Unattended XP Installation


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Jon

Hi,

Some guys in the office are having problems getting the install process to actually read the unattend.txt or whatever its called, they both know how to do this using windows 2000.

Funnily enough, we've actually got a Microsoft guy in, (we are a test bed for windows XP), and he doesnt know what the problem is!

Soooooooo, has any one tried this, and found a problem that sounds similar?

Thanks :)

Jon

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Steven P.

without asking alot of money :p I'll tell j00s how to do it..

Run the deploy.cab in support folder, there you will find a sysprep wizard that will make all the necassary files for unattend (incl boot support) make an ANSWER file for clean installs, them files go on a floppy disk which you leave in while booting from CD

If these guys are really who they say they are, Im sure I dont have to tell them how to use the deploy.cab (the readmes are there)

;)

Unattend is lame..

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Jon

Thats what they are doing, but its not working with XP (RC2 , we havnt recieved our official MS RTM, its in the post :) )

Jon

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Jon

It may be lame, but its the best way when monkeys will be installing the OS......

(for the win2k deployment we are pushing out images)

Jon

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Steven P.

Dude.. you need to extract the deploy.cab, there are various wizards and options you can select to make a sysprep file (floppy) or unattend.. the only crap thing with unattend is that you have to SPECIFY paths to the files (so if everyones cd is d: it shouldnt be a problem) I think that is highly lame.. but other than that you can make an answerfile which resembles msbatch.inf (also in deploy.cab)

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Teflon

I'm not seeing whats so lame about this process. I'd rather spend 5 minutes setting up an answer file that I will use everytime I reformat my drive rather than actually having to sit there and answer all the silly q's during install.

I'm curious as to your non-lame installation methods Neobond.

Please enlighten me ...

-Teflon

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Jon

Teflon,

for your needs, i recommend using ghost, and sysprep (if u want to put the image on a different pc, it will generate a new SID, re run p+p etc)

Jon

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Steven P.
I'm curious as to your non-lame installation methods Neobond.

Please enlighten me ...

-Teflon [/b]

I use an answerfile, but not unattend.txt which requires a bat file.. I pop it in the floppy drive and come back after 39mins and everything works (also for my slipstreamed win2k cd)

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Jon

Neobond, I showed the 'client side' guy, basically hes doing what you've said already (hes spent 3 months working on deployment methods..) , but its using a networked install.

IT simply is not seeing the unattend.txt file, hes doing everything *exactly* the same way he would for windows 2000, but its not working.

Are there any differences between xp+2k?

Theres no documentation about it yet.

Jon

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Steven P.

Well I use my unattend file locally and have not tested it through a Networked envoiroment.. sysprep has changed, It is supposed to be better and "improved" but from what I am seeing its just giving you a hard time. If you cant get it to read the sysprep tool (answer file) via deploy.cab with what is outlined there, then it must be an issue that is not thought through. I know that xp differs in that it will not install over Netbios connections now, as that is disabled by default. Any network connection would have to be TCP/IP based I gather and then I dont see any reason why it wont use the sysprep tool like it is supposed to :(

I am no hero on Network or mass installs, my experience is 1-2 machines only using an answer file.

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Sleeper

There is documentation for it, it is in the deploy.cab on the XP CD, there is a really good help file in there which gives u a list of all the different options.

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Jon

It actually installs ok across the network, but its not using the answer file, so u have to do things like agree to the t+c, blabla.

Confused 3 dam good guys at work!!!!

(including Mr.Microsoft)

Jon

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Jon

The documentation in the .cab file is useless.

We needed the complete list of all variables (and syntax) useable in the unattend.txt file, which is on the win2k cd, but *not* on the winxp cd.

The guys found the problem, the unattend.txt file needs to be inside the i386 directory for a network install.

Works fine now.

Jon

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ElGato

I assumed/thought thats where it should've been anyhow? Where else would it be?

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Jon

Well aparently win2k doesnt need it there..!

I'm conveying messages from other people, but guy leading this has been working on absolutely nothing but ways to install win2k for the past 3 months, using sysprep + ghost, sysprep+unattend, Altiris Deployment Server.

He knows his sh*t!

This even confused the Microsoft Consultant.....

Anyway, I've wasted enough time on this thread.. back to work.

The joys of roaming user desktops and associated group policy settings.

Jon

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ElGato

Fair enough, it not something I have tried myself, but I have been considering it for some time.

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Spartan_X

Try this...

-Extract deploy.cab fron you CD-Rom to C:sysprep

-Run setupmgr.exe

-Choose the installation that apply to your needs

-Follow the wizard

-If you are using the CD Boot method, you must name the answer file unattend.txt to Winnt.sif

-Copy the files to a floppy disk

-Run the installation

There is a known issue when you run the wizard from a different location rater than C:, also network installations are ok with the name unattend.txt.

If you are in a corporate environment, you can also try with ?sysprep.exe ?factory? to create an image of a hard disk with the OS and the apps you need to install, it allows you to prepare ?OEM? installations out of the box ready. For more information read the deploy help file.


:D

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