jueves, 20 de noviembre de 2008

Time to use a real USB harddisk instead of the virtual one

We have seen how to install Windows 7 on vmware and how to use the required LSI SCSI drivers so the SCSI harddrive is detected.

Now that we have tested that everything is working fine, lets use a real USB harddisk instead of a virtual disk, this way we bypass the Windows limitation to install on an external USB drive. Its easy...


Installing Windows 7 (6801) on vmware

In order to run Windows 7 from an external USB drive we are going to use vmware as Windows will refuse to install on an external USB drive, and thats exactly what we want to do, and what we are going to explain here.

When you try to install Windows 7 on vmware you will notice that the lsi-logic harddrive is not supported. Windows 7 will report that no harddrive is found.

In order to solve it, you need these lsi-logic drivers for vmware:

Please notice that you find a flp file inside. That is a "floppy image" for vmware, so you have to select it from here:

Notice how the FLP image is selected as a floppy image, so we will be able to use those drivers to install Windows 7 on the SCSI harddisk.

Windows 7 setup boots but is unable to find a harddrive. Now click on "Load Driver" to load the driver that we used as the "floppy image":

Now the LSI SCSI harddisk is accesible and you can start installing Windows 7:

On an next blog entry we will replace the target virtual drive with the USB real one and we will see whats needed to be modified in order to use the real USB harddisk to boot Windows 7 from it :-)

Windows 7 build 6933 torrent

These days you can read posts on Internet like these:

"Windows 7 build 6933.winmain.081020-1842 Leaked a few minutes ago in torrent.I'm sorry but I cannot put here the torrent or the url.however you can do a search and you will find it.I'm downloading it right now.Once I downloaded and installed in my virtual machine to test it.and then I'll share with you screenshots"


"We got our hands on a Windows 7 Build 6933 and its awesome! We will be releasing a torrent download..."

but the fact is that:

"Although the PDC demonstrations were all done using Windows 7 Build 6933, the build distributed to developers was 6801. This is just to clarify for those who are looking for Build 6933 that there is no such build available to the public. It is highly unlikely that a Build 6933 leak will be online since it was never distributed. We’d all have to wait until mid-December for the first public beta. At that time, Microsoft should be distributing Build 6933, or even a newer build."

martes, 11 de noviembre de 2008

Windows 7 6801 hidden features

When Microsoft shipped the 6801 build of Windows 7 some of the unfinished features were hidden from view using an elaborate protection mechanism.

This mechanism has now been rendered useless thanks to the work of Rafael Rivera who developed a tool called Blue Badge.

The patching process seems painless enough (for 32-bit Vista … no 64-bit version available yet).

martes, 4 de noviembre de 2008

Enable New Windows 7 Taskbar In Windows 7 M3 Build 6801

Rafael Rivera did analyze the Windows 7 version that was handed out to the attendees of the Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles and discovered that it contained features that were locked in the build by Microsoft. You might remember that Microsoft did a presentation of the desktop elements of Windows 7 at the conference and that part of the presentation was the new taskbar of Windows 7. The build that the attendees of the conference received was apparently a different one from the one that was used for presentation as it did not include the new features of the taskbar.

Rafael found out that the features were available in that build as well but locked by Microsoft. The features were unlocked on a domain and username basis:

1. Must be a member of an allowed domain
2. Must not be an employee with a disallowed username prefix
a- (temporary employees)
v- (contractors/vendors)

More interestingly than the criteria is his workaround that he posted on his website to enable the “protected features” of the M3 6801 build of Windows 7. The steps to unlock those features are the following:

Download the 32-bit or 64-bit executable and put it into the Windows directory.
Start a comamnd prompt as an administrator and issue the following commands

takeown /f %windir%\explorer.exe
cacls %windir%\explorer.exe /E /G MyUserName:F (replacing MyUserName with your username)
taskkill /im explorer.exe /f
cd %windir%
start unlockProtectedFeatures.exe

Relaunch the shell by clicking on the Launch button afterwards to enable the new features including the new Windows 7 taskbar.

source: http://windows7news.com/2008/11/03/enable-new-windows-7-taskbar-in-windows-7-m3-build-6801/

lunes, 3 de noviembre de 2008

How to test Windows 7 without modifying the computer ?

Microsoft has started distributing Windows 7 pre-betas to some beta-testers (i.e. PDC 2008 attendees):

A friend of mine came to me and asked: I want to test this Windows 7 pre-beta but I can't install it on my computer, as I have my working system there, my tools, data, etc.

Well, I said, get a tool like "vmware" (www.vmware.com) and create a "virtual machine". He was new to vmware, so I helped him to do it (you can download a vmware trial version), and we already had some little troubles to solve, but we did it ;-)

But the real challenge was to make it run from an external USB harddrive, so his computer was not modified at all and he could try Windows 7 with its full speed. And after several days, we got it! :-)

From this blog we plan to comment how we did it, what problems we found and we invite everyone that wants to comment about it.

He used Windows 7 (build 6801) that he got from PDC 2008 (though build 6933 was the one shown on Microsoft presentation). As much more pre-betas and betas will be published by Microsoft, this task can be fun and challenging. You are invited to join us in this travel to test Windows 7 betas from an external USB harddrive :-)