Windows 10: Apply unattended answer file to Windows 10 install media

Discus and support Apply unattended answer file to Windows 10 install media in Windows 10 Tutorials to solve the problem; How to: Apply unattended answer file to Windows 10 install media [img] Information We have multiple tutorials on Ten Forums about creating a custom... Discussion in 'Windows 10 Tutorials' started by Brink, Jun 18, 2018.

  1. Brink Win User

    Apply unattended answer file to Windows 10 install media


    How to: Apply unattended answer file to Windows 10 install media

    Apply unattended answer file to Windows 10 install media [​IMG]
    Information We have multiple tutorials on Ten Forums about creating a custom Windows install media and automating Windows Setup and OOBE. All those tutorials are intended for advanced users, requiring downloading and installing Windows 10 Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK), and some extra work.

    This tutorial is a Quick Start guide and requires no additional downloads. A sample answer file will be provided, you only need to change a few simple lines in it to make it to work for you. The procedure is easy and fast, you will manage it even if you have no previous experience in customizing install media and answer files.

    When done, you have a Windows 10 install media which fully bypasses all steps of Windows Welcome (OOBE), not asking or expecting any whatsoever user input. Region and keyboard will be automatically selected, user accounts created, and so on.

    Apply unattended answer file to Windows 10 install media [​IMG]
    Note This method requires Windows image in a WIM file. An ISO or USB flash drive created with Windows Media Creation Tool contains Windows image in install.esd file instead of install.wim, and therefore it cannot be used.

    To download a WIM-based ISO, open Windows Media Creation Tool page in browser, press F12 to open developer tools, select Emulation tab, and change user agent string to Apple Safari. Wait the page to refresh. You can now download a WIM-based ISO:

    Apply unattended answer file to Windows 10 install media [​IMG]

    (Click to enlarge.)

    Full instructions to get WIM-based ISO, see Option Three in this tutorial: Download Windows 10 ISO File

    When downloaded, delete install.esd file in Sources folder of your USB install media. Mount the WIM based ISO, and copy install.wim file from its Sources folder to Sources folder on USB.

    1.) Mount Windows Image
    1.1) Plug in a USB flash drive containing Windows 10 install files. Alternatively, mount a Windows 10 ISO (tutorial) and copy its contents to a folder, for instance D:\ISO_Files

    Apply unattended answer file to Windows 10 install media [​IMG]
    Note Working with an offline Windows image and saving changes to it requires some free storage space. I recommend not mounting image from USB smaller than 16 GB. If your Windows install USB is smaller, I recommend that you copy the install.wim from USB to hard disk and mount it from there instead, then when committing (saving) changes as told in step 3.1, replace the original install.wim on USB with the modified one.
    1.2) An unattended answer file must be added separately to each edition on your Windows install media. If install media contains multiple editions, we need first check the edition index number for preferred edition.

    Open an elevated Command Prompt (tutorial). Enter following command to list all editions and their index numbers, replacing X:\ with actual drive letter for the plugged in USB flash drive:

    Dism /Get-WimInfo /WimFile:X:\Sources\install.wim

    In my case now, the multi edition USB is drive L: and index number for PRO edition which I want to customize is 6:

    Apply unattended answer file to Windows 10 install media [​IMG]

    (Click screenshots to enlarge them.)

    In case of using ISO instead of USB, use following command, replacing D:\ISO_Files\ with actual path to folder where you pasted contents from a mounted ISO:

    Dism /Get-WimInfo /WimFileApply unattended answer file to Windows 10 install media :D:\ISO_Files\Sources\install.wim

    1.3) In File Explorer, create a folder for mounting Windows image. In this example I use folder C:\Mount. Be sure that the drive where you create Mount folder has at least 15 GB free space.

    1.4) In Sources folder, either on your USB media or folder containing files copied from ISO, check that install.wim is not write protected. Right click the file and select Properties. Check the Read Only attribute, if it is selected as in screenshot below, unselect it and click OK to save changes:

    Apply unattended answer file to Windows 10 install media [​IMG]


    1.5) Mount Windows image with following command:

    Dism /Mount-Image /ImageFile:X:\Sources\install.wim /Index:6 /MountDir:C:\Mount

    Again, replace the X:\ in /ImageFile switch with actual drive letter for your USB media, or path to folder containing files copied from ISO image. Also, replace the index number with index of your preferred Windows edition:

    Apply unattended answer file to Windows 10 install media [​IMG]


    1.6) Open folder C:\Mount (the folder you created to mount image) in File Explorer. You will see the mounted Windows image. Open Windows folder, and create a new folder in it. Label the new folder as Panther:

    Apply unattended answer file to Windows 10 install media [​IMG]

    2.) Sample Answer File
    2.1) Download the sample answer file:

    Download

    Remember to unblock the downloaded file (tutorial) before opening it for editing!

    2.2) Open answer file in Notepad or other text editor. Edit / change following details in it (screenshot shows the sample answer file, numbers refer to list below):

    Apply unattended answer file to Windows 10 install media [​IMG]


    1.) Value for processorArchitecture must be amd64 for 64 bit Windows on both AMD and Intel 64 machines, x86 for 32 bit Windows. Notice that the value can be found in three places in this answer file

    2.) InputLocale is preferred, default keyboard layout, in this sample my default Finnish (040b:0000040b). UILanguage is the language of your Windows install media, in this sample British English (EN-GB). Set SystemLocale, UILanguageFallback and UserLocale to same than UILanguage.

    Some common locale values:
    • Brazil - Portuguese > 0416:00000416, pt-BR
    • Canada - English > 1009:00000409, en-CA
    • Canada - French > 0c0c:00011009, fr-CA
    • France - French > 040c:0000040c, fr-FR
    • Germany - German > 0407:00000407, de-DE
    • UK - English > 0809:00000809, en-GB
    • USA - English > 0409:00000409, en-US
    Complete list: Default Input Profiles (Input Locales) in Windows | Microsoft Docs

    3.) ProtectYourPC (read more) value can be 1, 2 or 3:1 = Recommended (default) level of protection
    2 = Only updates are installed.
    3 = Automatic protection is disabled.
    4.) User accounts are created in LocalAccounts . Description can be whatever you want to, DisplayName (name shown in Windows) and Name (user profile folder name) don't have to be same. Group tells in which user group this account belongs, always create at least one user in Administrators group.

    In case you want to create multiple accounts, just add new LocalAccount sections:
    Code:
    5.) RegisteredOrganization and RegisteredOwner are optional, value can be whatever you want it to be. Remove these two lines if no values will be set. TimeZone, also optional, is as name tells default Windows time zone. If none is given, default time zone for selected region will be used, for instance if region is USA, Pacific Time would be used.

    See all values: Microsoft Time Zone Index Values

    6.) Everything in OEMInformation tags is optional, you can remove lines as you wish, or even the whole section. If you want to use OEM logo (#1 in next screenshot), make a 120*120 pixel bitmap image (.bmp), and save it in your mounted image (C:\Mount) in Windows\System32 folder as oemlogo.bmp

    In Model you can add whatever, for instance MyMonsterRig 2019. It as well as SupportHours, SupportPhone and SupportProvider (#2 in screenshot) can be whatever you want to. SupportURL (#3) creates a link in Control Panel / System and Settings / System / About for whatever valid link provided:

    Apply unattended answer file to Windows 10 install media [​IMG]


    7.) ComputerName can be max 15 characters. It cannot contain any spaces or the following characters:

    { | } ~ [ \ ] ^ ' : ; < = > ? @ ! " # $ % ` ( ) + / . , * &

    The asterisk *, although an invalid character in computer name, can be used alone as in this sample answer file to generate a computer name with a 7 character acronym from RegisteredOwner and RegisteredOrganization, followed by a hyphen and a random 7 character alphanumerical string. For instance, as in this sample the owner is Kari and organization is TenForums, the virtual machine I used for screenshots got computername KARITEN-CGELBMB.

    This is practical when you want to use same install media on multiple machines, to avoid same NetBIOS names on network.

    8.) OEMName (optional), whatever you'd prefer.
    2.3) Save the modified answer file as unattend.xml in C:\Mount\Windows\Panther folder you created in step 1.5:

    Apply unattended answer file to Windows 10 install media [​IMG]

    3.) Commit (Save) changes to Windows Image
    3.1) In elevated Command Prompt, enter the following command:

    dism /Unmount-Image /MountDir:C:\Mount /Commit


    Apply unattended answer file to Windows 10 install media [​IMG]

    That's it! You can now boot a computer or virtual machine with your modified install media. Run Windows Setup, partition disk as you'd prefer and run installer. When setup restarts to OOBE, everything will be automatic. First interaction required is the password; as the answer file created user accounts without password, you are required to set it. You will be shown this screen:

    Apply unattended answer file to Windows 10 install media [​IMG]


    Click OK. Next screen asks for password change. Leave the top most field Password empty, enter and confirm your new password, click the right arrow button to proceed to desktop. If you'd prefer to set no password, just click the arrow button:

    Apply unattended answer file to Windows 10 install media [​IMG]


    Easy and fast!

    Kari

    :)
     
    Brink, Jun 18, 2018
    #1
  2. Kari Win User

    Problem with Windows 10 unattended answer file?



    Apply unattended answer file to Windows 10 install media [​IMG]


    Hej Ken. Din svarfil antyder att du är också en Finlandsvensk. Välkommen till Ten Forums!



    Apply unattended answer file to Windows 10 install media [​IMG]


    Hi Ken. Your answer file suggests that you are a fellow Finland Swede. Welcome to Ten Forums!


    That error is because there's no generic product key or MAK key in your answer file. It is obligatory in autounattend.xml answer file, the one that takes care of first phase of Windows setup, partitioning and installing.

    Please see step 3.9 in following tutorial for how to add key in answer file: Create media for automated unattended install of Windows 10
     
  3. Kari Win User
    Create media for automated unattended install of Windows 10

    The ImageInstall > OSImage > InstallTo belongs to component Microsoft-Windows-Setup_neutral, and tells Windows Setup on which disk and partition WIndows should be installed:


    Apply unattended answer file to Windows 10 install media [​IMG]


    To fix this validation error, the solution is exactly as what you did: set disk ID and partition number in Configuration pass 1 WindowsPE, in setting ImageInstall > OSImage > InstallTo.


    A strange comment! The tutorial step 3.18 quite clearly tells and shows this. Screenshot of that step:


    Apply unattended answer file to Windows 10 install media [​IMG]
     
  4. Kari Win User

    Apply unattended answer file to Windows 10 install media

    Create media for automated unattended install of Windows 10


    Hi Falconer, welcome to Ten Forums!


    My apologies, I simply forgot that from original answer file and tutorial. I've now edited step 4.7 to include it and replaced screenshot accordingly.

    I have no good excuse. I just forgot it.


    You need to start from scratch in reference machine. Thinking of that, I edited tutorial adding new step:

    I added this tip in step 7.7, to be done just before you run Sysprep:

    Apply unattended answer file to Windows 10 install media [​IMG]
    Tip If you are using a Hyper-V VM as reference machine, create a checkpoint now. It allows you to return to this point in few seconds if something goes wrong with image capture or to make changes in image before it's captured.

    A suggestion:

    You could "inject" drivers to your install media, making it specific for that PC. Tutorial: DISM - Add or Remove Drivers on an Offline Image

    Keep a copy of your custom hardware independent install.wim file, only apply drivers for a specific PC to install media you will use for that PC. If the PC is already running Windows, all devices and drivers working, and you want to reinstall, check the note in step 2.2 in above mentioned tutorial. It shows how to capture drivers from existing Windows installation. Applying them to image you have all devices working straight after setup.

    Notice that this might make your install.wim file to be bigger than 4GB which in its turn might make it impossible to use a standard FAT32 formatted USB flash drive. In that case see end of this quite long post of mine in another thread for a workaround using Rufus to create USB media: How to move Windows 10 from OLD desktop to NEW laptop - Windows 10 Forums

    To avoid need to run Windows Update after Windows has been installed, you could also apply Windows updates to your custom install media. Tutorial: PowerShell Scripting - Update Windows 10 USB install media
     
  5. bro67 Win User
    bro67, Oct 27, 2019
    #5
  6. Windows 10 Upgrade fails - unattend answer file error

    I have tried upgrading to Windows 10 several times with no luck.

    During the second phase of the installation of Windows 10, features and settings, just after the first reboot an error pops up.

    The error:

    Windows could not parse the unattend answer file for pass [specialize]. The settings specified in the answer cannot be applied. The error was detected while processing settings for component [MS_Windows_Shell_Setup].

    ===

    Once the error message is acknowledged, the previous version of Windows is restored (in my case Windows 8.1).

    After the restore the following error appears once I have logged onto Windows.

    The error:

    0xC1900101 - 0x30018

    Installation failed in the FIRST_BOOT phase with an error during SYSPREP operation.

    ===

    As many have suggested, I have removed my second IDE drive before starting the upgrade. I have unplugged all USB connections, removed antivirus, and updated all drivers.

    Suggestions welcome.
     
    TerryJarnagin, Oct 27, 2019
    #6
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Apply unattended answer file to Windows 10 install media

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