There are times when you might need to customize Windows by using an unattend.xml answer file during the OS deployment. Yes, many of these customizations can be baked into the OS image itself or scripted but using an answer file is easier in many situations. For example, if you had offices in UK and USA and wanted to customize the keyboard language depending on the location, then it’s easier to maintain two answer files than two OS images.
Once you create an answer file how do you use it in a OSD task sequence? Long story short, you create a package for the answer file and then reference it in the Apply Operating System step in the task sequence.
Read on if you want the long story…
1) Create a Package for the Answer File
First thing’s first, copy the unattend.xml answer file into the SCCM software repository. Make a note of the answer file name and the UNC path where it’s stored.
Create a package in the Software Library workspace under Application Management. It’s best to create a folder structure and adhering to a good naming convention to be able to identify what the answer file is used for and what operating system and architecture.
Give your package a suitable name. Select “This package contains source files” and enter the full UNC path to the answer file located in your software repository. Finally choose “Do not create a program”.
Don’t forget to distribute the package to your distribution points.
2) Apply the Answer File to the Task Sequence
You apply the answer file package in the “Apply Operating System” step in your OSD task sequence (right-click and select Edit).
Choose “Use an unattended or Sysprep answer file for a custom installation” and then browse and select the answer file package you created earlier.
In the File name field type in the name of the answer file (don’t forget the .xml extension)
Your task sequence should look something like this:
If you have MDT integrated with SCCM and are using a MDT task sequence instead then apply the answer file in the “Apply Operating System” step under the “Install” group. This should look something like this: