Unattended WinXP installations

Dr_Weasel

One of Freddy's beloved
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Dec 25, 2003
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Seeing as Ive been reading the WinXP MCSE book which covers unattended installations, I thought Id give it a go.

I created the unattended text file with all the answers to the relevant questions, and then the book tells you to run

<cddrive>:\i386\winnt32.exe <loads of options> <path to above created file>

Fair enough I think, but how do you get to a command prompt to navigate to the winnt32.exe file on the CD?

I dusted off an old Win98 boot disk and cranked that up with CD support, ran the above command in order to be told that "Winnt32.exe must be run in Windows"

Now am I missing the point here, but what is the point of running an unattended WINDOWS INSTALL from within WINDOWS!

I tried some other options like booting from the WinXP CD and dropping into the recovery console and trying to execute winnt32.exe from there, but no joy as the console isnt really a DOS prompt.

Has anyone ever done this? Google isnt yeilding the answers. It just tells me to run winnt32.exe, but not from where.....
 

Quige

Fledgling Freddie
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Dec 22, 2003
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Excellent site from Shovel, which I might have a go at.
However, did you try running the command from the Start > Run dialog.

The switches are quite relevant. I think it may be possible to start setup from inside windows, which then sets itself to reboot and carry on from 'non-windows'.

Have a look here, and see if that's what the command is trying to do;

http://labmice.techtarget.com/articles/winntcmd.htm
 

Quige

Fledgling Freddie
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Dec 22, 2003
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Dr_Weasel said:
Fair enough I think, but how do you get to a command prompt to navigate to the winnt32.exe file on the CD?
Again, I initially assumed you meant some sort of 'real' DOS, rather than the usual DOS window in Windows.
However you might mean that, apologies if I telling to suck eggs ... Goto to Start > Run > cmd
 

MrBlack

Fledgling Freddie
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Dec 24, 2003
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What would be nice, of course, would be if it said please insert floppy or USB flash drive with your unattended install text on when you boot from the CD. Surely the biggest use for this kind of install is to dump the OS on a brand new HD (no windows to boot from in the first place).

Instead it wastes 7 million years loading approximately 7540 obscure Fibre Channel controller drivers, with that brief "You will forget to press F6 here at least 7 times" message at the start. :)

Just to improve your mood a little, know that MS's own engineers couldn't even manage it when they moved Hotmail to Win2k server from BSD. Every one of the 600-odd boxes had to have some manual interfention to install correctly.
 

Dr_Weasel

One of Freddy's beloved
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Ill take a look at that site Shovel, ta.

I am trying to dump XP onto a new, clean, but partitioned and formatted HDD, so i dont have the option of going to Start->run to run the command Quige.

It seems that to do an unattened install on a new disk, you first have to install windows so that you can go to start->run to execture the command to do an unattened install.... which is pointless as I just had to install windows in order to get to the bloomin start button.

Perhaps the site that Shovel gave will yeild the info, Ill take a look this evening when I have some more time. What MrBlack said is what I want to do. Insert CD, give unattended text file, go to pub.
 

MrBlack

Fledgling Freddie
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Dec 24, 2003
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That's my point, I don't think it's acutally possible to achieve. It should be, but it isn't.

erm... sorry. :fluffle:
 

The-Don

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Dec 11, 2003
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Just spoken to the guy that created the guide at http://unattended.msfn.org/xp/index.htm and this is his answer...

If you want to install from DOS you need to execute winnt.exe and not winnt32.exe.

It seems that to do an unattened install on a new disk, you first have to install windows so that you can go to start->run to execture the command to do an unattened install.... which is pointless as I just had to install windows in order to get to the bloomin start button.
You need to make a bootable CD with winnt.sif (formally unattend.txt) in the I386 directory
 

MrBlack

Fledgling Freddie
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Dec 24, 2003
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MrBlack said:
That's my point, I don't think it's acutally possible to achieve. It should be, but it isn't.

erm... sorry. :fluffle:
k.. I'll get me coat...
 

Mellow

Loyal Freddie
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Dec 23, 2003
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193
Dr_Weasel said:
Seeing as Ive been reading the WinXP MCSE book which covers unattended installations, I thought Id give it a go.

I created the unattended text file with all the answers to the relevant questions, and then the book tells you to run

<cddrive>:\i386\winnt32.exe <loads of options> <path to above created file>

Fair enough I think, but how do you get to a command prompt to navigate to the winnt32.exe file on the CD?
At the command prompt from a boot disk surely?
 

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