Perform unattended installs
Serdar Yegulalp

Windows NT/2000 administrators like to take advantage of the ability to do an unattended installation, where they can just start the install and walk away without having to answer every prompt. What they don't like, however, is having to do this with machines that require third-party mass-storage drivers, such as RAID controllers. The presence of third-party drivers often forces an administrator to go through the whole install process by hand. Fortunately, there's a more elegant solution, which lets you slip third-party mass-storage drivers into an unattended install.

For this trick to work, you'll need to have drivers that use the TXTSETUP.OEM setup file (most of them do), and you must also use a distribution folder for NT/2K that's on a local drive.

  1. Copy the distribution files to the machine's local hard drive (i.e., everything in the \i386 directory).

  2. Inside the \i386 folder, create a folder named $OEM$.

  3. In the $OEM$ folder, create a folder named TEXTMODE.

  4. Copy all the third-party mass-storage driver files to the TEXTMODE folder. This must include the TXTSETUP.OEM file and at least one driver file (.sys). Be sure to preserve any existing directory hierarchies; copy folders as they are.

  5. Open up Notepad (or your favorite text-only

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  1. editor) and edit TXTSETUP.OEM. In the section labeled [Disks], replace any references to the root directory (\), to floppy drives, or any other pathnames with a . (that's a period).

    Here's an example:

    d1 = "1394 Mass-Storage Controller", \w2kdsk1, \win2000\1394\
    would become:

    d1 = "1394 Mass-Storage Controller", w2kdsk1, .
    Again, note the period at the end of the line.

  2. Edit the UNATTEND.TXT file and create the following section:

    "Identifier" = "OEM".
    The "Identifier" (enclosed in quotes) is whatever name you want to use for the driver to identify it, such as the make and model. For instance:

    "BusLogic SCSI Controller" = "OEM"
    Note that if you use this UNATTEND.TXT in a system that has IDE controllers that start using the in-box drivers, then add the following line to [MassStorageDrivers] as well:

    "IDE CD-ROM (ATAPI 1.2)/PCI IDE Controller" = "RETAIL"
    If you don't do this, you'll BSOD with an Inaccessible Boot Device, guaranteed.

  3. Add an OemPreinstall=Yes to the [Unattended] section, or Setup won't recognize the drivers.

When you're done copying and editing, start the unattended install from the \I386 directory as you normally would.

Serdar Yegulalp is the editor of the Windows 2000 Power Users Newsletter.

Related Book

Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Installation and Configuration Handbook
by Jim Boyce
Online Price: $39.99
Publisher Name: QUE
Date published: February 2000
The Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Installation and Configuration Handbook provides information needed to install and configure Windows 2000 Professional for optimum performance. This book allows you to confidently install and configure your system for optimum performance and flexibility and provides tips and techniques to boost productivity.

This was first published in October 2001

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