Configuring the AutoUnattend file

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Configuring the AutoUnattend file

 

The AutoUnattend file is used to create a base answer file that will be used when first loading Windows from the DVD. The file will configure things like partitions, which partition Windows should be installed to, languages to be used, screen resolutions etc.

 

To start a new Answer file, select File - New Answer File

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now you need to add Components to your Answer file. You do this by selecting the component from the Windows Image pane and then selecting at what point it should run in the Answer file. So, this is the bit that takes some trial and error but as a basic use these:

 

 

Component

Configuration Pass

Microsoft-Windows-Setup\DiskConfiguration\Disk\CreatePartitions\ CreatePartition

windowsPE

Microsoft-Windows-Setup\DiskConfiguration\Disk\ModifyPartitions\ ModifyPartition

windowsPE

Microsoft-Windows-Setup\ImageInstall\OSImage\InstallTo

windowsPE

Microsoft-Windows-Setup \UserData\Product Key

windowsPE

Microsoft-Windows-International-Core-WinPE\SetupUILanguage

windowsPE

Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup \OEMInformation

specialize

Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup \OOBE

oobeSystem

Microsoft-Windows-Deployment\Reseal

oobeSystem

Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup\Autologon

auditSystem

 

Expand the component list until you see the lowest setting listed above, and then add that setting to your answer file. This shortcut will add the setting and all parent settings to your answer file in one step.

 

Now you should have seen these appearing on the Answer File pane. You now need to configure each setting to your requirement. I have put in bold an example setting.

 

Component

Value

Microsoft-Windows-International-Core-WinPE

InputLocale = en-GB

SystemLocale = en-GB

UILanguage = en-GB

UserLocale = en-GB

Microsoft-Windows-International-Core-WinPE\SetupUILanguage

UILanguage = en-GB

Microsoft-Windows-Setup\DiskConfiguration

WillShowUI = OnError

Microsoft-Windows-Setup\DiskConfiguration\Disk

DiskId = 0

Microsoft-Windows-Setup\DiskConfiguration\Disk\CreatePartitions\CreatePartition

Extend = false

Order = 1

Size = 20000 (Note: you can adjust Size accordingly; this example uses 20Gb)

Type = Primary

Microsoft-Windows-Setup \DiskConfiguration\Disk\ModifyPartitions\ModifyPartition

Active = true

Extend = false

Format = NTFS

Label = OS_In

Letter = C

Order = 1

PartitionID = 1

Microsoft-Windows-Setup\ImageInstall\OSImage\

WillShowUI = OnError

Microsoft-Windows-Setup\ImageInstall\OSImage\InstallTo

DiskID = 0

PartitionID = 1

Microsoft-Windows-Setup \UserData

AcceptEula = true

Microsoft-Windows-Setup \UserData\ProductKey

Key = xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx

WillShowUI = OnError

Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup \OEMInformation

Manufacturer = Your Company

HelpCustomized = false

SupportPhone = 020 1234 1234

SupportURL = www.somewhere.com

SupportHours = 09:00 to 17:00

 

Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup\OOBE

ProtectYourPC = 1

NetworkLocation = Work

Microsoft-Windows-Deployment\Reseal

ForceShutdownNow = false

Mode = Audit

 

Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup\AutoLogon

Enabled = true

LogonCount = 5

Username = Administrator

 

So, when your all setup, it should look a bit like this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These details were modified from Microsofts TechNet site. For original details, and always worth a read, go to http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc749317(v=ws.10).aspx

 

Now we just need to Validate the settings by selecting Tools - Validate Answer File.

 

Any errors or warnings will appear in the Messages pane at the bottom of the screen. Errors should be resolved before finishing but warnings can sometimes be left in the anser file with no impact on the file working.

 

If it all looks OK, then click File - Save Answer File As...

Select a location to save the file and give it a file name of AutoUnattend.xml

Copy the AutoUnattend.xml file to the root of a USB

 

You now have a basic answer file that automates an install of Windows 7 from a DVD. To make this work, insert the USB in to a USB port on the PC (normally the ones at the back of the PC) and boot from the DVD. As part of the Windows installation it will check for any AutoUnattend.xml files on USB devices and uses that file as part of its setup.

 

 

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