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windows deployment services answer files

im trying to set up wds 2008r2 answer files for windows 7 deployment.  Its 200 laptops that are all workgroup PC's and Im tring to set up a little to no touch deployment with answer files.  Ive follwed a few guides Ive found on answer files with no luck.  Is there a really good guide out there, or a way to create these answer files much easier than the windows AIK?  All laptops are PXE boot and when I go to test one it just goes to the WDS main screen ready for me to manually do the steps.  As if the answer file isnt even there, I named it wdsunattend.xml just like to documentation says.  Any help with this would be great to make this an easier process.
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justinoleary911
Asked:
justinoleary911
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footechCommented:
These are the ones I've used in the past, nothing special.
Windows Deployment Services Getting Started Guide
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc771670(v=ws.10)

Performing an Unattended Installation
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd637990(v=ws.10)
and
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc771830(WS.10).aspx

You can use two answer files with WDS.  Have you associated the WDS client answer file with the architecture in WDS properties?  This part is responsible for the early stages (WinPE).  It can automate things like providing credentials, selecting which install image to use, and where to install it.
And have you associated an answer file with the particular install image?  This part is responsible for the later stages like OOBE and Specialize.
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justinoleary911Author Commented:
Yea these are the technet articles ive used, I need a page where a 3rd party has broken down everything into understanable terms, ive followed these to a tee and still am at the winpe stage, with errors, so anyone with some real world experience with wds and how to really get it working would be great, no technet articles please, I can google wds
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footechCommented:
If you need a step by step, I can't help you.  If you have a specific question, I can.

If you'd like to answer my questions, perhaps I can give you guidance that you can understand and get you past the point you're stuck at.  I've used WDS to perform completely unattended installs so I know what I'm talking about.
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justinoleary911Author Commented:
Ok, tell me all the values I need to set for a workgroup PC, to perform a "completly unattended install"  Maybe an example answer file that you've used in order to perform the unattended installs you've performed.
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justinoleary911Author Commented:
ok, im at the point in the pxe boot where it prompts for select OS to install it has the OS i want selected but wont go further until i hit next
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footechCommented:
I've attached examples of a WDS client and an image answer file.

Your needs may be different.  For example, you may want the OS installed on a different partition, etc.

You may want to use this as a reference (from deeper down in a link provided above) as to what is required to automate the first phase.
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc730695(v=ws.10)
WDS-x86-part1.xml
WDS-x86-part2.xml
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justinoleary911Author Commented:
OK, Im finally past the client answer file, that is working perfect at this point.  I believe Im only a few steps away from perfecting the Image answer file.  Here are my remaining issues

1.  Would like to activate windows 7 key when it boots up
2.  would like to activate office 2010 key when it boots up
3.  need custom DNS settings on all the NICS set
4. need custom naming scheme for the workgroup computers(Not sure is this is possible)

SNB100 and up

thanks for your help
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footechCommented:
1.  Best option is probably KMS.  But if you use MAK keys in the answer file, you can set Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup | FirstLogonCommands | SynchronousCommand, and the command to run "cscript //b c:\windows\system32\slmgr.vbs /ato".
2.  Best option would be to use KMS.  Sorry but another Technet link
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee624357.aspx
3.  Don't think you can do this with unattended install.  Better option in my opinion would be to set group policy for this.  There are probably ways to script this, but I don't use any.  Does DHCP not work for you?
4.  You can set this in the properties of the WDS on the "AD DS" tab.  Starting at 100 is going to be a problem.  Enter something like "SNB1%02#" would get you SNB101 through SNB199.  If you did "SNB%03#" that would start at SNB001 and go through SNB999.  One final thing, you said "workgroup" computers.  You won't be able to do this unless you are joining to the domain.
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justinoleary911Author Commented:
1.  I do have MAK Keys for Win7 and office 2010,  where do i put these keys in the answer file?  Because i ran the first logon cscript and it didnt activate the licence.

2.also as far as the GPO to set the DNS manually where would i set this?  I went under computer config admin templates and network and set the dns servers with no change on the NICS.
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footechCommented:
1.  Win7 product key is entered with Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup | ProductKey.

There's no place to enter a MAK key for Office 2010 in a sysprep answer file.  You would have to look up the info for deploying Office 2010.  I'm passingly familiar with the process using KMS keys since I've read up on it, but I can't provide any guidance using MAK keys.  The link I provided above gives more info on both methods.

2.  Oh wait, GPO doesn't work for Win7, only WinXP.  Looks like you're left with scripting if you can't use DHCP.  Something like "netsh interface ipv4 set dnsservers "Local Area Connection" static 10.0.0.1 primary"
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justinoleary911Author Commented:
is there any way i can activate the windows key and the office 2010 key in the image and then capture the image that way?
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footechCommented:
Some time ago I had run experiments, here are the results.
Every time you run sysprep /generalize, the activation clock is reset (rearmed) unless you include the SkipRearm setting and set it to "1".  See this link:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff716063

Although you can run sysprep pretty much an unlimited number of times on a machine, the activation clock can only be reset 3 times.  You can even reset the licensing status (and the 30 day grace period before activation is required) manually with the command "slmgr.vbs /rearm".  The behavior of generalizing can change depending on what type of key you have installed.  See http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd744512(WS.10).aspx
 - If you have activated with a retail key, generalize will clear activation status and the product key whether you use the SkipRearm setting or not.
 - If you have activated with a KMS key, you can reactivate as much as you want (if you understand KMS activation you can see why).
 - If you have activated with a MAK key, product key will remain but activation clock is reset and will have to reactivate OS.  If you use SkipRearm, product will remain activated.
 - If you have an OEM key, pretty much no effect since it doesn't require activation.
Afraid I can't help you any further with Office 2010.  You would probably be better served by starting another question regarding this.
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justinoleary911Author Commented:
thank you
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