Making an Unattend.xml file



  • Hello people. Ive used Fog successfully at my last job. However, I was just a lower level tech and I never created an xml file before. However, I have a new position now and we have just implemented Fog and I have taken it upon myself to create an .xml file. I am following the steps shown as here:

    [url]http://community.spiceworks.com/how_to/show/2224-create-a-master-windows-7-image[/url]

    Where I am getting stuck on is here (step 11):
    [SIZE=12px][FONT=Arial][COLOR=#000000]FirstLogonCommands (right click and add two sub blocks as we did before in step 4. specialize)[/COLOR][/FONT][/SIZE][SIZE=12px][FONT=Arial][COLOR=#000000] [/COLOR][/FONT][/SIZE]
    [SIZE=12px][FONT=Arial][COLOR=#000000]-First block [/COLOR][/FONT][/SIZE]
    [SIZE=12px][FONT=Arial][COLOR=#000000]CommandLine: cscript //b c:\windows\system32\slmgr.vbs /ipk XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX (windows 7 license key) [/COLOR][/FONT][/SIZE]

    [FONT=Arial][COLOR=#000000][SIZE=12px]My last position, we had a KMS server in place. At my new position, we do not have a KMS server. I asked the person above me how we handle activation and serials and he says we just used the serials that came with the machine (mind you, we had no imaging solution until now). So essentially; he would get a machine out of box, clean it up, install apps and deploy it. Well with imaging, I cant just simply use one key off a single machine and make an image out of it because well, having 50+ machines with the same key will raise some alarms. Are there any other options I can make in the making of the unattend.xml file or any other ways to circumvent having issues? [/SIZE][/COLOR][/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial][COLOR=#000000][SIZE=12px]Thank you for your help. [/SIZE][/COLOR][/FONT]



  • I second using WAIK. It is alot easier than creating an Unattend file by hand. This tutorial helped me out quite a bit: [url]http://theitbros.com/sysprep-a-windows-7-machine-–-start-to-finish/[/url] .

    As for activation, that is a tricky issue. My institution uses a KMS server. Somewhere I read that newer machines have the activation key hardwired into the computer somewhere. However that may only be for UEFI installations. If your computers do not have an activation code on the outside and they came with Windows pre-loaded then they key might be in the machine. That being the case any valid copy of Windows is supposed to work without having to enter a product key.

    So if my thinking is correct you should be able to simply image the computer and Windows will pull the product key automatically from where ever it is stored. My laptop worked like that. I reinstalled Windows and it never asked me for a product key, but still worked. However I am not sure how that would affect you Unattend file. The only other solution is to create a separate Unattend file for each computer with the product key for that machine which is not an ideal solution.


  • Developer

    I use a batch script and a first run command to activate my machines during installation. You can provide a installation key with the unattend.xml

    I am no specialist, I have only been working with Windows 7 and sysprep for the past year, and I found that using the AIK and following the information that Windows put out about sysprep helped a great deal.

    Everyone sets up their unattend differently. I use mine to extend the os partition to the end of the disk, activate windows, copy user profiles, run command line scripts to install software/drivers but I can’t say that everything always jives well.

    I’ve since gone to using a user account and start up scripts for that user and having the unattend log the user in.

    This is where I started [url]http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/286053-system-preparation-tool-use-customize-windows.html[/url]



    1. If you are testing xml files, I found using SERVA and a VM in combination sped up the unattend.xml testing process exponentially. FOG is a far more capable production imaging server, but SERVA lets you implant unattend.xml files into your .WIM files on the fly, so you can essentially make an edit to your .xml, reboot your VM, set it imaging. Once that’s all tidied up you can do the proper adjustments to make it work as a FOG usable golden image.

    2. The licencing thing… I spent a year tooling around with that stuff, can’t say I got anywhere. It would be interesting to google for: “OEM activation” or look up stuff about SLC. Perhaps have a look around on an old Dell win7 recovery media cd for stuff, I always like to look through human readable scripts, maybe you might find something useful. Perhaps you could put together what you found as a post installation task. Sure would be nice to have all those OEM keys, per machine, re-register after a golden image is dropped.

    Seriously though, for testing unattend.xml, figure out how to use SERVA. It is an elegant little piece of software.



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