WINNT.SIF vs UNATTEND.TXT - Automated Install WinXP Pro Slipstreamed with SP2
Posted on 2006-06-02
For the first time I seem to be asking more questions than I am answering.
This one is probably quite simple for those who know, but I need some accurate clarification.
Am I right in thinking that the following statements are true? :
1. IF the file WINNT.SIF exists in the I386 folder of a bootable Windows XP Pro CD, then it will ALWAYS be used as the setup instruction file EVEN IF "unattend.txt" also exists in that folder?
2. When calling WINNT.EXE from the I386 folder of setup source files on a hard drive or on a CD that was not booted to (ie. booting to a floppy and running the winnt.exe command), both WINNT.SIF and Unattend.txt are ignored UNLESS Unattend.txt (or other instruction file in the correct format) is called as a parameter of Winnt.exe?
3. TXTSETUP.SIF will ALWAYS be used for instructions if it is present in the I386 folder of a bootable WinXP CD when setup is started by booting to it. Txtsetup.OEM is ignored in this scenario.
4. TXTSETUP.OEM will ALWAYS be used for instructions if it is present in the I386 folder of setup source files on a hard drive OR if winnt.exe is started after booting to something other than that CD eg. a boot floppy. Txtsetup.SIF is ignored in this scenario.
I don't need instructions on how to slipstream SP2 into Windows XP Pro. I have done that previously with other CD's, and the CD I am using on this computer is already a slipstreamed version. What I have is a Dell OEM CD (not a "Recovery CD", but a full REINSTALLATION CD for the OEM Preinstalled OS).
It is non-machine specific in that it WOULD install on another non-Dell computer if I wished, but it has machine-specific storage device drivers (with matching INF files) in the I386 folder of the CD that are installed on THAT computer from instructions in TXTSETUP.OEM. TXTSETUP.SIF also exists in the I386 folder of the CD, and I am puzzled about which one is used and when. They are both quite different.
The reason I need to know these details is that I had wondered about creating a new CD that either (a) misses out the storage driver installation instructions in favour of installing newer drivers at the post-setup stage OR (b) trying to change the files for the older drivers on the CD to the newer ones.
I'm not sure I'm fully aware of the significance of installing drivers during the Text Setup mode, if that is what the instruction file names suggest.
Thank you in advance.