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Choosing a Method for Automating 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 perform automated post-installation tasks two ways: you can use a Cmdlines.txt file to run commands, programs, scripts, or batch files just after Setup finishes but before the computer restarts, or you can configure the [GuiRunOnce] section in an answer file to run commands, programs, scripts, and batch files after the computer restarts and a user logs on. Use the following guidelines to determine which method to use.

Using Cmdlines.txt

Use Cmdlines.txt when:

  • You are running commands, programs, scripts, or batch files from the $OEM$ folder on a distribution share.

  • You want to install applications or perform configuration tasks during GUI mode stage of Setup.

  • You want to install applications or perform configuration tasks under the Local System security account.

  • You do not need network connectivity to perform the installation or configuration task.

  • You are not using Windows Installer packages (.msi files) to install applications.

  • You want to install applications or perform configuration tasks while no user is logged on.

Using [GuiRunOnce]

Use [GuiRunOnce] when:

  • You need access to hard drives, CD-ROM drives, shared folders on the network, or other storage devices.

  • You want to install applications or perform configuration tasks under a specific user account.

  • You need network connectivity to perform an installation or configuration task.

  • You are using Windows Installer packages (.msi files) to install applications.

  • You need to control the order in which programs, scripts, or batch files run.

Important

  • You cannot use Cmdlines.txt if you are using an operating system CD and a Winnt.sif file to perform an unattended installation. You can use Cmdlines.txt only if you are installing from a distribution share.

For information about configuring Cmdlines.txt and [GuiRunOnce] to run programs, scripts, and batch files, see "Configuring Cmdlines.txt to Perform Tasks" and "Configuring [GuiRunOnce] to Perform Tasks" later in this chapter.

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