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Microsoft® Windows Server™ 2003 Inside Out by William R. Stanek

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Managing Unattended Installations

An unattended installation performs the same setup procedures as interactive installation, but doesn't necessarily prompt for information. That is, it starts with a flat directory of uninstalled Windows files and goes through the installation and configuration process using the information provided to select and configure Windows components and only prompts if you've omitted information or have configured Setup to do so. Here, where possible, the information is provided automatically by an answer file, not one data point at a time by someone sitting at a keyboard.

This is in contrast to the other traditional method of performing an automated installation, Sysprep, which uses an image of an installed operating system ...

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