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WDS not using Unattend.xml

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Hi everybody,


Here is My scenario, I have WDS running on a Server 2008 R2 Machine, and have been succesfully imaging XP machines for a while now.


I am trying to setup a Windows 7 amd64 image on it, and it doesn't appear to like my unattend.xml, ie, it doesn't get the language options that I have set in the unattend,.xml, it doesn't automatically load the right image off WDS, which is also specified in the unattend.xml etc.


The thing that I think may be causing the problem is that the Boot image I am using in WDS is the x86 boot image that we have been using to image the XP machines.


Do I need to create an amd64 boot image for it to recognise the amd64 commands in the unattend.xml?


The Windows 7 image itself works fine, but for simplicity sake, because I'm going to have to do over 100 of these in the coming months, I would prefer to make it and unattended installation.


This has been driving me nuts the last couple of days.


Edit, here is my WDSclientunattend.xml


<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>

<unattend xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:unattend">

<settings pass="windowsPE">

<component name="Microsoft-Windows-Setup" processorArchitecture="amd64" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">


<Disk wcm:action="modify">


<ModifyPartition wcm:action="modify">







































Edited by mundies

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My first recommendation is to use WSIM (Windows System Image Manager) to create your unattend files. This will make it easier for you to create your unattend file properly, as it has a validation feature to ensure that the file doesn’t have syntax errors. WSIM is a part of the Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK).

When comparing your client unattend file to an example file (found here) shows that you are wiping the disk, but you are not creating new partitions. When the element ‘WillWipeDisk’ is set to True, the existing partitions will be removed. The createpartition component is needed to setup the partitions before the modifypartition can format and label.

You also do not have the language/UI settings in this file, so it will not choose the language for you. Example 1 on the page of example files has the correct component and elements needed for the language/UI settings.


Since you are going to be imaging a large number of machines, my second recommendation is to use the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT). MDT allows a greater amount of customization in your deployments with several great features. The ability to add updates to MDT that are injected upon deployment aids in keeping your images up to date without loading the image on a machine, updating, sysprepping, and re-capturing the image. Another great feature is the ability to install software after Windows is installed with post-installation tasks. This keeps the software out of your image so that any updates or new versions can be configured in MDT without touching your image. You can also create software groups to automatically deploy software needed per department, rather than a one-size fits all image that needs modification after deployment. WDS can use the images you create in MDT to deploy through PXE booting and multi-casting. Here is a short video walkthrough of setting up MDT and populating the deployment environment which should help you get started.


Hope this helps,


Windows Outreach Team - IT Pro

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