Windows 10: UUP to ISO - Create Bootable ISO from Windows 10 Build Upgrade Files  

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  1. Posts : 1,586
    Windows 10 x86 14383 Insider Pro and Core 10240
       02 Feb 2017 #100

    JG, try opening the esd with 7-zip, and you get this:
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    here's the wiminfo ([1].xml)
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    So it's a 6GB multipart Professional_en-gb.ESD that is compressed to appear to be about 500MB with the usual 3 Windows Setup, WinPE, and Insider Preview Windows Images.

    There's something badly wrong here- the WINPE image[2] should not be 2GB - that's a full Windows Image. WTF??

    Basically the ESD should contain the WinPE image(boot.wim) and uses the ActionList.xml file as basic instructions to put everything together:
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    You can open ActionList.xml yourself in IE or another browser.

    There are 2 other xml files related to your current machine and build:
    windlp.state-old.xml and windlp.state.xml. They need admin elevation to be opened.

    However, the uncompressed ESD incorporates all the other files (assumed) in the C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download\ab1b092b40dee3ba964e8305ecc7d0d9 folder including the WindowsUpdateBox.exe file which is a compressed executable:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    which is the Windows Setup image, basically.
    All the other cabs are compressed modules that make up windows 10 the latest build.
    It is all these small files that have the chance to get corrupted on transfer or decompression. You get errors like this if you try to copy the contents of the C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download\ab1b092b40dee3ba964e8305ecc7d0d9 downloads folder:
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    Bad weakness IMO!
    Last edited by Fafhrd; 02 Feb 2017 at 07:31.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  2. Posts : 621
    WinX Pro x64 IP v14986
       02 Feb 2017 #101

    That makes sense, thanks fafhrd. I didn't have time to look at it last night. I will probably look at it in more detail today.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  3. Posts : 11,229
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       08 Feb 2017 #102

    Note   Note
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    14 Feb 2017 #103

    Just a thought - as uup updates are 'by difference' let's suppose an OS file that does not need to be updated is actually corrupted on old version, does this mean the corrupted file remains in place even in a created iso?

    With the install.esd method that file would have been replaced for sure.

    If I am correct (pure speculation on my part of course), then a repair upgrade would not assist if that corrupted file was creating issues?
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  5. Posts : 588
    Windows 10 Pro IP Build 15063.250
       15 Feb 2017 #104

    cereberus said: View Post
    Just a thought - as uup updates are 'by difference' let's suppose an OS file that does not need to be updated is actually corrupted on old version, does this mean the corrupted file remains in place even in a created iso?

    With the install.esd method that file would have been replaced for sure.

    If I am correct (pure speculation on my part of course), then a repair upgrade would not assist if that corrupted file was creating issues?
    No, UUP should scan all local system files for integrity and downloads what is needed. This is also the reason why it takes a long time to initialize the update.
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  6. Posts : 11,229
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       15 Feb 2017 #105

    Logically thinking if ISO made from UUP can be used for clean install it for sure works for in-place upgrade and repair installs, too. Pure speculation, a theory I've had since beginning of UUP and inspecting quite a many of CAB archives it contains:

    Both upgrade methods download everything needed to create an ISO. The difference in download size is because of the file types downloaded. UUP downloads a bunch of compressed CAB archives which the system needs to extract first to create the upgrade media which Windows then uses to upgrade your PC. Counting them, for instance my Hyper-V Build 15007 x64 PRO EN-US virtual machine with UUP enabled downloaded 415 CAB archives in 15031 upgrade.

    In ESD method this CAB extraction is already done and uncompressed install.esd file downloaded which naturally makes the download bigger.

    Think it as downloading a program installer as a ZIP archive instead of an EXE file or MSI installer. The principle, the difference is about the same.

    This makes the upgrade process taking more time when UUP method is used; the system will first be scanned to see which of these downloaded CAB archives are needed for upgrade. Those CAB files containing elements not needing an update will not be extracted and used for upgrade. However when creating an ISO as per instructions in this tutorial, all CAB files are used and extracted, also those which were not needed for upgrade itself. This is also the reason why ESD to ISO process is much faster than UUP to ISO; creating ISO from UUP upgrade files the process needs to go through every CAB archive, extract them to build the install.wim and further to make ISO.

    I repeat that this is only speculation,, a theory that in my opinion is logical but as there is surprisingly little information available I cannot be sure. Anyway, this theory would explain the difference in download size and time required to make an ISO. It also explains why ISO made from UUP files really is a complete Windows 10 install media exactly like ESD ISO, although the download was smaller than ESD upgrade.

    Kari
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    15 Feb 2017 #106

    Kari said: View Post
    This makes the upgrade process taking more time when UUP method is used; the system will first be scanned to see which of these downloaded CAB archives are needed for upgrade. Those CAB files containing elements not needing an update will not be extracted and used for upgrade. However when creating an ISO as per instructions in this tutorial, all CAB files are used and extracted, also those which were not needed for upgrade itself. This is also the reason why ESD to ISO process is much faster than UUP to ISO; creating ISO from UUP upgrade files the process needs to go through every CAB archive, extract them to build the install.wim and further to make ISO.
    Kari
    This kind of makes sense.

    I guess this possibly answers my query (speculation on your speculation ). Logically, as uup method scans to see what is needed, a corrupted file WOULD be updated as it would look different i.e. as slicendice above suggested.

    In fact, I wonder if it is really as clever suggested at all, and all files are simply updated anyway (with the uup benefit being primarily saving in download time)- I guess we would have to examine timestamps of system files to see if only some are updated?
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  8. Posts : 11,229
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       15 Feb 2017 #107

    cereberus said: View Post
    I guess we would have to examine timestamps of system files to see if only some are updated?
    Logically thinking the part of Windows which does not need to be upgraded every time when new build is released is the Windows native apps. If you are interested to test / check this I suggest you note the time stamps of native Windows apps, comparing them before and after upgrade.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  9. Posts : 588
    Windows 10 Pro IP Build 15063.250
       15 Feb 2017 #108

    I have mentioned this before. The initially downloaded .cab files are only compressed XML files. These XML-files contain the list of required files for each package, including the SHA1 hash. What UUP does is it decompress the .cab and read the file lists. Then it verifies that the local files exists that are in the list and does integrity check for the found local files using the SHA1 value defined.

    After all .cab/XML files has been processed, UUP has a list of files it can copy from local HDD to the SoftwareDistribution folder. While it copies the files it automagically also verifies the integrity of that file it has written to new location. Once all files are copied UUP starts to process the second list which is the download list (the missing or updated files) and downloads all new files and while writing to disk also verifies the SHA1 integrity.

    Finally UUP prepares Windows for updating/upgrading and sets a schedule to reboot computer and changes the boot option so that the second preparation phase start during shutdown/reboot. Once this is done the computer reboots and the upgrade process runs exactly as it would when upgrading using the setup media.

    For me going from finding 15031 in a VM with 15025, 2GB ram and 2 CPU cores, took about 45 minutes to find the update, download it, verify it, install it, and get back to the updated desktop. All using UUP. I was monitoring each step, processes running, HDD usage, network usage, everything, and what I mentioned above is what I found out.

    It may not be 100% exact information, but I am sure it's pretty darn close to the truth. :-D


    EDIT: The above mentioned ActionList.xml contain the names of the actual packages to be downloaded. The files being downloaded based on this list are the XML/CAB files that contains the detailed list of each and every file required for that particular package. With all the XML/CAB lists put together, we have about 50-60k files that are needed for a full Windows installation.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  10.    18 Feb 2017 #109

    Total speculation ahead!

    For the files which already exist on the computer, presumably the hash values can be calculated in advance, as some sort of background maintenance task. Then the hashes can be quickly checked by the next UUP upgrade.

    Presumably it doesn't know in advance which files will be kept by the next release and which ones will be updated/replaced with newer versions, so it would probably calculate the hash values of all the files in the relevant folders.

    If there's a longer gap between updates, there's more time for the computer to calculate hash values, perhaps during the weekly maintenance. Then it would be ready for the next updates.

    But when the new builds come thick and fast, as happened earlier this year, there may not be time for a maintenance run between builds, which means that it has to calculate the existing hashes during the update process itself - hence the high CPU which people saw during the upgrade.

    Now there's been a while since the last build, I would hope that many machines will have had time to calculate all the hashes, and make the next UUP upgrade quicker. The total CPU usage is still higher , but hopefully it can be spread over longer time as a background task so not so noticeable to the user.

    Is that how it works?
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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