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NickAtNight

WINNT.SIF and XP SP2

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[unattended]

    UnattendMode=FullUnattended

is this in your winnt.sif?

no, and I don't want it in there

I am trying make a general purpose XP installation CD. I only want to avoid the hassle of typing a product key each time. I use this CD to install many machines - some join a domain, some don't. some have static IPs some have dynamic. user name and organization are almost always different. sometimes i have to specify device drivers (F6). sometimes i am trying to repair a damaged installation of Windows.

you get the idea :D

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Then you should have it on =Hide

Then it will only show the pages that you didn't fill in

so if you fill in the serial,it wouldn't show that screen but if you didn't fill in a workgroup/domain,it'll show the screen and ask for one

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It is the quotation marks man I just did mine with the sp2 deploy tools and no quotes it worked fine...

I thought I'd add a bit more info - I have been at this a long time with no success. IMO SP2 and WINNT.SIF is buggy - the installer is just not reading the WINNT.SIF the way it's supposed to.

If you go through the SP2 setupmgr.exe from the DEPLOY directory and provide only the product key and choose "Provide Defaults" for "User Interaction level" this is the unattend.txt you get

;SetupMgrTag

[Data]    AutoPartition=1

    MsDosInitiated="0"

    UnattendedInstall="Yes"

[unattended]

    UnattendMode=ProvideDefault

    OemPreinstall=No

    TargetPath=\WINDOWS

[GuiUnattended]

    EncryptedAdminPassword=NO

    OEMSkipRegional=1

[userData]

    ProductID=xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx

    FullName=""

    OrgName=""

[identification]

    JoinWorkgroup=WORKGROUP

[Networking]

    InstallDefaultComponents=Yes

A lot of this i just don't want. I don't want autopartitioned hard drives. I don't want to skip regional. I don't want the workgroup specified. I don't want the networking settings specified. I don't want to specify the target directory. so you clean out those entries and you come up with this:

[Data]    MsDosInitiated="0"

    UnattendedInstall="Yes"

[unattended]

    UnattendMode=ProvideDefault

    OemPreinstall=No

[userData]

    ProductID=xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx

the only problem is if you use this as your WINNT.SIF the setup skips many of the screens I need to access. it skips the text welcome screen (where you can choose to repair or install). it skips the license agreement (well that's ok). it skips the 15 second reboot pause (again ok - just explaining how even tho i didn't add those lines, it does it anyways). once in GUI mode, it does skip the product key screen (that's good!) but also skips the networking screens for typical/custom settings as well as workgroup/domain settings

if you take it down to the bare minimum... (without the two entries in DATA section setup crashes)

[Data]    MsDosInitiated=0

    UnattendedInstall=Yes

[userData]

    ProductID=xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx

it doesn't skip any screens, but also ignores the product key

again, on an SP1 CD this worked. on an SP2 CD is doesn't

i have made about 15 CDs now trying to get this to work and I am about to give up I guess, unless anyone else has an idea :)

thanks to everyone here for their time in trying to help!

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Then you should have it on =Hide

Then it will only show the pages that you didn't fill in

so if you fill in the serial,it wouldn't show that screen but if you didn't fill in a workgroup/domain,it'll show the screen and ask for one

see my loooong post above this one :)

basically, i chose "ProvideDefault" instead of "Hide" but same difference, since I am not giving any of the settings in the WINNT.SIF besides the product key

and there is a big difference in the way setup acts when you have a "UnattendMode=" entry and when you don't. with that entry in there, a lot of screens are skipped, no matter what you set it to

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It is the quotation marks man I just did mine with the sp2 deploy tools and no quotes it worked fine...

ok you were right! it is quotes - bu it's quotes on the other two entries that were messing me up also

i'll make a new thread with the exact details for anyone who tries to do the same thing and starts tearing out clumps of hair like i have! B)

thanks, kelsenellenelvian - you were right on the money

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This is from the SP2 Ref.chm file.I hope this helps to sort out your problem with the winnt.sif file. My suggestion is to keep the winnt.sif file on a floppy and keep trying and when you get it right,then burn it on a CD

UnattendMode

Defines the unattended mode to use during GUI-mode Setup.

Syntax UnattendMode = DefaultHide | FullUnattended | GuiAttended | ProvideDefault | ReadOnly

Values DefaultHide

Specifies that answers in the answer file are defaults. Unlike UnattendMode = ProvideDefault, Setup does not display the user interface to end users if you specify in the answer file all the answers relating to a particular Setup page. If you specify only subsets of the answers on a page, the page appears with the provided answers. The end user can modify any of the answers on the displayed page.

Use UnattendMode = DefaultHide in deployment scenarios where an administrator might want only end users to provide the administrator password on the computer. This behavior is the default if you do not specify unattended mode.

FullUnattended

Specifies a fully unattended GUI-mode Setup. If you do not specify a required Setup answer in the answer file, Setup generates an error.

During an attended Setup, improperly signed hardware drivers generate a warning dialog box. If UnattendMode = FullUnattended, then Setup does not install hardware drivers unless they are properly signed.

Use UnattendMode = FullUnattended in deployment scenarios where you require a complete unattended installation.

GuiAttended

Specifies an attended GUI-mode section of Setup. When specified, the end user must answer all questions in the GUI-mode portion of Setup before Setup finishes.

Use UnattendMode = GuiAttended in preinstallation scenarios when you want to automate only text-mode Setup.

ProvideDefault

Specifies default answers in the answer file. In this case, Setup displays these default answers to the end user, who can change them if they are not appropriate.

Use UnattendMode = ProvideDefault in preinstallation scenarios where the OEM or administrator wants to give the person setting up the computer the option to change the predefined default answers (especially network options).

ReadOnly

Specifies read-only answers in the answer file if the Windows Setup pages containing these answers appear to the end user. Like UnattendMode = ProvideDefault, no user interface appears if the answer file contains all the answers on a page. Unlike UnattendMode = DefaultHide, however, the end user can specify only new answers on a displayed page.

Use UnattendMode = ReadOnly in scenarios where an administrator wants to force specific answers on one page but not others.

Default Value DefaultHide

Example UnattendMode = FullUnattended

Comments The default value is DefaultHide when you do not specify the entry. When you specify this entry, it fully automates text-mode Setup with or without the necessary answers

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Comments The default value is DefaultHide when you do not specify the entry. When you specify this entry, it fully automates text-mode Setup with or without the necessary answers

it would be nice if it actually worked that way, but it doesn't. the documentation in the ref.chm is a nice starting point, but frankly it's outright wrong in some places and doesn't explain well enough in others

for example if you use quotes or don't use quotes in certain lines, it messes up the parsing of WINNT.SIF somehow. the ref.chm doesn't explain this and in fact tells you to use quotes on some entries where you can not use them

that's the problem i had when i moved my WINNT.SIF from my SP1 CD to my new SP2 CD

just SOP for microsoft, IMO

My suggestion is to keep the winnt.sif file on a floppy and keep trying and when you get it right,then burn it on a CD

Actually I test by making Nero NRG files, Daemon Manager to mount the image, and then using VMWare to test the install - much faster :D

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NickAtNight,

I know the post is quiet old, but I wonder if you have made it work.

Did you make it work??

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