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Perform an Unattended Install of Server 2008?

I'm new to unattended deployments and would like to create a script to do the following:

  • Install of Windows Server 2008 including product key
  • Install of components such as IIS
  • Creation of local users
  • Kick off other setup programs (e.g. for SQL Server)

The script would only be run every so often as it's for the creation of new virtual machines. However the final installation does need to be exactly the same each time which is why I'd like to script it.

I've been reading through the Windows AIK pages on TechNet and found several options. None seem to describe my scenario exactly and there is a lot of information there.

Does someone have some high-level points on how I would achieve these things and/or what specific doco I should read?

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marked as duplicate by Alex Angas, splattne Oct 1 '09 at 11:45

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A W2K8 unattended installation is very similiar to a Vista unattended installation. Have a look at my answer here for some details: serverfault.com/questions/31212/… –  Evan Anderson Aug 4 '09 at 16:25

1 Answer 1

Although it doesn't specifically answer your question of automated installation, you mention that you're doing this for the creation of new Virtual Machines, and that:

the final installation does need to be exactly the same each time

In that case, have you considered doing a single manual installation on a single new VM and converting that VM to a Virtual Machine Template that can easily be used to create any number of identically configured VM instances?

The effort required to set up the unattended installation script in the first place could potentially be used to manually create the "first" VM, from which you then turn it into a template. This mechanism will certainly allow you to create multiple absolutely identically configured Virtual Machines and, once the template is created, it should be a lot quicker to provision a new VM based upon the existing template than to create a "blank" VM instance and run your automated installation script.

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Does this require Hyper-V or Virtual Server to work? Thanks for your answer, I didn't know about this. –  Alex Angas Oct 1 '09 at 10:01
    
@Alex - It's possible to achieve with Hyper-V, using the System Center Virtual Machine Manager tool. I believe it's possible in Virtual Server 2005 R2 (although I have no experience of this). It is also possible to achieve using VMWare ESX, and possibly other VMWare products. –  CraigTP Oct 1 '09 at 12:18

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