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Where to Start?

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Well it's finally time for me to start working on an Unattended Windows 7 structure, and so here I am. But where to start? If any of you who have already gotten this going could point me in the right direction, I'd appreciate it. I use it mostly for individual workstation installations, and not for deployment from servers, etc.

I'm not asking anyone to write out a complete guide for me, but some direction would sure help. I have never bothered with one for Vista, but have used XP Unattended Installers for years.

Thanks to anyone who can point me the right way! :)

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Not sure your going to get a lot of responses right now. The product is new and people are just getting a handle on it.

I started with WAIK's User Guide and following their recommendation, started to automate my first Windows 7 build.

Also referenced the Unattended Windows Setup Rerference for Windows 7.

I'm not close to where I was in XP but you have to start somewhere...


Edited by rdalling
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I'm just starting this as well. Did the XP stuff long ago, and skipped Vista, so this new method is completely bizarre to me. My head actually hurts from reading about it. :wacko:

About all I've been able to do so far is install the WAIK, run WSIM and select my image flavor and share folder.

Why in the world did Microsoft fix what wasn't broken?

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Why in the world did Microsoft fix what wasn't broken?

Are you trying to say the WinNT 3.1-era installer XP used wasn't broke?

Because using floppies to load mass storage adapter drivers was great? (could be manually added to the CD, I know -- but still, it's no match)

Because the partitioning (and text setup phase overall) was good?

Because maintaining images for each HAL is fun? (could be worked aroud, but still a major PITA)

Because maintaining images for each language is the best we could hope for (and I mean even patches and SPs are different)?

Because the kludges to add a lot of drivers were nice?

Because the plethora of disparate scripts+bat/cmd files+.reg files and so on was the way forward?


Seriously, it was WAY beyond overdue to be replaced with something from this century. It's a very good thing it changed, and it's definitely for the best. Yes, you have to learn something new and then, that's just the nature of computers (and progress). The crappy old outdated installer is one of the things I miss the least about XP (not that I actually miss anything about it)

BTW, cluberti's blog covers a lot of this stuff.

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I never had to use a floppy to install any drivers.

I never used the partitioning feature in setup cause it did indeed suck. My partitions were always made in advance with Acronis or Gparted.

I don't work in IT so I'm not familiar with HAL. I had a taste of IT once and didn't like the clusterf*ck world I found it to be with loads of noobs telling experts how to do things. I did however maintain several different unattended XP discs for other people over several years, each with different hardware, and each disc was different only because of what each person wanted on it, plus their drivers. Each of those discs would work just fine on any machine.

I never had to bother with different languages because I don't know anyone who doesn't speak English.

Drivers were never a problem, except for the rare stubborn one.

As for the collection of .cmd, .bat, .reg, .txt and other files...I'll give you that one. That's definitely sloppy.

But it all worked and a basic unattended was very easy to do. No special software required beyond setupmgr.exe (532kb) to make the answer file (a plain english file), which instantly made XP unattended.

Now we have to download a 1.66gig suite of tools (WAIK) to do the same thing in a language that many people don't understand.

You call that progress? It might be a step in the right direction, but it's a hell of a long way from better.

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