Welcome to the help pages of WinBuilder!

Inside this manual you'll find details and quick start guides related to wb. If you haven't found enough information to answer your questions, please let us know what you think needs to be changed or added to make this manual easier to understand. You are kindly invited to place your comments here.

Starting up is easy and you can do it in 3 steps
  1. Start WinBuilder.exe from an empty folder.
  2. Get your fresh projects using the Download Center.
  3. Select the project you want to build and click play.

Please follow the Step-by-Step installation description recommended  here

Contents





Overview


WinBuilder is a flexible boot disk builder.

This program can create all sort of bootable environments based on the source that is used. There are several projects available for winbuilder so please remember to read the instructions found inside each project to understand which compatible sources can be used.

Some of the features to expect from wb

- Friendly User Interface
- Users can freely select, download, and update new scripts from the internet
- Scripts can be configured without needing to edit any code in most cases
- Most scripts already come included with freeware applications
- Customizable projects, everything can be customized and improved.
- Many built-in tools to edit and create new scripts inside wb
- Much smaller/efficient boot-disks and more flexibility to add changes.
- Tool specially targeted for boot method challenges.
- Last but not least - A very active community


This help manual is also available as a single .chm file download here



Installing


This program should be placed inside an empty folder and you can all projects you wish to try from the Download Center in wb.

There are no restrictions about spaces on path names or using non-ascii characters. We're using c:\WinBuilder as an example but you can also place it on your desktop if you wish.

By default wb starts with the Recommended level and you only need to click the Download button to get the recommended files from each project.

After the initial download is concluded - the program will restart itself to start fresh and find all available projects.

These projects and files can be found under a new sub-folder called Projects.

This program is not based on static paths meaning that you can move your wb work folder to other locations and still let your projects work.

Please read the chapters below to understand in more detail how this process works.


Important details when downloading


In the Download Center you find a few folders called Tools - althought these folders do not contain any projects at all - they do contain a small set of third party applications (tools) and files that are shared and required by projects.

In most cases this folder only needs to be downloaded once.

Please include it when downloading files for the first time.




Download Profiles


The download center contains some servers - each server can contain hundreds of megabytes worth of project scripts and files.

The first time you try wb - You don't need to download everything.


To ensure that you can test each project without having to download all files - you can use the profiles box at the top of the download center window.

This box allows you to choose scripts automatically.




Using this profile box you can easily select to only download the Minimum profile which is helpfull for dial-up connections. You may select the Complete download if bandwidth is not a restriction and you wish to get all available scripts.



Running your first project


Click on the root item of each project to view how it should be used.
In most projects you just need to click the Play button
(blue triangle) and a wizard will ask you for the project source files location and continue the project build.


Whenever you need to change this default location, you can click on the "Paths" tab and modify as needed. 


Please read here  to view the pages that detail how to use each project so that you can understand more about the needed conditions to build your project.





Compatibility


WinBuilder.exe is supported on Microsoft Windows 95/98/ME, Microsoft Windows NT4/2000/XP/2003 and Microsoft Windows Vista.

It will require Internet Explorer (5.0 and above) to be installed on your machine to properly acess these help pages and use the Web tab.

It won't require any .NET framework or any similar component. It is mostly a standalone application without special external dependencies. (you can even disable the whole network access and IE won't be needed at all).


Vista support

Under this OS it will be necessary in most cases to disable UAC (User Account Control) to allow creation of the needed registry hives when building a new boot disk. Unfortunately, Vista disables by default any atempt to access the registry even when running under the administrator level account.

This is not a default requirement for all projects - only for those who require the load hive functionality




Scripts


Script files are simple text files that use the extension .script which can be edited with wb's internal editor, you can also use your favourite text editor or a simple text notepad.

Detailed information about scripts

FAQ

It's recommended to use wb's internal editor to let help you customize the script and highlight the source code syntax while scripting.



You can use wb's internal editor by selecting a script and clicking on the Edit button
.


When running WinBuilder, click on the Tools button where you can also find a small utility to help you creating your scripts from available templates.


The learning curve to make your own script is very simple and acessible.

You can use other scripts as example to create your own scripts and then share them in the forums to help others if you wish - also a good place to ask for scripts that support the programs you like.




Where do I place my scripts?

You can place your scripts inside the same folder where the project you want to create is placed.

Using LiveXP as example, you can place your scripts inside the %BaseDir%\Projects\LiveXP folder, where %BaseDir% is the same path where WinBuilder.exe is found. Placing your script inside this folder is more than enough to make it available from the the main window when browsing your project.

Also worth noting that some projects also have a specific folder where all related scripts are grouped. Using the same LiveXP example, you can place your scripts with programs inside the %BaseDir%\Projects\LiveXP\Apps folder.



Why some scripts only work with some projects?

Even thought all scripts are created equal and use the same scripting language - different projects can use very different ways to add programs and functions.

In most cases you should understand which projects are compatible with your script before trying to use it. There is also an ongoing effort to make scripts work in a wider variety of projects, read here for more details.

If you are using the Download Center as source to get your scripts from the internet, then you won't need to worry about this since each server only contains scripts that are always correctly placed inside compatible projects.

If a script is growing outdated, you can try to adapt it yourself. Pick a similar script that works the way you need and use it as example, adapting things as needed.

You can also post all your inquiries about .script file coding in our community where others can tell you which specific steps may be needed or even teach how to update your script.






Available Projects


Projects are the way to build a specific boot disk and you should always read the information page of each project you intend to use before you start building a project.

Specific details are included to help you use compatible sources and learn how to debug some common issues that might sometimes appear. If you still have any doubts about how to proceed that are not covered in this manual, you're invited to ask for help on our community forums.





Bugs


WinBuilder is a tool in progress and there are always bugs being reported and properly solved, we always appreciate your feedback and reports in case a bug is found.


Bugs can be divided in two types: WinBuilder or Project.

  1. WinBuilder - Visit this page and check if you're using the latest version - report here if you need. It's always good to use the latest versions since they contain several improvements at each time a new version is released.
     
  2. Project related - Each project has a specific forum where all related issues and fixes can be found, please visit the respective forum page for more details.

In both cases, when reporting for a bug it is recommended that your search the forums to check if any other person has already posted a similar report and post a comment in the respective thread. Your feedback will help others who may be able to assist in quickly finding a solution.



AntiVirus debugging

It was ocasionally reported by a few users that some AntiVirus can interfer while scripts are copying or deleting files. It's advisable to temporarily disable the anti-virus only when debugging while the building process is running to check for possible causes that keep your project from being concluded as expected.

Under normal circunstances there is no need to disable your Antivirus.
Please be aware that antivirus programs will scan any files being copied which may impede performance.



Special project settings

Please note that some projects may require specific conditions to be properly executed such as VistaPE which requires being used exclusively on NTFS partitions to properly handle WIM images,  please read the specific project page to view more details.

WinBuilder itself can run quite happily both on FAT32 or NTFS partitions.






License


This program is freeware and can only be used under the terms of the respective license.

The full scope of WinBuilder's license is available to read inside the program by clicking on:
 Tools --> Options --> View License Agreement and is applied only to WinBuilder.exe.


Projects, Scripts and other files distributed along with WinBuilder are subject to their own licensing terms whenever applied and always according to the respective author terms - which should always be credited for their work when creating distributions or derivated versions of wb.

WinBuilder.exe is distributed on an "AS IS" basis, WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. 

The Developer of WinBuilder.exe is Nuno Brito (mail@nunobrito.eu).

Copyright 2006-2007 Nuno Brito. All Rights Reserved.

All relevant trademarks are acknowledged.





About WinBuilder



Wb was coded with the intention of creating a flexible boot disk tool with an easy to use interface. All projects available today were only made possible due to the long and constant help of people who believe and keep struggling to make this sort of solutions freely available for everyone else enjoy.

If you found our work useful, why not drop a quick visit to the good folks in our community and say hello

Thank you for using wb.

Please let us know if this page is not complete or in case you still haven't found needed information.