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  1. Introduction
  2. Windows 2000 Professional
  3. Windows 2000 Server
  4. Windows 2000 Advanced Server
  5. Windows 2000 Datacenter Server
  6. Application Support
  7. System Operation
  8. Disks and Volumes
  9. Filesystems
  10. Configuration Files
  11. Security
  12. Network Support
  13. Access Management
  14. Processes
  15. AD Structure
  16. AD Objects
  17. AD Object Naming
  18. AD Schema
  19. AD Sites
  20. Domains
  21. AD Functions
  22. AD Replication
  23. DNS
  24. AD Security
  25. AD Installation
  26. AD Configuration
  27. AD Performance
  28. Installation
  29. Installation Options
  30. Unattended Installation
  31. Software Distribution
  32. Remote Installation Service
  33. Language
  34. Accessibility
  35. File Attributes
  37. Distributed File System
  38. Control Panel
  39. Active Directory Tools
  40. Computer Management Console Tools
  41. MMC Tools
  42. Network Tools
  43. Network Monitor
  44. System Performance Monitoring
  45. Tools
  46. Managing Services
  47. Connections
  48. TCP/IP
  49. DHCP
  50. Printing
  51. Routing
  52. IPSec
  53. ICS
  54. Fault Tolerance
  55. Backup
  56. System Failure
  57. Services
  58. Remote Access
  59. WINS
  60. IIS
  61. Certificate Server
  62. Terminal Services
  63. Web Services
  64. Authentication
  65. Accounts
  66. Permissions
  67. Groups
  68. User Rights and Auditing
  69. Auditing
  70. User Profiles
  71. Policies
  72. Group Policies
  73. Miscellaneous
  74. Terms
  75. Credits

Windows 2000 Unattended Installation

The Winnt.exe and Winnt32.exe programs provide the unattended installation ability, allowing the rapid creation of large numbers of similar workstations using existing installation media. Two types of files are required:

  • Answer files - Files requires to answer the system queries during an unattended installation normally sent to the monitor during an attended installation.
  • Uniqueness Database Files (UDF) - Used to insert the User name, organization, and computer name in the [UserData]section of the unattend.txt file.

The Computer Profile setup utility or the Setup Manager utility (SETUPMGR.EXE on the Windows NT install CD at \SUPPORT\TOOLS\ may be used to set up unattended installation answer file. On Windows 2000, this program is called the Setup Manager wizard and can be installed from the resource kit on the CDROM by running \Support\Reskit\Setup.exe.Options:

  • Create a new answer file.
  • Create an answer file that duplicates this computer's configuration.
  • Modify an existing answer file.

Answer file types are:

  • Unattend.txt for Windows 2000 Professional.
  • Unattend.txt for Windows 2000 Server.
  • Remboot.sif for remote installation services.
  • Sysprep.inf for the system preparation tool.

Products that can be installed with answer files include:

  • Windows 2000 Unattended Installation
  • Sysprep Install - System preparation utility located on the CDROM in the \SUPPORT\TOOLS\ file. Works on non-domain controller windows 2000 computers. This utility allows a Windows 2000 hard drive to be copied to other computers.
  • Remote Installation Services

User interaction levels can be set at:

  • Provide defaults - The answer file provides default answers.
  • Fully automated - No user interaction.
  • Hide pages - There is some interaction by the user with pages hidden that have answers provided by the answer file.
  • Read only - The setup screens are displayed, but the user cannot make selections.
  • GUI attended - The text part of the installation is automated and the user responds to the graphical part of the installation.

A distribution folder is created to do an installation over the network. An unattend.txt answer file and a unattend.bat file, for starting the installation, is created by the Setup Manager.

Booting from the network involves:

  1. Have a network card in the computer the installation is to be done on.
  2. Format the hard drive.
  3. Boot a computer with DOS client for Microsoft Networks on it (Comes With Windows NT Server).
  4. Map the shared distribution folder to a network drive, and from that drive run "unattend" or "unattend computer"

One UDF file is required for installing to various types of computers. There must be a different answer file for each type or configuration of computer.

Answer Files

There is a sample answer file on the install CD-ROM called UNATTEND.TXT. These files contain categories of information defined by the [ and ] symbols. Some categories are:

  • DetectedMassStorage - Mass storage devices that Setup should recognize, whether they are available at installation time or not.
  • Display - Display settings.
  • DisplayDrivers - Display drivers.
  • GuiUnattended - Defines the setup program behavior during graphical mode setup.
  • KeyboardDrivers - Specifies keyboard drivers.
  • LicenseFilePrintData - Used for servers only.
  • MassStorageDrivers - Specifies SCSI drivers.
  • Modem - Determines if a modem is to be installed.
  • Network - Network settings, with adapters and protocols.
  • OEM_Ads - The bitmap information to be displayed when the graphical user mode is starting.
  • OEMBootFiles- The files required for system boot must be listed here.
  • PointingDeviceDrivers - Specifies any pointing devices.
  • Unattended - This section defines setup program behavior during text mode setup.
  • UserData - User or computer information.

A sample unattend.txt answer file:

OemPreinstall = no
ConfirmHardware = no
NtUpgrade = no
Win31Upgrade = no
TargetPath = WINNT
OverwriteOemFilesOnUpgrade = no
FullName = "Your User Name"
OrgName = "Your Organization Name"
ComputerName = COMPUTER_NAME
TimeZone = "(GMT-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada); Tijuana"
ConfigureAtLogon = 0
BitsPerPel = 16
XResolution = 640
YResolution = 480
VRefresh = 70
AutoConfirm = 1
Attend = yes
DetectAdapters = ""
InstallProtocols = ProtocolsSection
JoinDomain = Domain_To_Join
TC = TCParameters
DHCP = yes

UDF Files

The UDF file below assigns user name, organization name, and computer names for three computers.

; The UID on the left is a unique string for this file which cannot contain a
; space, asterisk, comma, or equals character.
; The right hand side value must match the name of a section in the unattend.txt file.
; The sections below specify sections to be merged into the unattend.txt answer file sections.
; They may be specified for unique computer IDs with the format "[UIDn:SectionName]".
; They may be set for all computers is the format "[SectionName]" is specified.
; Any matching values on the left side of the "=" sign (key) are replaced by the value on the
; right. If a key does not match, the key and value are added to the unattend.text values.
; Format: "key=value".
FullName = "Mark Allen"
OrgName = "CTDP"
FullName = "Chris Smith"
OrgName = "Acme Corp"
FullName = "John Brown"
OrgName = "Acme Corp"

$OEM$ Directory

The $OEM$ directory is used to install files that are not a standard part ot the NT product. Additional drivers and files may be installed using this directory.

Winnt and Winnt32.exe use

An example command line that uses the answer files and UDF files is:

winnt /s:e:\ /u:unatt.txt /UDF:id1,udffile.txt

The Sysdiff Utility

Used to customize Windows 2000 or NT installation to one or more computers over the network. It records the differences between a installation files that have been added to an installation and a normal installation that has not had additions added. Functions:

  • Snap - Takes a snapshot of the state of files, directories, and the registry.
  • Diff - Records differences between a current system and a previous snapshot.
  • Apply - Apply data in a differences file to an installation.
  • Inf - Create an inf file from a diff file. The .inf file allows differences to be automatically applied to installations of NT from the server based share.
  • Dump - Allows review of the contents of a diff file.

If sysdiff is used to create an inf file and the difference files are put in the directory tree, %OEM$, you can use the command sysdiff.exe /apply in a file named cmdline.txt located in $OEM$. If this is done, the OemPreinstall line in the unattend file must be set to "Yes". Windows NT 3.5.1 used the Windiff utility which is still available in NT 4.0, but Sysdiff is used for unattended installation while Windiff may be used to compare files.

Beginning an Install

To install from the hard drive:

  1. Copy i386 information from the i386 directory to a created i386 directory on the hard drive.
  2. Run Winnt.exe or win32.exe
  3. Nomally you will create three setup disks unless you skip this option.
  4. The installation will create a temporary $WIN_NT$~LS or ~BS directory. If this file is gone at the end of the installation, the installation was completed.
  5. When done you will reboot the system and the system will run 32 bit code.


sysdiff /snap [/log:logfile] snapshotfile
sysdiff /diff [/log:logfile] snapshotfile differencefile
sysdiff /inf [/u] snapshotfile oemroot
sysdiff /dump differencefile dumpfile

The "oemroot" location, above, is the directory with additional files and directories with custom installation. An emergency repair disk can be created at installation time or it can be made later using the RDISK.EXE utility.

To install over the network:

  • The i386 directory must be in a shared network folder

Using Sysprep

Sysprep is used to prepare a Windows 2000 system hard disk for duplication. Sysprep can't be used on domain controllers. Duplication requirements that both the master and duplicated computers must have in common:

  • Identical type hard drive controllers.
  • Identical size hard drives.
  • The same HAL must be used.
  • Peripheral cards such as modems and video cards do not need to be identical, but drivers must be available for all computers.

Sysprep will remove any user specific information on the prepared hard drive. It strips the Security Identifiers (SIDs) from the disk before capturing the disk image. Once duplicated, the system that gets a copy of the disk generates its own SIDs for its objects.

  1. Create a Windows 2000 installation that you want copied (the master).
  2. Install any applications that are to be in the new system(s).
  3. Copy the administrator profile folder contents to the Default user profile folder and be sure the group, "everyone" can use the profile.
  4. Create a c:\sysprep directory and possibly a sysprep.inf file. Copy setupc1.exe and sysprep.exe from the directory where Setup Manager is installed into the c:\sysprep folder.
  5. Use the Sysprep utility on the master computer hard drive, to prepare for duplication. Typing "sysprep /?" lists options, and "sysprep -pnp" causes the mini-setup program to run hardware detection on the duplicated computers.
  6. Use a vendor tool to duplicate the hard drive to target computers. Drive Image Pro from Power Quest will work.
  7. Boot the duplicated computers and enter user information when the mini-setup wizard runs.

The mini-setup wizard can be automated using a c:\sysprep\sysprep.inf file. Timezone, domain name or workgroup, network settings, display settings and additional settings may be preset.

Sysprep switches include:

  • -quiet - No user interaction.
  • -pnp - Detect PNP devices on systems the information is being sent to.
  • -reboot - The new system will restart rather than shutdown.
  • -nosidgen - NO security identifier (SID) is created on the new system.