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unattend.xml search order


Written by: Mads Dam - 09.08.2012 - 0 comments

For my reference - this describes the implicit search order that Windows Setup will search for an unattend.xml-file.

Quite useful, when you make changes and want them to actually work in your sysprep :)

It's basically because I started a new job, where there's no WDS-server, no easy way to setup a server and gain access to it from multiple locations either. So it's sysprepped images and then a USB - And of course, the differentl locations have different needs like: CS6 Master Collection on one, but CS6 Design Premium on another. Joy! :D 

Search OrderLocationDescription

1

Registry

HKLM\System\Setup!UnattendFile

Specifies a pointer in the registry to an answer file. The answer file is not required to be named Unattend.xml.

2

%WINDIR%\Panther\Unattend

The name of the answer file must be Unattend.xml or Autounattend.xml.

Note   Windows Setup only searches this directory on downlevel installations. If Windows Setup starts from Windows PE, the %WINDIR%\Panther\Unattend directory is not searched.

3

%WINDIR%\Panther

Windows Setup caches answer files to this location.

ImportantImportant
Do not overwrite the answer files in these directories.

4

Removable read/write media in order of drive letter, at the root of the drive.

Removable read/write media in order of drive letter, at the root of the drive.

The name of the answer file must be Unattend.xml or Autounattend.xml, and the answer file must be located at the root of the drive.

5

Removable read-only media in order of drive letter, at the root of the drive.

Removable read-only media in order of drive letter, at the root of the drive.

The name of the answer file must be Unattend.xml or Autounattend.xml, and must be located at the root of the drive.

6

windowsPE and offlineServicing passes:

  • \Sources directory in a Windows distribution

All other passes:

  • %WINDIR%\System32\Sysprep

In the windowsPE and offlineServicing passes, the name of the answer file must be Autounattend.xml.

For all other configuration passes, the file name must be Unattend.xml.

7

%SYSTEMDRIVE%

The answer file name must be Unattend.xml or Autounattend.xml



Taken directly from: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc749415(v=ws.10).aspx


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