Tech Tips / Windows 2000 Server / Installation and Configuration

Creating answer files

One option for automating setup of a Windows 2000 Server (or client) is to create an unattended setup file (also called an answer file) that includes answers used by the setup program. Creating this setup file can take quite a long time, especially if you want to automate the setup of multiple machines. Deploy.cab (in the \support\tools directory on your Windows 2000 CD) includes a special tool called Windows 2000 Setup Manager Wizard that can help.

Before you can run the wizard, you have to expand Setupmgr.exe and Setupmgx.dll files from the Deploy.cab archive. After you run Setupmgr.exe, a special wizard will guide you through the options. You'll be able to create a new answer file, modify an existing file, or create an answer file that duplicates the settings of the local computer from which you are running the wizard.

The wizard can also create UDFs, automate the installation of network printers, and run special commands when a user logs on for the first time. The wizard is very powerful, and you should definitely take a look at it.

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