Network Settings provided through unattend.txt fail to take effect on Servers if NIC resides on virtual Bus

Network Settings provided through unattend.txt fail to take effect on Servers if NIC resides on virtual Bus

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Hello my name is Nitin Mishra and I am working with Platforms Core Team in Product Support Group. This article discusses an issue with latest Broadcom NC Series VBD drivers coming with DL360 G5 and DL380 G5, which prevent the Network Settings, provided in Unattend/sysprep answer file, to take effect. When attempting a unattended installation of Windows Server 2003 with this particular network card any settings specified in the unattend.txt will fail to apply due to how this network card uses a virtual bus driver (VBD). 

RESOLUTION

To use netset03.exe to specify network information as per KB 920293
Extract KB920293 and locate file netset03.exe. To extract the file to a location (e.g C:\Netset) use the following commandWindowsServer2003-KB920293-x86-ENU.exe /X
This will pop up the extraction wizard asking for a location to extract files. Once you have the netset03.exe file, create a file named netset.txt (You can choose any name).
Now copy all the adapter specific settings in this file and save.

Now you can use any one of the below mentioned methods to specify Network Settings:

1. Use [SetupParams] in unattend answer file to specify settings.

Create a Folder named Netset under $oem$\$1\Netset (This can be any name and not necessarily Netset). Copy netset03.exe and netset.txt file under

$oem$\$1\Netset Folder. Now add below entry in unattend.txt answer file.

[SetupParams]

UserExecute = “C:\Netset\Netset03.exe C:\Netset\Netset.txt”

You can add the above section just below [GuiUnattended].

OR

2. Use cmdlines.txt to specify settings.
Create a Folder named Netset under $oem$\$1\Netset (Again, this can be any name and not necessarily Netset). Copy netset03.exe and netset.txt file under $oem$\$1\Netset Folder. Now create another file named cmdlines.txt under $oem$ folder. Populate following entry in cmdlines.txt


[Commands]

“C:\Netset\Netset03.exe C:\Netset\Netset.txt“

If you want to install the NIC drivers along with this, you can use the following
[Commands]

“cmd.exe /c {location of nic driver executable} [/switch to make the install silent]”

“C:\Netset\Netset03.exe C:\Netset03.exe\Netset.txt”

The benefit of using cmdlines.txt is that it executes commands in a seqential order and the second command would wait for the first to finish before it can execute. In case of

SetupParams you can only run a single command. In case you’ve added more than one command, the second and subsequent will be ignored.

Note: In case you’re using Netset03.exe, make sure that you use PCIBusNumber, PCIDeviceNumber, PCIFunctionNumber to specify settings for each NIC. In case you’re using

the InfID to specify NIC settings you may see that NIC settings are not getting implemented. If you manually run that command after installation you will see below error:

Network Card {guid} not found in the answerfile.

Author: Nitin Mishra
Technical Lead
Platforms Core

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  • Thanks for this informtion. Is this still an issue, or has Broadcom fixed it recently? Do we have an ETA about a fix? Thanks in advance for your reply.

  • Broadcom has released RIS compatible drivers that do not cause this issue.

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