This scenario describes how to install a Windows® operating system from media onto a new computer. This deployment method is sometimes known as bare-metal installation or the DVD-boot method. This scenario will guide you through an unattended installation using an answer file rather than the standard Windows Setup. This process is ideal for low-volume businesses, such as system builders and small corporate organizations that build only a few computers. This process does not require a network.
The computer on which you install the Windows Automated Installation Kit (Windows AIK) tools and create answer files.
An XML file that contains the settings and configurations to apply to a Windows image during installation.
A file and folder structure that contains the necessary files to control the preinstallation process and define the manufacturer's custom information.
A catalog file provides a list of all of the settings and packages within a Windows image.
The computer on which you will install Windows.
You begin the deployment process by creating a configuration set using Windows System Image Manager (Windows SIM). A configuration set contains an answer file and additional source files, such as custom drivers and applications, needed to complete your installation. You must name the answer file Autounattend.xml. You then store the configuration set on a removable media device such a USB flash drive (UFD).
Next, you insert removable media and the Windows product DVD into the new destination computer. Start the computer, and Windows Setup will apply any settings specified in the answer file to the destination computer. When Windows Setup is finished, you can make any additional customizations and run tests. Finally, you must run the sysprep command with the /oobe, /generalize, and /shutdown options. This will prepare the installation for final delivery to your customer.
The following diagram illustrates the deployment process.
Why Use an Answer File?
You use an answer file to customize Windows installations so that the versions of Windows you deploy to each destination computer are the same. There are two kinds of Windows installations: attended and unattended. In attended installations, you respond to Windows Setup prompts, selecting options such as the partition to install to and the Windows image to install. In unattended installations, which offer many additional options, you automate this process to avoid the installation prompts.
Before you begin, for example, you should identify all of the requirements of your environment. Consider the following possible requirements:
- Hard drive partitions
- Support for Windows BitLocker™ Drive
Encryption or a recovery solution
- Additional out-of-box drivers
- Support for multilingual configurations
- Other modifications to Windows after
installation, such as installing additional applications
Why Use Windows SIM?
Windows SIM provides a simple graphical user interface that helps you organize and define your Windows customizations. Windows SIM is the primary tool for creating a configuration set and answer file. Manually authoring answer files can be prone to errors, which increases the likelihood of failures. Windows SIM provides validation for answer files and context-sensitive help for each Windows unattended setting.
After you have created an answer file and configuration set, you are ready to install Windows to the destination computer.
Why Use Sysprep?
The Sysprep tool removes system-specific information and resets the computer, so that the next time the computer starts, your customers can accept the Microsoft Software License Terms and add user-specific information.
To automatically run the Sysprep tool after the
installation, set the Microsoft-Windows-Deployment\Reseal component
setting in your Autounattend.xml file as follows:
ForceShutdownNow = true, Mode =OOBE
To run the Sysprep tool manually from a running
operating system, at a command prompt type
c:\windows\system32\sysprep.exe /oobe /shutdown
Before you begin, make sure you have the following:
- A technician computer with the
Windows AIK tools installed
- Windows installation media, such as a Windows
- An assembled destination computer
The following table lists, in the typical order they are executed, the tasks required to deploy a Windows operating system from media onto a new computer.
|Task||Description||For more information|
Identify your requirements
Consider the different ways you can customize your Windows image. Make sure your customizations comply with your license terms.
Create a Windows catalog file
Before you can create an answer file, you must create a Windows catalog file using Windows SIM. A catalog file provides a list of all of the settings and packages within a Windows image.
Create a distribution share
A distribution share is a local folder that contains the additional source files, such as drivers and applications, that you will need as part of your Windows installations. You can create this folder manually or by using Windows SIM.
Create an answer file
With a Windows catalog and distribution share in place, you are now ready to create an answer file using Windows SIM.
Add applications and drivers
With a basic answer file in place, you can now add custom applications and drivers to your installation. This process requires you to add the sources files to your distribution share and then reference them within your answer file.
Create a configuration set
After you have defined your answer file, you will create a configuration set. A configuration set is a Windows SIM feature that packages your answer file and any source files defined in your answer file into a single folder structure. You will copy this folder structure onto removable media or a network share and use it, along with a Windows product DVD, to complete your installation.
Install Windows with your configuration set
Boot the computer with the Windows Setup media in the DVD drive and the configuration set available on an external drive. Windows automatically detects the answer file and uses it during installation.
The following list shows additional options that you might want to consider as you develop your Windows deployment strategy:
A discussion of different deployment methods based on business needs and performance.
A broad collection of topics related to deployment technologies and strategies.
- Understanding Upgrade
This topic describes additional considerations if you are upgrading or migrating from an existing Windows installation.
- Scenario: Deploy from a
An advanced deployment method using images and a network. You can use the installation created from the scenario in this topic as your image.