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Windows Server 2008 Automated Installation

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Last Modified: 2013-11-11
We currently have a single domain with all windows server 2003 domain controllers. We are adding 8 new domain controllers and they will be running windows 2008. I have already did forrestprep and domainprep.

I need help with with setting up an automated installation for the following setup if possible.

Windows Server 2008 Standard Core
-Active Directory (Possibly Read Only)
-DHCP
-DNS
-File & Print
-HyperV

Also I would like to setup HyperV with 2 virtuals, 1 windows 2003, and 1 windows 2008. I am guessing I would have to configure those after the initial setup though, and not in the answer file.

I have tried using the Automated Installation Kit to do my answer file, but I find it very confusing, and I don't find the documentation I have looked at very helpful.

If someone could give me a hand that would be great! I have seen all the microsoft technet help pages, so spare me the links unless you have a specific walk through. I think what I need is someone who has done something like this before, and is willing to spend some time helping me out.

Thanks a lot!
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Hayes JupeIT Director
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Commented:
well, to start off with, which method do you want to use to do your automated deployments? SCCM?, MDT?, one of the many "manual" methods ?
And are you sure automating your server deployments is worth it for 8 servers ?

Author

Commented:
Well I was asked to do this using answer files.

I was able to get ESXi 4.0 on our new servers though, so that might make things a bit easier in how we are going to set them up.

The reason why we are looking to do it with 8 systems now, is we will eventually be upgrading all of our 2003 servers, and there are mover 30 of them. So we would like to figure it out now with these 8.
Hayes JupeIT Director
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Commented:
yer - but that still answers the question - if your using esx, you'd simply create a template.
You could have multiple templates - but IMO, its easier (and better) to simply put a couple of batch files in your image, that you can run after the image has been duplicated by ESX's template, called InstallAD.bat InstallIIS.bat etc etc...
the virtual template process will do the majority of the templating process for you - then just use the batch files to finish off (or on the first run, based on the name of the server, run the appropriate script - if you have a naming convention which lends itself to that)
Saying you have been told to use "answer files" is a bit 80's.... answer files are all the same no matter which method you use.... its using the appropriate method which is the important bit.

Author

Commented:
Ok, I will clarify a bit..

I did a 2008 server core install on a server. I created an answer file for the dcpromo which worked. Then DHCP which worked. File and Print I didn't get to, but I was stuck with Hyper V. I found very little on how to set that up, and what I did find didn't seem to help.

This is why ESXi is now coming in handy, becase I won't need to setup the virtuals with hyper v, I can just use ESXi.  So at this point I am more looking for the easist way to setup these servers. We are in the middle of setting up SCCM, so eventually that will probably work best, but for now its not functional.

The only thing that will be unqiue about the servers is name of course, and the DHCP setup.
Hayes JupeIT Director
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Commented:
if you want to install components on 2008, use servermanagercmd.exe, and if you want to configure DHCP, use netsh.... everything is scriptable... its just a matter of if its worth it.
you can setup the virtuals within hyper-V just aswell as esx (IMO)
but i spose im still not 100% on what your asking....
and yes - sccm will take care of all this.

Author

Commented:
Here is somethig I have been wondering. Within a Core install, when you want to configure HyperV, do you get a GUI, or is it all CLI? I know you get a GUI for certain installs, and I can just imagine HyperV being a pain in the but to setup without it.
Hayes JupeIT Director
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Commented:
by its very nature, everything in core is only CLI.
here's a short guide.
http://blogs.msdn.com/virtual_pc_guy/archive/2007/12/26/installing-the-hyper-v-beta-in-a-core-configuration.aspx
once setup, you can remotely admin hyper-V using the admin tools
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