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Beginners Guides: Unattended Windows 2000/XP Installations

Beginners Guides: Unattended Windows 2000/XP Installations - PCSTATS
Abstract: Make a customized Windows XP Install CD with all the drivers included, that installs by itself.
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Filed under: Beginners Guides Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: PCstats Dec 21 2004   Mike Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Beginners Guides > PCstats Guides

Troubleshooting the customized Windows XP unattended install CD

Thankfully, most issues with customized boot CDs are pretty easy to track down due to the Windows error messages that tend to crop up. Let's run through a few of the most common scenarios that could cause your disk to fail.

1. Service pack slipstreaming errors

The upgrade -n -s: command used to integrate Service Pack files with your operating system files cannot handle multiple word directory names. If you are having trouble updating your files, make sure none of the affected items are in folders that have a space in their names; 'boot cd' would be bad, while 'bootcd' is a better choice, for example.

2. SATA/RAID errors

If you are getting a syntax error or an error on line xx of your 'txtsetup.sif' or 'winnt.sif' files, you have a mistake in one or both of these files. Go back and recheck the entries you made and the steps you took, then recompile the CD.

If you are getting an error message stating that the installation process cannot find the (yourdrivername).sys file, this means you have not added the file correctly to the I386 directory of your CD. You need to redo the makecab portion of step 4 and ensure that you have spelled the driver name correctly.

If you have added RAID/SATA controller drivers and are attempting to install to this device but Windows cannot find your hard drive, chances are you've added an incompatible driver file. Verify the version and try again.

Lastly, while we've made an effort to try these instructions with many hardware variants and RAID/SATA controllers, there are still many combinations we have not experimented with. If you've followed everything here to the letter and you are still getting errors, try using Google to search the Internet for answers specific to your RAID/SATA controller.

3. Bootable CD creation errors

If you are having trouble creating a bootable CD, make sure you are setting the correct options. Most importantly, emulation must be set to 'no emulation,' bootable sectors to 4, the 'do not add the ";1" ISO file version extension' option must be enabled and the 'ISO level 2 (max of 31 characters) option must be set.

We hope you've enjoyed this Guide from PCstats and found it very helpful. We'd like to hear from you about your own CD customization experiences. If you have any questions or comments, or know of something that might make a valuable addition to this guide, please add it to our knowledge base on this article in the forums.

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- Windows XP Service Pack 2
- Firewall Setup and Configuration
-Eliminating Spyware and Hijacker Software
- Diagnosing Bad Memory
- 101 Tips and Tweaks for WindowsXP
- Burning CDs and DVDs
- Optical Drives & Recording Formats
- Securing Your Wireless Network
- Little Known Features of WindowsXP
- Ergonomics & Computers
- Annual PC Checkup
- Installing WindowsXP
- Encryption and Online Privacy
- Home Networking and File Sharing
- Forgotten Passwords & Recovery Methods
- Preventing Data Theft from a Stolen Laptop
- Creating a Weblog / Blog
- Installing RAID on Desktop PCs
- RAM, Memory and Upgrading
- Ten Steps to a Secure PC
- Flashing A Motherboard BIOS
- Windows XP Safe Mode Explained
- Upgrading Win98 to Windows XP
- USB Memory Drive Projects
- 104 Great Tech Tips for Windows XP
- The Registry: Backups, Repairs, and Protection
- Diagnosing Bad Hard Drives
- Decrypting Document & Zipped File Passwords
- Spyware protection and Removal
- Wireless home networking
- Internet Connection Sharing
- Remote Access to Computers
- Hard Drive Data Recovery
- Firewalls and Internet Security
- Back up and Restore Data in WinXP
- Assembling Your Own PC
- VPNs and Internet Connection Security
- Legally Copying Software and Music
- Setting up a FTP Server in WinXP
- Creating MP3 Music Files
- Stopping Spam
- Cloning WindowsXP
- Browser Hijacking and How to Stop It
- Printer Sharing on a Home Network
- Converting Videotape Into Video Files
- Creating a WindowsXP Install CD with Service Pack 2
- Creating a Flashing a Video Card BIOS
- Making DVD Movies from Video Files
- Synchronizing Files and Folders
- Crash Recovery and the Blue Screen of Death

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Contents of Article: PCstats Guides
 Pg 1.  Beginners Guides: Unattended Windows 2000/XP Installations
 Pg 2.  Step 1: Copying the source files to your hard drive
 Pg 3.  Step 2 Con't: Installing the service packs
 Pg 4.  Step 3. Windows Setup Manager
 Pg 5.  Step 4: Adding RAID/SATA text-mode drivers
 Pg 6.  Step 4B: Modifying Winnt.sif for driver installation
 Pg 7.  Modifying txtsetup.sif - Part 2
 Pg 8.  Modifying txtsetup.sif - Part 3
 Pg 9.  Step 5: Adding plug-and-play drivers to the CD
 Pg 10.  Step 6: Extracting the boot image and creating a custom boot CD
 Pg 11.  Burning a bootable CD con't
 Pg 12.  — Troubleshooting the customized Windows XP unattended install CD

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