[Solved] WIMBoot and other questions

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[Solved] WIMBoot and other questions

Postby Joker » Sat Nov 25, 2017 8:03 pm

Hello,

Firstly, let me get something off my chest:
The registration process for this forum is a shambles. The password requirements are too high, the CAPTCHA to register is like no other I have ever seen (the question requires you to trawl the ZipMagic website for a piece of marketing fluff) and the forgotten password link requires both the username and email address with no recourse for those who have only one.

Terrible start. But anyway.

I stumbled upon this software while Goodling for WIMBoot information. It appears to have been posted/advertised in 90% of discussions about WIMBoot. I used to have a 32GB tablet where Windows squeezed into something silly like 4GB of space through WIMBoot technology. As we know, WIMBoot is shit because it bloats over time. So I find ZIPMagic, which advertises that it can WIMBoot your existing Windows install and maintain it properly.

Cool! Great! Now that I've run it in trial, Windows is lying about my disk capacity. It says 278GB. It's a 256GB SSD. I have tried to reverse the WIMBoot process, however cannot find any clear option to do so (I struggled to find the WIMBoot option in the first place). The WIMBoot setup that ZIPMagic uses appears entirely different from the Windows 8.1 effort, since I now have a 70GB .wim file on C:, C:\Windows is 10GB on disk whilst 20GB in reality.

All I wanted was the same WIMBoot that Windows 8.1 had, now I have something that is different, poorly explained with seemingly no option to reverse it. The program offers 4 different grades of compression... with no details on what each one is other than a weird female voice saying 'maximum compression'. Seriously, this software feels like a game, which isn't good.

So, yeah... questions:
1) Can I uncompress the WIMBoot into what it was before?
2) Can I achieve the same WIMBoot structure that Windows 8.1 had? Accurately reporting disk capacity and compressing via LZX the Windows directory into another partition?
3) What actually happens with each grade of compression in this software? LZX? Something else?

I'm considering a purchase to unlock those higher levels of compression, but I'd actually like some real (not marketing fluff) to know what they do, and if it can be reversed. I do not like poorly explained voodoo.
Joker
 
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Re: WIMBoot and other questions

Postby admin » Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:13 pm

Hi there,

First off, a very warm welcome - you made it! :lol:

You would not believe the spam we were getting on the forum until we implemented some stronger protection measures. :o

Thank you very much for your understanding with the same. :)

As for your questions, they're all already answered at length in the product help file. But people don't read, so I'll be glad to summarize:

1. Of course. Use the Uncompress option. It's accessible using the chevron next to the big DoubleSpace button.

2. There's really two questions here:

a. It seems you've been ticked off by the free disk space projection. This actually helps you install software that otherwise would refuse to install due to a perceived lack of disk space, when on-the-fly disk compression is enabled. However, you can disable it easily. Just run the LZS integrator and set your compression ratio to 1.0:1.

b. Reverting to separate partitions is a bad, bad idea, and you cannot do it with any ZIPmagic product. Why is this a bad idea, do you ask? Splitting partitions creates additional disk space bloat when you are recompressing your disk, or when you are excluding previously compressed folders in a new compression pass. Both problems are solved by having a unified partition.

I'll ask a question of my own - did you want a different partition for security/backup reasons? You can backup your disk by just copying ZIPmagic.wim. And ZIPmagic.wim is 100% impregnable to all malware. So you lose NOTHING by unifying your partitions. And you gain a lot of extra disk space and extra flexibility. For example:

A 16 GB Windows 8.1 factory WIMBOOT tablet ends up with only 2.5 GB free disk space after installing Windows updates. Shocking, right? After compression with ZIPmagic, which merges the partitions automatically as part of its recompression operation, you end up with 14.3 GB of free disk space - and that is WITHOUT free disk space projection, with which, you would be looking at 28.6 GB free disk space! Yes, its really incredible - and actually serviceable in real-world use. To be honest, WIMBOOT hasn't been the most serviceable thing to come out of Redmond.

Factory WIMBOOT with Windows Updates:
disk.PNG
Factory WIMBOOT with Windows Updates
disk.PNG (18 KiB) Viewed 2916 times


Recompressed WIMBOOT with ZIPmagic:
disk2.PNG
Recompressed WIMBOOT with ZIPmagic
disk2.PNG (17.92 KiB) Viewed 2916 times


3. People don't like to be told that they're wrong, so I realize I'm taking a risk here - but you're wrong. LZX isn't used by any factory WIMBOOT configuration, because Microsoft cannot natively compress above XPRESS 4KB (which is ZIPmagic's MaxSpeed). And of course, the other settings are XPRESS 8 KB, XPRESS 16 KB, XPRESS 32 KB, and LZX respectively (where LZX is called MaxSpace). Anything above MaxSpeed is *only* available with ZIPmagic (and, does require the purchase).

I'm sorry you didn't like the sexy lady voices! It is actually a homage to the suit voices used in Crysis. You got it right that time!

I hope I have been able to service your requests to your satisfaction. Please don't hesitate to write back more - we always appreciate candor, and it is my job, personally, to make sure you are 100% thrilled with ZIPmagic.

Thank you! 8-)
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Re: [Solved] WIMBoot and other questions

Postby Joker » Mon Jan 08, 2018 7:48 pm

Hello again,

It has taken me this long to return to this thread...

I have read what you've said several times to try and understand... however, a few more questions:

1) What's living in that giant WIM file on my disk? Is it just Windows and Program Files, or is it broader? Is the system continually recompressing those files when they're changed?
2) What algorithm do the higher compression settings use?
3) I can't find the LZS integrator to adjust the ratio, where is it?
4) Similar to your example, where Windows only uses 2-3GB on a 16GB tablet, can this level of space-saving be achieved on my Surface Pro 3 using this software? Which settings achieve this? How can I verify the compressed size of C:\Windows being 2-3GB? Does it maintain/recompress the files after Windows updates?
5) The uncompress submenu entry accessible via the chevron has no options available. Does this make the operation irreversible?

I'm happy to be told I'm wrong if I am. I was under the impression that Microsoft's WIMBOOT utilized LZX. I thought this was the whole point of it. If it uses native NTFS compression, what's the point of it? Why not just turn on NTFS compression instead of WIMBOOT?

Similarly, if the MaxSpeed setting uses XPRESS 4KB, which I believe is the same as ordinary NTFS compression... why does it need a ZipMagic WIMBOOT file?
Joker
 
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Re: [Solved] WIMBoot and other questions

Postby admin » Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:51 pm

Happy 2018!

1) It's your *entire* disk (except excluded folders, of course). No, you need to periodically use the Recompress option to update this file, say once a month.
2) MaxSpeed through MaxSpace.
3) Click the icon created on your system taskbar.
4) Absolutely! Just click Compress, choose MaxSpace to ensure the highest compression. You will need to periodically Recompress after, say one month of Windows Updates.
5) No, you may Compress your disk any time after completing Uncompress.

Native NTFS compression is LZNT1, you're indeed wrong about all the other names you have associated it with.
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Re: [Solved] WIMBoot and other questions

Postby Joker » Sat Jan 13, 2018 7:30 pm

I've now purchased the software and have yet another batch of questions.

1) I've run the Double Space 3 disk compression tool and the MaxSpeed/MaxSpace slider was greyed out. When I clicked the drop down beside Decompress, there is a slider with 50(or more?) different slider settings. What does this do? Does it override the previous MaxSpace options? I can click the little rocket ship and crescent moon pictures on the original slider, does this do anything? The slider doesn't move with it. When the system restarts to compress, the slider is of course set to MaxSpeed. How do I actually select MaxSpace?
2) When I adjust the compression ratio slider under Tune to stop it misreporting my disk size, it's worded rather ambiguously as to what it actually does. The setting of 1.0 says "Without LZS disk compression". I obviously want disk compression. When I click Save, it always reverts to the old setting. What does this slider actually do? Where does the ratio of 2.21:1 come from? Surely this is a rather broad assumption to make?
3) This same window detects LZS90 disk compression on C:. I know from [url="http://zipmagic.co/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=103"]this post[/url] that LZS90 is actually WIM. Does MaxSpace and MaxSpeed both use different implementations of WIM? Or do the other settings perform entirely different methods of compression?
4) The uncompress option has nothing available, only saying "Please select a backup disk to uncompress" with no selectable options. How do I uncompress?
5) I want Windows and Program Files compressed with the maximum possible effective compression. Nothing else. Is there an option to include only certain folders, rather than exclude? If I exclude everything except those two AFTER originally compressing everything, will it extract and uncompress those excluded folders?
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Re: [Solved] WIMBoot and other questions

Postby admin » Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:34 pm

Thank you very much for your custom!

1) Once you have already compressed your disk, you cannot change the master compression grade without using a Backup Disk. Use a Backup Disk, which will allow you to change the master compression grade to anything you like. The minor compression grade you found may be freely changed with or without a Backup Disk. It fine tunes the selected master compression algorithm, and it will not affect previously compressed data (unless you are using a Backup Disk).

2) This is simply increased free disk space projection. It is safe to disable, and will only impact your free disk space projection. The 2.1:1 ratio is calculated based on your *actual* compression savings on your disk! It is the actual rate your disk has been compressed at (except excluded files and folders). This increased ratio will help you copy and/or install files/apps which would fit on your disk, but are being blocked due to free disk space reports which are not taking into account your automatic new file compression savings.

3) MaxSpace and MaxSpeed are both compression grades used in WIM files. With Microsoft, you can only use MaxSpeed. With DiskZIP, you get everything up to and including MaxSpace.

4) You need to attach a Backup Disk to uncompress your disk. You cannot uncompress your disk without a Backup Disk at all. Your Backup Disk must ideally be as large as the disk you are uncompressing. It can be any external drive attached via USB or any internal drive as well.

5) Only exclusions may be defined. Yes, when exclusions are retroactively defined, recompressing your disk will automatically extract items which had previously been included in the WIM archive.

Thank you again for your excellent questions!

Please don't hesitate to post any follow up clarification requests. I'm here to help. ;)
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Re: [Solved] WIMBoot and other questions

Postby Joker » Wed Jan 17, 2018 6:42 pm

I am currently trying to uncompress the drive and it's failing at the point where C: is being formatted.

I left it for 7 hours today while I was at work and when I returned, it hadn't budged. When I restart, it warns that permanent changes have been made, however the system boots up as if it hasn't been touched.

I'd like to ask... would BitLocker being enabled cause these symptoms?
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Re: [Solved] WIMBoot and other questions

Postby Joker » Wed Jan 17, 2018 7:15 pm

Removed Bitlocker... still can't uncompress.

Oddly, the error when formatting fails (because I cancel it after waiting forever) is "The operation completed successfully".
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Re: [Solved] WIMBoot and other questions

Postby admin » Thu Jan 18, 2018 4:15 pm

Bitlocker is automatically disabled when you start (un)compressing a drive.

For some reason it appears your drive cannot be formatted successfully.

Let's try a different approach:

1) Compress your disk (in its latest state) to a Backup Disk first, by choosing Clone | Backup.
2) Next, do a Clone | Restore | Restore Uncompressed.

The above two steps are functionally identical to an uncompression operation.
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Re: [Solved] WIMBoot and other questions

Postby Joker » Thu Jan 18, 2018 8:42 pm

Hi,

I have done as you said, however it is now erroring very early in the operation. It reports "Failed to relocate a large and/or encrypted file", it then links to a .PNG in AppData/Local/Packages which is definitely not encrypted (to my knowledge anyway) or larger than 4GB. If I hit OK, the error will come up over and over.

I feel the software hates me.
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