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Unattend installations of xp pro

By romulus1 ·
Hey everyone...

I have been given a task to setup an unattended network installation of windows xp pro...

The installation files must reside on the server. Each machine may have different hardware...

Can anyone assit me in this regard.

I am not sure which tool that I should be using...

I will keep you updated on my progress if possible.

Thanks much


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by James R Linn In reply to Unattend installations of ...

Take a look at SMS -it can run install scripts, do checks on hardware(IE dont install on less than minimum standard etc).


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by romulus1 In reply to SMS


Thanks very much for your quick response. Do you have any suggestions of using sms for the installations. For example, must all machines have the same hardware? Is it easier then the other methods?



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Prime benefit is speed

by James R Linn In reply to

By automating the process you save time over going desk to desk. You also gain some consistency by scripting some of the standard tweaks that you do in your organization.

What you lose is the intelliegnce of the person doing the install. So you will have increased calls to your helpd desk from failed installs.

Must all machines have the same hardware - no. You should establish a "minimum" hardware standard and have the script check for it, and abort if the machine doesn't meet the standard.

Suggestions - thoroughly test your script on many different configurations before you roll it out. Don't roll it out to the whole organization at once - phase it in. We usually use the IT organization as the guinea pigs. If it works in the lab, then try IT, if it works in IT, then roll it out to a manageable number of users at a time(ask your help desk about how much increase they can handle).

SMS scripting is fairly straightforward. But it is easier if you have desktop standards for both the hardware and software. We found some particular problems for example with Laptops running Win 95b. If you discover problems like that, be sure to increase your testing there, and pay particular attention to your script.

Hope that helps.

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Why bother? Use imaging

by georgeou In reply to Unattend installations of ...

Why bother, it is not nearly as fast as using something like Ghost or PQDI. Make a bootable image that can cook a system in 5 minutes. Everything from WinXP, OfficeXP, remote access VPN, service packs, security updates, and any other software thatneeds to be loaded is installed durring this 5 minutes.

If you have 3 different types of hardware, you need 3 images. This is why you should standardize you hardware.

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The whole idea here is unattended

by James R Linn In reply to Why bother? Use imaging

IE no one stands there and does it - it happens over the wire, at any time of the night or day.

We use SMS for software updates and such but have never installed an OS that way - though Microsoft promotes it.


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by romulus1 In reply to The whole idea here is un ...


The key thing is to have an unattended installation of the OS. I spent the Entire weekend experimenting with RIS particulary with riprep.exe. It turns out that RIS does work nicely with xp pro, once you get the quirks out the way.

Ihave a question though. One of the key requirements is that you must have DHCP so that it can assign IP adresses to the PXE clients. Does this have to be a windows 2000 DHCP Service or would I be able to use a router to serve as a DHCP for the PXE Clients?

As soon as I have a full grasp of all of the other features of RIS. I'll take a look at SMS for Deployments.



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