Agile Insider Blog

Automating Windows Server Deployment SCVMM Sample Unattend.XML for Windows Server 2008 R2

In today’s post, I thought I would share with you some XML that drives some of our dynamic provisioning.  The power of dynamic provisioning is found in taking a base image of a Server operating system that has nothing enabled and customizing it using the Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK) that is available in SCVMM.

Getting Started with Unattend.XML

The officially supported method of building unattended files for Windows Server 2008 & R2 is using the Windows System Image Manager that is part of the WAIK.  I will follow that party line and say this is the method you should go about building your unattended file though I can say that I haven’t followed this “support” method and have used my trusty Visual Studio editor and the WAIK unattended documentation.  This should be considered your warning and please don’t punish me if you do this. <grin>

With this said, you could start with this unattended.xml file and build upon it and let me teach you how to do this though, again, it is not the recommended approach.

Get Started:  Build your Base Unattended XML

You should open your favorite XML editor and start with this as your base.

Code Snippet

  1. <?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”utf-8″?>
  2. <unattend xmlns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:unattend”>
  3.   <settings pass=”oobeSystem”>
  4.     <component name=”Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup” processorArchitecture=”amd64″ publicKeyToken=”31bf3856ad364e35″ language=”neutral” versionScope=”nonSxS” xmlns:wcm=”http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State”>
  5.       <Display>
  6.         <ColorDepth>16</ColorDepth>
  7.         <HorizontalResolution>1024</HorizontalResolution>
  8.         <RefreshRate>60</RefreshRate>
  9.         <VerticalResolution>768</VerticalResolution>
  10.       </Display>
  11.       <RegisteredOrganization>Contoso</RegisteredOrganization>
  12.       <OOBE>
  13.         <HideEULAPage>true</HideEULAPage>
  14.         <NetworkLocation>Work</NetworkLocation>
  15.         <ProtectYourPC>1</ProtectYourPC>
  16.         <SkipMachineOOBE>true</SkipMachineOOBE>
  17.         <SkipUserOOBE>true</SkipUserOOBE>
  18.       </OOBE>
  19.    </component>
  20.   </settings>
  21. </unattend>

This is a basic unattend that will do the following:

  1. Set your background to 16-bit color
  2. Set your resolution to 1024×768 with a refresh rate of 60
  3. Set your organization name to Contoso
  4. Hides the EULA
  5. Sets network location to Work
  6. Sets the automatic settings for Security
  7. Disables the Windows Machine Out-of-box-Experience

This is a good place to start.  The key thing to note is that the only piece of the <component> line that changes is the name=” “ section and the name is easily identifiable through the documentation.  Let’s, say for example you wanted to set the proxy settings in your unattended file you would search the documentation and you would find –


You simply copy an existing <component> line and you change the name=” “ to whatever setting you desire and you are off.


Some rumblings from the weeds of Microsoft… : SCVMM Sample Unattend.XML for Windows Server 2008 & R2

Leave a comment

Learn More Today

Have questions or want to learn more about the services and solutions Agile IT has to offer?

Schedule a call with us today!

Schedule a Call

Request a Quote