Solved Unable to Clean Install Windows 24H2 Preview (26100.560) Using Install Media with 2 Partitions


hsehestedt

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To work around the 4GB file size limit on FAT32, I always create my Windows installation media using 2 partitions. I have a small FAT32 partition to which some of the Windows files go, but the largest part of the media, including the install.wim file are placed on a larger NTFS partition. This method has worked fine for me for years now, but it no longer works with the Windows Release Preview ISO image for 26100.560. If I instead create a single FAT32 partition on my installation media and I split my install.wim file into parts as install.swm and install2.swm, then the installation works perfectly.

Is anyone aware of a workaround that will allow me to continue using the 2 partition scheme? I suspect that this might be as easy as copying a few additional files to the first partition, but this is just speculation on my part. I'm going to see if I can figure this out, but I was curious if anyone was already aware of a solution.

Here is how I create the installation with the 2 partition scheme:

1) Create the UFD (USB Flash Drive) with a 2 GB FAT32 partition and the remaining space as NTFS. Make sure that the UFD is initialized as MBR.

2) Copy the files from my Windows ISO image to the UFD like this:

• Copy all files and folders EXCEPT the \sources folder to the FAT32 partition.

• If you are planning to use an autounattend.xml answer file, place it in the root of the FAT32 partition.

• Create a folder called sources on the FAT32 partition.

• Copy the file \sources\boot.wim to the FAT32 partition \sources folder.

• Create a folder called sources on the NTFS partition.

• Copy all files and folders from the \sources folder EXCEPT boot.wim to the \sources folder on the NTFS partition.

• If you created an ei.cfg file, copy it to the \sources folder of the NTFS partition.


Here is what happens if I boot from the installation media to install Windows:

The UFD boots fine, and the first few screens are displayed with no difficulty. After I select the disk to which Windows should be installed, the screen pops up that shows the percentage of files copied to the internal drive. However, this fails immediately while still at 0% completed. The error shown is simply "Windows 11 installation has failed".

IMPORTANT: If you boot from the Windows installation media, you will note that the initial screens look different. Apparently, this is part of a new installation experience. At the 3rd screen you will see a link that says, "Previous Version of Setup". Note that if I select that option then my dual partition UFD media will work fine. I am pursuing this because this issue also affects unattended setup and in unattended setup there is no method that I am aware of to tell it to use the "Previous version of setup". In addition, I have LOTS of batch file, programs I wrote, and other resources that create dual partition media. Not having this work is going to mean a major marathon code-writing effort :-)

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My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Win11 Pro 24H2
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Kamrui Mini PC, Model CK10
    CPU
    Intel i5-12450H
    Memory
    32GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    No GPU - Built-in Intel Graphics
    Sound Card
    Integrated
    Monitor(s) Displays
    HP Envy 32
    Screen Resolution
    2560 x 1440
    Hard Drives
    1 x 2TB NVMe SSD
    1 x 4TB NVMe SSD
    1 x 4TB 2.5" SSD
    PSU
    120W "Brick"
    Keyboard
    Corsair K70 Mechanical Keyboard
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1Gb Up / 1 Gb Down
    Browser
    Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
  • Operating System
    Win11 Pro 23H2
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo ThinkBook 13x Gen 2
    CPU
    Intel i7-1255U
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel Iris Xe Graphics
    Sound Card
    Realtek® ALC3306-CG codec
    Monitor(s) Displays
    13.3-inch IPS Display
    Screen Resolution
    WQXGA (2560 x 1600)
    Hard Drives
    2 TB 4 x 4 NVMe SSD
    PSU
    USB-C / Thunderbolt 4 Power / Charging
    Mouse
    Buttonless Glass Precision Touchpad
    Keyboard
    Backlit, spill resistant keyboard
    Internet Speed
    1Gb Up / 1Gb Down
    Browser
    Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    WiFi 6e / Bluetooth 5.1 / Facial Recognition / Fingerprint Sensor / ToF (Time of Flight) Human Presence Sensor
Why go through all that extra hassle? Just seems like your making life harder for yourself, what’s wrong with simply creating a bootable USB using Rufus and installing from that?
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 build 10.0.26100.1000 RP
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Inspiron 14 5430
    CPU
    Intel i7-1355U
    Motherboard
    Dell 0GMW80
    Memory
    16GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel Iris XE
    Sound Card
    Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dell 14" and LG Ultrawide 26"
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1200 and 2560 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 990 Pro 1TB NVME Gen 4 M.2 SSD
    PSU
    Dell
    Case
    Dell
    Cooling
    Dell
    Keyboard
    Dell KM3322W
    Mouse
    Dell Trackpad or Dell KM3322W
    Internet Speed
    900mb down / 400mb up FTTP
    Browser
    Edge 126.0.2592.81
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    Windows 365
    1TB OneDrive
    Outlook
    Visual Studio Code
    Visual Studio
    Python 3.12.4
    Macrium Reflect
    MyDell
    Dell SupportAssist
    Dell TB16 Thunderbolt dock
    WSL
  • Operating System
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Tablet
    Manufacturer/Model
    Microsoft Surface Pro 7
    CPU
    Core i5 - 1035G4
    Motherboard
    Microsoft
    Memory
    8GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel Iris Plus
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Surface touch
    Screen Resolution
    2736 x 1824
    Hard Drives
    128GB
    PSU
    Microsoft
    Case
    Microsoft Keyboard
    Cooling
    None
    Mouse
    Microsoft Arc Intellimouse
    Keyboard
    Microsoft Surface Keyboard
    Internet Speed
    900mb / 400mb FTTP
    Browser
    Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
Why go through all that extra hassle? Just seems like your making life harder for yourself, what’s wrong with simply creating a bootable USB using Rufus and installing from that?
There is a lot that you are not aware of, and I didn't want to write a book for my question, but now that you bring it up, here is a small portion of the reasons for my doing it like this...

First, I do not use Rufus for the simple reason that I have created my own program that does a lot of what Rufus does. Remember that I ssaid I would have to rewrite code? There you go - that program is one of the things that I will need to fix.

However, you bring up a really point: I wonder if Rufus would also have a problem with this. I'm going to test it. If it does not have a problem, I'll need to see how it handles this situation.

There are other reasons as well, but I think that the above already drives home the point that I am doing this for specific reasons because I do a lot of things related to Windows setup that I can absolutely guarantee that a minimum of 99.9% of people never do :-)

In the meantime, I have already figured out a workaround. I have more testing to do, but will post back when I have as many details worked out as I can.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Win11 Pro 24H2
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Kamrui Mini PC, Model CK10
    CPU
    Intel i5-12450H
    Memory
    32GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    No GPU - Built-in Intel Graphics
    Sound Card
    Integrated
    Monitor(s) Displays
    HP Envy 32
    Screen Resolution
    2560 x 1440
    Hard Drives
    1 x 2TB NVMe SSD
    1 x 4TB NVMe SSD
    1 x 4TB 2.5" SSD
    PSU
    120W "Brick"
    Keyboard
    Corsair K70 Mechanical Keyboard
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1Gb Up / 1 Gb Down
    Browser
    Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
  • Operating System
    Win11 Pro 23H2
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo ThinkBook 13x Gen 2
    CPU
    Intel i7-1255U
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel Iris Xe Graphics
    Sound Card
    Realtek® ALC3306-CG codec
    Monitor(s) Displays
    13.3-inch IPS Display
    Screen Resolution
    WQXGA (2560 x 1600)
    Hard Drives
    2 TB 4 x 4 NVMe SSD
    PSU
    USB-C / Thunderbolt 4 Power / Charging
    Mouse
    Buttonless Glass Precision Touchpad
    Keyboard
    Backlit, spill resistant keyboard
    Internet Speed
    1Gb Up / 1Gb Down
    Browser
    Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    WiFi 6e / Bluetooth 5.1 / Facial Recognition / Fingerprint Sensor / ToF (Time of Flight) Human Presence Sensor
More Information as a follow up to post #3 above:

I just tried Rufus. When I made a bootable thumb drive with it, it created a single partition as NTFS. I didn't see an option to do this differently, but maybe someone more familiar with Rufus can tell me if this can be avoided somehow. I saw no immediate solution.

In my case, I specifically do NOT want my installation media to be a single NTFS partition because I have some older systems that will not boot from an NTFS formatted UFD.

That alone is a good enough reason for me. The way I create the media, I can guarantee that it will work on any system, be it legacy BIOS or UEFI, and whether or not it supports booting from NTFS formatted UFDs or not.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Win11 Pro 24H2
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Kamrui Mini PC, Model CK10
    CPU
    Intel i5-12450H
    Memory
    32GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    No GPU - Built-in Intel Graphics
    Sound Card
    Integrated
    Monitor(s) Displays
    HP Envy 32
    Screen Resolution
    2560 x 1440
    Hard Drives
    1 x 2TB NVMe SSD
    1 x 4TB NVMe SSD
    1 x 4TB 2.5" SSD
    PSU
    120W "Brick"
    Keyboard
    Corsair K70 Mechanical Keyboard
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1Gb Up / 1 Gb Down
    Browser
    Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
  • Operating System
    Win11 Pro 23H2
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo ThinkBook 13x Gen 2
    CPU
    Intel i7-1255U
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel Iris Xe Graphics
    Sound Card
    Realtek® ALC3306-CG codec
    Monitor(s) Displays
    13.3-inch IPS Display
    Screen Resolution
    WQXGA (2560 x 1600)
    Hard Drives
    2 TB 4 x 4 NVMe SSD
    PSU
    USB-C / Thunderbolt 4 Power / Charging
    Mouse
    Buttonless Glass Precision Touchpad
    Keyboard
    Backlit, spill resistant keyboard
    Internet Speed
    1Gb Up / 1Gb Down
    Browser
    Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    WiFi 6e / Bluetooth 5.1 / Facial Recognition / Fingerprint Sensor / ToF (Time of Flight) Human Presence Sensor
Final post on the topic for the evening before I try to catch some snoozes.

In my post #1 above, I have bulleted the items I copy to the partitions on the UFD. Add one line like this:

• Copy the folders "boot", "efi", and "support" to the NTFS partition. Note that these three folders will now exist on both the first and second partitions. These are very small folders, so the duplication of data is very minor.

In my case, all three of the above folders amount to only 42MB, so this is my solution. If anyone discovers anything more elegant, I would love to hear it. But for now, this allows me to perform the setup with the new setup experience and more importantly, it allows unattended setups, and automated bypass of the need for a network connection and creation of a Windows account.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Win11 Pro 24H2
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Kamrui Mini PC, Model CK10
    CPU
    Intel i5-12450H
    Memory
    32GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    No GPU - Built-in Intel Graphics
    Sound Card
    Integrated
    Monitor(s) Displays
    HP Envy 32
    Screen Resolution
    2560 x 1440
    Hard Drives
    1 x 2TB NVMe SSD
    1 x 4TB NVMe SSD
    1 x 4TB 2.5" SSD
    PSU
    120W "Brick"
    Keyboard
    Corsair K70 Mechanical Keyboard
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1Gb Up / 1 Gb Down
    Browser
    Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
  • Operating System
    Win11 Pro 23H2
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo ThinkBook 13x Gen 2
    CPU
    Intel i7-1255U
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel Iris Xe Graphics
    Sound Card
    Realtek® ALC3306-CG codec
    Monitor(s) Displays
    13.3-inch IPS Display
    Screen Resolution
    WQXGA (2560 x 1600)
    Hard Drives
    2 TB 4 x 4 NVMe SSD
    PSU
    USB-C / Thunderbolt 4 Power / Charging
    Mouse
    Buttonless Glass Precision Touchpad
    Keyboard
    Backlit, spill resistant keyboard
    Internet Speed
    1Gb Up / 1Gb Down
    Browser
    Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    WiFi 6e / Bluetooth 5.1 / Facial Recognition / Fingerprint Sensor / ToF (Time of Flight) Human Presence Sensor
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