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Michael Greene

My Vista autounattend file template

My Vista autounattend file template

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This is an answer file I use to demonstrate an unattended setup with Vista Business/Enterprise.  First off, please do not copy this file verbatim with hopes of using it in mass deployments.  There are settings I have cleared or set generically so you need to populate them on your own.  I am posting this template to assist everyone who has asked if I have a template they could compare against.

If you haven't worked with Vista answer files before, this article is probably not the best place to start but I would be happy to point you in the right direction.  I recommend downloading the WAIK and reading through the "Getting Started for IT Professionals" document, creating the test file it describes.  This will introduce you to using System Image Manager and the seven phases of setup.

A few things to know:

  • This file will wipe the disk and create a new 40 GB partition.  I chose 40 GB somewhat randomly, I wanted to make sure it was a good size for testing application installs.  I have also found that letting the answer file extend volumes in a VPC dynamic disk can result in an error.
  • This file will name the machine "NewPC".  I populated this setting only to show a completely silent install.  In most cases you would remove the <computername> attribute and use some other facility (like BDD) to name the machine during install.
  • I have removed the passwords for the Administrator and LocalAdmin accounts from the file.  You will need to use SIM to set your own.  Since the passwords have been cleared but the attributes are still there, delete the password items from phase 7 and add them back in, setting the values with a secure password for each.
  • I set the FullName attribute to "Test FullName" and the Organization attribute to "Test Organization".
  • The time zone is set to Central (GMT-6).
  • The screen resolution is set to 1024x768, this works well in VPC.
  • This file does not include domain join.
  • This file does not contain an MAK so the machine will be set to use a KMS.

I look forward to comments and suggestions.  I am planning to build additional templates such as this for scenarios such as sysprep, setup with domain join, etc.

The answer file will wipe and repartition the drive so do not use it on a machine where you might lose data if the drive is lost!!!  I use it for testing in Virtual PC.

 

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<unattend xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:unattend">
    <settings pass="windowsPE">
        <component name="Microsoft-Windows-Setup" processorArchitecture="x86" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
            <DiskConfiguration>
                <Disk wcm:action="add">
                    <CreatePartitions>
                        <CreatePartition wcm:action="add">
                            <Order>1</Order>
                            <Size>40000</Size>
                            <Type>Primary</Type>
                        </CreatePartition>
                    </CreatePartitions>
                    <DiskID>0</DiskID>
                    <WillWipeDisk>true</WillWipeDisk>
                    <ModifyPartitions>
                        <ModifyPartition wcm:action="add">
                            <Active>true</Active>
                            <Format>NTFS</Format>
                            <Letter>C</Letter>
                            <Order>1</Order>
                            <PartitionID>1</PartitionID>
                            <Label>OS</Label>
                            <Extend>false</Extend>
                        </ModifyPartition>
                    </ModifyPartitions>
                </Disk>
                <WillShowUI>OnError</WillShowUI>
            </DiskConfiguration>
            <UserData>
                <AcceptEula>true</AcceptEula>
                <FullName>Test FullName</FullName>
                <Organization>Test Organization</Organization>
            </UserData>
            <ImageInstall>
                <OSImage>
                    <InstallTo>
                        <DiskID>0</DiskID>
                        <PartitionID>1</PartitionID>
                    </InstallTo>
                    <WillShowUI>OnError</WillShowUI>
                </OSImage>
            </ImageInstall>
        </component>
        <component name="Microsoft-Windows-International-Core-WinPE" processorArchitecture="x86" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
            <SetupUILanguage>
                <UILanguage>en-us</UILanguage>
            </SetupUILanguage>
            <InputLocale>en-us</InputLocale>
            <SystemLocale>en-us</SystemLocale>
            <UILanguage>en-us</UILanguage>
            <UILanguageFallback>en-us</UILanguageFallback>
            <UserLocale>en-us</UserLocale>
        </component>
    </settings>
    <settings pass="oobeSystem">
            <component name="Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup" processorArchitecture="x86" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
                <UserAccounts>
                    <AdministratorPassword>
                       You need to set your own password!
                    </AdministratorPassword>
                    <LocalAccounts>
                        <LocalAccount wcm:action="add">
                            <Password>
                               You need to set your own password!
                            </Password>
                            <Description>Local Admin Account</Description>
                            <DisplayName>Local Admin</DisplayName>
                            <Group>Administrators</Group>
                            <Name>LocalAdmin</Name>
                        </LocalAccount>
                    </LocalAccounts>
                </UserAccounts>
                <TimeZone>(GMT-06:00) Central Time (US and Canada)</TimeZone>
                <OOBE>
                    <HideEULAPage>true</HideEULAPage>
                    <ProtectYourPC>1</ProtectYourPC>
                    <SkipUserOOBE>true</SkipUserOOBE>
                    <NetworkLocation>Other</NetworkLocation>
                </OOBE>
                <Display>
                    <ColorDepth>32</ColorDepth>
                    <DPI>96</DPI>
                    <HorizontalResolution>1024</HorizontalResolution>
                    <RefreshRate>72</RefreshRate>
                    <VerticalResolution>768</VerticalResolution>
                </Display>
            </component>
            <component name="Microsoft-Windows-International-Core" processorArchitecture="x86" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
                <InputLocale>en-us</InputLocale>
                <SystemLocale>en-us</SystemLocale>
                <UILanguage>en-us</UILanguage>
                <UserLocale>en-us</UserLocale>
            </component>
        </settings>
        <settings pass="specialize">
            <component name="Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup" processorArchitecture="x86" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
                <ComputerName>NewPC</ComputerName>
            </component>
        </settings>
    <cpi:offlineImage cpi:source="wim://bdd/distribution$/operating%20systems/windows%20vista/sources/install.wim#Windows Vista ENTERPRISE" xmlns:cpi="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:cpi" />
</unattend>

Comments
  • Where can I find the WAIK "Getting Started for IT Professionals"? actual documet? Google does not seem to have it indexed anywhere.

    Thanks

  • I see your problem, you need a more accurate index!  :-)

    http://search.live.com/results.aspx?q=site:www.microsoft.com+waik&lf=0&rf=0&FORM=MSRE

  • I have created a autounattend file for vista. Everything is working fine except one palce. It shows me the language and timezone selection screen and ask me to press next. only at this point it is not unattened. pleas let me know what i need to do for this.

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