Unattened install from CD w/o a floppy drive?

matts5074matts5074 Member Posts: 148
Hey guys, I do alot of re-installing windows XP at my job and they don't like the idea of imaging (don't know why) so I'm looking to streamline the process using an answer file and slipstreaming SP2.

The only problem is alot of the computers don't have a floppy drive and everything I've read says the answer file has to be on a floppy. Is there a way around this? Like putting the answer file on the CD I make instead?



  • shadown7shadown7 Member Posts: 529
    I had a similar thing happen and we just bought a cheap USB floppy drive and that worked fine.

    Have you considered getting an image server? We use them now and do all our imaging through the network during off hours unless we have to and it doesn't matter if we don't have a floppy anymore.
  • matts5074matts5074 Member Posts: 148
    *shrug* I've mentioned imaging them several times when they asked if I had any ideas how to do things better. Never hear anything back from them though. Sometimes I setup 6 PCs at a time pretty much with the same software and hardware by doing them 2 at a time manually installing their custom software. icon_sad.gif I guess they don't realize how much time it would save or they aren't interested.

    I've only been there a couple months so I'm in no position to really push for it. However I do alot of re-loads and I could at least make myself a cusotm CD to make it easier.
  • falcon2099falcon2099 Member Posts: 20 ■□□□□□□□□□
    If you're reinstalling alot of PC's alot of the time and reinstalling the same software on each, you should maybe consider an unattended install CD.

    You could set up the basic framework for each computer in the organization (ie, programs installed, answer file for VLK and other settings). The problem with this is that if you're installing alot of appz, then you'll run over the 700Mb CD barrier. If all of the PC's you have also have DVD's, then you could burn the unattended install to DVD instead. Check out:

    MSFN for the unattended guide

    nLite to lighten up Windows a bit and create your answer file and setup sytem setting and the like

    RyanVM for a comprehensive update pack for Windows updates (you can integrate these using nLite

    I do this at my work and it works great! I have one custom DVD for each station and it's a snap! Just pop in the DVD, reboot and go have a nap. :)
    "I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand." Confucius (c.551-c.479 BC)
  • matts5074matts5074 Member Posts: 148
    Excellent post! That looks like what I'm looking for. Thanks! I really only need to integrate abou 4 programs in the install and I can fit all those on the CD with space to spare.

    Going to test this out right now and make myself a custom CD. icon_cool.gif
  • falcon2099falcon2099 Member Posts: 20 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Hey no problem!!! Glad to help.

    What I did, as all 20 pc's that all the peons use are exactly identical, was create a master disc with windows, appz, custom registry settings and what not.

    Then before I burned the DVD for each station I modified the winnt.sif file to reflect each station's VLK. This way I don't have to start everything from scratch.

    Or.... I haven't tested this, but if you leave the VLK part blank when you're running nLite then I would think that when you install it should prompt you for the VLK. This way you would only have to make 1 DVD as opposed to a spindle's worth.

    Either way... good luck!
    "I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand." Confucius (c.551-c.479 BC)
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