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WDS is not using the ImageUnattended.xml file when it deploys vista images.

Posted on 2007-11-19
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Last Modified: 2008-07-17
Steps Taken
1.  I copied the install.wim file from my Windows Vista Business VLK CD.
2.  I used the WAIK Windows System Image Manager (WSIM) to create an answer file that automatically enters the cd key as well as a user name.
3.  I added the install.wim image to my Vista images group using WDS snap in.
4.  I accessed the properties of the new image and enabled the "Allow image to install in unattended mode" checkbox and then browsed to the ImageUnattended.xml file I created in step 2.

When I press F12 on one of the client machines it boots to Windows PE as expected and allows me to select which image I would like to install from the list.  I select the Vista Business image and it installs normally.  I am promted for a user name and password during installation and they CD key that is used is one generated internally by Vista as a temporary key.  

I am unsure what steps needs to be taken for WDS to copy the ImageUnattended.xml file to the Vista client during installation.

I have attached a copy of my XML file that is referenced on the Install Images unattended dialog box.  
I only want to have the CD key entered for now and I will adjust other settings once WDS starts working.   I also am looking for a "Lite Touch" install.   I do not mind having to select the image from a list in Windows PE or Selecting the installation language to get the install started.  Once the install starts though I would like it to run unattended.
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>

<unattend xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:unattend">

    <settings pass="windowsPE">

        <component name="Microsoft-Windows-Setup" processorArchitecture="x86" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">

            <UserData>

                <ProductKey>

                    <Key>XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX</Key>

                    <WillShowUI>Never</WillShowUI>

                </ProductKey>

                <FullName>LocalAdmin</FullName>

                <Organization>MHSAA</Organization>

                <AcceptEula>true</AcceptEula>

            </UserData>

        </component>

    </settings>

    <cpi:offlineImage cpi:source="wim:D:\remoteinstall\Images\Vista\install.wim#Windows Vista BUSINESS" xmlns:cpi="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:cpi" />

</unattend>

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Question by:skykingjwc
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by:Netman66
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If "ImageUnattended.xml" is the name of the file, you need to rename it to simply "Unattended.xml".

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by:skykingjwc
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Renamed to Unattended.xml and restarted WDS service.  Still not working.
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by:skykingjwc
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Also the WDS service wants the file to be named ImageUnattended.xml and will rename any file you choose as your answer file to ImageUnattended.xml
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by:Netman66
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Interesting....the fact that it's renaming it means it's getting used.

I wonder if the format of the file isn't quite right.
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by:skykingjwc
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This is partially working now.  I downloaded a sample XML file from here.
http://www.deployvista.com/Default.aspx?tabid=78&EntryID=41


It seems like everything is working now accept the product key.  WDS keeps givng out random Keys to the vista installations.
What in the world?
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by:Netman66
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Strange.

Formatting in an XML file is significant, are you sure the key section is as expected?
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by:skykingjwc
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I figured it out.  There is another ProductKey property in x86_Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup_neutral.  I added this to the Step4 Specialize pass in Windows System image Manager.  Now it is taking the key.

I have no idea why it wouldnt work in the Step1 windowsPE pass as the Microsoft documentation shows recommends that the Product Key be intered in the WindowsPe pass.

I wierd that the MS docs were wrong,  no way does that happen all the time.  :)

Thanks for the help though.
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skykingjwc earned 0 total points
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Also upon further review and forum reading, it appears that WDS will assign a random temporary key if ones is not specified.  This explains why I was getting a different key each time I installed Vista from WDS.
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