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I would like for someone to chip in and take a look at these files and let me know if I'm doing something wrong. I'm running a test environment with Win2k8 R2 with WDS, AD DS, DNS and DHCP in VirtualBox plus a testing client W/S in VirtualBox and an extra HP workstation for physical testing.

I have gotten the Client unattended file to work properly for both WDS boot and install stages. It does a couple of branding operations and basically setting locale and skipping the Welcome stage.

Both workstations are pre-stages in AD as PC1 and PC2 based on their GUID. When I use the WDS boot unattended file only, the computer appears joined to the domain with its previous Computer Name, as per Microsoft's documentation, that explains that by default, all pre-staged workstations will be re-joined after deployment is finished. However this stops happening as soon as I enable the client-side Unattended file.

I have followed Microsoft's instructions from the help files on how to go about re-joining the computers in AD using the client side Unattended file and using UnsecureJoin set to False. However, the machines don't join the domain, in fact this indicates it's not even looking in the AD OU, just generating the Computer Name off of the information included in Shell-Setup.

2012-08-27 14:01:04, Info                         [Shell Unattend] ComputerName: generating computer name from user name

OOBE Unattended file XML

Client side log from Panther folder

I'm clueless now and I think I've exhausted every troubleshooting that I can think of. I've read forum post after forum post trying to figure out what's wrong with my file and all of the relevant answers I could find point directly back at the way I'm using the implementation.

Can anyone help?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

If I'm understanding your question correctly, you should set the computer name in the unattend file to %MACHINENAME%, which is the variable used during setup when it finds a match by NetbootGUID in AD.

You'll also need to use valid credentials in the Unattended Join section. They should be able to overwrite computer objects (delete and create).

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I'll give that a go, thanks! So basically, where the field is blank and where before I was using "*" for a random name, I should use %MACHINENAME% and that will pick it up from AD? – TuxMeister Aug 27 '12 at 14:07
Yup, it will as long as the netbootguid attribute matches. – MDMarra Aug 27 '12 at 14:09
Not working, here's my newest OOBEUnatted.xml file: XML – TuxMeister Aug 27 '12 at 16:50
What does "not working" mean? What errors are you getting? Is that Administrator account the domain admin? – MDMarra Aug 27 '12 at 17:14
Sorry, I only meant to take it out of here since it recommends not to hold huge conversations in the comments area. I got it to work. The problem is that every time I update/modify the client Unattend file, it has to be copied into the image's Unattend folder as well. The XML was linked to the image via the Properties pane in WDS, however it wasn't being copied, so I kept making changes but I've been using the same old XML file from a couple of days back. So now, every time I change something, I have to disable and re-enable unattended on the image so it copies the new version to the folder. – TuxMeister Aug 28 '12 at 10:08

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