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WDS unattended deployment halts on "Set Up Windows" dialogue


When deploying Windows Server 2008 R2 using Windows Deployment Services the unattended install may halt on the Set Up Windows dialogue.

This dialogue prompts for:

- Country or region
- Time and currency
- Keyboard layout

The appropriate unattend.xml file has been pre-staged e.g.
WDSUTIL /Add-Device /Device:SERVER /ID:00000000000000000000999999999999 /WDSClientUnattend:WDSClientUnattend\Unattend.xml


To successfully deploy an image, two different unattend files are required, one for the Windows Deployment Services User Interface screens, and one for the later phases of Setup (SysPrep).

Two files are necessary because Windows Deployment Services can deploy images that support the Unattend.xml format as well as images that do not support the Unattend.xml format (Windows Server 2003 and older versions of Windows).

These files can be the same Unattend.xml, but it must be reference in two locations:

Windows Deployment Services client unattend file
This automates settings applicable to Windows Deployment Services client UI screens (for entering credentials, choosing an install image, configuring the disk, and so on).

This file can be associated in a number of ways:

- Associate the client unattend file for all architectures
- Prestage a specific client with a client unattend file
- Enable the Auto-Add policy and assign the client unattend file when you approve the installation

Image unattend file
This automates the later phases of Setup (for example, offline servicing and Sysprep specialize).

To resolve the Set Up Windows dialogue halting the install, associate the Unattend.xml with an image.

From Windows Deployment Services MMC:

- Expand Servers | <server> | Install Images | <image group>
- Right click on the appropriate image in the right pane and select Properties from the context menu
- Check Allow image to install in unattended mode and click Select File
- Click Browse and select the unattend file associated above e.g. RemoteInstall\WDSClientUnattend\Unattend.xml and click Open
- Click OK
- Click OK

This will copy the unattend file to the following location:

\RemoteInstall\Images\<image group>\install\Unattend\ImageUnattend.xml

The unattended build will now complete, so long as all dialogues have the appropriate information in Unattend.xml.


Performing an Unattended Installation


Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 RTM
Microsoft Windows Deployment Services 6.1

Created: 20th June 2010
Updated: 20th June 2010

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