Please let me know how you think about this project. Just post a review at http://sourceforge.net/projects/winautoinstall/. Any comment is welcome. You may also ask questions there.
Quarter detects and manipulates disks and partitions on your computer via DISKPART utility provided by Microsoft. For details about diskpart, please refert to http://support.microsoft.com/kb/300415.
There is a funtion called makeDPVList (D for disk, P for partition and V for volume) in autoinstall.hta. It tries to find existing disks and partitions in your machine. If it finds any, an item will be added to "Install to" dropdown list of Quarter dialog. Each item starts with disk number, then partition number and ends with volume letter, such as "Disk 0:Partition 1:(C:)". If diskpart couldn't recognize nothing, the dropdown list will be empty.
Please note that something goes wrong if you see an itme as "Disk :Partition :". That means diskpart didn't retrieve correct numbers. I don't know why this happens, but you can fix this by closing Quarter dialog and opening it again. Just type autoinstall.hta in the commandline and press Enter.
Quarter will install the OS to the partition you select in "Install to" dropdown list. If your disk doesn't have any partition available, Quarter will format the first disk (disk 0) into a single partition and install OS there. This part is done by prepareDisk function in autoinstall.hta.
If you use Quarter in a bootable USB drive and your hard disk has no available partitions, the USB drive will be recognized as C:. Quarter will inform you to reboot your machine after partitioning the internal disk, so that the new partition will be recognized as C:.
Firstly, Quarter copies the OS iso to the target partition. Please don't put the iso file on the same partition to which the OS will be installed because Quarter formats the target partition before copying the file. For instance, if you have C: and D: and want to install OS to C:, put the iso file on D: or a network share, but don't put it on C:.
Secondly, Quarter extracts the iso file to C:\temp\ with 7-zip.
Thirdly, Quarter calls the OS installer binary, and feeds it with an answer file so that the installation process would be fully unattended. This part is done by runSetup function in autoinstall.hta. The answer file is generated from a template by makeAnswerFile function in autoinstall.hta. There are two answer file templates in AnswerFile directory. xp-03.txt is for Windows XP and 2003. vs-08-w7.xml is for Windows Vista, 2008 and 7. For more information about unattend answer files, please refer to
Windows installation disc has some integrated drivers but not enough. Quarter installs missed device drivers via another free project named DriverPacks.
Since version 4.0, Quarter doesn't include all DriverPacks packages. You need to download them by yourself from http://driverpacks.net/driverpacks/latest and put each pack into the corresponding folder (xp03, vista32 and vista64) in DRIVERPACKS directory. Quarter copies necessary files to the local disk via copyResource function in autointall.hta.
Mess Storage drivers for Windows XP and 2003 are an exception. Quarter always includes that package in DPs_BASE_xxxx\DriverPacks directory. This package contains SCSI and SATA disk drivers which are not built in Windows XP and 2003 installation disc. Without them, Windows can't recognize your hard disk at all. Quarter adds those necessary drivers via DPs_BASE.EXE. This part is also done by copyResource function in autoinstall.hta.
Other drivers are installed via DRIVERFORGE.V5.EXE silently on your machine after OS installation. This part is done by a post-install script in POSTINSTALL directory. This script is copied to the root folder of OS partition. It's executed when administrator gets logon for the first time. This is defined in the installation answer file.
Details will be added soon.