Beginners Guides: Unattended Windows 2000/XP Installations
Make a customized Windows
Install CD with all the drivers already included. Let the install process go ahead
100% unattended, so you can get down to some real work, and leave
the "click ok" job to the non-IT folks. - Version 1.0.4
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Every now and then there comes along a computer or server that needs Windows
installed with a specific blend of drivers and settings. Running through one
installation isn't too bad, but what if there are a dozen or even more computers
to get through? It's times like this that having your own customized Windows
installation can be a time saver, and life saver.
Then there is the dreaded "Press F6 to install RAID
drivers" process when a floppy drive-less computer is having its Windows
operating system installed... Wouldn't it be so nice if those RAID drivers were
already integrated onto a customized Windows install CD?
And that's actually how the idea for this guide came
about. We needed to find a way to include the necessary disk controller drivers in with the Windows
operating system CD so that we could actually install the OS on a
computer using RAID, but lacking a floppy drive. Since we were doing that, we
figured we might as well add the rest of the necessary drivers in as well. And
since we're on a roll now, why not figure out how to install drivers
from scratch and perform a fully unattended installation of Windows XP as
If you've seen PCstats' Guide to Slipstreaming Service Pack 2 for Windows XP , you'll
already be aware that it's quite possible to add components to Windows
operating system files then rebuild and burn a bootable CD with the
new features. We're going to take that concept one step further, and examine
how to introduce SATA and RAID drivers, and a few other things options and
drivers, into a customized unattended install Windows 2000 or XP boot CD.
The goal is to help you create a bootable WinXP/2K
install CD which not only contains the latest version of your operating system,
but also has any SATA/RAID drivers needed to install Windows and all the
necessary drivers Windows will need for your hardware. Not only that, once you
start the installation process it will install all of this automatically in
on go, without any input from the user. Grab a coffee, and let's get started!
What you will need to
complete this guide:
- A legitimate copy of Windows XP, Windows Server 2003,
Windows 2000 Professional or Windows 2000 Server. The following guides are written
assuming Windows XP, but they will work equally well on the other operating
- The latest Service Pack available for the operating system you are using.
- A CD burner (preferably with a CD-RW disk or two, since you might end up
burning several slightly different copies of the same data).
- CD burning software capable of creating bootable Windows CDs. For the
purposes of this article we used Nero 6 and Nero 5.5
- At least 2GB of free space on a single hard drive.
- Basic Windows skills (creating folders, copying and
pasting files, changing file names, burning CDs, etc.)l>