I have the specific opportunity to build a system specific restore disk on a regular basis. For people I will never see more than once, this issue is nonpoint. But, for people such as me, my close friends and family that may require more than one system restore, as well as the piles of identical machines that have rolled through my workspace; a custom disk would be helpful.
The restore disks that come with the machines usually install crap in addition to the necessary files and settings. Plain Microsoft Retail Disks often don't have all the drivers the systems require to run properly.
I've decided to try nLite. Before I can install nLite, I need to install the .NET framework, version 2.0 of the .NET framework at the minimum for nLite version 18.104.22.168 .
Once the initial program requirements are met, it is as simple as installing nLite and running it. The program is very intuitive.
I wanted to use my .iso file instead of going through the trouble of burning a disk. Since nLite won't use .iso files directly (to my knowledge) I need to install a virtual optical drive to mount the .iso image in. I am using a trial version of 'Original CD Emulator', but I will probably try something else next time. You can use a real CD to make it more a more simple process.
I keep several images of my OS install disks handy for backup purposes. In addition to being able to burn new disks to avoid scratching up my originals, I can often use the .iso image file in place of the disk. I used my Microsoft Windows XP Pro SP2 image created with ImgBurn for this. ImgBurn is my favorite tool for working with disks and images. It is a freeware app that has a small footprint and is highly configurable and intuitive. I have looked at the ImgBurn configurations, but I have only used the default settings.
One of the first things it will ask you is for is the location of the files. In this case I have a virtual optical disk making my .iso file pretend to be a legitimate CD-ROM, drive E:\ .
Although not necessary, I decided to slipstream SP3 (WindowsXP-KB936929-SP3-x86-ENU) and an IE security patch (WindowsXP-KB932823-v3-x86-ENU).
It also gave me the option to install hotfixes, add-ons, and update packs. But, I don't have any. So on to the next step.
The feature I am most excited about is adding drivers. When I played with it for the netbooks I worked on, I slipstreamed SATA drivers into the install-- which worked beautifully. This time I want to add the XP networking driver pack available at driverpacks.net and see what happens. It seems like a good idea to check the delete after install box.
When adding all the drivers finished; I added another folder for common programs like the IE8, the Intel SMBus Driver, other driver installers, and sometimes anti-virus intallers.