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URGENT: Windows 2003 Unattended Fails to Run from BartPE Command Line

Posted on 2006-10-29
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
Okay, I'm trying to kick off an unattended install from a BartPE session running in a RAMDISK, booted via PXE.

I have successfully done this for Windows XP, and am using the exact same command line (cmd /c winnt32.exe /copysource:"lang" /makelocalsource /syspart:C /tempdrive:C /unattend:winnt.sif), but every time I run this, WINNT32.EXE fails with the following message:

"The specified Setup script file ([path to my script file, winnt.sif]) is inaccessible or invalid.  Contact your system administrator."

A few points:
1. WINNT.sif is not inaccessible; I can access it and read it no problem from the command line or BartPE's GUI.

2. This is the exact same .sif file that I'm using on my WORKING unattended bootable CD.

3. Other than a few OS specific details, the WINNT.SIF files for the XP and 2k3 install are indentical.

Anyone have any bright ideas as to what could be going on here?  What could be wrong with the .sif file here that wouldn't show up under a normal cd-booted unattended installatiion?  I've sorted through the file, but can't find anything obvious.

Cheers,

T.D.R.
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Question by:The_Dark_Rabbit
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3 Comments
 

Author Comment

by:The_Dark_Rabbit
ID: 17831815
In case it would be useful, here is a sample of the .SIF file (modified to obscure things like company, passwords, and product keys, of course):

################################################
;Created by The Dark Rabbit
;Last changed: June 21, 2006

;SetupMgrTag
[Data]
    AutoPartition=0
    MsDosInitiated="0"
    UnattendedInstall="Yes"
    UseWholeDisk=No

[Unattended]
    UnattendMode=DefaultHide
    UnattendSwitch=Yes
    OemSkipEula=Yes
    OemPreinstall=Yes
    TargetPath=\WINDOWS
    OverwriteOemFilesOnUpgrade=No
    FileSystem=ConvertNTFS
    WaitForReboot="No"
    NoWaitAfterTextMode=1
    NoWaitAfterGUIMode=1
    AutoActivate=No
    ConfirmHardware=No
    Repartition=No
    OemPnPDriversPath="Temp\Drivers\;Temp\Drivers\NIC\;Temp\Drivers\Audio\"
    DriverSigningPolicy=Ignore
    NonDriverSigningPolicy=Ignore
    Hibernation=No

[SystemFileProtection]
      SFCQuota=0

[GuiUnattended]
    AutoLogon=Yes
    AutoLogonCount=4
;    AdminPassword=593ffd5234gdfdf4t775c1917f0c464565gfges45456903a476c32
;    EncryptedAdminPassword=Yes
    AdminPassword=password
    EncryptedAdminPassword=No
    OEMSkipRegional=1
    TimeZone=235
    OemSkipWelcome=1

[OEMRegistrationPage]
        OEMAddRegPage=0
       PostToOEM=0

[UserData]
;    ProductKey=XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX (64 bit XP only)
;    ProductKey=XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX
    ProductKey="XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX"
    FullName="COMPANYNAME"
    OrgName="COMPANYNAME"
    ComputerName=ASIA_A_SRV

[LicenseFilePrintData]
      AutoMode=PerSeat

[Display]
    BitsPerPel=24
    Xresolution=1024
    YResolution=768
    vrefresh=60

[IEPopupBlocker]
      BlockPopups=Yes
      FilterLevel=Medium

[TapiLocation]
    CountryCode=1
    Dialing=Tone
    AreaCode=411
    LongDistanceAccess="9"

[RegionalSettings]
    LanguageGroup=7,1
    Language=00000409

[Branding]
    BrandIEUsingUnattended=Yes

[URL]
        Home_Page=http://www.google.ca
      Help_Page=http://www.google.ca                    
      Search_Page=http://www.google.ca

;[Proxy]
;    Proxy_Enable=1
;    Use_Same_Proxy=1
;    HTTP_Proxy_Server=prx001.asia.COMPANYNAME.com:8080
;    Proxy_Override=<local>

[GuiRunOnce]
   Command0="%systemdrive%\Temp\InstallSVR32.bat"

[Shell]
      DefaultThemesOff=Yes
      DefaultStartPanelOff=Yes

[Components]
      accessopt=Off
      appsrv_console=Off
        aspnet=On
      AutoUpdate=off
        calc=on
        cdplayer=Off
        certsrv=Off
        certsrv_client=Off
        certsrv_server=Off
       charmap=On
       chat=Off
       clipbook=Off
       cluster=Off
       deskpaper=Off
        dialer=Off
        fax=Off
        fp_extensions=Off
      freecell=Off
      hearts=Off
        hypertrm=On
        ieaccess=On
      IEHardenAdmin=Off
      IEHardenUser=Off
      iis_asp=On
        iis_common=On
        iis_ftp=Off
        iis_inetmgr=On
      iis_internetdataconnector=On
        iis_nntp=Off
      iis_serversidesincludes=On
        iis_smtp=Off
       iis_smtp_docs=Off
       iis_webadmin=Off
        iis_webdav=On
        iis_www=On
       indexsrv_system=On
;       LicenseServer=On
       media_clips=Off
       media_utopia=Off
      minesweeper=Off
       mousepoint=Off
       mplay=Off
       msmq=Off
        msnexplr=Off
       mswordpad=On
       netcis=Off
        netoc=On
        objectpkg=Off
       oeaccess=On
        paint=Off
      pinball=Off
       rec=Off
       remins=Off
       rstorage=Off
      solitaire=Off
       templates=Off
      TCClients=Off
;      TSEnable=On
;        TSWebClient=Off
;      TerminalServer=On
       vol=Off
        WMAccess=Off
        WMPOCM=Off
       WMS=Off
        WMS_Admin=Off
       WMS_SERVER=Off


[Identification]
    JoinWorkgroup=WORKGROUP

[Networking]
    InstallDefaultComponents=Yes

;[NetAdapters]
;    Adapter1=params.Adapter1

;[params.Adapter1]
;    INFID=*

;[NetClients]
;    MS_MSClient=params.MS_MSClient

;[NetServices]
;   MS_SERVER=params.MS_SERVER

[NetProtocols]
    MS_TCPIP=params.MS_TCPIP

[NetOptionalComponents]          
        DHCPServer=0
        DNS=0
        IAS=0
        ILS=0
        LPDSVC=0
        MacPrint=0
        MacSrv=0
       Netcm=0
       NETMONTOOLS=0
        SimpTcp=0
        SNMP=1
      WBEMSNMP=1
        WINS=0

[SNMP]
      Contact_Name="RABTEAM"
      Location="RABTEAM"
      Accept_CommunityName=PUBLIC:Read_Only
      Accept_CommunityName=EESP:Read_Create
      Traps=

[InternetServer]
      PathWWWRoot=%systemdrive%\Inetpub\Wwwroot

[WindowsFirewall]
      Profiles=WindowsFirewall.TurnOffFirewall

[WindowsFirewall.TurnOffFirewall]
      Mode=0

[TerminalServices]
        ApplicationServer=1
        PermissionsSetting=1
      AllowConnections=1
      LicensingMode=PerDevice
      PermissionsSetting=0

[params.MS_TCPIP]
    DNS=Yes
    NSSuffixSearchOrder=noo.COMPANYNAME.com,no1.COMPANYNAME.com,n02.COMPANYNAME.com,tasmania.COMPANYNAME.com,washington.COMPANYNAME.com,asia.COMPANYNAME.com,toronto.COMPANYNAME.com,randd.COMPANYNAME.com
    UseDomainNameDevolution=No
    EnableLMHosts=Yes
    AdapterSections=params.MS_TCPIP.Adapter1

[params.MS_TCPIP.Adapter1]
    SpecificTo=Adapter1
    DHCP=Yes
    WINS=Yes
    NetBIOSOptions=0
    DNSDomain=asia.COMPANYNAME.com

############################################

Cheers,

T.D.R.
0
 

Author Comment

by:The_Dark_Rabbit
ID: 17879670
Okay, solved my own problem.  Here's the long version that might be of use to somebody:

If you're getting the error I reported above, there's probably a syntax error in the answer file.  These errors are typically ignored in a CD-based installation.  In my case, it was the

PathWWWRoot="%systemdrive%\Inetpub\Wwwroot"

line that was causing the problem (I was missing necessary quotations).  Since this line does not appear in the Windows XP answer file, I was having no problems with that one.

The best way to troubleshoot is to find a working installation of the OS in question, and dig up %windir%\system32\$winnt$.inf.

Use that as the answer file, and see if your command line will now launch the installer (it will crap out when it asks for the product code-- that's okay, just exit).  If it does, then go through $winnt$.inf section by section, changing each section to match the version in your winnt.sif file.  After every change, save $winnt$.inf and try to run the installer from the command line using this as the answer file again.

When it fails with the same error message as above, then you've found your culprit.

Cheers,

T.D.R.
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