Most of the questions posed by the Windows Setup Manager are pretty straightforward, so this PCstats Guide won't run through
them in detail, but here's a few things you'll want to look out for:
- You want 'windows unattended installation.'
- The 'user interaction level' page has several choices; for a completely
hands-off installation, choose 'fully automated.'
- For 'distribution folder' page, choose the 'this file
will be used to install from a CD' option.
Once you have run through all the questions, clicking
'finish' will create the 'unattend.txt' file in the 'deploy' directory. Rename
this file to 'winnt.sif' and copy it into the 'bootcd\working\i386' directory.
Make sure that when you rename the file you answer 'yes' to the question; "If you change filename extension, the file may become unusable. Are you sure you want to change it?" If you don't, Windows 2000 will rename the file to 'winnt.sif.txt', and its icon will change to one for an unassociated file. The unattended install CD will fail to work if this is the case, so be sure that the renamed file is actually 'winnt.sif'.
Once that is done, it is now positioned to supply the answers that Windows needs during the
installation process. The WinXP install will automatically look for the
during the initial stages of setup.
Step 3A: Option for automatic partitioning of
the hard drive
By default, the Winnt.sif file you have created does
everything in the install process automatically except partitioning and formatting the
hard drive. This must still be done manually. If
you want to skip this and have the setup process automatically format the
main drive with NTFS and install, enter the following line in the winnt.sif file
under the [unattended] heading.
Repartition = yes
Note that this will make the setup process automatically erase any data currently
on the main drive.
Additional instructions for Windows 2000
Note that if you are performing this
process with the version of 'setupmgr.exe' included with Windows 2000 Professional
and Server, you will need to add an additional line to the
winnt.sif file manually. This earlier version of the software does not support including
the Windows product key, so the install process will still prompt you to enter the
key unless you add it yourself.
Here's how to
do that: First open the winnt.sif file (or the unattend.txt file if you
have not yet renamed it) and find the [UserData] section. After the rest of the
entries in this section, put in:
ProductID = (your windows product id key in the
Build your own Winnt.sif file
If you'd like to have a go at customizing the winnt.sif
file further, there's a huge (and I mean HUGE) list of optional entries
contained in the 'ref.chm' help file (for Windows XP users) or the 'unattend.doc' file (for
Windows 2000 users). For now, let's continue on with a look at how to
slipstream RAID and Serial ATA drivers into your customized unattended WinXP install