PDF of MSKB 824184 How to set up Automated System Recovery on a Windows Server 2003 computer that is running Remote Installation Services

System Requirements:

  • Windows Server 2003

The Problem:

For some reason Microsoft removed KB824184 from the website, yet it is the only reference to the fact that you can merge Automated System Recovery (ASR) with Remote Installation Service (RIS) to perform floppy-less network recovery installs under Windows Server 2003.

It is also reported that they even still test exam candidates on knowing that it is possible despite the fact that it isn’t mentioned where else!

This article provides a PDF download of 824184 in the interest of aiding the curious.

The Fix

Download a PDF of the (clearly not intended for real use by anyone) instructions here.

Download: 824184 How to set up Automated System Recovery on a Windows Server 2003 computer that is running Remote Installation Services (71 KB)

Windows Vista & Windows 7 Implicit Answer File Search Order (Unattend.xml) Clarifying “Setup!UnattendFile”

System Requirements:

  • Windows Vista, SP1, SP2
  • Windows 7, SP1

The Problem:

A slight matter of a documentation error on TechNet that has existed for a very long time and is causing a lot of confusion.

More Info

TechNet states that the first and preferred search location for an Unattend.xml file is the registry location:

HKLM\System\Setup!UnattendFile

This is vague and confusing and is in fact probably typo that has been left for a long time. This could mean a value called Setup!UnattendFile under HKLM\System or a number of other things.

You can see the TechNet link below.

View: Manual Installation of Windows 7: Overview

The Fix

I can confirm from first hand experience with Vista, 7 and 7 SP1 that this should be:

Key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\Setup
Value Name [REG_SZ (String)]: UnattendFile
Value Data [e.g.]: C:\Windows\Setup\Scripts\MyUnattendFile.xml

Unattend.xml files found through this registry key do not have to be named Unattend.xml, you can call them whatever you like.