVC
(This page last updated 20 June 2007)
The JVC was fitted with German XP. Nothing wrong with that, but I'm Dutch and would like an English version :-P
First I got an English OEM XP Pro on a computer fair. Then I installed Linux (see here) and used it to change the partition type from 0xde to 0x0c (FAT32 LBA).
Then I used my home network to burn all contents plus
- C:\Windows\i386 (the German XP Pro setup files)
to DVD. My home LAN has 100 Mbit
speed, using NETBEUI it took just half an hour or so (using 2X speed to
be sure the DVD will be readable anywhere).
Then I copied the contents of the English OEM CDROM to my
desktop's hard disk, downloaded SP2 (network version), used it to
slipstream the English XP. Next I used nLite to add and integrate several hotfixes
and to tweak a little bit here and there:
- Use C:\Home rather than C:\Documents and Settings
- Shut off several unneeded services
- Tame XP down a little bit.
Details are found on the www.msfn.org site.
Afterwards I made an ISO-image using CDRWIN
(the demo allows unlimited iso build speeds, contrary to writing which
is only 1 X) and burned that to CD-ROM using e.g., Easy CD Creator or
Installation was a piece of cake afterwards.
So, nothing special to mention here.
Transplanting Windows XP installation to another HD
When I changed the original HD (40 GB) for a much bigger one (Hitachi
100 GB 7200 rpm 8MB cache), I had to transfer my Windows XP
installation somehow. In contrast to Windows hater's predictions, my
nLited XP installation was quite stable and I felt no urge for a brand
new reinstallation. In addition, I liked to avoid reinstall
Office / CD-writing stuff / shortcuts / revamp the Start menu / reapply
personal settings, and -last but not least- I didn't want to reactivate
XP and reapply all Windows Update stuff.
IOW, I transplanted my WinXP as described below.
To avoid a lot of trouble,
Again, BART PE boot CD was indispensable.
- Windows XP must be reinstalled on a similar primary partition, with the same drive letter
- The mount table in the registry must be adapted to the new volume
identifiers (which are unique for every hard disk). This implied
installation of a minimal XP to be able to export the mount table from
- The hidden root dir System Volume Information, apparently
containing partition IDs, should be present to allow XP to boot up with
the new mount table. This could also be accomplished with a new, but
minimal XP installation on the future XP partition on the new HD,
to be wiped before copying the "old" XP installation.
- The new mount table had te be imported in the "old" registry
while that "old" installation was not running. To be able to do that a
specialized registry editor is needed. The SW in question is a plugin
to the BART PE boot CD, but the actual program contained in that Registry Editor PE v1.0a
is just one executable called "minidriver.exe" - that simply invokes
regedit.exe to load "remote" registry hives (which must be present on
the standard location <driveletter>:C:\WINDOWS\system32\config
And as far as HW is concerned, somehow the old HD must be attached to
the JVC to be able to copy the old XP installation to the new HD. I
used an USB2.0 -> miniIDE cable for that, from a USB2.0-SATA/IDE
cable package. But perhaps an USB or Firewire HD enclosure might
be of use, too.
Step 1: A temporary WinXP installation
Build the new HD into the JVC (as outlined here) and install a new minimal Windows XP version on it.
I reserved space for the primary partition using OS/2 / ECS LVM (an
OS/2 disk partitioner / boot manager) and had Windows create and format
the new XP partition. My procedure was motivated by OS/2's notorious
pickyness about HD layout, and the principle that every OS should
create and format its own boot partition.
After installation is ready, the partition contains the essential root dir "System Volume Information".
Step 2: Exporting the mount table
In the new temporary WinXP installation, start regedit, navigate to
HKLM \SYSTEM\MountedDevices, and export the entire key to some safe
pace - not the temporary XP partition as that will be wiped soon!
It may be handy to copy the remote registry editor extension file "minidriver.exe" (see above) to the same place.
Step 3: Connect the "old" XP installation using an USB-IDE converter
Simple & straightforward.
Step 4: Booting into Bart PE
- Boot from the Bart PE boot CD,
- Wipe all root files and root dirs from the
temporary XP installation (except, of course System Volume
- Be sure the external HD and especially the old XP partition has been assigned a drive letter,
- Start up a command window and
- Copy all of the "old" XP installation to the new HD using:
- XCOPY <olddrive>:\*.* /S /E /C /H /X (/copy
subdirs, /copy empty dirs too, /continue on errors, /also copy hidden
& system files, /also copy ACL and ownership attributes etc)
Step 5: Import the new mount table into place
Still in Bart PE, use the minidriver program in the plugins dir (or
start it from the new HD), enter the proper drive letter of the new
Windows XP installation (probably C:). Then, navigate to HKLM\REMOTE_SYSTEM, and simply import the new mount table. It will
leave old mounts in place, but overwrite the essential
\DosDevices\C: key and associated ID keys.
Step 6: Cross your fingers.......
Step 7: Shut down Bart PE and boot into the "transplanted" Windows XP installation
Hopefully it will boot up w/o trouble.
Mine did, and never asked for a new product activation (although I put it on a new HD and added 1 GB of RAM memory).
Obviously I needed to run diskmgmt.msc (Start menu, Run...) to assign,
remove or change drive letters to all partitions except C: