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Autounattend.xml Issue

Posted on 2012-12-27
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Last Modified: 2012-12-27
I'm having issues with setting up an autounattend.xml file. It appears to work fine until the partitions are to be made. It brings up the partition window and from there I receive an error message stating :"Windows could not prepare the partition selected for installation."

I was going to copy and paste the XML file but the formatting is atrocious. So I have attached it instead.

I have received no syntax errors while validating this answer file.

Thanks in advance.
Autounattend.xml
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Question by:csg_int_it
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11 Comments
 
LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:mmicha
ID: 38724093
I'm not certain and not an expert at the autounattend file.  

However, I see that you are creating two partitions but have extended set on both of them.

I'm thinking maybe that is using all of the disk space and therefore no room for the second partition?
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Author Comment

by:csg_int_it
ID: 38724201
I've tried numerous options in both partition types.
Primary - Primary
Primary - Extended
Extended - Extended

None have worked.
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Assisted Solution

by:mmicha
mmicha earned 150 total points
ID: 38724222
I wasn't referring to primary vs extended partitions.  I bolded the statement below in the config I'm referencing...

- <CreatePartitions>
- <CreatePartition wcm:action="add">
  <Extend>true</Extend>
  <Order>1</Order>
  <Size>150</Size>
  <Type>Primary</Type>
  </CreatePartition>
- <CreatePartition wcm:action="add">
  <Order>2</Order>
  <Extend>true</Extend>
  <Type>Extended</Type>
  </CreatePartition>
  </CreatePartitions>
- <ModifyPartitions>
+ <ModifyPartition wcm:action="add">
  <Active>true</Active>
  <Format>NTFS</Format>
  <Label>Windows</Label>
  <Letter>C</Letter>
  <Order>1</Order>
  <PartitionID>1</PartitionID>
  </ModifyPartition>
- <ModifyPartition wcm:action="add">
  <Active>true</Active>
  <Format>NTFS</Format>
  <Label />
  <Letter>D</Letter>
  <Order>2</Order>
  <PartitionID>2</PartitionID>
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:mmicha
ID: 38724235
I believe what that is saying is:

I want to create a partition of 150 GB, but extend that if there is additional room.  So after you create your first partition, there is no space left to create a second partition.

I believe what you would want to do is turn off the extend = true setting on the 150 GB partition (1), and leave it on for partition (2).

That will create a partition of 150 GB, and a second that will fill up the rest of the disks capacity.

Hope that makes sense...
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Author Comment

by:csg_int_it
ID: 38724289
Ok. Well we are making progress. I am now getting this error message:

Windows could not extend a partition on disk 0. The specified partition does not exist on the target disk. The error occurred while applying the unattend answer file's <Disk Configuration> setting. Error code: 0x80300002.

Any suggestions? Would it be a setting that is in the second partition being made? I have updated my answer file to reflect what I have attached below.
Autounattend.xml
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:mmicha
ID: 38724333
What would happen now if we switch the second partition to a primary partition as well?  Just not make it active?
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Author Comment

by:csg_int_it
ID: 38724391
I have set the second partition to Primary. It is also set to not be active. I am still getting the error message listed above.
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:mmicha
ID: 38724470
I wonder if you could possibly watch the following video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PWnPWoQ1jqI

At about 5:30, it talks about creating the partitions and modifying them.  May want to review it and make sure you aren't missing anything he has done.  I've used this video in the past for doing this.

One thing standing out is

<InstallToAvailablePartition>false</InstallToAvailablePartition>

Seems like that is saying don't install OS onto partition 1.
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Author Comment

by:csg_int_it
ID: 38724800
Now it won't even partition the drives. I'm losing my mind.
Here is my current code, I've been messing with the settings trying to get this to work:
Autounattend.xml
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LVL 39

Accepted Solution

by:
footech earned 350 total points
ID: 38724887
InstallToAvailablePartition will automatically select the first partition available with enough space.  With InstallTo being used, it is correct for this to be set to false, or you could just leave it out.  You can only use one or the other.

I'm not sure exactly what your current answer file is since you last posted it, but here's a sample config that works.
                    <CreatePartitions>
                        <CreatePartition wcm:action="add">
                            <Order>1</Order>
                            <Size>200</Size>
                            <Type>Primary</Type>
                        </CreatePartition>
                        <CreatePartition wcm:action="add">
                            <Order>2</Order>
                            <Extend>true</Extend>
                            <Type>Primary</Type>
                        </CreatePartition>
                    </CreatePartitions>
                    <ModifyPartitions>
                        <ModifyPartition wcm:action="add">
                            <Order>1</Order>
                            <PartitionID>1</PartitionID>
                            <Active>true</Active>
                            <Format>NTFS</Format>
                            <Label>System</Label>
                        </ModifyPartition>
                        <ModifyPartition wcm:action="add">
                            <Order>2</Order>
                            <PartitionID>2</PartitionID>
                            <Format>NTFS</Format>
                            <Label>OS</Label>
                        </ModifyPartition>
                    </ModifyPartitions>

Open in new window

I haven't played around with creating extended partitions through an answer file, I would just use primary partitions.  And yes, only one can be active (this is where the BCD will be).  

Some background on partition types.  An extended partition is really just a container for logical partitions, and as such can't be formatted.  Logical partitions inside the extended partition can/should be formatted in order to be used.  Unless you need more than 4 partitions, there's not much reason to create an extended partition.

There's not much point in assigning drive letters here.  Whatever partition contains the Windows folder will be the C:\ drive for Windows 7.  And remember, the size that you specify is in MB.
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Author Comment

by:csg_int_it
ID: 38724939
Footech's post of an answer file worked for me. I'm going to award him 350 points. And for mmicha's effort in working towards a solution I will award 150.
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