Microsoft Longhorn

Disk partitioning

In many Longhorn builds, there are issues with partitioning and formatting disks within the installer. Microsoft DiskPart is a utility included within the Windows Pre-installation Environment that allows you to partition disks from a command line interface. Within the Windows Installer, press Shift + F10. This will bring up a command prompt window. In this window, type diskpart to open the tool and begin re-partioning and formatting. To partition a disk execute the following commands line by line.

Install any WIM-based Longhorn build from USB

One common problem faced by people installing Longhorn on modern hardware is the apparent inability to boot from USB drives. As optical media grows rarer, and more and more form factors ship without optical media drives, booting from a disc is not always an option. Fortunately, booting Longhorn through USB is a deceptively easy affair once you know what you’re doing. There are two different ways to install Longhorn from USB, depending on which build you are using.

Start page

The Longhorn Start page is a feature present in Milestone 3 builds. The start page appears to be an early attempt at replacing the OOBE (Out-Of-Box Experience) that these builds carry over from Windows XP. Already in build 3683 we can catch a glimpse of the start page, be it in a very early stage. The code for the startpage can be found in the assemblies Microsoft.Windows.Client.dll and ShellInterop.dll It’s interesting to note that one assembly holds both the CAML and XAML for the start page (which differ a tiny bit from each other), and the other assembly holds the code back-end of the whole thing.