WDS: Server 2008, Unattended - HowTo-Multiple Unattend.xml files for Different OSes?


  • First off, thank you all for helping with my last question about WDS.

    The good:
    I have a WDS Server running Server 2008.  I have it deploying Server '08 Images just perfectly.

    The questions:
    Now, I would like to add an Image for Server '03 in a new Group, along with a slightly different Unattend.xml file (product key change, partition change, etc.).

    Is there a nice way to do this/correct way? 
    Place both in Wdsclientunattend?
    Specific naming?

    Also, did the '03 Server discs have a install.wim in the \SOURCES directory?  I can only find my '03 Server CDs and they don't have a \SOURCES directory.


    Thursday, March 12, 2009 12:38 PM


All replies

  • Hi,


    A Windows Server 2003 disk does not include an install.wim file. Only Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 disks contain install.wim.


    To deploy Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, we use unattend.xml as unattend files. However, to deploy previous systems, we use sysprep.inf as unattend files.


    Windows Deployment Services management tools only assign install image unattend files for Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 images. For images for older operating systems, you must use your existing Sysprep.inf files and manually create a $OEM$ directory structure (for example, D:\RemoteInstall\Images\Windows XP\winxpsp2\$OEM$\$1\sysprep\sysprep.inf).


    l  Unattend.xml:


    For Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 images, author Unattend.xml by using Windows SIM, save it to a known location, and then associate the file with an image using the management tools. To do this, right-click the image in the MMC snap-in that you want to associate with the unattend file, and then click Properties. On the General tab, click Allow image to install in unattend mode, click Select File, browse to select the unattend file, and then click OK twice. The Unattend.xml file will be saved to the following location: \RemoteInstall\Images\<imagegroup>\<imagename>\Unattend\ImageUnattend.xml.


    l  Sysprep.inf:


    For images prior to Windows Vista, author Sysprep.inf by using Setup Manager and then save these files to the $OEM$ structure of the image (for example, D:\RemoteInstall\Images\Windows XP\winxpsp2\$OEM$\$1\sysprep\sysprep.inf). Now when you deploy the image, Setup will automatically locate and use the Sysprep.inf file.


    In addition, you should only use one Windows Deployment Services client unattend file for one Windows Deployment Services server. This file uses the Unattend.xml format and is stored on the Windows Deployment Services server in the RemoteInstall\WDSClientUnattend folder.


    For more information, please refer to the following articles:


    Windows Deployment Services Step-by-Step Guide


    Automating Setup


    Hope it helps.


    Tim Quan - MSFT

    Friday, March 13, 2009 6:39 AM
  • Tim Quan,
    Thank you for your fast reply!

    So, here is what I have done thus far - maybe good notes for someone else who may have to do this.

    1- I can capture the image the regular way, PXE boot, upload to '08 Server in a new Image Group (Server 2003).

    2- System Manager is run on the '03 box which auto-creates a unattend.txt and unattend.bat file.  You have to rename unattend.txt to sysprep.inf from what I see.

    3- I add the folder structure under C:\RemoteInstall\Images\Server2003 of \server2003\$OEM$\$1\sysprep (and place sysprep.inf there).  Currently, under C:\RemoteInstall\Images\Server2003 is Res.RWM and server2003.wim.

    4- Add the '03 box to the same domain as the '08 to be able to copy over the C:\windst share to the '08 server.  Add user to share and owner.  Copy over.

    5- Move unattend.txt and unattend to C:\RemoteInstall\Images\Server2003\server2003\$OEM$\$1\sysprep.  Modify unattend.bat to your location parameters, share name, and the renamed unattend.txt to sysprep.inf.

    What else needs to be done for this to work properly?

    How do I properly add it to the boot menu now?
    -Currently I have a PE x64 and Image Capture options, how can I add the '03 Server /wim?
    -When I try to add the .wim from C:\Remote... it says it is not valid and the same result after I export the image and it creates the several GB file.

    Thank you again,

    Friday, March 13, 2009 10:24 AM
  • Hi,


    The following two articles should be helpful. Please refer to them first:



    Hope it helps.


    Tim Quan - MSFT

    • Marked as answer by dr-boolean2 Monday, March 16, 2009 8:27 AM
    Monday, March 16, 2009 3:31 AM
  • Thank you again!
    Monday, March 16, 2009 8:27 AM