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Creating An Unattended XP CD


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When you install Windows XP you always have to enter your 25 digit Product Key, change regional options, choose network components and wait for about 40 minutes for XP to install.

Well I cannot do anything about the time XP takes to install but I can help with XP automatically entering your product key, setting up regional options and installing network components automatically. So all you then have to do is just sit back and watch XP install and you will not be required to enter any information whilst it does this.

To do this, is very easy and i'll only be talking in relation to an English [united Kingdom] Installation so sorry to our friends overseas. However if you do live else where i'll give you a little helping hand.

First Create a folder on the C:\ drive. Now rename this folder to XPCD [the renaming of this folder is important].

Let's Copy Some Files...

Now insert your Windows XP Home or Pro disk in the CD/DVD Rom drive.

Now click on My Computer and right click on your CD/DVD drive and choose Explore.

Select All [Ctrl-A] or In the Windows Explorer click Edit and choose Select All

Now open up the XPCD folder, click Edit and choose Paste.

All the contents of the XP Disk should then be copied to the XPCD folder.

The file that does it ALL...

Now the tricky bit: the following has been copied and pasted from a file known as winnt.sif [Home Edition]






















FullName="Your Name Here"

OrgName="Your Organisation Here"













Now you'll only need to edit the above that is higlighted in bold to suit your configuration. You can change the majority of the information when you are using XP so don't worry if you make a mistake.

However: Please make sure you enter your Product Key correctly.

Now this file must be named winnt.sif and you have to place it in the I386 folder in the XPCD folder.


Creating An ISO Image

Now you have to bunch all of the contents of the XPCD folder together to create an ISO file.

You can click the following for such a simple download that will create an ISO file for you:

CDImage for Windows XP Professional

CDImage for Windows XP Home

Extract the contents of this folder and double click on ISO Creator for WinXP Home/Pro and within a few minutes you will have an ISO file.


Burning An ISO File...

Now open up your CD-Writing Software and burn this file as an Image.

For example in Nero 6, click, Recorder, Burn Image...

If you don't live in the United Kingdom

As I said above the winnt.sif file is configured for English [united Kingdsom] users. If you want this file to be configured to suit where you live. Then you are going to have to create one for yourself. Luckily there is an application that can do this.

You will need to download the:

Windows XP Service Pack 2 Deployment Tools


Extract the contents of the file and you will need to open setupmgr It is bascially a wizard so just follow it through and when you are finished you will have your own winnt.sif file. However the wizard will create a text file, so just rename the file as winnt.sif.

That's all you need to do, with one exception you will still need to create partitions and tell Windows where to install XP. You can have this done for you in the winnt.sif file if you wish.


The above was written with reference to the following website: MSFN's Unattended XP CD and you can acheive a lot more with an unattended CD then just having it enter your Product key etc. Take a close look at that website and be amamzed...

Using nLite

If your thinking that the above is a little too much to do, then consider nLite that can create the winnt.sif file for you. You simply select the options that nLite gives you and you're done. You can even edit the winnt.sif file if you wanted to. nLite in itself can do a lot more and I suggest you take a look a closer look at nLite to see what else it can do.

For more information on nLite please click Here

BETA nLite is currently is beta form so please be careful.


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