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Beginners Guides: Unattended Windows 2000/XP Installations
Beginners Guides: Unattended Windows 2000/XP Installations - PCSTATS
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   M. Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Beginners Guides > PCSTATS Beginners Guides

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 well?

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:

  1. 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 systems mentioned.
  2. The latest Service Pack available for the operating system you are using.
  3. 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).
  4. CD burning software capable of creating bootable Windows CDs. For the purposes of this article we used Nero 6 and Nero 5.5
  5. At least 2GB of free space on a single hard drive.
  6. Basic Windows skills (creating folders, copying and pasting files, changing file names, burning CDs, etc.)l>

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    Contents of Article: PCSTATS Beginners 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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