Installing a mass storage driver via ASI/DTM

The question was asked, can I automate the install of Windows via ASI and the DTM if I need to install a mass storage device driver during setup.  The answer is yes.  The procedure is probably familiar to you if you work with these types of devices.  However, there is a “but.”  Here are the details…


ASI works by building an unattend file on the fly and using that to automate the install of the operating system.  Therefore, if you want to automate the install of a mass storage device you follow the existing process for automating the install of these device drivers.  That process is detailed in the Microsoft KB article Q28834.


It all seems pretty straight-forward until you get to step #7…



Edit the Unattend.txt file that you are using to perform your unattended installation by using any standard text editor such as Notepad or EDIT.


How do I edit an unattend.txt file that is going to be created on the fly?  Luckily ASI provides two switches which allow you to do exactly that.  The –unattend switch allows you to specify a different unattend.txt than the one ASI builds.  This may be useful in some cases, but defeats a lot of the ASI automation because it completely overrides the ASI unattend.txt.  The –unattendfragment and –unattendoverride switches are more useful.  They allow you to override the setting in the unattend.txt which ASI created.


The two commands are very similar.  –unattendoverride allows you to override a specific line in the unattend.txt file.  You can use multiple –unattendoverride commands on the command line.  –unatendfragment is probably a better choice for this application however.  It allows you to specify a file which contains pieces of an unattend.txt file.  The fragments in the file will override the settings in the unattend.txt that ASI creates.  So, you can add the unattend.txt settings from steps 7-10 to a file and pass it to ASI on the command line using –unattendfragment.


Here is the “but.”  This doesn’t work for Longhorn/Vista.  Vista uses unattend.xml.  Support for this operation with Vista is planned for Beta 2.

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