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Work with Answer Files

Published: October 22, 2009

Updated: October 22, 2009

Applies To: Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2

noteNote
This content applies to Windows 7. For Windows 8 content, see Windows Deployment with the Windows ADK.

An answer file is an XML-based file that contains setting definitions and values to use during Windows® Setup. In an answer file, you specify various Setup options, including how to partition disks, the location of the Windows image to install, and the product key to apply. You can also specify values that apply to the Windows installation, such as names of user accounts, display settings, and Internet Explorer® favorites. The answer file for Setup is typically called Autounattend.xml.

An answer file stores the custom settings that are applied during Windows Setup. The primary tool for creating an answer file is Windows System Image Manager (Windows SIM). For more information about using Windows SIM, see Windows System Image Manager Technical Reference.

For more information about answer files, see Understanding Answer Files.

In This Section

 

Walkthrough: Build an Answer File for BIOS-based Computers

Describes step-by-step instructions for creating an answer file that will install Windows to a BIOS-based computer.

Walkthrough: Build an Answer File for UEFI-based Computers

Describes step-by-step instructions for creating an answer file that will install Windows to a UEFI-based computer.

Best Practices for Authoring Answer Files

Describes items to consider when creating answer files.

Settings to Use for an Unattended Installation

Describes the required settings used to automate an installation of Windows.

See Also

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