UNATTEND.TXT vs. WINNT.SIF

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chuckenheimer
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UNATTEND.TXT vs. WINNT.SIF

Post by chuckenheimer » Mon Jan 22, 2007 3:36 am

I understand the concepts of each but am confused when and where to make the changes and the protocol of the divisions within the files.

Might someone give ma a one-liner as to the difference and when to use each?

Thanks!

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5eraph
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Post by 5eraph » Mon Jan 22, 2007 6:12 am

UNATTEND.TXT is used for network-based installs and WINNT.SIF is used for media-based (CD, DVD) installs. Otherwise, they're the same.

chuckenheimer
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Post by chuckenheimer » Mon Jan 22, 2007 3:15 pm

Seraph,

Thanks. I'm reading about the configuration options and I realized that they are about the same. WINNT.SIF for a CD install, etc.

I'm modifying the UNATTEND.TXT from the subdirectory where I allowed nLite to prepare from my original WinXP w/SP2 CD. Naming it to WINNT.SIF has caused me several different errors and I now know that UNATTEND.TXT is completelly ignored if I create an ISO and load that into my virtual machine.

I can't seem to find the proper voodoo to get the changes I've made utilized during the integration and ISO creation. What might you think is wrong?

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5eraph
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Post by 5eraph » Mon Jan 22, 2007 3:34 pm

Hard to say without having a look at it, but you can find a lot of information in REF.CHM within DEPLOY.CAB.

chuckenheimer
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Post by chuckenheimer » Mon Jan 22, 2007 8:26 pm

Been reading REF.CHM and still haven't gotten the hang of it yet.

Here's my WINNT.SIF, if you please:

; Microsoft Windows
; (c) 1994 - 2001 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
;
; Sample Unattended Setup Answer File
;
; This file contains information about how to automate the installation
; or upgrade of Windows so the Setup program runs without requiring
; user input. You can find more information in the ref.chm found at
; CD:\support\tools\deploy.cab
;

[Unattended]
Unattendmode = FullUnattended
OemPreinstall = NO
TargetPath = *
Filesystem = LeaveAlone
UnattendSwitch=Yes


[GuiUnattended]
; Sets the Timezone to the Pacific Northwest
; Sets the Admin Password to NULL
; Turn AutoLogon ON and login once
TimeZone = "020"
AdminPassword = *
AutoLogon = Yes
AutoLogonCount = 1


[LicenseFilePrintData]
; For Server installs
AutoMode = "PerServer"
AutoUsers = "5"


[GuiRunOnce]
; List the programs that you want to lauch when the machine is logged into for the first time


[Display]
BitsPerPel = 16
XResolution = 800
YResolution = 600
VRefresh = 70


[Networking]


[Identification]
JoinWorkgroup = IBMPEERS


[UserData]
FullName = "Your Name"
OrgName = "Your Organization Name"
ComputerName = *
ProductKey="XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX"

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5eraph
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Post by 5eraph » Wed Jan 24, 2007 4:43 pm

I believe you'd be better off using SetupMgr.exe within Deploy.cab to make a good starting point. You can add and remove entries from there to see what works for you.

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Post by DeaDruiD » Thu Jan 25, 2007 10:49 am

Mini-setup (winnt32.exe) uses unattend.txt to make winnt.sif for next phases of installation.

chuckenheimer
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Post by chuckenheimer » Thu Jan 25, 2007 3:49 pm

I appreciate the guidance but I'm really getting frustrated at this point.

When using setupmgr.exe, I allow the default subdirectory and point the files to be copied to my XPcd subdirectory and the process completes properly.

I see the unattend.txt file properly created with the attendant unattend.bat file and the I386 subdirectory. Following that, I point the Integrator to the x:\windist subdirectory and allow it to complete to finisih, make the ISO and load it into VMware creating an environment, but immediately I get a dialog box asking for the diskette containing SP2 to be placed into the A: drive.

I've successfully created integrated ISOs that load properly onto my system but for the life of me I cannot seem to get the information I enter into setupmgr.exe to transfer across correctly as it should.

Can someone please give me some insight where I am going wrong?

It;s not that I am not reading the suggested FAQs, etc. but just am not comprehending all that I have read.

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willpantin
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Post by willpantin » Mon Jan 29, 2007 4:01 pm

Have you solved your problem yet?

Best bet for you is to follow the Unattended guide at msfn.org, step by step. It is made simple there for you.

Hard to say exactly what you are doing wrong, with the info given, but sounds as though it may be a very basic mistake. Are you placing the winnt.sif file in the I386 directory? Are you making a "bootable" ISO image?

chuckenheimer
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Post by chuckenheimer » Sat Feb 03, 2007 12:58 am

willpantin wrote:Have you solved your problem yet?

Are you placing the winnt.sif file in the I386 directory?
ViVa gave me a copy of his WINNT.SIF and I slightly modified it THEN PUT IT INTO MY I386 SUBDIRECTORY.

I thought setupmgr.exe did that for me. It's really amazing how small details like that can get left out.

So, the WINNT.SIF is functioning for me (I saw the machine name I assigned my peer appear in the dialog box soliciting an administrator's password) so I know it's not tripping up the installer. So, I'm off for the deep end now. <g>

Thanks for your concern. I seem to be getting the impression that WINNT.SIF is hand crafted whereas UNATTEND.TXT is manufactured from the inputs in setupmgr.exe.

Slowly but surely.

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elbrute
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Post by elbrute » Wed Feb 07, 2007 12:29 pm

If I remember right, Setupmgr assumes a network install and creates unattended.txt.
When you changed it to a CD install you need to rename it to winnt.sif.
All CD installs look for winnt.sif, not unattended.txt.
In the SUPPORT\TOOLS directory on the XP CD, you'll find a help file called ref.chm.
It has a lot of info.

Dave

chuckenheimer
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Post by chuckenheimer » Thu Feb 08, 2007 12:38 am

Thanks for that.

I understand that winnt.exe and winnt32.exe play separate parts during the installation, each using its own file unattend.txt or winnt.sif but this still is not enough of an education for me yet.

I still struggling but am making slow headway.

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