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Unattended install for WIN 95/98

agregory asked
Last Modified: 2013-12-16
How can you do a unattended installation of windows 95 or 98? (yes I know you can for NT)
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Top Expert 2007

I beleive that there are tools for W95/98 for preparing OEM versions of W95. They are probably in the resource kit. I think that it is similar to the unattended file used for NT. I'll check and get back to you.
Top Expert 2007

In the W98 resource Kit. :

Microsoft Batch 98 (Batch.exe) is a Windows-based program that makes it easy to create setup scripts that can be used to automate Windows 98 installation. With Batch.exe, you can create unattended installations because when you install Windows 98 using a setup script, Setup consults this file instead of prompting the user for each piece of information. However, there are some circumstances when user intervention is still required.
Even though Batch.exe runs on Windows 95 and Windows NT, it is best to run it on a Windows 98 model computer to take full advantage of its configuration scanning functionality. This functionality is available through the Gather now button as explained in “Batch.exe Features” later in this chapter.
Batch.exe Features
Microsoft Batch 98 is an improved version of the Batch.exe utility available in Windows 95. Batch.exe now offers a more intuitive, Windows 98–like user interface as shown in the following figure.

Top Expert 2007
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The resource kit is the way to go for 98 but for 95 you need to download the inf utility program from microsoft's site.
Top Expert 2007

Some more info on W95 installs
The information provided in this document is provided “as-is” without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied including without limitation, the implied warranties of merchantibility and/or fitness for a particular purpose. The user assumes the entire risk as to the accuracy and use of the document. In no event shall Microsoft or its suppliers be liable for any damages whatsoever, including without limitation, direct, consequential indirect, incidental, lost profit or special damages, even if Microsoft has been advised of damages.
Windows 95 is typically installed via a series of easy to use Wizards that prompt the user to select which components of Windows 95 they wish installed on their specific computer. While this method has proven very effective for single workstations, it does not address the concerns of a business that installs Windows 95 across hundreds or thousands of desktops. These businesses often have specific goals for their workstations, including network configuration, security, administration, and customization. It is unrealistic to expect thousands of end–users to follow a lengthy set of instructions to install Windows 95 to their workstations, or to have a set of employees manually install one workstation at a time. In addition to being time–consuming, it is very likely that mistakes will be made, resulting in a non–homogenized environment, with all the related administrative overhead.
A method exists for just such a scenario. It is possible to write a script for the installation of Windows 95, including many (if not all) desired options. This document discusses such scripting. Its purpose is to expand, clarify, and consolidate Appendixes C & D from the Windows 95 Resource Kit, which should be used for greater detail on syntax and usage. It should be noted that this document is intended for the experienced Windows 95 user, preferably one who has experience installing and troubleshooting, and who is familiar with the topics being discussed. It discusses the installation of various options, but does not discuss the usage of such options. It is not intended in any way to educate the reader as to the internal workings of Windows 95, nor does it discuss interoperability with existing networks and applications.
Scripting Basics
Windows 95 uses a default script name of MSBATCH.INF, a text file that can be edited in Notepad (It is suggested that Word Wrap be disabled when creating or modifying a script). If no script is specified after the Setup command, and this file exists in the same directory that Setup is being run from, it will be used. The script may be saved with any filename that conforms to the 8.3 (DOS) specification, and should end in .INF.
Chapter 3 of the Windows 95 Resource Kit details Windows 95 Setup. In addition to describing the various stages, the margins contain information describing which section in the script refers to the stage of setup being discussed. This can be an invaluable aid to troubleshooting a script that may not perform as expected.
When installing Windows 95 to a large number of workstations, it is usually best to consider the following:
·      Existing Operating Systems (OS)
·      Security and Administration
Existing Operating Systems
Windows for Workgroups 3.11
Possibly the easiest method of installing Windows 95 is to upgrade over Windows for Workgroups 3.11. Additional options may be added via the script, and many of the problems that are associated with unique values for a particular computer are avoided. Previously installed applications will still be present, hardware detection is simplified and more reliable, and network settings such as user names, computer names, domain names, et al, will be retained in Windows 95.
Windows 3.1 or 3.11
Another simplified method is to upgrade over Windows 3.1/3.11. Again, additional options may be added via the script, and the settings for previous applications will be retained. However, network–specific information may have to specified by other means.
Clean Install
In many cases, a site will install Windows 95 to computers that have little or no software previously installed. In this situation, the administrator has full control over what will be installed on the workstations.
Security and Administration
Early in the planning phase, consideration should be given to the security and administration options available in Windows 95. These include User Profiles, Group Policies, Remote Registry, and Remote Administration. Some options can only be installed during setup.
The design of a setup script can be divided into two sections:  
·      Core Components
·      Miscellaneous Options
Core Components
When beginning a setup script, initial focus should be on the core components of Windows 95, such as network, security, and administration options. These typically are the most difficult to implement properly, and are the most critical to successful operation. For instance, an end user may not know their TCP/IP settings, and would be unable to connect to their resources without this knowledge.
Miscellaneous Options
Basically, anything that can be added or removed with a minimum of effort on the part of the end–user, or is not difficult to specify in the script is defined as “miscellaneous”. This includes components that may be found in Add/Remove Programs, display settings, one–line registry edits, and others.
Time Considerations
Depending on the hardware, and the level of user intervention required, a scripted setup can take from twenty minutes to an hour to complete. Depending on the complexity of your installation be prepared to run setup many times.
Testing cannot be emphasized enough. Ideally, a few computers should be set aside exclusively for this purpose. Enough computers should be available to test all functions, including networking, administration, and normal usage. A printer is desirable.
When experiencing problems with a scripted setup, the best thing to remember is to simplify. Isolate the component that is giving difficulty, and use a script that installs only that component. Editing a large script can be very confusing, as the layout is not easily structured. Reducing the number of extra sections greatly speeds the troubleshooting process, and they can be added back in after the current problem has been resolved.
Another powerful troubleshooting method is running setup from the compact disc, without any script whatsoever.  This may reveal error messages that would otherwise be suppressed, options that are specified in the script but require additional components to be integrated to the install point, and settings that should be defined in the script (particularly network settings) but aren’t.
Chapter 3 of the Windows 95 Resource Kit contains detailed information as to which stage of setup relates to which section in the script. This can be valuable when troubleshooting a “hand–free” installation that prompts for additional information.
Script Structure Overview
Similar to a Win3x INI file
As noted above, the script is a text file with the extension of INF. This file is similar in design to an INI file, and the rules that apply in an INI also apply in the INF. The format is a section heading contained within square brackets ([heading]), which is followed by text in the following format:
<keyname>=<value>, <optional value> . . .
Duplicate sections are not permitted, and only in some cases are duplicate keynames permitted. The Windows 95 Resource Kit contains examples of these keys, but unless otherwise noted, duplicate keynames should not be used. If multiple values are to be used after a keyname, they should be separated by commas.
Comments may be included in a script. As in a Win3x INI file, these are preceded by a semicolon (;).
Section names
There are two types of section headings in the INF file:
·      Reserved
·      User Defined
Reserved section names are:

·   Setup–Related      ·   Network–related
·   [Setup]      ·   [Network]
·   [Install]      ·   [MSTCP]
·   [System]      ·   [NWLink]
·   [NameAndOrg]      ·   [NWRedir]
·   [InstallLocationsMRU]      ·   [NWServer]
·   [OptionalComponents]      ·   [Vredir]
·   [Printers]      ·   [Vserver]
Other section names may be reserved, depending on options specified in the script.
User–defined sections are created by the user, and are defined by keynames specified in a reserved section.
The above sections will be discussed in greater detail later in this document.
There are a few tools available for scripting. Some are available on the Windows 95 compact disc, and can be found in the \Admin subfolder (This folder also contains the files needed for many of the optional components, such as Remote Registry and Group Policies). Other tools are available via Microsoft Electronic Services (FTP, WWW).
These tools greatly simplify preparing a setup script. In most cases, nothing other than these tools is required to write the complete script. Before attempting to manually write the script, try the tools.
Additional information and instructions for each of these tools may be found in their respective README.TXT files.
Available on the compact disc:
·      Netsetup
·      *Inf installer
·      *Batch Installer
*Updated versions of these tools may be found on Microsoft’s FTP and WWW site. It is strongly recommended that the updated versions be used, as they provide added functionality, and some problems with the original versions have been fixed.
Available on Microsoft’s FTP and WWW site:
·      Inf Installer
·      Batch Installer version 2.0
·      Inf Generator
(Location: \Admin\Nettools\netsetup.exe)
This tool is available only on the Windows 95 compact disc. It will run only on Windows 95. Its use is necessary for any scripted installation that will include components not located in the Windows CAB files. If the installation will include only default options, then the CAB files may be used with the script, although this method is unsupported. Many of the examples in this document will not function if the CAB files are used. Generally, it is better to use this tool, in the event future installations will be further modified.
Netsetup’s primary purpose is to create a default folder hierarchy at the installation point, expand the files from the .cab files, copy those files to their appropriate subfolders, and mark them as read–only. There are some rudimentary scripting utilities available, as well.
Inf Installer
(Location: \Admin\Nettools\infinst.exe. Updated version available, and highly recommended, from Microsoft’s electronic services)
The Inf Installer is used to integrate software components (not hardware) which use a standard Windows INF format, into an existing installation point. It copies all needed files to their appropriate subfolders, modifies MsBatch.Inf to include these components in the installation, modifies Custom.Inf, and modifies Layout.inf. In short, it does all the work needed to integrate additional components to an installation point.
Batch Installer
(Location: Start menu if using the updated version, else \Admin\Nettools\batch.exe)
Batch Installer has most of the common items that are used in installation scripts. Batch 2.0 has a feature to retrieve settings from the registry of an existing installation. Using this feature, a single workstation may be set up with all desired features, and Batch 2.0 will retrieve the settings from the registry and write the script. It will not copy the necessary files to the installation point, however. Inf Installer should be used for this purpose.
Inf Generator
(Available via FTP or WWW, IG.EXE. Expand with a “–d” parameter. This forces IG.EXE to expand with the necessary folder structure)
This tool is most widely used on networks where many different configurations will be required. It is used in combination with an existing script, which acts as a base template. Inf Generator combines this file with other components, which may not be available in Batch Installer, and creates one or more scripts. Its most useful function is creating separate scripts for multiple users.
Image Installs
A common request regards the issue of “image” installations of Windows 95. This would involve setting up Windows 95 on a computer representative of all the workstations to which it is to be installed. There is no supported method of achieving this.
[Setup] section
Hands-free requirements
In order for a workstation to be setup without any user intervention, any input that would normally be required must be specified in the script. This includes installation locations, uninstall information, all user information, and all optional components. No Emergency Boot Disk will be created; and no printers will be installed, unless upgrading, in which case previous printers will be retained.
For a hands–free stand–alone (no network, no network card present) installation, the following sections and switches are required:

Display=0      ;Do not display setup options
Express=1      ;Automates the “Next” button
InstallDir=”C:\Windows”      ;Install Windows 95 to this folder
ChangeDir=0      ;Do not permit the user to change InstallDir
EBD=0      ;No Emergency Boot Disk
ProductID=      ;The CD key belongs on this line
CCP=0      ;Do not search for previous versions of Windows
VRC=0      ;Do not prompt to overwrite files
TimeZone=”Central”      ;Modify to suit
Uninstall=0      ;If “5” (create backup), BackupDir must be specified


Display=0      ;Do not display name and organization page
Name=”User Name”      ;Modify to suit


Please note that this does not include any network options, and does not function if a network card is present in the computer. If any network components are to be installed, further information is required.
Other [Setup] options
This switch specifies which set of default components will installed with Windows 95. The components available correspond with the setup buttons available during a regular Windows 95 installation.

0=Compact      Minimal components will be installed
1=Typical      Default components will be installed
2=Portable      Primarily used on laptops.
3=Custom      Used in conjunction with [OptionalComponents], for non–default configurations
[Install] section
Appendix C of the Windows 95 Resource Kit contains information on modifying system files during setup. For more complete information regarding syntax and usage, please refer to the Resource Kit. The most commonly used keynames will be discussed here. The values for the keynames discussed here refer to user defined sections. In other words, the specific modifications are not in this section. Rather, it refers to and defines the sections that contain the specific information.
Note   In the examples provided, some lines wrap to two or more lines. This is due to the formatting in the document, and should not be duplicated in the script.
(p1161 & p1165, Windows 95 Resource Kit)
This keyname defines those sections that contain information for adding keys and values to the registry. The specified section then contains the specific information for editing the registry. There can be only one Addreg= line in the [Install] section, but it may contain as many section names as needed, separated by commas.
(Runs Notepad once after the initial login):

(p1161 & p1168, Windows 95 Resource Kit)
This defines sections that contain a list of files to be copied to the workstation. There can be only one CopyFiles= line in the [Install] section. Copying the files is more involved than that, however. In addition to providing the list of files, the destinations and source must be defined as well. This is done in three more sections:
·      [DestinationDirs] (p1166, Windows 95 Resource Kit)
·      [SourceDisksNames] (p1170, Windows 95 Resource Kit)
·      [SourceDisksFiles] (p1169, Windows 95 Resource Kit)
All four of these sections are required in the script for the file to be successfully copied. The section referenced by the value by the CopyFiles key is a list of the filenames to be copied. While no path information is required, this section may be used to rename a file, if the source filename differs from the destination filename. It may also be used to temporarily rename the file, in case such a file already exists on the workstation, and is in use. The new file will be renamed to its final name on the next restart.
Another valuable resource for copying files is LDID (Logical Disk Identifiers). These are specific numeric values that correspond to various default destination (not source) folders in a Windows installation. See page 1167 of the Windows 95 Resource Kit for a list of LDID values.
The [DestinationDirs] section specifies where each set of files is to be copied. Each section referenced by the CopyFiles key will have an entry in this section. The section name is equated to either a path, or to an LDID. The most commonly used LDIDs are 10, (%windir%, the directory to which Windows 95 is being installed), and 11 (the %windir%\system subdirectory).
The [SourceDisksNames] section specifies where the files to be copied are kept. In most cases, only one entry is needed. This entry consists of the identifier to be referenced by the [SourceDisksFiles] section, followed by an equals sign, a description of the source, two commas, and a mandatory “0”.
In the [SourceDisksFiles] section, all of the files to copied are referenced once again. The actual name of the file to be copied (as opposed to its destination name), is followed by an equals sign, the reference identifier from [SourceDisksNames] section, a comma, the subfolder in which the file may be found (if any), another comma, and the file size.
(copies CE2NDIS3.VXD to the %windir%\system folder):


Xircomfiles.Copy = 11  ;LDID for the \system folder

;<Cab#> = <disk description>,<cabinet filename>, ID (Unused, must be 0)

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