Implicit answer file search order for Vista

Written by on Tuesday, January 1, 2008 10:47 - 0 Comments

How Vista searches for an answer file when you don’t tell it where to look

In previous versions of Windows, you had to explicitly tell Setup where your answer file by using the setup.exe /unattend:filename command. You can still do this in Vista, but Setup in Vista is also smart enough to search for an answer file itself in various places. Every time a configuration pass starts during an unattended install of Vista, Setup checks the following locations in order for an answer file:
In the Registry under HKLMSystemSetup!UnattendFile

In the %WINDIR%PantherUnattend folder but only when Setup is run from a previous version of Windows as opposed to using Windows PE.

In the %WINDIR%Panther folder –This is where Setup caches answer files after the windowsPE and offlineServicing passes are finished.

On writable removable media such as a USB flash drive – This is checked in order of drive letter and the answer file must be at the root of the drive and be named either Unattend.xml or Autounattend.xml.

On read-only removable media – Again, this is checked in order of drive letter and the answer file must be at the root of the drive and be named either Unattend.xml or Autounattend.xml.

In the Sources folder in a Windows distribution (during the windowsPE and offlineServicing passes) and in the %WINDIR%System32Sysprep folder (during all other passes)

In the %SYSTEMDRIVE% folder ')}

Article written by MyComputerAid.com



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