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  • WDS easy question

    I have an answer file in my Remoteinstall/wdsclientunattend folder which works just fine for all of our WinXP machines, joins domain, etc. etc.

    Now we have these cool spiffy Windows 7 X64 machines and the unattend file does not work, for obvious reasons. I have, what should be, a functional unattend but it does not work with my WDS setup. It does zero zilch nothing, just like the WDS server isn't even seeing it.

    So my questions are this:
    A) Do I have to do anything to make the server recognize that there is a different architecture there and act accordingly?
    B) Do I just put the second unattend file in with the first in the same folder?
    C) If so how does the WDS server know which one to use?
    D) Is there anything else I am missng? I am sure there is but until I know what to look at I have no idea what to look at.
    E) Why am I dealing with this and not drinking a beer? Also why are YOU dealing with this and not drinking a beer?
    Thanks for the help!
    Two things:
    1) If I wrote something wrong please please please let me know. I want to know ESPECIALLY if I am wrong.
    2) I have a tendency to write things that are misconstrued as being agressive or not so pleasant. That is not my intent.

  • #2
    Re: WDS easy question

    As you also referenced in your post, unattended installations are completely different in Windows 7 than they were in Windows XP. Typically now the use of Windows System Image Manager (WSIM), which is a part of the Windows Automated Installation Kit (Windows AIK), is recommended to create unattend.xml files for your Windows 7 deployments. You might also want to consider the use of the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) in addition to using WDS. Many find MDT to be extremely beneficial as it combines all of the official tools (Sysprep, Windows Automated Installation Kit (Windows AIK), and Windows System Image Manager (WSIM)) into a single workbench that can help automate the imaging and deployment process. It is also compatible with Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2003, 2008, and 2008 R2, which means you would only have to learn one utility to do all of your deployments. Furthermore, it is exceptionally useful in creating “universal” images as it can easily add or remove drivers or applications from the deployment images.

    To address your questions:

    A. Yes, your unattend.xml file will have to specify the correct architecture for the image.
    B. The client unattend file automates the Windows Deployment Services client user interface screens (such as entering credentials, choosing an install image, and configuring the disk). This file uses the Unattend.xml format and is stored on the Windows Deployment Services server in the RemoteInstall\WDSClientUnattend folder.
    C. Should you get stuck at any point listed here, there is a great Forum FAQ: How to perform an unattend WDS installation? on the TechNet forums that outlines the steps necessary to successfully perform an unattended WDS installation.

    Also, one more side note is to check out the Build a better desktop image post by Mitch Tulloch on TechNet as it is a great article for more detailed information on desktop image management.

    Windows Outreach Team – IT Pro
    Last edited by winoutreach5; 9th April 2012, 22:04.