In SQL Server 2008 R2, we added the command line parameter /UIMODE=AutoAdvance. The official documentation is at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms144259(SQL.105).aspx. If you add this command line parameter when running SQL Server Setup.exe, all non-essential dialogs will be skipped.
Note: Due to a known bug, it is also necessary to specify the Action or Scenario, such as Install or Upgrade that you want to perform. When you specify the Action on the command line, the Installation Center is skipped.
There are a couple ways to specify:
1) Run Setup.exe directly as shown below:
2) Launch Setup and specify a configuration file that includes the UIMODE and the ACTION parameters.
a) Create a ConfigurationFile.INI with the following contents:
;SQLSERVER2008 Configuration File
b) Run Setup.exe /ConfigurationFile=”c:\temp\ConfigurationFile.ini” as follows
For the methods above, you can always create a batch file that runs Setup.exe with either the parameters or the configuration file. You can then mention to your customers to launch the batch file.