Introduction

Welcome to my site.  The goal of my site is to serve as a central location that has everything you need to make a great unattended CD.  Unattended cd's are hard enough, without having to dig through thread after thread looking for the information you need.  I tried to keep everything in a linear fashion to make it easy to find what you need.

Beginning your unattended CD

Before you read through my site, you need to first ask yourself what goals your unattend CD should accomplish.  For example, these are the goals I keep in mind everytime I make an unattended CD.

Goals of my Unattended CD

1 - Flexible.  The CD should not have any limitations in terms of installation and use.  For example, my unattend CD has to be able to install into any partition without problems.  Any software that will only install on drive C, for example, won't be added to my unattended CD.  I also want the CD to ask me how I want to setup the partitions, it shouldn't auto format or auto repartition.

2 - Longevity.  I don't want a CD that will be outdated the moment I burn it.  I want a CD that will let me install newer software and hotfixes than the ones on the CD.  I also don't want a CD that will be incompatible with future service packs.  A requirement of all my CD's is to be able to install a newer service pack after install.  Work arounds are acceptable as long as they are documented somewhere (such as editing the boot.ini to remove the /kernel= line).

3 - Security.  My unattended CD's should be made to be most secure out of the box.  Registry tweaks, disabling unneeded services, all accomplish this.  My goal is to not just have a cd that installs without user imput, but to also have a CD that makes it harder to be hacked or compromised.  Not installing core OS components such as outlook express or IE would accomplish this.  Forcing Outlook Express to read email in plain text, disabling cached thumbnails by default, using a secure password by default all help.

4 - Simple.  My unattended CD should use methods that are very easy to use.  For example, security templates change for each service pack.  If a new service pack comes out, I will need to redo any security templates I use.  This takes time to do, and takes time to test.  I should use any method that makes it easy to add a newer service pack or registry tweaks.  As another example, I label my unattend files and write down what each folder does.  That way when I need to make a new cd, I can use my old CD as a base reference.

5 - Target audience.  My CD is mainly designed for myself, and maybe used by a couple friends.  For this reason, blocking issues for corporate users don't apply to my cd's.  One of my first CD's used a batch file that could be closed by the user.  At the time it wasn't a blocking issue because I wouldn't close it.  Ideally though I want a cd that the user cannot stop.  Later, using runonceex, I found a way to install programs in a way that cannot be stopped by the user.

Anytime I want to add something to my CD, I keep these goals in mind.  As you read through my website, I recommand looking through your Goals and picking only what you will need for your CD.

Using this site

You should use my site in the following order to make your unattended CD.

1 - Use my 3 part guide to make your unattended CD.  You want to slipstream BEFORE using my guide.

2 - Go through the Extras menu to add any extra stuff to your CD.  Extras would be stuff like installing software, themes, wallpaper, using a custom boot logo.  This is the point you would want to do stuff such as adding hotfixes, using jdeboeck's method to remove windows components.

3 - Test the CD using VMWare or VirtualPC then burn it.

4 - Use the CD you made to install Windows, and use the install for a couple months, writing down any bugs you find.  In your next CD, fix these bugs first then add new features you want.