How can I do an unattended Windows XP installation with drivers and applications?

April 8, 2014
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How to do Windows XP unattended installation with drivers and User applications as well ?

  1. Scorpyen-subs
    April 15, 2014 at 7:37 am
  2. Ponnambalam K
    April 11, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    We can do automated / unattended XP installation and also install user applications and latest available system drivers as well as a continuation of normal OS Setup. You can try out my idea in which you only need a Windows XP CD with key. You may find this interesting too to use only Microsoft features and options in the form of a package.

    Get a Windows XP installation CD with Key (Pro edition with SP3 preferably).

    Initially XP Installation can be automated using an unattended setup config file named "Winnt.sif" that will have various setup parameters including the XP Product key, regional settings etc. and a section [GuiRunOnce] to execute user commands. These user commands are executed after completion of XP setup during the first boot. The "Winnt.sif" file can be created using "Setupmgr.exe" inside "Deploy.cab" that is located in XP CD at SupportTools. This file must be put inside "i386" folder of the Installation DVD. Some points to be edited/given in this file are as follows:
    1) "AutoPartition=0" under [DATA] section.
    To disable auto partitioning.
    2) Command0="%systemroot%i386XDriveXDrive2.bat" under [GuiRunOnce] section.
    A user command to execute a batch file named "XDrive2.bat".
    3) Command1="cmd /c rd %systemroot%i386 /s /q" under [GuiRunOnce] section.
    A user command to delete a Setup copied directory "i386" from the system root directory.
    The reason to execute the above two user commands 2 & 3 and the content of the batch file "XDrive2.bat" is explained later. The tested "Winnt.sif" file can be found at http://www.4shared.com/file/fKy9RzgD/WINNT.html

    Then create/edit a folder named "$OEM$" (to put in the root of the DVD) and Create/edit a text file named "cmdlines.txt" inside it. The commands put inside this text file will be executed during Registering components part of GUI portion of XP setup. The commands inside [commands] section of this file are:
    1) "regedit /s AutoInstall.reg"
    This command adds a registry info "RunOnce" entry that enables a call to a batch file after XP setup at the end of first boot from desktop. The "AutoInstall.reg" file can be found in the corresponding folder below.
    2) "XCopy1.cmd"
    This command executes a batch file that xcopy a directory named "XDrive" from "i386" folder of DVD to "i386" folder of system root directory. The folder XDrive will have a batch file named XDrive2.bat and a related script file named Script2.
    The folder "$OEM$" with its tested files can be found at http://www.4shared.com/rar/yPxnK0Ucce/OEM.html
    A brief of the commands can be found in a help file at http://www.4shared.com/office/9Q9M_XaI/Help_file.html

    Then create a few batch files such that each installing various system applications as per your need. The first batch file must be called after XP installation at the end of first boot from desktop and subsequent batch files shall be called from desktop (after regular restarts) by making "RunOnce" registry entry. The first batch file is the bridge between the normal XP setup and the installation of your user applications and drivers. Make the system to restart after a set of Application installations with each batch file. These batch files can be put inside a user directory (XTRAS) of the installation DVD.

    For calling the first batch file from DVD automatically after XP install, irrespective of DVD drive letter, change the drive letter favourably. Suppose if there are four hard disk drives that shall be named with drive letters from C through F, then leave a drive letter G and fix H as the DVD drive. I assume one optical drive in the system (if there are 2 optical drives, two times shifting of drive letters must be done). So for the drive letter to change, put commands in [GuiRunOnce] section of Winnt.sif file to call a batch file named XDrive2.bat and execute "Diskpart" commands. Refer the above Winnt.sif file. The command inside XDrive2.bat file will be
    diskpart /s %SystemRoot%i386XDriveScript2
    The "Script2" is a script file needed as part of Diskpart command and it is copied with a user folder named XDrive to i386 folder of system root from DVD during GUI portion of XP setup as mentioned above. This diskpart command will change the drive letter of your DVD drive to H as you fixed. So for the batch file XDrive2.bat to be called from a known location (i386 folder of system root), you copy the folder XDrive (with a batch file & a script file) from DVD to system root during XP installation using a command in the file "cmdlines.txt" as shown above. The copy directory XDrive can be found at http://www.4shared.com/rar/xeMZhyy7ce/XDrive.html

    Next gather the needed user applications/system drivers for your system as follows:

    1) Download & Install Driver Genius Pro v9.0 or later. Update the system drivers to the latest available online. Then make a driver installation file (*.exe) from the updated system. Have it for installing System drivers from a batch file as
    DriversUpdate.exe /s
    Note: If the Driver installation file runs after the invoked batch file quit, try calling shutdown function with restart option and give a timeout in secs > to that of the driver installation time.
    Example: shutdown -r -t 900.

    2) Download WinRAR v3.8 or later and have it for installing WinRAR by calling the setup from a batch file. Use the silent mode Install as
    Setup.exe /s

    3) Download Internet Explorer v8 from Microsoft website. From a batch file, Use the Silent mode install as
    IE8_full.exe /c:"ie-redist /norestart /passive"
    Windows XP must be Genuine for IE to be installed.

    4) Get MS Office 2007 enterprise edition and use a config file (like md5.msp inside "updates" folder) for silent install from a batch file as
    Setup.exe

    5) Download Microsoft .Net Framework 2.0 and have it to install from a batch file as
    Dotnetfx.exe /q /c:"install /q"

    6) Download Windows updates from Microsoft website and have it to install them using a batch file as
    KB2115168.exe /passive /norestart

    7) Download Adobe Reader v9.20 or later and have it to install silently from a batch file as
    Setup.exe /sPB /rs

    8.) Download Microsoft Silverlight v5.5 or later and have it for installing quite from a batch file as
    Setup.exe /q

    9) Download Adobe Flash Player v11.9 or later and have it for installing manually invoking it from a batch file as
    Setup.exe

    10) Download K-Lite Codec Pack v10.15 or later and have it for installing silent from a batch file as
    Setup.exe /silent /norestart

    Organize the above gathered installation files in folders as we wish for burning to the installation DVD along with XP Setup files.

    Then create a few batch files such that each calling two or more of the gathered installation files as you wish. But take account of installation time & restart requirement for certain installations. First batch file can be called at first boot (after XP Install) with a series of commands initiated with a command in cmdlines.txt. At the end of this batch file, give shutdown command with restart option. At the start of this batch file, make a registry "RunOnce" entry to call the 2nd batch file after system restart. Similarly run every batch file after restart (fresh).
    Note: The "RunOnce" registry entry to call batch files automatically at system start up will be deleted automatically. Sometimes if it doesn't happen automatically, you may take care to delete it using a regedit command in every batch file. Just delete the instance of "RunOnce" entry in every batch file (as a first command) that called the batch file.

    In the last batch file, Remind the user to delete "System Restore Points" using Disk Cleanup from System tools to free Memory space with a call as
    %SystemRoot%system32cleanmgr.exe /d %Systemdrive%

    Finally install DVD burning s/w UltraISO v8.6 or later and Make an image file (.iso) of the Windows XP CD. Then open the image file in UltraISO and add the created folders in appropriate locations as mentioned above (Such as $OEM$ & Winnt.sif inside root & i386 folders respectively). The XDrive directory should be put inside i386 folder. All the user applications, batch files and OS updates can be put inside an user directory named XTRAS separately in the root of DVD. A sample XTRAS folder with first two batch files is at http://www.4shared.com/rar/rWJsn4_8ba/XTRAS.html. This is all how you may create an automated / unattended Windows XP installation disk or a DVD using a normal XP CD that is user interactive.

    So burn the DVD, use it and enjoy....

    • Abudch02
      April 12, 2014 at 10:35 am

      Thank You for your solution. The idea is good and interesting. One of the links for a help file doesn't open. Just repost it.

  3. Oron J
    April 8, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    Use nLite (http://www.nliteos.com/). There are full instructions on the web site, and links to driver packs.
    To install applications, you will need to create post-install silent installation scripts, which can also be incoporated into the nLite installation. Most silent installs work by calling the installer from the command line followed by /q (e.g. D:scriptsinstallmyprogram.exe /q), but some have a different syntax, and some can't be installed this way at all.
    You might also want to look at installPad (installpad.philisoft.com), a program that allows you to install multiple packages in one go (but that's after Windows is installed, so not strictly unattended).