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Unattended Installation of Server Clusters

Updated: January 1, 2003

Applies To: Windows Server 2003 with SP1

Unattended installation of Server clusters consists of the following steps:

Planning and Preparation for operating system installation

Preparing answer file for unattended installation of the Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition operating system

Creating a Master Installation

Running winnt32.exe

Installing the cluster service

Planning and Preparation for Operating System Installation

For detailed instructions on how to plan and prepare for Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Server operating system installation, please refer to the following document: Microsoft Windows XP Preinstallation Guide. This document is located in the Deploy.cab file on the Windows Server 2003 CD. Although the Guide contains the instructions on preparing for Windows XP installation, the same instructions apply to Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition as well.

Answer File

To automate the Windows Server 2003 installation completely, you must prepare an answer file, usually called unattend.txt that contains all of the answers for a series of graphical user interface (GUI) dialog boxes. Unattend.txt tells Setup how to interact with the distribution folders and files you create and supplies Setup with all of the information that the end user provides during a typical Windows Setup. For example, Unattend.txt contains a FullName entry in the [UserData] section that instructs Windows Setup to prompt the end user to provide a full name.

Although the answer file for Setup is commonly called Unattend.txt, for a network pre-installation you can name the file anything you like. For a CD-based Setup, you must name the answer file Winnt.sif.

If you are using the OPK toolkit (this toolkit is only available for OEMs), you can create or modify a Unattend.txt file by using a tool called Setup Manager. You can also use any text editor to create or modify the answer file.

Required Sections and Entries

A fully unattended operating system Setup requires the following sections and entries:

 

Required section Required entries in that section Comments

[Unattended]

UnattendMode

TargetPath

[GuiUnattended]

AdminPassword

TimeZone

[Identification]

JoinWorkgroup

You may instead specify JoinDomain, DomainAdmin, and DomainAdminPassword.

[LicenseFilePrintData]

AutoMode

AutoUsers

Requires AutoUsers if AutoMode = PerServer.

[Networking]

Required to configure network protocols.

[UserData]

ComputerName

FullName

[GuiRunOnce]

Required to install the cluster service.

[Unattended]

This section contains entries for running Setup (such as whether to extend the partition on which you install the Windows operating system), and specifies location of files necessary for installation during Setup etc. You must instruct Setup to accept the EULA if you want your installation to be fully automated:

[Unattended] 
OemSkipEula = Yes

[GuiUnattended]

This section of Sysprep.inf contains entries for preparing the graphical user interface (GUI) for unattended Setup. To completely automate operating system setup you need to include the following entries:

[GuiUnattended] 
AutoLogon = Yes 
AdminPassword = *** <replace the asterisks with the actual password> 
OemSkipWelcome = 1 
OemSkipRegional = 1 
TimeZone = 20 <specify your time zone here>

[Identification]

This section contains entries for specifying the network identification of a computer. If these entries are not present, Setup adds the computer to the default workgroup called WORKGROUP. If there is not enough information for this entry, Setup will prompt the end user to provide this information.

Prior to adding the first node to a cluster or adding additional nodes, all nodes must have joined a domain (instead of a workgroup) and be members of the same domain. When you create a cluster or join nodes to a cluster, you specify the domain user account under which the cluster service runs. Therefore, you need to specify in this section which domain a destination computer should join, and provide the valid credentials under which to join:

[Identification] 
DomainAdmin = your_domain\user 
DomainAdminPassword = ***** <replace the asterisks with the actual password> 
JoinDomain = your_domain

[LicenseFilePrintData]

This section contains entries for installing licensing information for the Windows Server 2003 family:

[LicenseFilePrintData] 
AutoMode = PerSeat

[Networking]

This section contains no entries. However, to configure network protocols during an unattended setup, you must include the [Networking] section name in your answer file. In addition, you must include additional sections that describe your network adapters, protocols to be installed, and static IP address information.

To adhere to Server Clusters Best Practices, you must follow the following guidelines when configuring networking:

Use at least two interconnects. Although a server cluster can function with only one interconnect, at least two interconnects are necessary to eliminate a single point of failure and are required for the verification of original equipment manufacturer (OEM) clusters.

Reserve one network exclusively for internal node-to-node communication (the private network).

Do not use teaming network adapters on the private networks.

Use static IP addresses for each network adapter on each node.

For a complete list of instructions for Networking Best Practices, please refer to Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Server Online Help/Availability and Scalability/Cluster Servers.

Use the following entries in unattend.txt to implement the Networking Best Practices recommendations:

[NetAdapters] 
;list your network adapters here 
Adapter01 = params.Adapter01 
Adapter02 = params.Adapter02

Next, you need to uniquely identify each network adapter. You can either use the INFID entry where you need to specify the Plug and Play IDs of your network adapters, or the NetCardAddress entry to specify MAC addresses. For computers with multiple adapters of the same type (that is, the Plug and Play ID for each is the same), you must specify the NetCardAddress or PCI location information. If you do not specify the NetCardAddress or PCI location, only the first adapter enumerated/detected that matches the PnP ID receives the answer file entries.

If you specify the NetCardAddress or PCI location, Setup does not use the INFID entry because it is the least specific entry.

Therefore, we recommend that you simply identify your network cards by their MAC addresses as follows:

[params.Adapter01] 
NetCardAddress = 0x0002A5D0510F 
[params.Adapter02] 
NetCardAddress = 0x000476D5F57D 
;Install Client for MS Networks 
[NetClients] 
MS_MSClient = params.MS_MSClient 
[params.MS_MSClient] 
;Specify which network protocols to install 
[NetProtocols] 
MS_TCPIP = params.MS_TCPIP 
;TCP/IP properties 
[params.MS_TCPIP] 
AdapterSections = params.MS_TCPIP.Adapter01, params.MS_TCPIP.Adapter02

Now we need to configure both network cards with static IP address information. Following Cluster Networking Best Practices recommendations, for private networks, we need to define the TCP/IP properties for static IP addresses by specifying a class A, B, or C private address and a subnet mask.

For a public cluster network, we need to specify a static IP address, subnet mask, default gateway, DNS and WINS entries.

;Adapter01 is used for intra-cluster communication. 
[params.MS_TCPIP.Adapter01] 
DHCP = No 
IPAddress = 172.24.23.91 
SpecificTo = Adapter01 
SubnetMask = 255.255.0.0 
WINS = No 
;Adapter02 represents a public network 
[params.MS_TCPIP.Adapter02] 
DefaultGateway = 157.6.8.1 
DHCP = No 
IPAddress = 157.5.4.1 
SpecificTo = Adapter02 
SubnetMask = 255.255.252.0 
DNSServerSearchOrder = 157.5.0.1,157.6.0.2 
WINS = Yes 
WINSServerList = 157.5.0.1,157.5.1.2

[UserData]

This section contains entries for specifying user settings during Setup:

[UserData] 
ComputerName = SV-NODE1 
FullName = User Name 
OrgName = Organization Name 
ProductKey = 11111-22222-33333-44444-55555

Of course you need to replace all of the names, passwords and the cluster IP address with real ones.

Additional Answer File entries

Vendor-Specific Devices

Sometimes you need to install vendor-specific device drivers or third-party device drivers that are not available with Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Server (for example, storage controller drivers).

To install drivers that are not shipped as a part of the Deploy.cab on the Windows Server 2003 CD, use the following key under the [Unattended] section in the unattend.txt:

[Unattended] 
OemPnpDriversPath = folder_1_on_system_drive[;folder_2_on_system_drive]...

Specify this setting for the drivers for all of your secondary mass storage devices.

If you need to load drivers for bootable mass-storage devices, you need to add two additional sections to your answer file: [MassStorageDrivers] and [OEMBootFiles]

For more information about [MassStorageDrivers] and [OEMBootFiles], refer to the Microsoft Windows XP Preinstallation Guide located in the Deploy.cab file on the Windows Server 2003 CD. Although the Guide contains instructions on preparing for Windows XP installation, the same instructions apply to Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition as well.

Creating a Master Installation

There are no cluster-specific items in this step. Please refer to the Microsoft Windows XP Preinstallation Guide for detailed instructions on how to create a Master Installation. This document is located in Deploy.cab on the Windows Server 2003 CD.

Running Winnt32.exe

You can run Winnt32.exe from a command prompt to start Windows Setup.

For a complete list of the Winnt32.exe command-line options, see the Winnt32.exe Command-Line Options topic in the Microsoft Windows XP Preinstallation Guide. This document is located in Deploy.cab on the Windows Server 2003 CD. Although the Guide contains the instructions on preparing for Windows XP installation, the same instructions apply to Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition as well.

To install Windows from a network share, boot the computer using your Windows Server 2003 CD (or any other startup media) and then connect to the desired network location. Placing the distribution share and the configuration set on the network adds considerable flexibility to the pre-installation process.

To run Setup using Winnt32.exe:

Prepare an Unattend.txt file as part of building a configuration set as described above.

Start the computer where you want to install Windows.

Click Start, click Run, and then type: path_to_winn32\winnt32 /unattend:filename

where:

path_to_winnt32

Specifies the path to the location of Winnt32.exe. For example, \\server\share\Lang\Eng\sku\pro\x86\I386.

filename

Specifies the name of the answer file, which contains answers to installation questions you want to automate. The value of filename is usually Unattend.txt.

Installing the Cluster Service

To install the cluster service you must add the [GuiRunOnce] entry to your unttend.txt as follows:

[GuiRunOnce]

To create a cluster, add the following entry to the GuiRunOnce section:

[GuiRunOnce] 
Command0 = %windir%\cluster /cluster:SV-CLUSTER /CREATE /NODE:SV-NODE1 /USER:your_domain\user /PASS:****** /IPADDR:157.5.5.50

To add nodes to an existing cluster, add the following entry to the GuiRunOnce section:

[GuiRunOnce] 
Command0 = %windir%\ cluster /cluster:SV-CLUSTER /ADDNODES:SV-NODE2 /PASSWORD:*********
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