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Advice for Unattended Imaging


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Hi folks,

I'm not exactly new but it's been so long since I've posted here that I've forgotten which email / username I used. I'm fully upgraded to version 3.03 and am wanting to work on an speedier unattended installation for my company. I'm not sure what I should watch out for so I'm basically going to give a full synopsis of what will be imaged and installed, and maybe a few of you will have some advice on how I should go about creating the script(s).

Our image is a multi-cd image for partioning and creating a C: and D: volume on the user system. I want the unattended installation to occur after the first windows login.

We use a novell login but do pre-configurations through an administrator account (no password). The administrator account has to login to the workstation locally to do the pre-configurations.

First login

-- Set local policy for 0 password

-- Set date and time.

-- Add computer to the domain. (in this scenario it would be the TEST domain).

-- Reboot.

Second login

-- Login to the domain with an admin ID.

-- Tree / context /server etc. needs to be set.

-- New patcher takes effect.

-- Reboot should occur again to load the new patcher.

Third login

-- Login to the domain with an admin ID.

-- Zenworks configures and installs group policies and configurations automatically so the autoit script would have to wait until this is finished.

-- Outlook is automatically configured by our system so the autoit script would have to wait until this is finished..

-- Prompts for No to importing of address book should be hit.

-- Prompts for restart should be NO.

----

Extra App Installs

-- Need to install Norton AV from network share.

-- Need to perform Windows updates.

-- Need to install one proprietary app from network share.

-- Need to reboot.

Fourth Login

-- Login to the domain with an admin ID.

-- Novell properties need to be changed so that the credentials of the new user are selected.

-- The computer should then logout.

------ END.

This is the extent of the installation that needs to be done. I'm wanting the automation to occur after the first login. Any tips and advice on how many .bat files, or any ideas on how to implement this would be greatly appreciated. I don't want folks to write this for me, however any snippets of code that lead me in the right direction will be appreciated.

Thank you,

[font="Optima"]"Those who heed life with speculation and contemplation, are the ones stuck home with constipation." - Joel[/font]

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Hi folks.

I think I scared a few of you with all of the routines that need to be run so I'll simplify my question a bit.

What type of .bat files and .au3 files should I be setting up to automate a setup that requires periodic reboots with automatic login to novell?

I'm not sure how to setup automatic logins to novell and/or whether or not I need .bat files to call this type of feature.

Thanks.

[font="Optima"]"Those who heed life with speculation and contemplation, are the ones stuck home with constipation." - Joel[/font]

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Okay I've re-read the .chm help file a few times and printed out a copy to keep in my bathroom where all important thinking takes place. :idiot:

As I read over a few things in the forums here, I thought about something in regards to group policy on automated installs. What if I did the following:

Ran gpedit.msc

Had autoit configure Administrative Templates > System > Run these programs at user logon > and placed in the other automated autoit .exe files in here. The last autoit .exe could remove the .exe from the policy after it finishes.

This would allow a form of script on logon effect which will help with automated tasks in windows but would not help with pre-login aspects of the setup. Anyone have feedback on this?

Thanks again.

[font="Optima"]"Those who heed life with speculation and contemplation, are the ones stuck home with constipation." - Joel[/font]

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It looks like a lot of this stuff you could do on the ghost and then write a batch file to install the ghost. Ghost has a tremenous amount of switches, which allow for automation.

As for your question...

you could create 4 scripts. launch the first manually and then have the first three add the next one in runonce.

have the first set the machine for auto-login and the last one to set the machine for manual login. explorer runs after the novell login script and the first programs that it calls are in run and runonce. When it calls a program from run and runonce, it will not continue until that program has exited. This could be good or bad. if bad just write a auto-it script to call another script with run instead of runwait and then exit the original script so explorer can continue.

some links:

compname.exe etc

cusrmgr.exe

not sure where i got it try here or google

http://www.winnetmag.com/Windows/Article/A...4210/24210.html

windows and novell both allow for automatic login. http://developer.novell.com/research/secti...ary/z020101.pdf

for time and date look into sntp

c:\>net time help

http://boulder.nist.gov/timefreq/service/its.htm://http://developer.novell.com/researc...service/its.htm

to set tree context...

try novell client install manager

it comes with the client in the admin folder

good luck and hope that helps

Edited by blakel
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Thanks for the information and reply mate.

I think what I'm going to do is use ghost to do install the scripts in a temp directory, place the run once command on an autoit script to install the three special installs after the second reboot. I have a good idea of how to implement it but I'll definitely follow up and post any tidbits if I find it works smoothly.

Thanks again.

[font="Optima"]"Those who heed life with speculation and contemplation, are the ones stuck home with constipation." - Joel[/font]

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The way I do builds these days is this:

- Get the OS and core apps installed

- sysprep and image (ghost/powerquest/whatever)

- Have the AutoLogin reg options set

- Have some scripts in a "build" directory (or even connect to a network share)

- Use the Run reg key to start my script (I avoid the RunOnce key because often writing to that key makes the task run straight away rather than next login)

The first script starts and the first thing I do is to delete the last Run reg key. The script does it's work. If it needs to reboot I write a new Run reg key for the next script I want to run next reboot. Reboot the machine. (So you have many scripts called something like phase1.au3, phase2.au3 etc - or you can have a single script that writes the current phase to the registry so that when it runs it knows where it is up to)

This can be done as many times as you like, just remember when your last script runs to remove any Run keys and AutoLogin keys and possibly delete your build directory.

The first thing I do in the scripts is to sleep for about 20 seconds as when you autologin straight after a reboot half the OS could still be loading, so best to let it settle. A SplashTextOn function saying what the script is doing at all times is handy too (and it doesn't affect any active window/send operations).

Edited by Jon
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Thanks Jon.

I like some of the ideas you incorporated. I'll let you know how it works out.

Thanks again.

[font="Optima"]"Those who heed life with speculation and contemplation, are the ones stuck home with constipation." - Joel[/font]

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