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  #1  
Old 09-21-2010, 01:38 AM
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Corsair2004 Corsair2004 is offline
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Question can someone really smart, PLEASE help me with my xp unattend.txt file?

ok, i know some people want me to stop using xp but i'm not ready to let go yet. please...

i normally (every few months) reinstall my different boots of xp. at any rate, up to now i have manually installed xp on my different partitions. it doesn't take long and i mostly enjoy doing it. it was only recently that i decided to finally go AHCI for xp, since i also decided to start using win7. since i normally install xp 3 times in a row (on different partitions) i decided to start using the unattend.txt automation file for this. i can use it just fine, with one exception. i can not get it to let me select the partition/drive to install xp onto. i have tried many different keys/values within the unattend file to no avail. for example, i also renamed the unatend.txt file to winnt.sif, made no difference. i did that because if installing from cd that's the name it's supposed to be. i'm not really installing from cd but rather from my fat32 c drive. the command i use to start the xp setup is:

winnt.exe /u:c:\winxpsp3.oem\i386\unattend.txt /s:c:\winxpsp3.oem\i386

the c:\winxpsp3.oem directory has the whole contents of the original windows xp sp3 oem cd copied there. it's much quicker than from cd and does not require a cd.

anyway, just to reiterate: i have no problem at all installing xp manually (without using the unattend file) and pressing f6 to install the ahci drivers, via floppy. that way, it asks me which partition/drive to install xp onto each time. when i use the unattend file, it automatically installs xp onto the root of c: drive (including the intel ahci drivers). the "problem" comes when i try to install it the 2nd time, in that it will again install to c: drive not giving me the option to chose the location. just to remind you, when not using the unattend file, the xp setup asks me to agree to the eula and press f8 to continue. it is after that, that it used to ask which drive/partition to install to. when using the unattend file, the eula screen is gone and i don't have to press f8, and also that very important next screen is gone.

now, just to save you some time, it's not anything to do with the TargetPath = * key. that only let's you select or alter the directory that windows installs to. that's not an issue for me, or what i want.

i've read the keys/values (also official) and tried different ones to no avail. the last entry i made to the file is to add:
[Data]
AutoPartition = 0
at the begining of my unattend file. it made made no difference. i also tried it with AutoPartition = 1 and that too didn't work. (and i didn't expect it to work, based on what the 1 value does, but i tried anyway.)

the other key/value that i thought might hold the answer is the:
Unattendmode = FullUnattended
after changing that to some other values it also made no difference. and it shouldn't because that string is meant to be used for: Defines the unattended mode to use during GUI-mode Setup. my issue is one that has to be changed whilst in the blue screen (text mode) setup portion of xp, after the first boot, but not after the 2nd boot.



here's my current unattend.txt file that works, except for that i can't select the drive/partition to install xp onto.

Code:
; Microsoft Windows
; (c) 2007 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
;
; Sample Unattended Setup Answer File
;
; This file contains information about how to automate the installation
; or upgrade of Windows so the Setup program runs without requiring
; user input.  You can find more information in the ref.chm found at
; CD:\support\tools\deploy.cab
;

[Data]
AutoPartition = 0

[Unattended]
Unattendmode = FullUnattended
OemPreinstall = YES
TargetPath = *
Filesystem = LeaveAlone

[MassStorageDrivers]
"Intel(R) ICH10R SATA AHCI Controller" = OEM

[OEMBootFiles]
iaAHCI.inf
iaStor.sys
iaAHCI.cat
TXTSETUP.OEM

[GuiUnattended]
; Sets the Timezone to the Pacific Northwest
; Sets the Admin Password to NULL
; Turn AutoLogon ON and login once
TimeZone = "225"
AdminPassword = *
AutoLogon = Yes
AutoLogonCount = 1


[LicenseFilePrintData]
; For Server installs
AutoMode = "PerServer"
AutoUsers = "5"


[GuiRunOnce]
; List the programs that you want to lauch when the machine is logged into for the first time


[Display]
BitsPerPel = 32
XResolution = 1600
YResolution = 1200
VRefresh = 59


[Networking]


[Identification]
JoinWorkgroup = Workgroup


[UserData]
FullName = "User"
OrgName = "Whatever"
ComputerName = *






ProductKey     = "xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx"
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  #2  
Old 09-21-2010, 01:35 PM
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Default

I got your PM but all of this is rather over my head, I never knew about the unattend.txt file (although that is rather interesting, good fact to know) and I don't have much experience installing XP to multiple partitions.

As well I don't really recommend AHCI on XP especially in complicated setups since it doesn't support it out of the box.

With all my negative commentary on the side, have you tried using imaging software like Acronis or Norton Ghost? If you're installing XP that frequently it may be beneficial for you. Just image the system right after a fresh install and that way you'll have a fresh install image for multiple partitions and for future use. You could even make the image after installing a few programs, set up your user customizations, etc so you won't lose everything every time.

Hope you get it all figured out, sorry I couldn't be of more help.
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  #3  
Old 09-22-2010, 02:07 AM
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Corsair2004 Corsair2004 is offline
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no, using ahci on xp is perfectly fine, i'm using now, and have been for a month+. it's perfectly normal. other than myself, thousands of other people have been using ahci for years. just that i never bothered using it before just for xp. now that i use win7 i decided to use it.

hmm, i'm surprised you didn't know about the file. :P

i have used ghost, and will continue to do so. but in this case, since i have a new hdd and different partitions then before, a proper and manual (as opposed to ghost) xp install is in order.

again, the file is not an issue, only one setting i must be missing. the one that lets me select the drive/partition during install. so in the meantime, i'll just install my xp's manually, like hundreds (yes hundreds, over the years) of times before.

at any rate, i do hope one day i figure it out, as i like to know things, and finalize any outstanding issues i may have.
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  #4  
Old 09-23-2010, 02:42 AM
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Corsair2004 Corsair2004 is offline
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Thumbs up happy happy joy joy

thank you Jesus! i've done it.

it's possible, in Jesus name.

i've bolded the key/value that makes it so.

Code:
[Unattended]
Unattendmode = FullUnattended
OemPreinstall = YES
TargetPath = *
Filesystem = *

[MassStorageDrivers]
"Intel(R) ICH10R SATA AHCI Controller" = OEM

[OEMBootFiles]
iaAHCI.inf
iaStor.sys
iaAHCI.cat
TXTSETUP.OEM

etc....
and of course now i get the screen i wanted.
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