Vista And WSUS Part IV

As you’ve learned so far, there are a few different ways that you can configure Vista to download updates from a WSUS. You can use group policy, either a domain group policy or the local group policy.

Finally, you can also configure the WSUS client settings through the local registry. This method requires you to create several keys in the Vista registry.

Some of the registry entries relating to WSUS are outlined below.

  • UseWUServer: This option is used to specify whether a WSUS server is used. Setting the value to 1 indicates the client will download updates from a WSUS server.
  • AUOptions: This option is used to configure how updates are downloaded and whether administrators are notified. The possible values are 2 (notify of download and installation), 3 (automatically download and notify of installation), 4 (automatic download and scheduled installation), or 5 (Automatic Updates is required, but end users can configure it).
  • ScheduledInstallDay: This option specifies the day of the week that updates will be installed. The values range from 0-7 where 0 indicates every day and 1-7 indicates specific days of the week where 1 = Sunday and 7 = Saturday.
  • ScheduledInstallTime: This option specifies the time of day that installs will take place. The value is specified in 24 hour format.
  • RescheduleWaitTime: This defines how long to wait after restarting to computer for a missed scheduled install to take place. The value is specified in minutes (1-60).
  • NoAutoRebootWithLoggedOnUsers: This option specifies whether the computer is automatically restarted after an update is installed. Set this value to 1 to enable the logged on user to choose whether or not to reboot their computer.
  • NoAutoUpdate: This option is used to enable or disable automatic updates.
  • WUServer: This option is used to specify which SUS server the client will retrieve updates from. The SUS server is identified by HHTP name.
  • WUStatusServer: This option is used to specify where clients will send status information. The server is identified by HTTP name.

In summary, if you plan to implement a Windows Server Update Services infrastructure, be aware that client computers must be configured to obtain updates from the server. There are different methods for deploying the client-side settings related to WSUS. If your Vista computers are members of an Active Directory domain, you can take advantage of group policy technology and deploy settings to all computers through a domain group policy. Alternatively, if Active Directory is not available, the same settings can be configured locally.

Before you can use Setup Manager to create the answer file, it must first be installed on your computer. On the XP CD, locate the SupportTools directory. Open the Deploy.cab file and copy the entire contents to a folder on your computer. Once the files have been copied, you can follow the steps outlined below to create an answer file.

  1. Open the folder on your computer that contains the contents of the deploy.cab file and double click Setupmgr.exe. The Windows Setup Manager Wizard will appear. Click Next.
  2. Specify whether to create a new answer file or modify an existing one. If you want to modify one, you must enter the path to the file. Click Next.
  3. From the Product to Install dialog box, select Sysprep Install. Click Next.
  4. Select the platform that you will be using the answer file to deploy. You can select from XP Home Edition, XP Professional, and 2000 Server, Advanced Server, or Data Center. Click Next.
  5. Select the level of automation you want to use and click Next.
  6. The next dialog box allows you to customize General Settings, Network Settings, and Advanced Settings.
  7. Once you have configured all the settings, click Finish.
  8. Setup Manager creates the answer file and prompts you to choose a location to save the file. The file can be placed on a floppy disk or in the %systemdrive%Sysprep directory.
  9. Exit the Setup Manager application.

Once the Sysprep.inf answer file is created, you can open it using a text editor such as Notepad. The file may look something like the one shown below.

[Unattended]
; Prompt the user to accept the EULA.
OemSkipEula = No
;Use Sysprep's default and regenerate the page file for the system
;to accommodate potential differences in available RAM.
KeepPageFile = 0
;Provide the location for additional language support files that
;might be required in a global organization.
InstallFilesPath = c:Sysprepi386

[GuiUnattended]
;Set the time zone.
TimesZone = 20
;Skip the Welcome screen when the system starts.
OemSkipWelcome = 1
;Do not skip the Regional and Language Options dialog box so that users can
;indicate which options apply to them.
OemSkipRegional = 0

[UserData]
ComputerName = XYZ_Computer1

[Display]
BitsPerPel = 16
XResolution = 800
YResolution = 600
VRefresh = 60

[GuiRunOnce]
"%systemdrive%sysprepfile name.bat" = "path-1Command-1.exe""path-nCommand-n.exe""%systemdrive%sysprepsysprep.exe -quiet"[Identification]
;Join the computer to the domain ITDOMAIN.
JoinDomain = ITDOMAIN

[Networking]

When creating the Sysprep.inf file, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. After an XP computer cloned using Sysprep restarts, the Mini-Setup program begins. It will automatically look for an answer file on a floppy disk or in the Sysprep directory. The answer file must be named Sysprep.inf otherwise the Mini-setup program will ignore the file. If an answer file is present, it is copied to the %windir%System32 directory as $winnt$.inf. If no answer file is present, the Mini-Setup program will run interactively, prompting you for configuration information. Also, if any required sections are missing in the answer file, the program will switch to interactive mode and prompt you for the information.

Summary

Disk duplication is a great way to reduce the amount of time it takes to install an operating system on multiple computers. The System Preparation Tool included with XP can be used to prepare a reference computer to be cloned. To further automate the installation of XP, you can use Setup Manager to create an answer file to be used with Sysprep. The answer file named Sysprep.inf contains the configuration information that would normally require user input during the Mini-Setup program.

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