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Re: [Qemu-devel] Windows Laptop Idea

From: jeebs
Subject: Re: [Qemu-devel] Windows Laptop Idea
Date: Fri, 29 Apr 2005 13:20:21 -0500


>> > the bat files that manipulate this thing, and there is
>> > a bios checker to make sure that the bios of the laptop
>> I'm pretty sure the 'bios checker' is probably checking for the digital 
>> signature in the BIOS.
> It just looks for a string. You wanna see the bat files?
> I booted it under qemu, then copied all the bat files
> off a floppy image.  I have a pair of HP laptops and
> there's not much differnece between the set of bat files.

I think I now understand what you are saying...

The *restore process* just checks for a simple bios string.

That's what HP chose to do.

WinXP itself (to verify the activation) checks more than that.

In that case, once you've done the restore proccess itself, you could use your 
own backup program and make a copy that isn't protected.

Unfortunately, there aren't too many disk imaging programs I'd recommend.  Both 
Norton Ghost (the old version) and DriveImage (the old version) have problems.  
And I certainly wouldn't recommend the new versions.  None of the opensource 
stuff I've seen know how to burn to cd/dvd.

*IF* you want it, you can get the dos part of Norton Ghost for free.  It's 
included in one of their updates from the web site.  You put that onto a basic 
dos boot floppy and run it that way.  I use Ghost that way, and I know a few 
others that do.  But none of us really trust Ghost because sometimes it has 

You might try a regular copy of DriveImage.

You'd still have to deal with XP activation and the hp specific drivers etc., 
but you'd have your own image that you could restore to any drive, including to 
a image.  (I once did that with vmware.  It didn't work too well since the 
hardware is so different.  You can work around that, but you need an xp cd.)

Anyway, here's the URL for the update to old Norton Ghost.


rename it to .zip and extract ghost.exe  (I don't think there is a newer 

Put that onto a very basic dos floppy.  (Just dos and an optional mouse driver.)

If you allow it, ghost will 'brand' the drive you are using on track 0.  You 
can tell it no.

But be warned that trying to copy a working image to another computer (or qemu 
etc.) isn't likely to work easily.

It can be done, but it's not easy.

It's kind of like doing a mobo swap.

If you can do it before the swap, then you can make certain preperations to get 
XP to redectect the hardware etc. on the next boot.

If the mobo went out and you've already replaced, then you do need a regular xp 
cd to install xp over itself to repair things.  Just like doing it with Win98.

>> Microsoft wouldn't tolerate that. They are too greedy.  It'd almost have to 
>> be a full cryptographic digital signature.  Something that couldn't be 
>> easily forged by the warez crowd.
> Yeah, but who'd really do that. The damn HP rescue disks
> install just one way.  All or nothing. Everything on 


But once it is installed, you could make a copy and try to take it to another 
machine.  That's where XP's activation and BIOS check come in at.  That's the 
part I thought you were talking about.

As for just changing the bios signature to enable the restore process.... that 
would depend on where the signature is at.  If the space isn't used in the 
Bochs / qemu bios, you could change it and then rerun the bios checksum program.

Here are a couple of links you might be interested in.

Talks about making an xp from an installed version of xp...  Don't know if it 
works.  It's just an old link I had.  (Although it might work, I still think 
it'd be better to get a real oem cd (even dell), and copy the few HP oem files 
onto it and make a real OEM xp install cd.  That way you never have to worry 
about all the other junk that HP installs.)

How to swap a mobo without having to reinstall XP.  Similar to moving an image 
over to qemu or vmware.

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