Image splitting and Windows 7 SP1 slipstream features
New features were introduced since the last confession.
For a more detailed list of changes, as always you can check the changelog.
Let me give a brief description of two of them, SWM and Windows 7 SP1 slipstream.
Splitting the image (SWM support).
Now you can use the toolbar or right-click on the WIM image (e.g. install.wim) and chose Convert – SWM, to split the image.
This is useful when you need to split a big WIM image file into 4GB chunks because of FAT32 limitation, or if you want to span the image across media.
Something can be said about choosing the correct split part size, if you deviate from the standard 4GB. On Windows 7 image you can use anything from 200MB and above, at least in my tests, while for Windows 8 and newer, the story is a little more complex.
Microsoft does not support installing from an SWM image on newer versions of Windows, but it is known to work anyway. The “trick” is to use a big enough split part size. Depending on the size of the source WIM image, the part size that works should be at least 50%, or even 70% of the total image size.
Split wizard in the tool will warn you about these basics, just mentioning them here for more clarity.
The tool fully supports the SWM images, and lists their information as it would for normal images, where you can see which editions are on it, even before joining or loading.
To create multi-part ISOs, copy the entire image folder after it is done splitting, then create ISO from individual copies, but be sure to separate Sources\Install*.swm files, so that each ISO has only one of them. This will be automated in the next revision of this feature.
Tool also can convert in the other direction, so called Joining. Same principle with the toolbar or right-click and choose Convert – WIM, or simply try to Load the image directly and it will do it for you by replacing the source with the converted version and then loading it for editing.
As for Windows 7 Service Pack 1 slipstream, or integration, simply load the Windows 7 RTM image, then go to the Updates page, and Add the service pack file there.
If the tool doesn’t see your SP1 file, make sure to keep the original SP1 filename, or at least have KB976932 in the filename. This was done to not confuse you that any exe file can be integrated.
You can also include any newer updates, the tool will sort them appropriately after the service pack.
Then go to the Apply page – [toolbar] Start, and wait until it’s done processing.
It is recommended to then backup the updated image before any further editing, so you don’t have to wait on full integration each time you edit that image. But it’s your choice, you can also do all the modifications in one session.
And last, but not least, a forum user chriswayg, has posted a great guide on how to use NTLite, “TUTORIAL for creating a 700MB Windows 7 or 8 ISO and install in a VM“, be sure to check it out.
There, I hope you like the progress so far, and keep the feedback coming.