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fletcherjames

kb944353 -- Is this for real? Is UnattendedJoin actually incompatible

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I've run into a problem (earlier topic) with an error message regarding a product key failure. I tried doing an Unattended Join, and then allowing OOBE to prompt for a machine name. When I do that: a) the Join occurs under a random name; B ) OOBE only changes the LOCAL machine name, but doesn't register the change with the domain; and c) the machine is now left without a valid domain account.

According to http://support.microsoft.com/kb/944353, this is "by design"; by which they seem mean that there's a serious flaw in the logic of the excution of the setup, which is NOT documented in the reference manual. There are only a half-dozen references to that KB on the entire web, none on this forum.

I find this a bit hard to believe, and even harder to swallow. I find it hard to believe that I'm the only person who has ever asked undattenedd isetup to join a domain and ask the person running the setup to supply a name for the machine. Furthermore, I'd be surprised that nobody ever complained about this and that it wasn't fixed in SP1.

I think it is much more likely that there's a different problem going on, and that the KB was due to some MS tech documenting the fact that he couldn't figure it out. The details of my unattend.xml and logs are posted under the earlier topic.

Has ANYBODY out there gotten these two functions to work together in the same setup? If so, please let me know so that I can tell MS that they're blowing smoke at me. They're charging me for an incident and telling me that they can't solve the problem.

Edited by fletcherjames

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We do these the other way arround. We change the name during the Specialize pass and then add to the domain in an unattended join suppressing OOBE.

To do this we actually have the user fill out the information needed and dynamically write out the unattend.xml file with the data the user entered. This works through an HTML application to get the data from the user and a VBscript to write out a custom unattend.xml that setup then uses.

Hope this helps.

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Excellent! I was thinking about doing something like that myself. You've saved me the trouble of worrying about which sequence to use, and experimenting to find out if it will work.

I've written similar applets in the past, which used a templated version of an XML file (i.e. with tags like %%MyVar1%% representing items to be modified), prompted for data items, and applied the substitutions to create a customized XML file.

In my case, I've used VBA in a Word document to program this -- that's nice, because you can store the data in a table in the Word document, and you have built-in program code and default values in a single application file. If I were an Excel (or Access) programmer, I'd obviously do it the app of my choice.

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I may have spoken too quickly, because when I started to implement this, I came up with what seems like a paradox.

We're looking to clone a SysPrepped machine, and then assign a different name to each copy. How can you modify unattend.xml while the machine is sealed (except by mounting the disk in another machine)? Or, if you can put the unattend.xml on a different machine (is that possible, or is it internalized during the SysPrep stage?) then you would need to access it at the earliest stage of setup, at which point the machine doesn't belong to a network, and probably can't access a mapped drive or share.

Were you doing something different from what I need to do, or do you have a clever way to deal with this situation?

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They might be using MDT 2008 or SCCM 2007 to deploy the OS, which would work this way.

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