Automated installation



DSmith
07-10-2005, 12:34 AM
Hi guys, I work for a medium sized business and im looking into ways to
automate the installation process of windows and the standard applications we
use here. I havent been able to find a solution thats microsoft or 3rd party
please let me know if you have any suggestions.

The requirements are:

Needs to allow me to create an answer file or somethign of that nature for
some of the questions that wont change from install to install. BUT I would
like it to prompt all other options at the beginning of the install so for
instance the windows cd key and computer name will change install to install.
I would like to enter this info and even info on the application installs all
at the same time so I don't need to come back to the install many times.

As mentioned above ill need the automation to extend to several applications
and configurations that are done after the windows installation.

I cant use a imaging software because the hardware is going to be different
for some installs.

I would also like to configure all of this and run it from a bootable cd or
dvd media.

Please let me know if you have any suggestions or can point me in the right
direction!

Jason Ryon
07-10-2005, 12:34 AM
I am in a similar situation, with varying hardware but similar software
environment. We have in the past used sysprep and ghost to do imaging, but
as you mentioned this does not work well for multiple hardware
configurations. Sysprep can be used to do all the setup automatically except
you can leave things out, such as computername, and fill those in as the
install goes along...however, this is what I do:

I use a completely automated XP+SP2 CD...install the OS exactly how I like
it (just google for this, I don't remember exactly how we created it since
it's been a while...probably a Microsoft support tool on the XP cd). Once
this is done installing the OS, then I use AutoIT to automate the install of
the applications. AutoIT just makes scripts which can do almost
anything...click mouse buttons, any keyboard commands...open close
windows...etc.
http://www.autoitscript.com/autoit3/
The scripts are very easy to write...and a great help file and many examples
are given. So, I write the scripts for each application, then put them on my
server. from the new computer, simply map a network drive, and you can run
the scripts to install the apps exactly how you want them. Also, many
applications, especially if using InstallShield or msi files can be automated
or almost all the way automated using answer files. For individual
applications, just find the location in the command prompt of the setup.exe
(or other setup files) and type setup.exe /? and it will list the options
such as silent, use answer file, etc...

You could even write an AutoIT script to change display settings or anything
that you can do basically with a mouse/keyboard.

Hope this helps, let me know if you need more details on anything.
Jason Ryon

"DSmith" wrote:

> Hi guys, I work for a medium sized business and im looking into ways to
> automate the installation process of windows and the standard applications we
> use here. I havent been able to find a solution thats microsoft or 3rd party
> please let me know if you have any suggestions.
>
> The requirements are:
>
> Needs to allow me to create an answer file or somethign of that nature for
> some of the questions that wont change from install to install. BUT I would
> like it to prompt all other options at the beginning of the install so for
> instance the windows cd key and computer name will change install to install.
> I would like to enter this info and even info on the application installs all
> at the same time so I don't need to come back to the install many times.
>
> As mentioned above ill need the automation to extend to several applications
> and configurations that are done after the windows installation.
>
> I cant use a imaging software because the hardware is going to be different
> for some installs.
>
> I would also like to configure all of this and run it from a bootable cd or
> dvd media.
>
> Please let me know if you have any suggestions or can point me in the right
> direction!

Doug Knox MS-MVP
07-10-2005, 12:34 AM
Automated installs can be created easily for Windows XP and Office. Other products from 3rd parties, or even other Microsoft products are less likely to be automated. Visio, SQL Server and Exchange are some other MS products that support unattended installs.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314459/EN-US/
How to Perform an Unattended Installation of Windows from a CD-ROM

The references in the above article for creating a bootable CD with the unattended answer file apply to DVD's, as well, as long as you can burn DVD's.

A search of the MS site for "office unattended install" will give you links to help you with those. Similar criteria can be used for other MS products.
--
Doug Knox, MS-MVP Windows Media Center\Windows Powered Smart Display\Security
Win 95/98/Me/XP Tweaks and Fixes
http://www.dougknox.com
--------------------------------
Per user Group Policy Restrictions for XP Home and XP Pro
http://www.dougknox.com/xp/utils/xp_securityconsole.htm
--------------------------------
Please reply only to the newsgroup so all may benefit.
Unsolicited e-mail is not answered.

"DSmith" <DSmith@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message news:2B8ECB6A-438F-45FD-8286-189D518E3C44@microsoft.com...
> Hi guys, I work for a medium sized business and im looking into ways to
> automate the installation process of windows and the standard applications we
> use here. I havent been able to find a solution thats microsoft or 3rd party
> please let me know if you have any suggestions.
>
> The requirements are:
>
> Needs to allow me to create an answer file or somethign of that nature for
> some of the questions that wont change from install to install. BUT I would
> like it to prompt all other options at the beginning of the install so for
> instance the windows cd key and computer name will change install to install.
> I would like to enter this info and even info on the application installs all
> at the same time so I don't need to come back to the install many times.
>
> As mentioned above ill need the automation to extend to several applications
> and configurations that are done after the windows installation.
>
> I cant use a imaging software because the hardware is going to be different
> for some installs.
>
> I would also like to configure all of this and run it from a bootable cd or
> dvd media.
>
> Please let me know if you have any suggestions or can point me in the right
> direction!

andy smart
07-10-2005, 12:34 AM
DSmith wrote:
> Hi guys, I work for a medium sized business and im looking into ways to
> automate the installation process of windows and the standard applications we
> use here. I havent been able to find a solution thats microsoft or 3rd party
> please let me know if you have any suggestions.
>
> The requirements are:
>
> Needs to allow me to create an answer file or somethign of that nature for
> some of the questions that wont change from install to install. BUT I would
> like it to prompt all other options at the beginning of the install so for
> instance the windows cd key and computer name will change install to install.
> I would like to enter this info and even info on the application installs all
> at the same time so I don't need to come back to the install many times.
>
> As mentioned above ill need the automation to extend to several applications
> and configurations that are done after the windows installation.
>
> I cant use a imaging software because the hardware is going to be different
> for some installs.
>
> I would also like to configure all of this and run it from a bootable cd or
> dvd media.
>
> Please let me know if you have any suggestions or can point me in the right
> direction!

I think you might be better off moving to a client/server network so you
can use Active Directory and Group Policies. Enables you to have
stations building easily and applications being automatically installed.

WTC
07-10-2005, 12:34 AM
"DSmith" <DSmith@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
news:2B8ECB6A-438F-45FD-8286-189D518E3C44@microsoft.com...
> Hi guys, I work for a medium sized business and im looking into ways
> to
> automate the installation process of windows and the standard
> applications we
> use here. I havent been able to find a solution thats microsoft or 3rd
> party
> please let me know if you have any suggestions.
>
> The requirements are:
>
> Needs to allow me to create an answer file or somethign of that nature
> for
> some of the questions that wont change from install to install. BUT I
> would
> like it to prompt all other options at the beginning of the install so
> for
> instance the windows cd key and computer name will change install to
> install.
> I would like to enter this info and even info on the application
> installs all
> at the same time so I don't need to come back to the install many
> times.
>
> As mentioned above ill need the automation to extend to several
> applications
> and configurations that are done after the windows installation.
>
> I cant use a imaging software because the hardware is going to be
> different
> for some installs.
>
> I would also like to configure all of this and run it from a bootable
> cd or
> dvd media.
>
> Please let me know if you have any suggestions or can point me in the
> right
> direction!


Unattended XP CD
http://unattended.msfn.org/

--
William


Automated installation