Article Index

Section 2 : Create an unattend.xml answer file

  1. Go to the Microsoft website to download Windows AIK for Windows 7.
  2. Install the Windows AIK on any compatible system - preferably a seperate computer.
  3. Once installed, open the Windows System Image Manager from the Start Menu. WSIM looks pretty boring:



  1. Under the ‘Windows Image’ heading, right click on ‘Select a Windows image or catalog file
  2. Insert your Windows 7 (Enterprise) DVD/image and locate the following file: ‘X:\sources\install_Windows 7 ENTERPRISE.clg
  3. In the File menu select to ‘Create a New Answer File

  1. The idea here is to create an unattend.xml file that the sysprep utility can use to preset settings during the Windows Setup process.

Items like creating local user accounts, setting the Windows Product Key, setting the locale (language) information, setting network location settings and other items that you are normally presented with when installing Windows 7. 

As these settings are most often consistent across all of your deployment, it makes sense to set them automatically. 

  1. In the ‘Windows Image’ area select ‘amd64_Microsoft-Windows-Security-SPP_6.1.7600.16385_neutral‘ (amd64 may also be x86 if you installed in 32bit) right-click it.
  2. Select ‘Add to parse 3 generalize’.  This moves this option into our answer file.

  1. Now select this item in the main window, this will show you the possible configuration options in the ‘Properties’ window on the right.  Set ‘SkipRearm’ to 1.

Hint: Technically this should overwrite the Windows 7 rearm limit from 3 to unlimited.  Sometimes this hasn’t worked for me, and you could end up with a useless image after 3 sysprep’s. 

  1. The following settings also need to be applied using this utility:
  • into ,
  parse 4 specialize
  right-click on RunSynchronous and add a command, then select ‘RunSynchronousCommand[Order="1"]‘ and in Properties add the following:
    Order 1
    Path net user administrator /active:yes
    WilLReboot Never


  parse 4 specialize
  rIn Properties add the following:
    SkipAutoActivation false


  parse 4 specialize
  In Properties add the following:
    Computer Name Leave blank
    CopyProfile true
    Registered Organization Microsoft
    Registered Owner AutoBVT
    ShowWindowsLive false
    TimeZone GMT Standard Time

(The TimeZone must be spelt exactly according to TimeZone settings here from Microsoft’s website)

  parse 7 oobeSystem
  In Properties add the following:
    InputLocale en-uk
    SystemLocale en-uk
    UILanguage en-uk
    UserLocale en-uk


  parse 7 oobeSystem
  In Properties add the following:
    RegisteredOrganization Your Company Name
    RegisteredOwner Your Name
    AutoLogon \ Enabled True
    AuoLogon \ LogonCount 5
    AutoLogon \ Username administrator
    Password <administrator password>
    FirstLogonCommands Right click and add 2
    SynchronousCommand 1  
              CommandLine cscript //b c:\windows\system32\slmgr.vbs /ipk
              Order 1
              RequiresUserInput false
              CommandLine cscript //b c:\windows\system32\slmgr.vbs /ato
              Order 2
              RequiresUserInput false
    OOBE \ HideEULAPage true
    OOBE \ NetworkLocation (Home / Work / etc)
    OOBE \ ProtectYourPC 1
             AdministratorPassword <administrator password>
             LocalAccounts Right click and add New LocalAccount
             Description Local Administrator
             DisplayName Administrator
             Groups Administrators
             Name administrator
                      Password <administrator password>

Important Security Information

Any passwords you have set in the answer file are stored unencrypted.
Ensure you protect this file, especially if you entered a local administrator account password.

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