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how can I join a Domain using Windows SIM


Start up Windows SIM and in the components section of Windows Image, expand the section called Microsoft-Windows-UnattendedJoin


right-click it and choose Add Setting to Pass 4 Specialize




in the Answer File pane, click on the newly added setting and expand it, select Identification and enter the Domain name in the JoinDomain value.


In addition, if you want to log domain join failures (logs to c:\windows\panther\unattendGC\) then set the DebugJoin option from false to true




f.y.i the error below is from a test deployment and actually happened when the computer failed to join the domain




Windows Could not parse or process the unattend answer file for pass [specialize]. The settings specified in the answer file cannot be applied. The error was detected while processing settings for component [Microsoft-Windows-UnattendedJoin].


Browsing the log file mentioned above (setupact.log) showed me this:-


2008-11-05 15:34:41, Warning [unattendedjoin.exe] Unattended Join: NetJoinDomain attempt failed: 0x52e, will retry in 5 seconds...
repeated many times...




2008-11-05 15:36:19, Error [unattendedjoin.exe] Unattended Join: NetJoinDomain failed error code is [1326]

2008-11-05 15:36:19, Info [unattendedjoin.exe] Debug mode: Breaking to debugger on error: 1326

2008-11-05 15:36:20, FatalError [0x090001] PANTHR Unhandled exception (code 0x80000003: BREAKPOINT) occurred at 0x00000000779E4EA0 in C:\Windows\system32\ntdll.dll (+0000000000044EA0). Minidump attached (25159 bytes).


and the reason why it failed to join the domain ? wrong password specified in the XML file...


click on Credentials under Identification, and enter your domain name/user/password for the account which will join this computer to the domain




validate your answer file by clicking on the Validate icon, check the messages pane to ensure there are no warnings or errors.

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Hey Anyweb,


Love this site, it's saved my backside countless times.


Just wanted to add to this that you don't have to specify an admin account to join the domain if you are using WDS. Please see:




You can do the unsecure method.


Thanks for everything you post!

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Kindly help me on this issue. Am struggling for a week to create a answer file for the below criteria:-


I want the an answer file to prompt for the Credentials to join the domain and computer name should be taken automatically from the guid.


Kindly help me ...

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