Creating an Answer File for Windows Unattended Setup
Computer Imaging is an important part of Life Cycle Management. Creating and deploying Windows images requires running the System Preparation (Sysprep) tool. Sysprep removes system-specific data from Windows ensuring a successful restoration of the image, and creates a "generalized" Windows installation that will then be ready for configuration at next bootup. This article is a step-by-step guide on creating an answer file for Sysprep to completely automate the Windows 7 setup.
- Installing the Windows Automated Installation Kit for Windows
- Creating a Sysprep unattended answer
- Windows 10 & Windows 7 Sysprep - Automated Install Settings#chkdsk
- Windows 10 & Windows 7 Sysprep - Automated Install Settings#sysprep
First we'll need to install the Windows Automated Installation Kit on your technician machine (Or skip to the next step if you will be using the website to create you unattended file):
- Win 7 - http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=5753
- Win 8 - https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=30652
- Win 8.1 - https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=39982
- Win 10 - https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/hardware/windows-assessment-deployment-kit
At this point you can either
- Use a 3rd party creation tool
- Manually create the answer file
- Skip this and have no answer file or an empty answer file (not recommended)
Some have reported skipping creating a file manually and using no-ip.org tools:
Doing so will let you skip to Step 3: Check Disk
Now we will Launch Windows System Image Manager and begin creating our answer file.
Using the Answer File Properties and Settings panes, configure the following settings:
It is recommended that you save this file. You can use it later for other images that need prepared
Please make sure that before you Sysprep your Image, that you
check the disk. A reboot will be required.
chkdsk /R shutdown -r -t 0
Use a administrator command prompt to run the commands and reboot
Once chkdsk has completed and the machine is back in Windows, run a command prompt as administrator and type the following command to Sysprep your machine:
C:\Windows\System32\Sysprep\sysprep.exe /generalize /oobe /shutdown /unattend:PATH TO SYSPREP ANSWER FILE XML
Sysyprep will prepare the machine to be copied and shutdown.
You are now ready to upload your Master Image to the FileWave Imaging Appliance.
To continue this workflow and capture this as a Master Image see... Windows Network Imaging - PXE