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Attach an answer file to WDS discover image.

Posted on 2013-05-30
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Last Modified: 2013-06-18
I have a WDS discover image created and working, now I would like to attach an answer.xml file to it to automate the settings in pass 1 windowsPE. I have the answer file configured as I want it, I just need to know how to attach the answer.xml file to the discover image.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,
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Question by:revenuecyclepartners
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Expert Comment

by:footech
ID: 39213696
There is no association between a discover image and an answer file.  If you want to use an answer file for the WinPE pass, edit the properties of the WDS > Client tab > specify an answer file for a particular architecture.
The following link has more info and screenshots.
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd637990%28v=ws.10%29.aspx
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Author Comment

by:revenuecyclepartners
ID: 39216514
I've already tried assigning the answer file on the WDS server, it doesn't work, I'm thinking the problem is that with a discover image I have it burned on a cd or on a flash drive and since the image is loaded before the computer connects to the wds server the loaded image doesn't contain the answer file. The answer file has to be part of the boot image when the computer boots to the image.

I'll be trying lciprianionut's response soon to see if that works.
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Accepted Solution

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revenuecyclepartners earned 0 total points
ID: 39216619
I'm pretty sure this is the answer I was looking for, http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc771508 
The section under "Passing Unattend Files to Setup by Using the Command Line".
I'll give it a try and post if it worked like I'm hoping it will.
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Expert Comment

by:footech
ID: 39216786
The discover image is just another type of boot image.  If your machines doing a standard PxE boot are able to use the answer file then those using a discover image will too.  The answer file does not have to be added to the discover image media.

I have worked through this and in a propertly functioning environment a discover image and a boot image on the WDS will use the same answer file specified as I mentioned.
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Expert Comment

by:footech
ID: 39216804
I'm not saying that you can't explicitly embed an answer file, just that you shouldn't have to.
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Author Comment

by:revenuecyclepartners
ID: 39216874
We're not using PXE boot on our network because we already have the DCHP boot file option set for other devices. I've used the PXE boot option on other networks and the answer file option works perfectly when using the PXE boot option. I have had no success using the  answer file designated on the WDS server when booting to my discover image. Since I can't use PXE boot, my only option is to use a discover image burned to external media and boot to that.
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LVL 40

Expert Comment

by:footech
ID: 39226847
I'm not aware of any connection between DHCP, PXE, and use of answer files.  To my knowledge, use of a Discover image would bypass/replace PXE in order to find the WDS, but after that point things should continue as normal.  Unfortunately I won't be able to set up any sort of environment to mirror what you have for testing, so I don't think there's any further advice I could give you on the matter.
Best of luck.
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Author Closing Comment

by:revenuecyclepartners
ID: 39255595
Since i'm unable to PXE boot on my network I have to have an embeded answer file because my discover images are not pulling the answer file from the wds server.
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