When you perform an unattended installation of Windows 2000 Server, you create an answer file that supplies information to the setup routine. In addition, if you are going to install Windows 2000 Server on multiple computers over a network, you must create at least one set of distribution folders. This lesson describes the process of creating an answer file and setting up the distribution files necessary for a network installation.
After this lesson, you will be able to
Estimated lesson time: 45 minutes
The answer file is a customized script (usually saved as a .txt file) that allows you to run an unattended installation of Windows 2000 Server. The file, sometimes called the unattend file or the unattend script file, answers the questions that Setup normally prompts you for during installation. The \i386 directory of the Windows 2000 Server installation CD-ROM contains a sample answer file, Unattend.txt, which you can edit and use in your unattended installation. You can leave the name of the answer file as is, or you can change it according to the needs of your organization. For example, Comp1.txt, Install.txt, and Setup.txt are all valid names for an answer file, as long as those names are correctly specified in the Setup command. Being able to use different names allows you to build and use multiple answer files if you need to maintain different scripted installations for different parts of your organization.
Note that other programs, such as the Sysprep tool, which is used to facilitate the creation of a disk image of your Windows 2000 Server installation, also use answer files. Table 8.14 describes how the answer file can be named and when it is used.
Table 8.14 Appropriate Names for Answer File
|Filename||When the file is used|
|<filename>.txt||When performing an unattended installation. You can use any name for the .txt file. Unattend.txt is the name of the sample answer file included with Windows 2000 Server.|
|Winnt.sif||When installing Windows 2000 Server from a bootable CD-ROM drive.|
|Sysprep.inf||When using the Sysprep tool to create a disk image of your Windows 2000 Server installation.|
The same format that is used in Unattend.txt is used for the answer files listed in Table 8.14. The answer file contains multiple optional sections that you modify to supply information about your installation requirements. The file supplies Setup with answers to all the questions you are asked when you install Windows 2000 Server manually. In addition, the answer file tells Setup how to interact with the distribution folders and files that you have created. For example, in the [Unattended] section there is an OEM Preinstall entry that tells Setup whether to copy the $OEM$ subfolders from the distribution folders to the target computer.
An answer file consists of section headers, keys, and the values for each key. Most of the section headers are predefined, but some can be user defined. The following information is included in the Unattend.txt file. You can copy this file from the CD-ROM to writeable media, like a fixed disk, and then edit the file as necessary to meet the needs of your unattended installation. You can also rename the file.
Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional, Server, Advanced Server and Datacenter (c) 1994 - 1999 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Sample Unattended Setup Answer File This file contains information about how to automate the installation or upgrade of Windows 2000 Professional and Windows 2000 Server so the Setup program runs without requiring user input. [Unattended] Unattendmode = FullUnattended OemPreinstall = NO TargetPath = WINNT Filesystem = LeaveAlone [UserData] FullName = "Your User Name" OrgName = "Your Organization Name" ComputerName = "COMPUTER_NAME" [GuiUnattended] Sets the Timezone to the Pacific Northwest Sets the Admin Password to NULL Turn AutoLogon ON and login once TimeZone = "004" AdminPassword = * AutoLogon = Yes AutoLogonCount = 1 For Server installs [LicenseFilePrintData] AutoMode = "PerServer" AutoUsers = "5" [GuiRunOnce] List the programs that you want to launch when the machine is logged on to for the first time [Display] BitsPerPel = 8 XResolution = 800 YResolution = 600 VRefresh = 70 [Networking] When set to YES, setup will install default networking components. The components to be set are TCP/IP, File and Print Sharing, and the Client for Microsoft Networks. InstallDefaultComponents = YES [Identification] JoinWorkgroup = Workgroup
You do not need to specify all the possible keys in an answer file if the installation does not require them. Invalid key values generate errors or can cause incorrect behavior after setup.
The answer file is broken into sections. A section name is enclosed in brackets, as in the following example:
Sections contain keys and the corresponding values for those keys. Each key and value are separated by a space, an equal sign, and a space:
BitsPerPel = 8
Values that have spaces in them require double quotes around them:
OrgName = "Microsoft Corporation"
Some sections have no keys and merely contain a list of values:
Comment lines start with a semicolon:
;Setup program runs without requiring user input.
Every key in an answer file must have a value assigned to it; however, some keys are optional, and some keys have default values that are used if the key is omitted. Key values are strings of text, unless a numeric string is specified. If a numeric string is specified, the value is decimal unless otherwise noted.
Keys are not case sensitive; they can be uppercase or lowercase.
The Unattend.doc file has detailed information about the answer file keys and values. You can find Unattend.doc in the Deploy.cab file on the Windows 2000 Server installation CD-ROM, under the \Support\Tools folder. To extract or view the contents of the Deploy.cab file, use Windows Explorer. For more details about opening the Unattend.doc file, see the Sreadme.doc file on the Windows 2000 Server installation CD-ROM.
Running Setup.exe or 2000rkst.msi from the \Support\Tools folder installs the Windows 2000 Support Tools in Support.cab, but it does not extract the Unattend.doc file or any of the other compressed files in Deploy.cab.
You can create an answer file by using Setup Manager or by creating the file manually.
To help you create or modify the answer file, an application called Setup Manager is available on the Windows 2000 Server installation CD-ROM in the Support\Tools\Deploy.cab file.
You can use Setup Manager to perform the following tasks:
[GuiRunOnce]section of the answer file
With Setup Manager, you can add consistency to the process of creating or updating the answer file. However, you cannot use Setup Manager to specify all answer file settings, optional components, create Txtsetup.oem files, or create subfolders in the distribution folder.
After you use Setup Manager to create an answer file, add more settings by using a text editor. Refer to Unattend.doc and Readme.txt included in the Deploy.cab for a comprehensive list of available settings.
Table 8.15 describes the most commonly used Setup Manager specifications.
Table 8.15 Common Setup Manager Specifications
|Upgrade option||Specifies whether to install Windows 2000 Professional or Windows 2000 Server|
|Target computer name||Specifies the user name, organization name, and computer names to apply to the target computers|
|Product ID||Specifies the product license number obtained from the product documentation|
|Workgroup or domain||Specifies the name of the workgroup or domain to which the computer should be added|
|Time zone||Specifies the time zone for the computer|
|Network configuration information||Specifies the network adapter type and configuration information, including network protocols|
To create the answer file manually, you can use a text editor such as Notepad. In general, an answer file consists of section headers, parameters, and values for those parameters. Although most of the section headers are predefined, you can also define additional section headers. Note that it is not necessary to specify all the possible parameters in the answer file if the installation does not require them.
To install Windows 2000 Server on multiple computers over a network, you must create at least one set of distribution folders. The distribution folders typically reside on a server to which the destination computers can connect. This allows users to install Windows 2000 Server by running Winnt.exe or Winnt32.exe on those computers. You can use one set of distribution folders and multiple answer files for different system implementations. Even if you intend to use disk imaging as your installation method, starting with distribution folders helps to provide consistent implementations for a variety of system types. In addition, distribution folders allow you to update future images by editing the files in the distribution folders to generate updated images without having to start from the beginning.
To help load balance the servers and to make the file-copy process of Windows 2000 Setup faster, you can create distribution folders on multiple servers to support the installation process on computers that are running Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT, or Windows 2000. You can run Winnt32.exe with up to eight sets of distribution folders. Each set of distribution folders contains the Windows 2000 Server installation files as well as any device drivers and other files needed for installation.
To create a distribution folder manually, connect to the network server on which you want to create the distribution folder, and create a \W2kdist folder on the network share. To help differentiate between multiple distribution shares for the different editions of Windows 2000 (Windows 2000 Professional, Windows 2000 Server, and Windows 2000 Advanced Server), choose different names for each folder. If you need localized language versions of Windows 2000 to meet requirements for international branches of your organization, you can create separate distribution shares for each localized version. For each edition of Windows 2000, copy the contents of the \i386 folder to the distribution share created for it. For instance, if you are preparing a distribution for Windows 2000 Server, create and share a folder named \W2kdists and copy the \i386 directory on the Windows 2000 Server installation CD-ROM to the folder.
The distribution share to support a default installation of Windows 2000 Server requires approximately 313 megabytes (MB) of disk space.
You can also use Setup Manager to automatically create and share a distribution folder.
The distribution folder (usually called i386 for Intel systems) consists of various folders and subfolders of information used during the installation of Windows 2000 Server. This folder needs to be organized in the appropriate order. Figure 8.3 illustrates how these folders should be structured.
Figure 8.3 Example of a structure for the distribution folders
This is the primary distribution folder. It contains all the files required to install Windows 2000 Server. You copy the contents of this folder from the Windows 2000 Server installation CD-ROM to the root of the distribution share.
The \$OEM$ subfolder is located directly beneath the primary distribution folder. During Setup you can automatically copy directories, standard Microsoft format 8.3 files, and any tools needed for your automated installation process to \$OEM$. Note that if you use the OEMFILESPATH key in the answer file, you can create the \$OEM$ subfolder outside of the distribution folder.
\$OEM$ provides the necessary folder structure for supplemental files to be copied to the target computer during setup. These files include drivers, utilities, applications, and any other files required to deploy Windows 2000 Server within your organization.
\$OEM$ can contain the optional file Cmdlines.txt, which contains a list of commands to be run during the Setup wizard of setup. These commands can be used to install optional components, such as tools and utilities. Commands contained in Cmdlines.txt are run before the computer is logged on to the network.
As long as Setup finds \$OEM$ in the root of the distribution point, it copies all the files found in this directory to the $WIN_NT$.~LS temporary directory created during the completing phase of setup. During completing phase, subfolders of \$OEM$ are copied to the corresponding location on the target computer. At setup completion, $OEM$ and all subfolders are deleted along with $WIN_NT$.~LS.
All folders described next are located on the distribution share below \$OEM$ and are copied to various locations on the computer running Setup.
The \$OEM$\textmode subfolder contains new or updated files for installing mass storage device drivers and HALs. These files can include oem HALs, drivers for SCSI devices, and the Txtsetup.oem file, which directs the loading and installing of these components.
All files placed in the \$OEM$\textmode subfolder (HALs and drivers) must be listed in the [OEMBootFiles] section of the answer file.
The \$OEM$\$$ subfolder corresponds to the contents of the %windir% environment variable. The subfolder contains the operating system files (either new files or replacements for retail files) that are copied to the various subfolders when Windows 2000 is installed. The structure of this subfolder must match the structure of a standard Windows 2000 installation, where \$OEM$\$$ matches %windir%, \$OEM$\$$\System32 matches %windir%\System32, and so on. Each subfolder must contain the files that will be copied to the corresponding operating system folder on the target computer.
In Windows 2000, %systemroot% is equivalent to %windir%.
The \$OEM$\$1 subfolder, which is new for Windows 2000, corresponds to the drive on which Windows 2000 is installed. $1 is equivalent to the %systemdrive% environment variable. For example, if you are installing Windows 2000 on the D: drive, \$OEM$\$1 corresponds to the D: drive. This makes it possible to install Windows 2000 to drives other than the C: drive.
The \$OEM$\$1\Drivers subfolder, which is new for Windows 2000, allows you to place new or updated Plug and Play device drivers and their supporting files (catalog files and .inf installation files) in and below the Drivers subfolder. These folders and their contents are copied to the %systemdrive%\ Drivers folder on the target computer. Adding the OemPnPDriversPath parameter to your answer file will tell Windows 2000 where to look for the new or updated Plug and Play drivers. When searching for appropriate Plug and Play device drivers to install during setup or afterward, Windows 2000 looks at the files in the folders you created as well as those originally included with the system. Note that you can replace Drivers with a name of your own choosing that follows the 8.3 MS-DOS naming convention.
The \$OEM$\$1\Drivers subfolder replaces the \Display and \Net subfolders used in Windows NT installation.
The \$OEM$\$1\Sysprep subfolder contains the files needed to run the Sysprep utility. Sysprep.exe and Sysprepcl.exe must be in %systemdrive%\Sysprep folder for Sysprep to function properly.
Add Sysprep.inf (created by Setup Manager or written manually) to the \$OEM$\$1\Sysprep directory on the distribution share. Otherwise, a floppy disk containing the Sysprep.inf file is necessary to complete a Sysprep setup.
During the Text-mode portion of setup, the structure of each \$OEM$\drive_letter subfolder is copied to the root of the corresponding drive in the target computer. For example, files that you place in the \$OEM$\D subfolder are copied to the root of the D: drive. You can also create subfolders within these subfolders. For example, \$OEM$\E\Misc causes Setup to create a \Misc subfolder on the E: drive.
Files that have to be renamed must be listed in the $$Rename.txt file. Note that the files in the distribution folders must have short file names (format 8.3).
In this exercise, you create and run an automated installation of Windows 2000 Server on Computer 2. To prepare for the automated installation, you use the Windows 2000 Server Setup Manager to create an answer file and a distribution share on Server01.
Do not customize the desktop or any of the Windows 2000 applications on Server01. If you do, the steps in this exercise may not work. For example, this exercise is designed for the double-click behavior of the default desktop, so you must not have customized your desktop settings to alter this.
Complete this exercise on a Server01 with the Windows 2000 Server installation CD-ROM inserted.
The contents of the Deploy.cab file appears.
A Browse For Folder window appears.
The Deploy folder opens.
A Copying message box appears momentarily as the files in the Deploy.cab file are extracted to C:\Program Files\Deploy.
Setup Manager starts, and the Windows 2000 Setup Manager wizard appears.
The New Or Existing Answer File screen appears, and the Create A New Answer File radio button is selected.
The Product To Install screen appears, and the Windows 2000 Unattended Installation radio button is selected.
The Platform screen appears, and the Windows 2000 Professional radio button is selected.
The User Interaction Level screen appears, and the Provide Defaults radio button is selected.
The License Agreement screen appears.
The Customize The Software screen appears.
The Licensing Mode screen appears, and the Per Server radio button is selected.
The Computer Names screen appears.
The Open window appears.
The Computer Names screen appears showing a list of computers to be installed.
The Administrator Password screen appears.
The Number of times to Auto Logon is set to 1.
The Display Settings screen appears.
The Network Settings screen appears, and the Typical Settings radio button is selected.
The Workgroup Or Domain screen appears and the Workgroup radio button is selected.
Server01 is currently configured as a member of a workgroup named WORKGROUP. Do not change the values appearing on the Workgroup Or Domain screen. When the automated installation is run on Computer 2, it will become a member of the same workgroup. Later in this self-paced study, Server01 will become a domain controller and the computer you are preparing an answer file for will join that domain.
The answer file you are preparing now can be modified later to automatically join a domain and create computer accounts in the domain. These modifications are made by using either Setup Manager or a text editor.
The Time Zone screen appears.
The Additional Settings screen appears, and the Yes, Edit The Additional Settings radio button is selected.
The Telephony screen appears.
The Regional Settings screen appears, and the Use The Default Regional Settings For The Windows Version You Are Installing radio button is selected.
The Languages screen appears.
The Browser And Shell Settings screen appears, and the Use Default Internet Explorer Settings radio button is selected.
The Installation Folder screen appears, and the A Folder Named Winnt radio button is selected.
The Install Printers screen appears.
The Run Once screen appears.
Typically, the Command To Run text box contains a script or other executable program to further configure the user's environment. For the purpose of training, running Notepad is sufficient for configuration.
Notice that if you added a printer on the previous screen, the AddPrinter command runs to add your printer to the list of installed printers.
The Distribution Folder screen appears.
The Distribution Folder Name screen appears, and the Create A New Distribution Folder radio button is selected.
The Distribution folder text box contains C:\win2000dist, and the Share As Text box contains win2000dist.
The Additional Mass Storage Drivers screen appears.
The Hardware Abstraction Layer screen appears.
The Additional Commands screen appears.
Commands entered here are written to Cmdlines.txt. This file is created under the distribution folder in the $OEM$ subfolder.
The OEM Branding screen appears.
The Additional Files Or Folders screen appears.
The Answer File Name screen appears showing a path and file name located on the CD-ROM in the Location And File Name text box.
The Location Of Setup Files screen appears, and the Copy The Files From CD radio button is selected.
After the Windows 2000 Server installation CD-ROM is read, the Microsoft Windows 2000 CD screen appears.
The Copying Files screen appears as the files are copied from the \i386 directory on the installation CD-ROM to C:\Win2000Dist.
At the completion of Setup Manager's tasks, a Completing The Windows 2000 Setup Manager Wizard screen appears.
In this exercise you inspect the folder structure created by Setup Manager, an answer file (Unattend.txt), a UDF file (Unattend.udf), and a batch file (Unattend.bat).
The Run dialog box appears.
The Win2000dist window appears.
The i386 window appears.
What folder appears directly under the Win2000dist folder that does not appear in the i386 folder?
Notice that two of the Unattend files do not appear with extensions.
The Folder Options dialog box appears.
The Unattend files appear with their file extensions showing.
Select Unattend.txt, and from the File menu, choose Open.
Unattend.txt appears in Notepad.
[User Data]section and add an additional line named ProductID+<your_product_key>. For the value of ProductID, type the Product Key provided with your copy of Windows 2000 Server.
The Open With dialog box appears.
Notice that the 12 computer names imported during the operation of Setup Manager appear here.
What is the purpose of the UDF file?
The contents of the batch file appear in Notepad.
Computer 2 must already be running a Windows 32-bit operating system, such as Windows 95 or Windows NT. In addition, Server01 must be connected to the same network as Computer 2. All requirements for the exercises are outlined in "About This Book."
If Computer 2 is running Windows NT, the boot partition is C:\ and the operating system directory is Winnt, change the name of the installation directory in Unattend.txt. The directory name listed in Unattend.txt is found under the Unattended section, and the valuename is TargetPath. For example, change the value so that TargetPath=\WIN2000S.
If you are running Windows 95 or Windows 98 and are having trouble connecting to Server01, make sure the computer is a member of WORKGROUP and logon as Administrator with a password of "password."
If you have upgraded from Windows 95 or Windows 98, you might find that Setup can't find the .udf file. If this happens, open Unattend.txt on Server01 and specify the full path to the .udf file.
At the conclusion of this phase, a warning screen will inform you that the computer will be restarted.
This pre-Text-mode phase of setup can be completed using the \syspart switch with Winnt32.exe.
Upon reboot, the Windows 2000 boot menu appears and Microsoft Windows 2000 Server Setup continues to Text mode.
The computer reboots again, and the boot menu appears showing Windows 2000 Server.
Windows 2000 installation continues the Graphics-mode portion of setup. The Installing Devices And Installing Components screens take time to complete. The Performing Final Tasks screen appears as Windows 2000 Server completes the setup routine. When setup is completed, the Windows 2000 Setup screen announces that the computer will restart.
The Windows 2000 Configure Your Server screen appears.
The Configure Your Server screen appears.
If you are upgrading from Windows 95 or Windows 98, check to see if your partition is NTFS. If not, you must convert it. You can do this by typing convert c: /fs:ntfs at the command prompt.
Before you can perform an unattended installation of Windows 2000 Server, you must create an answer file, which is a customized script file that contains multiple optional sections that you modify to supply information about your installation requirements. The file supplies Setup with answers to all the questions you are asked when you install Windows 2000 Server manually. In addition, the answer file tells Setup how to interact with the distribution folders and files that you have created. You must create at least one set of distribution folders to install Windows 2000 Server over a network. Use Setup Manager to create a distribution folder and an answer file manually or automatically. To further customize the answer file, refer to the Unattend.doc file located on the Windows 2000 Server installation CD-ROM.