You can specify your own unattend.xml file for Easy2Boot to use (Vista/Win7/SVR2K8R2/Win8/Server2012/Win10/SVR2016) or unattend.txt files (XP).
Note: If you delete all .xml files from the Vista/7/8/SVR2012/10, etc. folders, then the default internal E2B unattend.xml will be automatically used and the user will not be prompted to select an xml file. The default .xml file does NOT perform an automated install or affect any install settings, it just loads the ISO as a virtual DVD so that Windows Setup can access files within the ISO.
Using the 'Install XP from an ISO using WinPE' Menu option
Add your answer file (unattend.txt or winnt.sif format) to the \_ISO\WINDOWS\XP folder.
Any name ending in .txt will work.
Use the 'Install XP from an ISO using WinPE' menu option and you will be able to select it from a list
You can automate the entire install by using an answer file in this way, or just some parts of the install.
There is an example XP_EeePC_Auto_UK.txt file already present.
Tip: if you don't use this WinPE process to install XP ISOs at all, you can remove the menu entry for it by deleting the \_ISO\WINDOWS\XP\WINPE_INST.TAG file.
Using the 'Install from ISO using Step 1/Step 2' (DPMS) Menu option
Place your answer file (unattend.txt or winnt.sif format) in the \_ISO\WINDOWS\XP folder and name it with a .SIF file extension (e.g. fred.sif) - the filename for the .sif file must be in 8.3 format (no long filenames).
Note: There are example files in the \_ISO\WINDOWS\XP folder.
Just name your XP ISO Winxp_32_sp3.iso - it will use Winxp_32_sp3.ISO.AUTO and EeePC.SIF (and at the end of the Stage 2 install, it will run EeePC.sif.cmd.
Create a new text file with a .ISO.AUTO file extension in the same folder, with the following contents (fred.sif is an example name only):
If the .AUTO filename is exactly the same as the ISO that you picked, then it will automatically be selected (e.g. XP_PRO_SP3.ISO.AUTO is picked automatically if the ISO selected was XP_PRO_SP3.ISO).
If you want to be able to select a variety of different .AUTO files for the same ISO file, then use a \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg file and add the line:
Note: The MyE2B.cfg file must start with !BAT on the first line.
You will then be prompted to select from all the .AUTO files that are in the \_ISO\WINDOWS\XP folder when you run Step 1 of the XP install.
If you have only one .AUTO file for XP installs then that will be picked by default. These files do not have to end in .ISO.AUTO, just xxxxxxxxxx.AUTO will do.
.SIF files must have a filename of 8 or less characters.
You do not need to use .SIF as the file extension, you can use .TXT but the filename must be 8.3 in format (no long filenames).
.SIF files and .AUTO files must be in the \_ISO\WINDOWS\XP folder (the path is hard-coded)
.AUTO filenames can be any length
If you want a specific unattend file to be used with a specific ISO, name the AUTO file with a matching xxxx.ISO.AUTO filename, i.e. ending in .ISO.AUTO.
If you have a matching AUTO file for the ISO that you selected AND you have set PICKAUTO then you will be asked to select from the AUTO files - if the user aborts the selection, no .SIF file will be used.
Example 1 - Auto-selection (one SIF file for one ISO)
XP_PRO_32.ISO.AUTO (contains set WINNT=EeePC.sif)
EeePC.SIF.CMD (optional - see below)
Assuming PICKAUTO is not set, when installing XP_PRO_32.ISO the EeePC.sif file will be used.
Note: You can test this by naming your XP Pro Sp3 ISO file as Winxp_32_sp3.ISO, this will then use the sample Winxp_32_sp3.ISO.AUTO, EeePC.SIF, and EeePC.sif.cmd files which are already pesent in the download. At the end of the WIndows install process, the EeePC.sif.cmd file will be run which will list the files in the root of the E2B USB drive (do NOT remove the E2B USB drive until you have rebooted 4 times or the EeePC.sif.cmd file has run successfully).
Example 2 - User selection of an unattend file
XP_PRO_32_EeePC.AUTO (contains set WINNT=EeePC.sif)
EeePC.SIF.CMD (optional - see below)
XP_PRO_32_Dell530.AUTO (contains set WINNT=D530.sif)
D530.SIF.CMD (optional - see below)
If PICKAUTO=YES in the \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg file, then the user will be asked to choose either XP_PRO_32_EeePC.AUTO or XP_PRO_32_Dell530.AUTO.
If PICKAUTO is not set to any value, then no .SIF file will be used because there is no XP_PRO_32.ISO.AUTO file.
Running a script after GUI Mode Setup has rebooted
Just before the 'Remove FiraDisk driver (Y/N)?' message appears after the end of GUI mode setup reboot, it is possible to auto-run a .cmd file of your choice.
That file could xcopy a large folder from the USB drive to the hard disk and then start an automated install of applications or drivers.
To do this, the file in the XP folder must be have the same name as your .SIF file but have a .SIF.CMD file extension.
The contents of the .SIF.CMD must be kept small (just a few lines as shown below) and should call another .cmd file which is also present on the USB drive (e.g. Install.cmd) - this second file (e.g. Install.cmd) can be as large as you like:
\_ISO\WINDOWS\XP\EeePC.SIF.CMD (keep as small as possible)
:: %1 has the USB drive letter
Of course, your USB drive will need to be still connected when the 3rd reboot after GUI Mode Setup has fiished.
The Install.cmd file on the \_ISO\MYDRIVERS\EeePC folder of the E2B USB drive (in this example) could then copy across a large folder from the USB drive to the target hard disk and then execute a script/batch file on the target hard disk. You will need to make the folders and batch file code inside the Install.cmd file yourself. The folder can be anywhere you like on the USB E2B drive.
Answer files such as Unattend.txt and Winnt.sif files have the same format
. You can set entries to automatically partition and install XP.
If using a .SIF file with the DPMS XP install process however, you must set
in the .SIF file. If you use OemPreinstall=Yes then you will get an error message about missing files at an early stage.
An example .SIF file is included in the \_ISO\WINDOWS\XP folder. Be sure to copy the OemInfFiles sections into your own .SIF files - otherwise you won't get the 'Remove FiraDisk driver' prompt at the end and the automated xxxxx.SIF.CMD process will not run.
Add your own unattend.xml files into the appropriate folder and you can choose one when prompted. Any name ending in .xml will do.
If you want to specify a product key for Win7 installs, copy the Sample Win8 Pro.xml file to the \_ISO\WINDOWS\Win7 folder, rename it and change the product key to your own key.
Tip: A really easy way to generate a basic XML install file for Win7/8/8.1 online is here.
Then use the XMLtoE2B.exe conversion utility to add the LOADISO RunSynchronous code + other tweaks.
To make an XML file manually - read my blog page here.
IMPORTANT: You must also add the special E2B RunSynchronous entry to your .XML file (see below for details). If you don't, then the blue console LOADISO window will not run and the ISO will not be loaded - Windows Setup will then complain about a missing CD drive driver as it will not be able to see the DVD (ISO)! Note that you need two entries (x86 and amd64) if you want to use the xml file for both 32-bit and 64-bit Windows install ISOs.
Loadiso.cmd will prompt you to repair the drive - if you don't want this prompt, change all occurences in the RunSynchronous XML portion from LOADISO.CMD to LOADISONP.CMD (v1.68+).