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Deployment Problem

Posted on 2013-11-08
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Last Modified: 2013-11-26
I have a Windows 2008 r2 server running ADDS and WDS.  I am trying to setup a deployment server to deploy windows 7 enterprise using unattend files to automate the installation of windows.  As the actual deployment will happen in a company with a hundred computers, I have no time to manually specify the language and hard drive options for each PC.  

So far I am stuck in getting these unattend files to work.  My deployment server functions perfectly, but the unattend files don't seem to be used by the server.  If I image a machine, I am still asked for language, drive options etc., which shouldn't be happening if I have unattend files.  I have pointed the deployment server to the windows PE unattend file in my Remote Install directory, and I have allowed for my image to be installed using an unattend file, which I also specified the location. I have also tried unsuccessfully putting the unattend file on a USB stick.

What am I missing?
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Question by:LostInWindows
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Expert Comment

by:Nagendra Pratap Singh
ID: 39635538
At least try to use MDT.
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Accepted Solution

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James Haywood earned 2000 total points
ID: 39635968
This article shows what files you need and where to place them
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd637990(WS.10).aspx
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Author Comment

by:LostInWindows
ID: 39642108
I am using MDT and I used system information manager built into Windows AIK to build the unattend files.

I also followed the steps that hhaywood000 posted and placed the PXE pass unattend file in the ..\RemoteInstall\WDSClientUnattend directory; Yet when PXE booting a machine, I am still prompted for language, drive options and user name, when this should not be happenning with my unattend file.  The other image specific unattend file is not working either, as it should specify a volume license key for Windows 7, but a freshly imaged machine will claim to be unactivated and have no product key entered.

What else could I be missing?
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Expert Comment

by:Nagendra Pratap Singh
ID: 39643634
You need to enter those in bootstrap.ini. Password etc may be misspelled there.
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Author Comment

by:LostInWindows
ID: 39666914
We have been trying the suggestions listed here.
We are using MDT. We have a WIM image that we want to use for our deployment.
We have built unattend.xml files for the deployment.

When we PXE boot the new workstation machine it installs Windows 7, but it isn't reading the unattend files at all. None of the configurations that we have in the unattend files are added and all we have is a base install.

We are wondering about sharing permissions as we have a non-domain computer/ non-domain account and it needs to read the share, but we can't tell if that is the issue or not.

My client is small and cannot afford SCCM. Also, I don't know SCCM so acquiring that software won't be a benefit.

Do I need special sharing on the unattend file? What share permission(s) do I need? Obviously either the problem isn't sharing or everyone full control isn't correct/enough.

Help! I'm lost. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Assisted Solution

by:James Haywood
James Haywood earned 2000 total points
ID: 39667420
If you are using MDT rather than WDS then you won't need to place the answer files in WDS. MDT just uses the WDS pxe boot mechanism then takes over with regard to OS deployment. This book is easily the best (and simplest) guide to setting up and configuring MDT. This website is an excellent resource

http://scriptimus.wordpress.com/

A good place to start troubleshooting is looking at the deployment logs on the Windows 7 box
%WINDIR%\TEMP\DeploymentLogs
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Author Closing Comment

by:LostInWindows
ID: 39677685
It is amazing how many little things have to be setup in MDT. WE now have it about 95% working. But the big news for us is that the answer file (unattend.xml) is being utilized.
Thank you very much for your help.
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