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  • XP Unattended Installation

    Hello everybody, I am new to this site.
    My name is Kristophor Graden.

    I dont mean to sound like an Idiot, but I would like to ask how you do Unattended Installations of Windows XP.
    I have tried this for countless hours and I can not seem to tackle the problem.

    Here is what i Have been doing:
    Running the setupmgr.exe file, and creating an Answer file. When the Answer file is completed, I rename the Unattended.txt file to winnt.sif
    Then, I add that, and unattended.BAT to my freshly formatted floppy disk.
    Then I reboot my computer, with the Windows XP CD in. I then put in my Floppy disk, but to no avail.
    It dosnt work, and still asks the user to input all the required information. The answer file does not work.

    If any of you know what the problem is, I would greatly appriciate an answer!

    --Kris--

  • #2
    Re: XP Unattended Installation

    This is a huge subject - not lightly undertaken! All the unattend.txt's and winnt.sif's are intended to work with RIS - I never heard of it being used with a CD. Have you run "setup.exe" from the autoexec.bat on the floppy with any command line options?

    Can I suggest some light reading? Sybex's MCSE Study Guide: Windows XP Professional.


    Tom
    For my own and your protection, I do not provide support by private message under any circumstances. All such messages will be deleted and ignored.

    Anything you say will be misquoted and used against you

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    • #3
      Re: XP Unattended Installation

      start here:
      http://unattended.msfn.org/unattended.xp/
      Marcel
      Technical Consultant
      Netherlands
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      MCITP(EA, SA), MCSA/E 2003:Security, CCNA, SNAF, DCUCI, CCSA/E/E+ (R60), VCP4/5, NCDA, NCIE - SAN, NCIE - BR, EMCPE
      "No matter how secure, there is always the human factor."

      "Enjoy life today, tomorrow may never come."
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      • #4
        Re: XP Unattended Installation

        Thanks everyone for the help! Appriciate it.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: XP Unattended Installation

          Ok, so i think I got it, the only thing is, it still dosnt work, and i have been at this for 3 days now.

          Question: Do I have to make the final CD a bootable disk? Or can it just be a data CD?

          Thanks!

          --Kris--

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: XP Unattended Installation

            The CD is a standard Windows XP cd, so bootable by default. The unattend file is on a floppy disk and must be called "winnt.sif"

            Tom
            Tom Jones
            MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
            PhD, MSc, FIAP, MIITT
            IT Trainer / Consultant
            Ossian Ltd
            Scotland

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            • #7
              Re: XP Unattended Installation

              Originally posted by Eternity View Post
              Ok, so i think I got it, the only thing is, it still dosnt work, and i have been at this for 3 days now.

              Question: Do I have to make the final CD a bootable disk? Or can it just be a data CD?

              Thanks!

              --Kris--
              EDIT: Ossian I'm not trying to steal your thunder - you musta posted while I was typing!

              If you're booting from the floppy disk with unattend.txt on it, the CD doesn't need to be bootable - it does however need to be a legal copy of Windows XP which is on a bootable disk anyway. I concede that it is still lawful to use a copy of the disk's contents as long as you can prove ownership of the relevant licences however.

              If you wanted to be REALLY clever you could try putting the unattend.txt and all the relevant "stuff" onto a CD which you create yourself... then you wouldn't even need the floppy. However you could waste a lot of CD's in testing before it worked!! Another method which would work is make the CD bootable by embedding a floppy image onto it; this emulates a floppy disk drive (Letter A: ) on part of the CD's surface. You get it working with a floppy and then transfer the floppy and CD image onto a CD once it's working.


              Tom
              For my own and your protection, I do not provide support by private message under any circumstances. All such messages will be deleted and ignored.

              Anything you say will be misquoted and used against you

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: XP Unattended Installation

                Hi,

                I am knew to this site- it is great, glad I found it!

                Just a little pointer that has caught me out a few times with unattend files.

                From folder options, you need to deselect the option *hide common file extensions*. The reason for this, is the unattend file you are renaming is actually being renamed to unnattend.sif.txt and hence the reason the disk isn't being picked up.

                The answer file will work on a CD install- you need to let the BIOS pick up the CD, and then insert the floppy.

                Hope this helps.

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                • #9
                  Re: XP Unattended Installation

                  Originally posted by Stonelaughter View Post

                  If you wanted to be REALLY clever you could try putting the unattend.txt and all the relevant "stuff" onto a CD which you create yourself... then you wouldn't even need the floppy. However you could waste a lot of CD's in testing before it worked!!
                  That is why we have rewriteable CDs.
                  1 1 was a racehorse.
                  2 2 was 1 2.
                  1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
                  2 2 1 1 2

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                  • #10
                    Re: XP Unattended Installation

                    Originally posted by Stonelaughter View Post
                    EDIT: Ossian I'm not trying to steal your thunder - you musta posted while I was typing!

                    Dont worry, your answer was far more comprehensive!

                    I was actually in the middle of delivering the Windows XP training, so I saw the question, put it on screen and let my trainees answer -- they did alright, I think!

                    Tom
                    Tom Jones
                    MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
                    PhD, MSc, FIAP, MIITT
                    IT Trainer / Consultant
                    Ossian Ltd
                    Scotland

                    ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

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                    • #11
                      Re: XP Unattended Installation

                      Originally posted by biggles77 View Post
                      That is why we have rewriteable CDs.
                      Are CD/RW's bootable then? I wasn't sure.


                      Tom
                      For my own and your protection, I do not provide support by private message under any circumstances. All such messages will be deleted and ignored.

                      Anything you say will be misquoted and used against you

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: XP Unattended Installation

                        Originally posted by Stonelaughter View Post
                        Are CD/RW's bootable then? I wasn't sure.
                        Media itself is neither bootable / non-bootable, rather the files on said media make it so.
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                        • #13
                          Re: XP Unattended Installation

                          True; but I am aware that certain functions are not available on some types of media; for instance a lot of CD players cannot read CD/RW music disks... I was just under the impression that a boot sector was not possible on a CD/RW disk.

                          My mistake :P


                          Tom
                          For my own and your protection, I do not provide support by private message under any circumstances. All such messages will be deleted and ignored.

                          Anything you say will be misquoted and used against you

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: XP Unattended Installation

                            Originally posted by Stonelaughter View Post
                            True; but I am aware that certain functions are not available on some types of media; for instance a lot of CD players cannot read CD/RW music disks...
                            True, although that's due to how the laser physically affects the media itself:

                            http://computer.howstuffworks.com/cd-burner.htm
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                            • #15
                              Re: XP Unattended Installation

                              Well, Thanks for the answers everyone!
                              Im going to try this out again now. I really must be thick if i cannot do this, because even using guides, I have not been able to complete an unattended installation.

                              --Kris--

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