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Identifying Automated Post-Installation Tasks

Updated: March 28, 2003

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

You can use an answer file to automate only a limited number of installation and configuration tasks during installation. Many installation and configuration tasks must be performed after the operating system is installed and configured. Testing your unattended installations is the best way to determine whether an installation or configuration task must be performed after the operating system is installed. However, the following installation and configuration tasks always must be performed after the operating system is installed:

  • Tasks that cannot be performed by setting an answer file entry. You cannot add any other sections or entries to an answer file that is used to perform an unattended installation. For a worksheet that contains a list of all possible answer file sections and entries, see "Answer File Settings Worksheet" (ACIUI_5.doc) on the Windows Server 2003 Deployment Kit companion CD (or see "Answer File Settings Worksheet" on the Web at http://www.microsoft.com/reskit).

  • Tasks that rely on Active Directory directory service. For example, if a software installation program registers information in Active Directory or requires information from Active Directory, you must run the installation program after the operating system is installed and the computer is joined to a domain.

  • Tasks that can be performed only while a user is logged on. For example, some software installation programs create shortcuts on the Start menu and the desktop. If you want these shortcuts applied to a specific user profile, then you need to run the installation program after the operating system is installed and the user is logged on.

You can automate post-installation tasks only if you can run the command, program, script, or batch file in quiet mode, or if you can suppress all user prompts by supplying an answer file for the command, program, script, or batch file. For example, if you delete folders after you install the operating system, you need to use the /q parameter with the rmdir command. Likewise, if you install Microsoft Word after you install the operating system, you need to create a Setup.ini file that provides configuration information to the Word Setup program.

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