Basic Question about Autounattend.xml

  • I have, hopefully, a simple question. I work at a public library and I have recently created an autounattend file, using Windows SIM, and successfully used it when I included it on a flash drive that I use for new installations of Windows 11.

    I recently configured a Windows 11 computer the way that I wanted it and then generalized it using Sysprep. I then booted this computer from its network card. I connected to our Fogproject server, using PXE on this computer, and I then successfully transferred an image of the computer to the Fogproject server.

    How do I get this image, which currently resides on our Fogproject server, to use the autounnatend XML file that I have created?

    Thanks so much for your help!

  • Moderator

    @castelon The quick answers are yes, yes and no.

    Ideally you will have the answer file on the windows golden image before you run the sysprep command because when calling sysprep you will point to the exact location of the answer file. Then shut down and capture with FOG.

    While I was developing my golden image I wrote a post download script to open the windows disk and replace the answer file. I did it this way to avoid having to restore, update teh answer file then sysprep and recapture with fog.

    While yes you can deploy it with a snapin, it won’t do you any good because winsetup needs that answer file BEFORE snapins would run. Its a chicken and egg situation.

  • Thanks so much for your help!

    I assume that I have to paste the answer file in the proper folder on a computer before I transfer the image, of this computer, to our Fog server. Is this correct? Or does a way exist to paste the answer file in the image while it resides on the Fog server? Can an answer file be used as a Snapin for an image on the Fog server?

  • Moderator

    @castelon Typically what you would do is place the unattend.xml file in the C:\Windows\Panther directory (at least on win10) and then when you call sysprep, with a command line switch you tell sysprep where the unattend.xml file is located. Also use the command line switch to have sysprep power off the computer.

    Capture and deploy with FOG. FOG is not involved with the target computer’s WinSetup process at all. It only moves bits from here to there. So your windows image needs to be configured to use the unattend.xml file if FOG was used or not.