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RichM

Enter Computer Name In Cdshell?

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Has anyone found a good way to prompt for the computer name before installing XP? I am using gosh's and flyakite's methods for AIO and unattended DVD (thank you both immeasurably!!) and things are working very nicely. Using cdshell for the menu, and all I really care about is XP and BartPE/WinPE booting. But when I am installing, it would be nice if I could prompt in CDShell for the computer name, so you could boot up, choose the XP option, set the computer name, and walk away for the next hour while it installs itself.

I guess I would want a prompt in CDShell, and then a routine that puts it in winnt.sif? I want to stay away from floppies if I can help it (I'm with you, gosh - I hate floppies - they are SO last century...)

again thanks to gosh and flyakite... I have worked with silent installs for 8 years or so, but their pages took me to a whole new dimension in silent install understanding!! (who said that about standing on the shoulders of giants? :) )

-rich

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Why don't you just not specify a name in winnt.sif? Or better yet, once it finishes install and boots into windows just rename it or write a small program/batch file that comes in at runonce and asks you for computer name. That would be the best option as far as preserving the un-attendedness of the process

The only way I could think of doing this is have cdshell copy winnt.sif (or entire boot sector? or maybe even all the install files???) to a certain spot on the drive, and edit your unnattended install to point in the right places. That sort of limits the usefullness of making a whole new OS disc in the first place though.

The 2 difficulties i see are that: cdshell can't edit something that's burned on the cd, and i don't think winxp can be made to call a remote winnt.sif file.

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RIS allows you to do this, but it uploads the information to a server before rebooting after copying files. If you did not have a server to load the data onto where would it sit at during reboot?

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Yeah you two have basically summed up the issues:

1) you could copy to the hard drive and kick setup from there but then you're not using winnt.sif concept you're using unattend.txt (from winnt32 in other words, regardless of what it's called)

2) if you copy to the hard drive then XP can't repartition and format (cleaner), you have to repart and format first with CDshell or ?? (messier)

3) there's no server to copy to here

4) yep CD is RO (no I didn't have to go check that first ;) )

one thought is use a floppy, winnt.sif on a floppy overrides the one on CD... but we'd have to use floppies and I'm not even sure if you can still buy floppy disks, it's been so long since I tried B)

I left it out of winnt.sif but it is tedious, you walk away after watching it for 5 minutes (about my attention span for watching SETUP run) and come back an hour later to see that it is sitting there waiting for a computer name (oh yeah, I forgot I didn't put that in, oh bother why couldn't it just time out and let me enter it later?? or ask me at the very beginning of setup... did I just hear someone say "like Longhorn does"? :) )

I kinda came to the same conclusion about the runonce rename-the-computer script.

too bad there's no way to put an input into memory as a udf file and then setup interview checks for this... oh well. I suppose if I were really doing a best practice mass production thing we'd just use RIS or similar at the staging center..., but the AIO DVD lets us send it into the field to re-do crashed boxes.

thanks anyway for the help people! :)

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Just enter a generic name in winnt.sif then once everything finishes install right click "my computer" and go to the "computer name" tab

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