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Pre-Install Computer Name/Product Key?


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I'm setting up an unattended disc to be deployed on all kinds of machines, and I need a way to input the product key and pc-name before the installation...This way I can insert the information and walk away and return with a fresh install of XP, instead of waiting for it to ask me somewhere in the middle. Any ideas?

Thanks!

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:thumbup Extract and run setupmgr.exe (from:xpcd\SUPPORT\TOOLS\Deploy.cab).

Add all the information needed (product key, computer name,resolution and other setting) this will create a unattend.txt file rename it to winnt.sif and put it in your i386 folder burn a bootable CD and enjoy.

Pawan

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The process of creating a WINNT.SIF is well known to me. It is not a viable solution for my deployment. I am creating a CD that will be installed on MANY computers. Using the WINNT.SIF method, when I install it on 50 PCs, they will all have the same product keys and name. Not a good thing.

Any ideas? Please don't assume im a total n00b. I have read the enitre MSFN unattended guide.

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I think you can leave your product key empty so it will ask for it later (not during the install) I remember reading something about that long ago.

** EDIT ** I think it is related to sysprep... old memory...

For the computer name, you can leave a * which will result in a random generated name based on the Organisation Name...

Edited by Incroyable HULK
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I think you can leave your product key empty so it will ask for it later (not during the install) I remember reading something about that long ago.

** EDIT ** I think it is related to sysprep... old memory...

For the computer name, you can leave a * which will result in a random generated name based on the Organisation Name...

I tried using this method a while ago myself, and although it does produce a rather annoying error message (using WINNT.SIF) it still does allow you to carry on and enter the required info.

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I think it would be pretty hard to do because when on CD, winnt.sif is Read only and to do what you need to do, it seems like a portion of winnt.sif would need to be re-written depending on which PC it' being installed to.

I was recently faced with the same sort of need, but I ended up just using an OEM 'Master Install' product key and a generic PC Name. After the installation, my postinstall script kicks in and then the cleanup script also checks the PC's hardware address and finds what the correct Computer name & Product key should be and 'writes' that into the sysprep configuration file. Then sysprep kicks in and after it's all done, PC has correct name & Product key!

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Multiboot a Bart/Win PE with your Windows install. Boot to the PE, prompt for the data, write it to a WinNT.sif file in the ramdisk, then call

Win32.exe /unattend:<path to WinNT.sif> /s:<path to I386 dir>

There are several projects here at MSFN that can help you with this, check out this post in the PE forum specifically. Search may bring up some more, similar topics.

If that sounds like a lot of work to you, you can just run a program after the install to change dummy settings in your WinNT.sif. You can add users, set passwords, change the owner/organization/computer name/workgroup/serial number, all after the install. This is how I do it; I've written a script that prompts the user to enter the data so they don't have to enter info at various odd times during the install.

The computer name is in the registry in these two places (although I'm not entirely sure you need to change the second...?)

HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\ComputerName\ComputerName\ComputerName
HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Parameters\NV Hostname

If you want to do this step entirely unattended, look at compname.exe to generate a computer name based on serial numbers, UUIDs, IPs, hostnames, dates, or random characters.

For changing the product key, look at this MS support article. Although it says the method is for SP1 it should still work for SP2.

Hope this helps.

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I think you can use the factory mode to do a Master install on one computer,then create an image,ghost to the other computer.

This computer will start with oobe,and in this section you can input the product Key and create the computer name and users differently.

This just like you buy a computer preinstalled OEM XP.

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