troubleshooting Question

Creating unattend install using WSIM, MDT, WINPE 3, Image-X

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netfriendsinc asked on
Windows 7Dell
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I have roughly 100 workstations that we are finally upgrading to Windows 7 Enterprise x86 from Windows XP SP3.  All workstations are Dell Precision T3400s or T5500s.  Previously when I deployed these workstations I used WinPE 3 along with Imagex to create an image of a reference computer and then applied that image to the remaining computers as they were deployed.  Today I was trying to create an unattend.xml file for one of my existing T5500 images using WSIM just as practice to see if I could automate the process for when the time comes to create and deploy the Windows 7 image.  

I received an error when choosing my existing T5500 image from within the WSIM: "Cannot find the catalog file associated with the WIndows image WIM1"  It then asks if I want to create one, so I chose yes after which I received another error: Windows SIM was unable to generate a catalog.  The location does not contain a valid windows image or contains files that cannot be opened with read/write priveleges." (see attached SS).  My image file is XP Pro SP 3, if that makes a difference?  

I downloaded and installed MDT, created a deployment share, added an OS (from the XP Pro SP3 CD) and then tried to point the WSIM to the deployment share after adding the aforementioned T5500 XP Image (I had no clue really what I was doing there!).  Somehow I thought that might help.  So my questions are:  Can I use my previously made T5500 image to create an unattended answer file or do I need to make a new Win 7 image and if so, should I go about differently than simply creating the reference computer how I want it and then syspreping it before using WinPE and Imagex?  

I do not have a deployment server, I just want to create an unattend file so all workstations marked for upgrade can be touched once: booted to WinPE and pointed to the network share with the image file.  Sorry if this is confusing.
James Haywood

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