Setup Manager - SYSPREP - WINDOWS 2000

Posted on 2004-04-05
Last Modified: 2013-12-03
I know with Windows XP sysprep there is a option to enter the product key in when using Setup Manager - but what in Windows 2000? Is there a place that I can enter the product key?
Question by:duemes
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Expert Comment

ID: 10760017
If memmory serves correctly you should be asked for the cd-key and other information druing the sysprep information qizard setup.

I'll give you a quick run thru on making a disk.

on the cd (using X as the cd-rom drive letter)
Find x:\Support\Tools\ extract all the files in the deploy cab to c:\windows\deploy
next switch to the c:\windows\deploy directory and run setupcl.exe
After that just follow the onscreen directions
Once you have filled out all the information copy the contence of c:\windows\seploy to c:\sysprep (it will be already made for you) DO NOT OVER WRIGHT sysprep.ini
copy copy factory setupcl sysprep and sysprep.ini to a floppy and there you have it a sysprep floppy. or if you want to sysprep that machine just run sysprep.exe  the c:\sysprep directory will be deleted during the sysprep setup.
Also check out the following for further informatuon

Eric's Computers
Mobile: (905)875-6775

Expert Comment

ID: 10760043
Yes it can be done. Here's a snippet from a reference site.   (

There are several ways to perform an unattended installation of Windows 2000. Unattended mean Setup will not require any user input during the installation, although in practice this is not always the case. But this allows you to install multiple computers without actually sitting in front of them.

Setup Manager     Back to top

The Setup Manager (setupmgr.exe) can be primarily used to create or modify answer files. Once you start the Setup Manager a wizard will take you through all the steps involved, this is a bit similar to going through a regular Setup. Although answer files can be created manually using a simple text editor, the Setup Manager provides a graphical interface allowing you to easily create complex answer files, with for example additional commands which run other installation and configuration scripts when setup is finished. Besides creating the default unattend.txt answer files, you can also use the Setup Manager to create answer files for Sysprep and RIS installations. When a regular unattend.txt answer file is created you can also have Setup Manager create a distribution folder with the installation files, additional files (applications, drivers, etc.) can be installed in the same folder.

The Setupmgr.exe file must be extracted from the DEPLOY.CAB file located in the \Support\Tools folder on the 2000 installation CD. Before you enter the the information (answers) you would normally enter during the installation process, you have to select the User Interaction Level. You can choose from 5 different options:

Provide Defaults During the installation the user will see the answers provided in the answer file as defaults, the user can accept or change them.  
Fully Automated Fully automated installation.
Hide Pages During the installation the user will see the answers provided in the answer file as defaults. Pages which answers are completely provided by the answer file are hidden,the user cannot accept or change those.  
Read Only During the installation the user will see the answers provided in the answer file as defaults, but cannot change them.
GUI Attended This automates only the text-based stage of the installation, the user will have to enter the answers starting from the Setup Wizard.

At some point during the wizard you need to provide the computer name, if you specify multiple names Setup Manager will also create Uniqueness Database (UDB) files. The computer or user specific values in the .udf file can be used to override the values provided in the answer file.

If you want to perform an unattended installation from the command prompt on Windows 98, ME, NT, 2000, or 2000, use Winnt32.exe, otherwise use winnt.exe. For example to perform an unattended installation on a computer named 2000client1 using unattend.txt as the answer file and overriding some of the answers with 2000client1 specific values in the unnattend.udf file use the following command

winnt32 /unattend:unattend.txt /udf:2000client1,unattend.udf
winnt /u:unattend.txt /udf:2000client1,unattend.udf

You can also use the /unattend parameter without specifying an answer file to upgrade Windows 98, ME, NT 4.0, or 2000 in unattended mode and take all user settings from the 'previous' installation.
If you use the /udf parameter and do not specify an UDB_file, Setup will prompt to insert a disk that contains the $Unique$.udb file.

When you want to perform an unattended installation by booting from a CD-ROM, you need to rename the answer file to winnt.sif (default is unnattend.txt) and copy it to a floppy disk. When Setup is started it looks for the winnt.sif file on the floppy disk and uses it for the unattended installation.

Using answer files in combination with winnt32, winnt, or the CD rom/winnt.sif combination is used for standardized deployment of Windows 2000 Server in situations where the target clients have many different hardware configurations.

Here's a sample part of an answer file:


UnattendMode = FullUnattended
TargetPath = Win2000
FileSystem = LeaveAlone
OemPreinstall = No
OemSkipEula = Yes
TimeZone = "YourTimeZone"
OemSkipWelcome = 1
OemSkipRegional = 1

ComputerName = *
ProductKey = "Your product key"


BitsPerPel = 16
XResolution = 800
YResolution = 600
VRefresh = 60

iis_common = On
iis_inetmgr = Off
iis_www = Off
iis_ftp = Off
iis_doc = Off
Fp_extensions = On
Indexsrv_system = On
Accessopt = On
Calc = On
Charmap = On
Chat = Off
Clipbook = On
Deskpaper = On
Dialer = On


JoinDomain =
DomainAdmin = Administrator
DomainAdminPassword = XEkdf7834H

HTTP_Proxy_Server = proxysrv12:80
Use_Same_Proxy = 1



Author Comment

ID: 10760312
I know what to do with sysprep, but all I am asking is how to get the product key in the answer file....I put in what you had as an example, but it still asked me to enter one (the spaces were all BLANK).

any idea?

I had this:

ProductKey = "XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX" X being a number/character

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Accepted Solution

lesgetdown earned 500 total points
ID: 10760362
Try changing ProductKey to ProductID

let me know if that works

Expert Comment

ID: 10760415
You dont need to enter a product key at all during the sysprep setup.
Just click next and continue. you will be asked to enter the cd-key during the next boot up.

Eric's Computers
Mobile: (905)875-6775

Author Comment

ID: 10760682
no no no..I changed the answer file from productkey to productid and everything works great... there anyway of skipping the EULA?

Expert Comment

ID: 10760830
Very Cool!  Glad that worked  Look below to skip the eula

use this line:

UnattendMode = FullUnattended
TargetPath = Win2000
FileSystem = LeaveAlone
OemPreinstall = No
OemSkipEula = Yes
TimeZone = "YourTimeZone"
OemSkipWelcome = 1
OemSkipRegional = 1

Author Comment

ID: 10766959
works like a charm....

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