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Build an Answer File (AIK) (POSReady 7)

4/29/2013

The first step in creating a custom installation is to build an answer file. You use an answer file to configure POSReady 7 settings during installation. For example, you can configure the default Internet Explorer settings, networking configurations, and other customizations. In addition, the answer file contains all of the settings that are required for an unattended installation. During installation, you will not be prompted with user interface pages.

In this section, you will create an answer file using Windows System Image Manager (Windows SIM), a utility for creating and modifying unattended answer files and configuration sets. A simple answer file includes basic POSReady 7 Setup configuration and minimum Windows Welcome customizations. This example does not import any special drivers, applications, or packages.

After you install the Windows AIK on your technician computer, a sample of this answer file, Corp_autounattended_sample.xml, is available in C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Samples.

In this step, you will copy a Windows image file (.wim) and the image catalog file (.clg) to your technician computer and create an answer file.

  1. On your technician computer, insert the POSReady 7 product DVD.
  2. Navigate to the \Sources directory on the Windows Embedded POSReady 7 DVD and copy the Install.wim and POSReady 7.clg files to a location on the computer.
  3. To open Windows SIM, click Start, All Programs, Microsoft Windows AIK, and then click Windows System Image Manager.
  4. On the Windows SIM File menu, click Select Windows Image.
  5. In the Select a Windows Image dialog box, navigate to the location where you saved the POSReady 7.clg file, and then click Open.
    If prompted to approve the program by a User Account Control window, you can select to allow the program or cancel the installation.
  6. On the File menu, click New Answer File.
    An empty answer file appears in the Answer File pane.

In this step, you define basic disk configuration and Windows Welcome settings.

  1. In the Windows SIM Windows Image pane, expand the Components node to display available settings.
  2. On the expanded list of components, add the components in the table below to your answer file by right-clicking the component, and then selecting the appropriate configuration pass.
    This action adds the component to your answer file in the specified configuration pass, or phase, of installation. Adding the optional components allows you to test your installation in the next step, Build a Reference Installation (AIK).
    Hh300735.note(en-US,WinEmbedded.21).gifNote:
    Expand the component list in the Windows Image pane until you find the last child node as listed in the table in the following section. For example, expand Microsoft-Windows-Setup to find the DiskConfiguration node. Expand the DiskConfiguration node until you find the Disk node. Continue expanding the tree under Microsoft-Windows-Setup until you find the CreatePartition node as listed in the table in the following section. Add the CreatePartition node to your answer file. This shortcut adds the setting and all parent settings to your answer file in one step.

    Component Configuration Pass

    Microsoft-Windows-Deployment\Reseal

    oobeSystem

    Microsoft-Windows-International-Core-WinPE\SetupUILanguage

    windowsPE

    Microsoft-Windows-Setup\DiskConfiguration\Disk\CreatePartitions\CreatePartition

    windowsPE

    Microsoft-Windows-Setup\DiskConfiguration\Disk\ModifyPartitions\ModifyPartition

    windowsPE

    Microsoft-Windows-Setup\DiskConfiguration\Disk\CreatePartitions\CreatePartition

    (see note)

    windowsPE

    Microsoft-Windows-Setup\DiskConfiguration\Disk\ModifyPartitions\ModifyPartition

    (see note)

    windowsPE

    Microsoft-Windows-Setup\ImageInstall\OSImage\InstallTo

    windowsPE

    Microsoft-Windows-Setup\UserData

    windowsPE

    Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup

    specialize

    Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup\OOBE

    oobeSystem

    Optional: Microsoft-Windows-IE-InternetExplorer

    specialize

    Hh300735.note(en-US,WinEmbedded.21).gifNote:
    This example uses a two-partition configuration. Add a second CreatePartition and a second ModifyPartition component to your answer file by right-clicking the component in the Windows SIM Windows Image pane. Then select the appropriate configuration pass. This action adds a second instance of the CreatePartition and ModifyPartition components to your answer file.
  3. All of the settings that you added must appear in the Windows SIM Answer File pane. Under Settings, select the appropriate setting and, in the right-hand column, enter the appropriate value as specified in the following table.
    Configuration Pass: WindowsPE

    Component Value

    Microsoft-Windows-International-Core-WinPE

    InputLocale = en-US

    SystemLocale = en-US

    UILanguage = en-US

    UserLocale = en-US

    Microsoft-Windows-International-Core-WinPE\SetupUILanguage

    UILanguage = en-US

    Microsoft-Windows-Setup\DiskConfiguration

    WillShowUI = OnError

    Microsoft-Windows-Setup\DiskConfiguration\Disk

    DiskID = 0

    WillWipeDisk = true

    Microsoft-Windows-Setup\DiskConfiguration\Disk\CreatePartitions\CreatePartition

    Order = 1

    Size = 200

    Type = Primary

    Microsoft-Windows-Setup\DiskConfiguration\Disk\CreatePartitions\CreatePartition

    Extend = true

    Order = 2

    Type = Primary

    Microsoft-Windows-Setup\DiskConfiguration\Disk\ModifyPartitions\ModifyPartition

    Active = true

    Format = NTFS

    Label = System

    Order = 1

    PartitionID = 1

    Microsoft-Windows-Setup\DiskConfiguration\Disk\ModifyPartitions\ModifyPartition

    Format = NTFS

    Label = Windows

    Order = 2

    PartitionID = 2

    Microsoft-Windows-Setup\ImageInstall\OSImage

    InstallToAvailablePartition = false

    WillShowUI = OnError

    Microsoft-Windows-Setup\ImageInstall\OSImage\InstallTo

    DiskID = 0

    PartitionID = 2

    Microsoft-Windows-Setup\UserData

    AcceptEula = true

    Configuration Pass: Specialize

    Component Value

    Optional: Microsoft-Windows-IE-InternetExplorer

    Home_Page = <Company Home Page>

    Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup

    ProductKey = <product key>

    Configuration Pass: oobeSystem

    Component Value

    Microsoft-Windows-Deployment\Reseal

    ForceShutdownNow = false

    Mode = Audit

    Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup\OOBE

    HideEULAPage = true

    ProtectYourPC = 3

    SkipUserOOBE = true

These settings outline a basic unattended installation in which no user input is required during POSReady 7 Setup. When the installation is complete, the computer will restart to audit mode.

Audit mode is a stage of POSReady 7 Setup that enables you to quickly restart to the desktop, install additional applications and device drivers, and test the installation. Windows Welcome does not run in audit mode, but it will run the next time that the computer restarts, after you have run the sysprep command with the /oobe option. Windows Welcome, also named Machine OOBE (out-of-box experience), prompts the end user to read the Microsoft Software License Terms and to configure the computer.

For more information about audit mode, see the Customize Windows in Audit Mode topic on Microsoft TechNet.

For more information about Sysprep.exe, see the Sysprep Technical Reference on Microsoft TechNet.

In this step, you validate the settings in your answer file, and then save them to a file.

  1. In Windows SIM, click Tools, and then click Validate Answer File.
    The setting values in the answer file are compared with the available settings in the POSReady 7 image.
    If the answer file validates successfully, a No warnings or errors message appears in the Messages pane at the bottom of the Windows SIM window. Otherwise, you may receive error messages in the Messages pane.
  2. If an error occurs, double-click the error message in the Messages pane to move to the incorrect setting.
    Change the setting to fix the error, and then validate again by clicking Validate Answer File. Repeat this step until the answer file validates.
  3. On the File menu, click Save Answer File and save the answer file as Autounattend.xml.
  4. Copy the Autounattend.xml file to the root directory of a USB flash drive (UFD).

You now have a basic answer file that automates POSReady 7 Setup.

For more information about how to build answer files, see the Phase 3: Preinstallation Customization topic on Microsoft TechNet.

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