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WDS, sysprep.inf, and Mini-setup

Posted on 2009-05-07
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Last Modified: 2013-12-12
I have loaded a couple of XP images up to our Windows Deployment Server. I can get them loaded to my computers fine. However, when the mini-setup begins it will not read my sysprep file on the floppy disk to automate not matter what I try. Also, I cannot go any further manually because the keyboard and mouse will not work. I am beginning to wonder if a sysprep file created with the utility on a single core machine will work on a dual core!?!?! Please help!!  
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Question by:jbyrd1981
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by:sfarazmand
ID: 24329740
See here http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc766320.aspx

Also sysprep is for creating the image. It looks for the unattended during install (if i'm not mistaken).
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by:Adam Leinss
ID: 24335528
Sysprep.inf has to be in C:\sysprep.  Only Vista/7 supports unattend files on removal media.
You need to force Uniprocessor in the sysprep.inf, then modify hal.inf if you want to switch between single and dual core processors.  See http://www.leinss.com/uniimg.html
If it's a Dell PC, try putting the USB keyboard in the top 2 USB ports in the back.
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by:jbyrd1981
ID: 24336959
aleinss, I have to disagree on the removable media part. I know I was able to load my image outside of WDS on another machine and then use my sysprep.inf floppy disk to automate the mini-setup, but this image was also a single core image as well. Do you know that the syntax is in sysprep distinguishing between dual and single core processors? Also, where would it go in the file?

I will try the keyboard suggestion, but I still want to get back to automating the minisetup. Thanks!
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Adam Leinss earned 500 total points
ID: 24337356
You are referring to a SIF unattend file.  Sysprep.inf has to be in the same directory as sysprep.exe, because it is read at the time you run sysprep and during the minisetup.  Sysprep also has to be located at C:\sysprep for 2000/XP.
Sysprep doesn't detect the HAL during the minisetup for XP/2000, so you have several options which are listed at the bottom of the link I posted, which include using WinPE + Vbscript to change out the HAL on the fly, using MySysprep to replace Microsoft' s version of sysprep or modifying hal.inf in C:\windows\inf\hal.inf so you can change it in the device manager.
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by:jasonrmac
ID: 24338639
first like the previous post state for Windows xp sysprep.inf needs to be in the same dir as sysprep.exe.  In regards to installing winxp on a dual core machine, if you create your master image on a multi-proc machine your hal will be a multi-proc hal same thing goes for the single proc machines, you would just need to swap it out using WinPE plus some custom code prior to lanuch.  
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by:jbyrd1981
ID: 24338737
Well... I will take that machine and boot it with Bart and navigate to the C:\sysprep folder and verify that the inf file is there, I am pretty sure it should be, but I am not 100%. Hopefully this is it because it would be an easy fix. Just copy the inf through bart and recapture up to the server so that I will not have to deal with this issue again. I will probably not be able to let you all know the results until tomorrow. Thanks for the input!
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by:jbyrd1981
ID: 24346163
Ok here is what I found out... I looked on the hard drive that I imaged with WDS. The sysprep.inf file was one that WDS placed there, overwriting the one that was originally on there that I made. I guess that is standard procedure using this deployment method. So I guess my only option of an automated mini-setup is to get WSIM fixed so that I can tie an answer file to it. The problem is that when I select the image it says that it cannot find the catalog file. When I select yes to create one I get a parameter count mismatch error. If I cannot get this fixed then maybe I can keep the WDS from trying to use its sysprep.inf file. Not sure how but I really need to get this fixed!

Also, I tried the keyboard and mouse in the top ports and it was still unresponsive during the minisetup
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by:Adam Leinss
ID: 24348414
WSIM is only for Vista based media, such as WinPE 2.0 and Vista itself.  You cannot use WSIM to create answer files for Windows XP.  However, you should check out this thread on Technet (long):

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/winserversetup/thread/d0b2a517-72a7-4bec-98b8-f695e7500323

The WinPE portion can be unattended by using an unattend file.

In terms of the keyboard/mouse not working: that happens on my PCs as well until they get to "find new devices" portion of setup.  If your minisetup is halting anytime before that, then the drivers for the keyboard/mouse might not be getting loaded.
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by:jbyrd1981
ID: 31579154
Aleinss, i took my sysprep.inf file and overwrote the one that was in the sysprep folder and reloaded the image back up to the server. What do you know it works great now, it seamlessly goes through the minisetup without a problem. The only thing is this was I have to rename the computer after the minisetup is finished, but that is no big deal. Thanks for leading me to the correct solution.
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