Deploy to a Remotely Controlled Computer

A remotely controlled computer is a computer without a monitor, a keyboard, or a mouse (also called a headless computer). Because remotely controlled computers must be connected to a network, there are additional networking configurations that you must enable, such as enabling ports in the firewall and enabling remote desktop connections. Unattended installations are required for this type of computer configuration.

The instructions in this topic do not display Windows Welcome user interface pages in Windows Server® 2008. If you want to prevent Windows Welcome user interface screens in Windows Vista®, see "Settings to Use for Automating Windows Welcome" in the Windows Unattended Setup Reference.

To Create an Answer File for a Remotely Controlled Computer

  1. Create a new answer file or update your existing answer file.
    For more information about creating or updating an answer file, see Work with Answer Files in Windows SIM.
    If you are creating an answer file for a Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI)-based computer, you must create additional partitions in your answer file. For more information, see Create an Answer File for UEFI-based Computers. You must also ensure that the firmware of your EFI-based computer is configured to boot to EFI mode, and not to BIOS mode. Consult your firmware documentation for more information.

  2. Add the following settings to your answer file in the listed configuration pass.

Component Configuration Pass

Microsoft-Windows-International-Core-WinPE

windowsPE

Microsoft-Windows-Setup/DiskConfiguration

windowsPE

Microsoft-Windows-Setup/UserData

windowsPE

Microsoft-Windows-Setup/ImageInstall

windowsPE

Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup

specialize

Microsoft-Windows-TerminalServices-LocalSessionManager

specialize

Microsoft-Windows-TerminalServices-RDP-WinStationExtensions

specialize

Networking-MPSSVC-Svc\FirewallGroup

specialize

Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup/OOBE

oobeSystem

Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup/UserAccounts/AdministratorPassword

oobeSystem

Microsoft-Windows-International-Core

oobeSystem

Configure the windowsPE Settings

  1. Configure the language setting in the Microsoft-Windows-International-Core-WinPE component.
Component Path Setting and Value

Microsoft-Windows-International-Core-WinPE/SetupUILanguage

UILanguage=language

Microsoft-Windows-International-Core-WinPE

UILanguage=language

  1. Configure the Microsoft-Windows-Setup node with the following setting.
Component Path Setting and Value

Microsoft-Windows-Setup

EnableNetwork=false

Set this value to True if you are using a network share during unattended installation.

  1. Configure the disk partitions by using the Microsoft-Windows-Setup component. Right-click DiskConfiguration, and then select Insert New Disk.

  2. In the DiskConfiguration node, right-click CreatePartitions, and then select Create new Partition.

  3. Configure the Microsoft-Windows-Setup/DiskConfiguration node with the following settings.

Component Path Setting and Value

Microsoft-Windows-Setup/DiskConfiguration/Disk

WillWipeDisk=true

DiskID=0

Modify these values if you are deploying to a different hard disk configuration.

Microsoft-Windows-Setup/DiskConfiguration/Disk/CreatePartitions/CreatePartition

Order=1

Extend=true

Type=Primary

Modify these values if you are deploying to a different hard disk configuration.

Note

If you are creating an answer file for a Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI)-based computer, you must create additional partitions in your answer file. For more information, see Create an Answer File for UEFI-based Computers.

  1. In the Microsoft-Windows-Setup component, expand the ImageInstall, and then expand the OSImage node.

  2. Configure the Microsoft-Windows-Setup/ImageInstall/OSImage node with the following settings.

Component Path Setting and Value

Microsoft-Windows-Setup/ImageInstall/OSImage/InstallTo

DiskID=disk

PartitionID=partition

  1. Right-click InstallFrom, and then select Insert New MetaData.

  2. Configure the Microsoft-Windows-Setup/ImageInstall/OSImage/InstallFrom/MetaData node with the following settings.

Component Path Setting and Value

Microsoft-Windows-Setup/ImageInstall/OSImage/InstallFrom/MetaData

Key=image metadata identifier

Value=image metadata value

For example,

Key=/IMAGE/INDEX

Value=2

  1. Configure the Microsoft-Windows-Setup/UserData node with the following settings.
Component Path Setting and Value

Microsoft-Windows-Setup/UserData/ProductKey

ProductKey/Key=product_key

ProductKey/WillShowUI=Never

Microsoft-Windows-Setup/UserData

AcceptEula=true

Configure the specialize Settings

  1. Configure Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup with the following settings.
Component Path Setting and Value

Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup

ComputerName=computername

  1. Configure the Microsoft-Windows-TerminalServices-LocalSessionManager component with the following settings.
Component Path Setting and Value

Microsoft-Windows-TerminalServices-LocalSessionManager

fDenyTSConnections=false

  1. Configure the Microsoft-Windows-TerminalServices-RDP-WinStationExtensions component with the following settings.
Component Path Setting and Value

Microsoft-Windows-TerminalServices-RDP-WinStationExtensions

UserAuthentication=0

  1. In the answer file pane, right-click FirewallGroups, and then select Insert new Firewall Group.

  2. Configure the Firewall Group with the following settings.

Component Path Setting and Value

Networking-MPSSVC-Svc\FirewallGroups\FirewallGroup

Active=true

Group=Remote Desktop

Key=EnableRemoteDesktop

Profile=all

Configure the oobeSystem Settings

  1. Configure Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup with the following settings.
Component Path Setting and Value

Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup/UserAccounts/AdministratorPassword

Value=password

Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup/OOBE

HideEULAPage=true

  1. Configure Microsoft-Windows-International-Core with the following settings.
Component Path Setting and Value

Microsoft-Windows-International-Core

InputLocale=language

SystemLocale= language

UILanguage= language

UserLocale=language

You are now ready to install your Windows image.

Note

If you run Sysprep /generalize on your Windows image, some settings that are required to prevent user interface pages from displaying might be reset. When the computer boots after the generalize process, the installation might display Windows Welcome user interface pages. To prevent the user interface pages from displaying, use an answer file with Sysprep to hide the user interface pages during Windows Welcome. For more information, see "Settings to Use for Automating Windows Welcome" in the Unattended Windows Setup Reference. For more information about using an answer file with Sysprep, see How Sysprep Works.