unattended install of server 2003 with winnt.sif

Discussion in 'Server Setup' started by Tom Stewart, Jan 16, 2004.

  1. Tom Stewart

    Tom Stewart Guest

    We use a winnt.sif file to install W2K server in a particular way for our
    customer machines that run our application. Essentially, the box is
    dedicated to running our server application. We don't install the server
    service, and in fact we don't install IP at all. We use our own protocol
    driver for networking.

    In looking to migrate this configuration to 2003, we've had trouble
    duplicating the success we had on W2K. A couple of questions, then related
    to this:

    1. How can we setup our winnt.sif for 2003 server so that no networking
    components (aside from the driver for the NIC) get installed?

    2. With talk of abandoning floppy drives on some servers, how will we do a
    winnt.sif install at all??

    3. Where is the definitive doc for winnt.sif on 2003? Used to be in
    unattend.doc on the server cd itself. Can't seem to find same on 2003...

    4. How can product activation be accomplished without IP installed. Must we
    resort to the phone call??

    Here's a copy of the contents of our current winnt.sif file, which after
    much trial-and-error experimentation (the documentation isn't always
    correct) works extremely well, stopping only to prompt for the license key.

    [Data]
    AutoPartition=1
    MsDosInitiated="0"
    UnattendedInstall="Yes"

    [Unattended]
    UnattendMode=FullUnattended
    OemSkipEula=Yes
    OemPreinstall=No
    TargetPath=\WINNT
    Repartition=No
    FileSystem=NTFS
    DriverSigningPolicy=Ignore

    [GuiUnattended]
    AdminPassword=*
    OEMSkipRegional=1
    TimeZone=35
    OemSkipWelcome=1
    AutoLogon=No

    [UserData]
    FullName=AutoInstall
    OrgName="XXXXXXX Hospital"
    ComputerName=*

    [Display]
    Xresolution=1024
    YResolution=768

    [LicenseFilePrintData]
    AutoMode=PerServer
    AutoUsers=5

    [TapiLocation]
    CountryCode=1

    [Identification]
    JoinWorkgroup=WORKGROUP

    [Components]
    accessopt=Off
    cdplayer=Off
    chat=Off
    deskpaper=Off
    dialer=Off
    fp=Off
    freecell=Off
    iis_common=Off
    iisdbg=Off
    iis_doc=Off
    iis_ftp=Off
    iis_htmla=Off
    iis_inetmgr=Off
    iis_nntp=Off
    iis_nntp_docs=Off
    iis_smtp=Off
    iis_smtp_docs=Off
    iis_www=Off
    indexsrv_system=Off
    LicenseServer=Off
    media_clips=Off
    media_utopia=Off
    minesweeper=Off
    mousepoint=Off
    mplay=Off
    netcis=Off
    netoc=Off
    objectpkg=Off
    pinball=Off
    rec=Off
    solitaire=Off
    templates=Off
     
    Tom Stewart, Jan 16, 2004
    #1
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  2. You could try something like this:

    [Networking]
    InstallDefaultComponents=No

    [NetAdapters]
    Adapter1=params.Adapter1

    [params.Adapter1]
    ConnectionName="Whatever"

    [NetClients]
    MS_MSClient=params.MS_MSClient (or whatever you use)

    [NetServices]
    MS_SERVER=params.MS_SERVER (see above)

    [NetProtocols]
    Your_Protocol=params.yourprotocol

    [params.yourprotocol]
    Have you considered sysprep and sysprep.inf? If not, there are lots of
    options, but they'd depend on the hardware in question and your
    willingness to get very creative.
    Deploy.chm and ref.chm. They're in deploy.cab on the Win2K3 CD. Check
    the knowledge base for errors, as there are some.
    Yup, or use volume license media, which may or may not be an option for
    you.
    You know that you can provide the product key as part of your automated
    installation, right?

    Laura
     
    Laura A. Robinson [MVP], Jan 16, 2004
    #2
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  3. You could switch to using RIS and deploy over the network.

    You could burn your winnt.sif file onto the CD.

    Finally, you could transfer your existing system to use a "virtual
    floppy" (memdisk), booting either from the network or from CD. I use
    this technique to perform unattended installations onto diskless
    systems all the time. See <http://unattended.sourceforge.net/>.

    - Pat
     
    Patrick J. LoPresti, Jan 16, 2004
    #3
  4. Tom Stewart

    Tom Stewart Guest

    Hi Laura-

    Thanks for the response. We have not tried explicitly setting up the network
    parameters -- might be worth a try. We don't have any components that would
    qualify as NetClients or NetServices -- would my best bet therefore to
    include the sections but leave them blank, or exclude the sections
    altogether?

    We have not included the product key, since we essentially ship the .sif
    file for customers (integrators) to use. We don't re-sell the hardware.

    The winnt.sif approach has worked well for us because it is so hardware
    independent. Basically, any server class box that supports W2K will work
    with it with no changes to the .sif file. Can the same be said for the other
    methods?

    --
    Tom

     
    Tom Stewart, Jan 16, 2004
    #4
  5. Hmm. I think I'd try blank sections first, and if it blew up, then
    excluding them altogether. I suspect that excluding them altogether,
    however, might end up installing stuff you don't want (I know I went
    through a similar scenario at some point, but I can't recall which way
    it went).
    Ah, makes sense, then.
    What about a network-based unattended installation with an unattend
    answer file? You could actually disable the networking components after
    the install was done via WMI scripting.

    Laura
     
    Laura A. Robinson [MVP], Jan 16, 2004
    #5
  6. Tom Stewart

    Tom Stewart Guest

    While this is possible, is the logic prepared to look on the CD for this
    file?? I get the distinct impression it's hard-coded to look at the A:
    drive. Hopefully someone knowledgeable will tell me I'm wrong...
     
    Tom Stewart, Jan 16, 2004
    #6
  7. Remember when I said this?

    "If not, there are lots of
    options, but they'd depend on the hardware in question and your
    willingness to get very creative."

    Well...

    Here's a good place to begin:
    http://unattended.msfn.org/2003/index.htm

    And the official, shorter answer:

    http://tinyurl.com/6n1i

    So, yes, you can put winnt.sif on your CDs. Laptop manufacturers have
    been doing this for years- those "autorecover" CDs that come with your
    laptop are usually nothing more than winnt.sif installs.

    Laura
     
    Laura A. Robinson [MVP], Jan 16, 2004
    #7
  8. Tom Stewart

    Tom Stewart Guest

    Great -- that only leaves the legal issue of distributing bootleg CD's to
    our customers...
     
    Tom Stewart, Jan 17, 2004
    #8
  9. circa Fri, 16 Jan 2004 20:19:39 -0500, in
    microsoft.public.windows.server.setup, Tom Stewart
    () said,
    Okay, let's not do that one, then. ;-)

    Laura
     
    Laura A. Robinson [MVP], Jan 17, 2004
    #9
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