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Hi there!

I have one big problem to solve out. I made a couple of unattended CDs, which all work very fine, but since i wanted to put all my cd's on one DVD one thought came into my mind: Where to put the OEM distribution folders?

Hell yeah, i make one folder for each windows Version (Windows 2000 Pro/Server, Windows XP/Home, Windows 2003 Server Standard). Said and done.

My CD (not dvd, cause i wanted to try it on a cheaper cd first) content would look like this:

the folder for the $OEM$ (lets say \2003) in it the $OEM$

the i386 Folder (we all know it)

the install folder (for installations made from the CD)

the OEM folder (NOT $OEM$, this contains the drivers, installed from the cd, so the setups don't have to copy 200MB to the harddisk and i have one folder for ALL setups the same)

the hotfixes folder (called Update2k3)

the thought about it was: the setups have their own folders, but if i install 2000 Pro and 2000 server from one medium it would take double the space to add a $OEM$ folder to each installation (same with the hotfix folder). The hotfix folder works excellent by adding this to the dosnet.inf:



and this to the SVCPACK.inf:


so last thing to do is getting the $OEM$ thing working. Windows 2k b*tched at me, it wanted a $OEM$ folder in the CD root only, and i had to point to it via the entry OemFilesPath="$oem$" in the winnt.sif, nothing else worked.

well i thought as long as the others setups take another folder (like \2003\$OEM$) its not that bad...

so i tried in windows XP and 2003 this: (example is from 2k3, the folder was in the root of the CD called \2003 in it the folder \$OEM$)

OemFilesPath="2003\$oem$", OemFilesPath="..\2003\$oem$", OemFilesPath="2003", OemFilesPath="..\2003"

none of these worked! BUT if i put the $OEM$ folder in the root of the cd, i can set these two:

OemFilesPath="$oem$" or OemFilesPath="..\$oem$", both work (i have no clue why both work, but somehow setup seemed not very interested that the entries would point to different paths).

I hope anybody know how to do this, to mention it, it HAS to be a folder on the cd/dvd, not a network sharepoint.

And the folder structure would be like that:




Thanks in advanced.

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I've read about that, but the folders would have different files (like windows 2000 would have the IE6 SP1 package, 2003 wouldn't)

If there's reall no other way, i'd have to go the way with the -o option..

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just a question, you install the driver's from CD. While not the applications as well?

The only reason i can see for teh $OEM$ folder is to copy files over. You could have one file in each $OEM$ folder like a batch file that would normally be called, but have it search for the CD, then everything would be in a base "OEM" folder with all yoru apps in it. If it's really just programs to be installed, then would might be simpler and cleaner.

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Well, i tried to install everything from the cd allready.

the contents of my $OEM$ folder is: \updates and \IE

IE = IE6 SP1, that CAN be launched from CD.

Updates = several updates for: WMP, Windows Media, IE6 SP1, OE, MDAC & for Xp advanced networking pack

Some of these Updates cause errors while installing from the cd, my guess would be MDAC, but i got also errors on at least 2 IE updates (after too many errors i stopped the installation and retried it by copying them to the hdd and install from there, what caused no errors at all)

That was the reason i kept the OEM dist folders instead of making it without it.

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Just to let you all know, i solved the problem.

the OEMfilespath thing doesn't work and i doubt even MS theirselves know it....

(cause their descriptions always point to other documents that WOULD descibe it in detail, what isn't true)

i packed everything on CD, like \INSTALL\UPDATE** (where the ** stands for 2K, XP or 2K3). i deleted the $1 folder from my distribution folders and in the cdmlines.txt i added only one batch file checking for 2 significant files to deside whether you run a XP, 2000 or 2003 installation. After it desided what is running it imports the correct registry entries for run/runonce/runonceex or whatever you want your system to have integrated.

Since i am a nice guy (hehe...) i'll paste the cdmlines.txt, the init.cmd and an overview of my folders:




@echo off
TITLE Windows Unattended Installation post install initiation


SET KEY=HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnceEx

REGEDIT /S autologin.reg

IF EXIST %systemroot%\system32\reg.exe (GOTO XP) ELSE (GOTO 2K)

IF NOT EXIST %systemroot%\system32\mspmspsv.dll (GOTO 2K3)










The folders:

|-$OEM$         (holds the $$ directory to copy all important stuff to my windir)
|-OEM            (holds the drivers to be installed from cd)
|-INSTALL       (All updates and programs to be executed at first (second) start)
|-UPDATE2K    (hotfixes for Windows 2000)
|-UPDATEXP    (hotfixes for Windows XP)
|-UPDATE2K3  (hotfixes for Windows 2003)

so if i would have to add something, or change something whatever...

i have central directories that i have to change only once, not for every install one folder...

maybe someone needs that so thats my idea of handling it...

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Very Very nice.

I always just assumed OEMFilesPath works only from Network drives....

Where are you Install directories? The I386? Did you rename them so that each is in the root directory so they all use the same $OEM$ directory?

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on the cds i have only one i386 folder (well on 2k server there is also the clients folder but thats just on 2k so)

and on the multiboot dvd i have one folder for each system at least 2 times (like 2000 and 2KUA for the normal 2000 installation and the unattended one and that for XP Pro/Home, 2000 Pro/Server and for 2003 Server)

well since we still have to install it at work i have also a ghost.ima in the root and one folder called Ghost that contains preinstall images of Windows 98 and ME

and Partition Magic 8 as well as Erd Commander 2002 (yeah i know there's a 2003 version but we don't have a license for it, so we go for 2002)

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Just as a question (for anyone that is maybe a bit longe raround this forum than i am). I could maybe post the whole instruction for doing cds this way and the mutiboot dvd, but would i have to post it in two different posts or threads? since there's also a multiboot dvd forum i better ask before it'd get moved or deleted or whatever. It'd be easier to post only once, since i could refer to the lines i allready wrote and the guides of gosh and flyakite. else i'd have to link to my other post(s) if i'd have to post 2 posts...

thanks in advanced.

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theres probably no need... msfn has a great multi-boot dvd guide... lots of people already enjoying installing apps off the cd...

SET KEY=HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnceEx

what does that line do? you havent used %key% anywhere i can see, so it is useless

but... i guess theres lots of people who don't know how to do it properly... you should post your guide in the multi-boot dvd forum, as not a lot is specific to unattended installs (most of the good bits relate to multi-boot disks with more than one OS)

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You could have ONE thread, but multiple posts inside the thread....

Each post being next step maybe?

I see no problem with it. Unless of course it ends up being almost the same idea as any previous guide, which it doesn't look like so far....

If you post in the wrong forum, I'll move it to the right one, or another mod will.

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the set key thing sets the variable %key% to hold the value


so the following adds (i didn't post the full batch file in here) contain "reg add" with %key%\...

instead of HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnceEx\...

you could just skip the %key% stuff and write the full path for every reg add....


Allright, sometime this weekend or next week i'll post then in one thread how to do it all from cd (alot of it refers to other guides so i would just link to it) but a few things are different or it wasn't explained the way that i got it. And to copy the whole thing for a multiboot dvd its only a few more steps, so i'd just post one more post in the thread.

so far...

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  • 2 years later...
This is an old thread, but for what's it's worth, I've gottent the OEMFilesPath key to consitently work..

The trick is to specify the path to the folder containing the \$OEM$ folder without including "\$OEM$" in the path. Edited by iziksun
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  • 2 weeks later...

Straight out of deploy.chm:


Specifies the path to the \$OEM$ folder (containing OEM files) if it does not exist under the \platform folder of the distribution share point, where platform is i386, amd64, or ia64.

Syntax OemFilesPath =path_to_$OEM$_folder

Value path_to_$OEM$_folder

Example OemFilesPath = "%SYSTEMDRIVE%\OEM_Files"

Comments Enclose path_to_$OEM$_folder in quotation marks if it is a long file name.

Specify the path to the folder containing the \$OEM$ folder without including "\$OEM$" in the path. UNC paths are also not supported.

When you use a configuration set to preinstall Windows and you run the factory -winpe command, the value of the OemFilesPath entry is replaced by the path to your configuration set. To use the \$OEM$ folder in this case, put the \$OEM$ folder in your configuration set.

For more information about the \$OEM$ folder, see the Microsoft Windows XP OEM Preinstallation Kit (OPK) User Guide if you are a computer manufacturer. Otherwise, see the Microsoft Windows 2000 Server Deployment Guide.

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