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Dechy

Unattended from USB

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I'm having an old problem I used to have with XP, where you could potentially remove the "boot from CD" option if you weren't careful (or if that WAS your intention).

I never really had that problem with Vista before because work here didn't have USB sticks big enough so I had to use DVDs, but now with 7 we're doing it with flash drives and I'm bumping into the problem where it constantly loops the PE pass because there's no "boot from USB/media/whatever" message, it just goes there automatically and resets everything.

Holy annoying, as I'm 100% sure if I release something of the sort, I'll have techs in the field forgetting their sticks and wiping disks clean by mistake. There has to be an option right? I'm definitely missing something or overlooked something, at least I hope so.

Any insight on this? Thanks.

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verify that there is a bootfix.bin file in your boot folder, (i believe this is what causes the prompt to launch)

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A few days ago I deployed win7 via USB to a couple computers without any changes to my stick other than editing and updating the Autounattend.xml file.

I suggest you use the latest WAIK for Windows 7 RC to update/remake you XML file. Maybe you are using some deprecated or discontinued setting/component.

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Already am using the latest WAIK for W7 RC with a clean slate XML answer file. The only deprecated setting that I'm currently working my way around is skipmachineoobe by entering all the needed infor spereratly as per the "Automate Windows Welcome" help file.

Used bootsect /nt60 on the USB stick, copied the full DVD content of W7 on stick and popped the autounattend.xml on the root and it all works fine (aside from some afformentioned settings that don't seem to "stick").

But if I leave the USB stick in with USB -> HD in boot sequence, it'll always loop and redo the PE Pass (partioning, copying, expanding, etc...), so I had to revert back to HD -> USB and make sure I hit the F key and force a USB boot.

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Dechy,

why don't you use, like all the rest of the world, grub4dos?

Check the "Install XP from USB" section (and yes, you can use the apps in there to install Vista and Windows 7 too):

http://www.msfn.org/board/index.php?showforum=157

If you just want to skip the USB stick, have in menu.lst something like:

# Following is the timeout for the default choice

# By not pressing any key during the timeout, the default will be chosen

timeout 10

# Following is the menu item that will default

default 0

# This reflects the "normal" behaviour of a PC

# i.e. booting the first partition of first harddisk (in this case shifted by the USB stick that is hd0,0)

# By setting it as default with timeout 10 seconds (see above)

# We try to replicate somehow the "Press any key to boot from CD..." message

# of Microsoft Install CDs, this way if no key is pressed, as an example for

# unattended installs, the system will boot "normally" even if CD USB stick is inserted

# of course if the "any" you press is [ENTER] system will boot from this entry

title Boot Hard Disk MBR on (hd1,0)

root (hd1,0)

chainloader (hd1,0)+1

Alternatively to hardcoding a disk/partition, you can use a "tag" file, a file which is present on the hard disk but that is not on the USB stick:

find --set-root /tag_file.ext
chainloader /bootmgr

jaclaz

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Simply because government departments aren't the rest of the world, sadly. They are stuck in the stone ages, well, maybe not the small depts., but the massive ones take FOREVER to go ahead with ANYTHING.

I need to use something that has "payable support" or at least an enterprise sort of support structure with manuals that could resemble "grub4dos for dummies" lol.

Basically, anything that doesn't have a Microsoft, McAfee, etc... can't be used. Open source stuff like Lunix is to be avoided like the plague, in this department anyways.

Another 5-10 years and the dinosaurs will have left the building, hopefully.

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I need to use something that has "payable support" or at least an enterprise sort of support structure with manuals that could resemble "grub4dos for dummies" lol.

Well, you can pay me for support allright! ;):P

And here is the Guide (for dummies and not-so-dummies):

http://diddy.boot-land.net/grub4dos/Grub4dos.htm

You may want to look at Terabyte Unlimited (please note, this is NOT an advertisement):

http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/index.htm

BootIt NG:

http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/bootit-next-generation.htm

should have similar features. :unsure:

Another (absolutely needlessly complex one :w00t:) could be to somehow automate during the install or soon after it an editing of the \boot\BCD on the stick to add an entry for the actual installation on hard disk and set it default.

This way you won't have problems if you forget the stick during a reboot after the install. but you'll have to remember when you insert the stick on another machine, that your current default is linked to another install on another machine and correct the \boot\BCD entry by removing the previously added entry and re-set as default the install on the stick.

:unsure:

jaclaz

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This guide works 100% for Vista & Windows 7 unlike most of the guides out there. I have seen many sites/blogs that have “Install Vista from USB guide” but either with incomplete steps or not working guide. I have also seen some guides that don’t’ use proper commands in this guide. After spending many hours I have come up with this 100% working guide.

I just did this method on one of my friends machine and installed the new Windows 7 BETA. The main advantage is that by using USB drive you will be able to install Windows 7/Vista in just 15 minutes. You can also use this bootable USB drive on friend’s computer who doesn’t have a DVD optical drive.

The method is very simple and you can use without any hassles. Needless to say that your motherboard should support USB Boot feature to make use of the bootable USB drive.

Requirements:

*USB Flash Drive (Minimum 4GB)

*Windows 7 or Vista installation files.

Follow the below steps to create bootable Windows 7/Vista USB drive using which you can install Windows 7/Vista easily.

1. Plug-in your USB flash drive to USB port and move all the contents from USB drive to a safe location on your system.

2. Open Command Prompt with admin rights. Use any of the below methods to open Command Prompt with admin rights.

*Type cmd in Start menu search box and hit Ctrl+ Shift+ Enter.

Or

*Go to Start menu > All programs > Accessories, right click on Command Prompt and select Run as administrator.

3. You need to know about the USB drive a little bit. Type in the following commands in the command prompt:

First type DISKPART and hit enter to see the below message.

Next type LIST DISK command and note down the Disk number (ex: Disk 1) of your USB flash drive. In the below screenshot my Flash Drive Disk no is Disk 1.

4. Next type all the below commands one by one. Here I assume that your disk drive no is “Disk 1”.If you have Disk 2 as your USB flash drive then use Disk 2.Refer the above step to confirm it.

So below are the commands you need to type and execute one by one:

SELECT DISK 1

CLEAN

CREATE PARTITION PRIMARY

SELECT PARTITION 1

ACTIVE

FORMAT FS=NTFS

(Format process may take few seconds)

ASSIGN

EXIT

Don’t close the command prompt as we need to execute one more command at the next step. Just minimize it.

5. Next insert your Windows7/Vista DVD into the optical drive and check the drive letter of the DVD drive. In this guide I will assume that your DVD drive letter is “D” and USB drive letter is “H” (open my computer to know about it).

6. Maximize the minimized Command Prompt in the 4th step.Type the following command now:

D:CD BOOT and hit enter.Where “D” is your DVD drive letter.

CD BOOT and hit enter to see the below message.

7. Type another command given below to update the USB drive with BOOTMGR compatible code.

BOOTSECT.EXE/NT60 H:

Where “H” is your USB drive letter. Once you enter the above command you will see the below message.

8. Copy your Windows 7/Vista DVD contents to the USB flash drive.

9. Your USB drive is ready to boot and install Windows 7/Vista. Only thing you need to change the boot priority at the BIOS to USB from the HDD or CD ROM drive. I won’t explain it as it’s just the matter the changing the boot priority or enabling the USB boot option in the BIOS.

Note: If you are not able to boot after following this guide means you haven’t set the BIOS priority to USB. If you got any problem in following this guide feel free to ask questions by leaving comment.

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You can also change the boot options to HDD first and only boot from USB using hotkeys like F2 when the BIOS loads...

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I would say open the iso file in UltraISO and use the write disk image. It sets up the a sd card or usb thumbdrive properly without all the steps. Then afterwards reboot your pc and set the usb driver or sd card as the first boot device. Done. At least that's how I do it. I loaded 3 build of Windows 7 like this without issue.

Edited by 1chaoticadult

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I would say open the iso file in UltraISO and use the write disk image.

Sure :), just out of curiosity how much you still have in your pocket of the US$ 30.00 you took for "entertainment expenses"? :whistle:

And what happens if you forget your stick in (which was the OP problem question)? :unsure:

jaclaz

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And what happens if you forget your stick in (which was the OP problem question)? :unsure:

jaclaz

Change the boot options to HDD first and only booting from USB by hotkeys like F2 when the BIOS loads solves this problem. As I posted before.

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Change the boot options to HDD first and only booting from USB by hotkeys like F2 when the BIOS loads solves this problem. As I posted before.

And what if your BIOS does not have this feature?

However I was replying to 1chaoticadult ;):

Then afterwards reboot your pc and set the usb driver or sd card as the first boot device.

jaclaz

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You use the standard boot order options in BIOS that set that up. That is, if you have those options ;)

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