Installing using Windows Setup Manager (cont.) Page 4

By ServerWatch Staff (Send Email)
Posted Apr 18, 2002

The next page that is presented starts the Network Settings section of the answer file.

The first entry is for Computer names. Here, you can enter as many different workstation names and you want, import them from a text file, or allow the installation program to auto generate names based on your organization name.

[NOTES FROM THE FIELD] - If multiple computer names were specified in the computers to be installed section, the setup wizard creates a *.UDB file. The Uniqueness Database File (UDB) provides you the ability to specify individually specific computer parameters automatically. The UDB modifies an answer file by overriding values in the answer file, when you run Setup with the /udf:id[,UDB_file] switch. The file overrides values in the answer file, and the identifier (id) determines which values in the .udb file are used.

The Administrator Password page is next and has two options (of which only the second is available):

Prompt The User For An Administrative Password
Use The Following Administrative Password (127 Characters Maximum)

(Because we selected the User Interaction level of Fully Automated, the Prompt The User For An Administrative Password option is grayed out.) 

Enter any password that you want.

There are also two other options on this page, one to encrypt the Administrator's password in the answer file and another to have the Administrator log on automatically.

You can also set the number of times you want the Administrator to log on automatically when the computer is restarted.

We will leave these blank and continue from here.

The Networking Components page is where we can elect to keep the typical settings or choose to customize them. We will leave the default selection of Typical and select NEXT to continue.

The final page of the Network Settings section is the Workgroup or Domain page.

Here you can choose whether or not the answer file will put the newly installed system into a workgroup or a domain. As with an attended install, if we elect to choose a domain, we may need to create a computer account in the domain if this hasn't already been done.

We will be using the WORKGROUP option, so we will enter a name and continue. (The WORKGROUP "workgroup" is supplied by default, just as DOMAIN is under the Windows Server domain option.)

The final phase of the process is the Advanced Settings section.

The first option is for the Telephony information.

Next is the Regional Setting section, which allows us to either use the default regional settings for Windows XP Professional from the CDROM we're installing from or choose another.

We will keep the defaults as listed above and continue.

We are also given the option to add support for other languages.

In the Browser and Shell Settings section we can elect to use the default Internet Explorer settings or use an auto configuration script created by the Internet Explorer Administration Kit.

We could also set Proxy, Home page and other Browser settings at this time as well. We will keep the defaults and continue.

[NOTES FROM THE FIELD] - The version of Internet Explorer that is deployed with Windows XP Professional is 6. At the time of this writing, there is one security hotfix that should be installed on systems that use Internet Explorer and that is Q313675.exe.

The next option of the Advanced Settings section is the Installation Folder window.  

Here you can elect to install Windows XP Professional to one of three options as listed, only the third being a variable of your choice.

[NOTES FROM THE FIELD] - While I cannot find the specific Q article at this time, here is the Windows 2000 Professional article that outlines my next point. Other than the above method of using the answer file, there is no way on a clean installation of Windows XP Professional to choose the installation folder. The folder for Windows XP Professional will always default to <DRIVE LETTER>\Windows. (DRIVE LETTER being the only variable that you can set without the answer file.) Windows 2000 Professional is installed to the WINNT directory by default.

The next section allows you to automatically setup networked printers on the target systems if you wish.

You can also configure run once commands to run the first time a user logs on.

The last step in the Advanced Settings section is the Additional Commands option. It allows you to add any commands you wish to run at the end of the unattended installation before Setup restarts the system and runs Windows XP Professional for the first time.

The Windows Setup Manager will then create the answer file with the settings you have provided with all of your previous entries to a place on the local system as a text file. (The default location is the folder where the Setup Tools were extracted to.)

The unattend.bat file that was created from our input here is below.

@rem SetupMgrTag
@echo off

rem This is a SAMPLE batch script generated by the Setup Manager Wizard.
rem If this script is moved from the location where it was generated, it may have to be modified.

set AnswerFile=.\unattend.txt
set SetupFiles=J:\i386

J:\i386\winnt32 /s:%SetupFiles% /unattend:%AnswerFile%

[NOTES FROM THE FIELD] - The path of J:\i386\winnt32 /s:%SetupFiles% /unattend:%AnswerFile% is the default path to my CDROM drive on my system.

The unattend.txt file that was created from our input here is below.




FullName="Jason Zandri"



[NOTES FROM THE FIELD] - Because we didn't choose the option to encrypt the Administrator password earlier on the Administrator Password page of the Network settings section, anyone that has access to read the unattend.txt can see what the default administrator password for an installation is. This can be a serious issue in large environments where the passwords are not reset on a regular basis.

If encryption were selected the entry in the [GuiUnattended] section would look like this.


Well, that's a wrap for this week.

In next week's installment I will briefly (yeah right) go over how to setup a RIS server in order to deploy Windows XP Professional via RIS as well Upgrading from older operating systems to Windows XP Professional.

Until then, best of luck in your studies and please feel free to contact me with any questions on my column and remember,

"If a bad guy has unrestricted physical access to your computer, it may not be your computer anymore"

Jason Zandri

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