How do I perform an unattended installation?

A. It is possible to specify a text file that can be passed to the Windows NT installation program that contains answers to the questions the installation procedure asks. This file is usually called unattend.txt and is passed to the Windows NT installation program using the /u:unattend.txt qualifier. The answer file has to adhere to a strict format which can be very complex, however there is a utility on the NT Server CD called SETUPMGR.EXE (in the Support/Deptools/I386) that allows the information to be filled into dialog boxes and it will then create the unattend.txt (or any other name) for you. Below is an example of how to use the SETUPMGR.EXE file:

  1. Load the NT Server Installation CD-ROM
  2. Run <CD-ROM>:/Support/Deptools/I386/setupmgr.exe
  3. Click the "New" button, and the click OK to the advice dialog box
  4. Click the "General Setup" button
  5. Click the "User Information" tab, and type your name (i.e. John Savill, not your domain logon name!), your company, a computer name and the product ID (on the back of the NT installation CD-ROM)
  6. Click the "Computer Role" tab, and from the drop down list select the type (in this case Workstation in Domain) and then type the Domain name
  7. Click "Install Directory" and choose the NT install directory
  8. Click "Time Zone" tab and from the drop down list select your time zone
  9. If you choose a PDC then you can click the "Licence Mode" tab and choose the licensing to be used
  10. Click OK
  11. Click the "Networking Setup" button
  12. Enter in the information for adapters and protocols then click OK
  13. If you want to use NTFS click the "Advanced" button and click "File System" tab and select convert to NTFS
  14. Click OK
  15. Click Save and enter a file name
  16. Click Exit

Microsoft have a document on automated installations at called "Deployment Guide to Windows NT Setup"

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