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Zahar Afanasyev
Zahar Afanasyev

Windows 7 Unattended Install Pxe Boot Virtualbox _TOP_


The objective of this document is to show you how to handle Microsoft Windows unattended PXE install scenarios, PXE booting WindowsPE, and finally setting Serva as a single PXE front-end simultaneously targeting Serva's own repository, Microsoft WDS/MDT/SCCM repositories, and more.




Windows 7 Unattended Install Pxe Boot Virtualbox



1.1 Required Software 1.1.1 Microsoft Windows Serva 4.6.0 "Pro" or higher. 1.1.2 Microsoft Install CD/DVD/ISO of the OSs you want to network install. 1.1.3 WIM files you want to network boot. 1.1.4 Microsoft WAIK/Windows ADK. 1.1.5 Microsoft WDS/MDT/SCCM boot WIMs and their repositories.


In this chapter we explore Serva's unattended install capabilities as an extension of the concepts developed on PXE/BINL - AN01.1: Windows Network Install - WDS OSs and PXE/BINL - AN01.2: Windows Network Install - RIS OSs 2.1 RIS OSs: In this case the WIA unattended install capabilities are fully controlled by the corresponding \_SERVA_\winnt.sif. This file normally contains information about available RIS services, the destination computer, and the type of installation you are performing. In case of an unattended install it additionally becomes the answer file that holds the install automation data. winnt.sif is initially created by Serva setting the networking parameters required by the net install process. Additionally when we include OEM drivers under \$OEM$\$1\Drivers\NIC\ Serva updates winnt.sif telling the OS being installed that there are certain directories containing OEM drivers ready to be processed. Users that want to automate this kind of install have to populate winnt.sif with the desired unattended parameters considering a couple of points:


2.2 WDS OSs: In this case the WIA unattended install capabilities are fully controlled by two answer files (BIOS_Unattend.xml and UEFI_Unattend.xml) containing the Windows installation settings used during Windows Setup. The files contain differentiated settings used by BIOS-based and UEFI-based booting clients. Remember the answer file for UEFI targets must create two additional partitions; the UEFI System Partition (ESP) and the Microsoft Reserved Partition (MSR). The BIOS_Unattend.xml and UEFI_Unattend.xml files can be created with the "Windows System Image Manager" ImgMgr.exe (from WAIK/ADK) and conveniently placed under the corresponding WIA's \$OEM$\$Boot$\$1 directory. ServaPENet initial login to WIA_WDS_SHARE can be also automated by adding to both XML files the component "Microsoft-Windows-Setup" to the windowsPE pass with the following information:


The Windows Preinstallation Environment (aka WindowsPE, WinPE) is a lightweight version of Windows mostly used on the early stages of the deployment of workstations and servers or in troubleshooting scenarios. This tiny version of Windows comes packed in bootable WIM files originally crafted with the "Windows Automated Installation Kit" (Windows AIK or WAIK)or lately with the "Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit" (Windows ADK or WADK).


Serva initially boots a WindowsPE (ServaBoot.wim) every time it installs a WDS OS and it is also able to boot stand alone WindowsPE executives. It only takes populating a "head" directory under \WIA_WDS with the corresponding bootable WIM file and a very small set of extra files. i.e.


Because of the above sequence, we can see there is a strong relationship between pxeboot.n12, bootmgr.exe and the WIM file (i.e. winpe_64.wim). In the early days of the WIM file format it was pretty common having WIM files that were not compatible with some versions of pxeboot.n12/bootmgr.exe. Since 2013 the WIM file format is pretty stable and WIM files and matching pairs of pxeboot.n12/bootmgr.exe can be exchanged fairly easily. The bootmgr.exe performs the TFTP transfer of the WIM file which is about 150-200 Mb in size. This size is not small for a protocol like TFTP. Since Windows PE 2.1 bootmgr.exe is able to handle the TFTP negotiated variable windowsize (today RFC 7440) normally offering faster TFTP transfers on high quality networks. Serva's TFTP server module handles the windowsize variable; it always helps to use the "windowsize enabled" bootmgr.exe. If booting old WIMs you can check if your bootmgr.exe handles windowsize or not by opening the file with your favorite Hex editor and look for the word windowsize in plain ASCII.


In the UEFI case bootmgfw.efi is easily exchangeable among the different UEFI enabled bootable WIM files and it is always able to negotiate the windowsize TFTP option for faster transfers.


3.1- OEM Driver injection. Driver injection when booting WindowsPE executives works exactly the same as when installing WDS OSs. See "8.3.2- WDS OS OEM network drivers" at Serva PXE/BINL - AN01: Windows Install. On a booting WIM the injected driver components will be available at X:\$WinpeDriver$\NIC\; but the WIM must include the code/script able to load them i.e. invoking Drvload.exe.


When we PXE install a WDS OS with Serva the process can be split on two different stages: a) TFTP transferring and booting of the corresponding ServaBoot.wim (WindowsPE). b) Transferring of the OS components from Serva repository in order to continue with the OS install. It is the booting ServaBoot.wim which has the information on how to network locate Serva repository and what to do with it. Microsoft WDS, MDT and SCCM all use a similar strategy; they all produce booting WIMs, containing the information on how to network locate their repositories (stores) or DPs (SCCM Distribution Point), and know what to do with them. If we would be able to PXE boot those WIM files with Serva we would get integrated within the same single menu, entries pointing to Serva's own assets with entries pointing to WDS, MDT, and SCCM "entry points". We certainly can do this by using what we just have learnt in 3 PXE Booting WindowsPE executives !


The discussed Serva PXE/BINL advanced techniques represent one more step in the road to master the different Microsoft Windows network boot/install scenarios. Advanced users can now perform unattended PXE installs and PXE multi-repository integrations with an easy-to-use application. For those Serva PXE/BINL users also interested on network boot/install Linux distributions, Native Hypervisors, Recovery Tools, DOS/FreeDOS, etc, please read about all of these exiting features here: Serva PXE/BINL - AN03: Non-Windows Network Boot/Install. If you are a Serva Community user and you find it useful please consider purchasing Serva Pro. Non-personal or commercial use of Serva always requires a Serva Pro license (see Serva's download page for further details).


To compile the VirtualBox modules provided by virtualbox-host-dkms, it will also be necessary to install the appropriate headers package(s) for your installed kernel(s) (e.g. linux-lts-headers for linux-lts). [1] When either VirtualBox or the kernel is updated, the kernel modules will be automatically recompiled thanks to the DKMS pacman hook.


virtualbox-host-modules-arch and virtualbox-host-dkms use systemd-modules-load.service to load VirtualBox modules automatically at boot time. For the modules to be loaded after installation, either reboot or load the modules once manually; the list of modules can be found in /usr/lib/modules-load.d/virtualbox-host-modules-arch.conf or /usr/lib/modules-load.d/virtualbox-host-dkms.conf.


It is also recommended to install the virtualbox-guest-iso package on the host running VirtualBox. This package will act as a disc image that can be used to install the guest additions onto guest systems other than Arch Linux. The .iso file will be located at /usr/lib/virtualbox/additions/VBoxGuestAdditions.iso, and may have to be mounted manually inside the virtual machine. Once mounted, you can run the guest additions installer inside the guest.


In order to avoid having to install the guest system manually, some operating systems support unattended installation. This allows the user to configure the system to be installed in VirtualBox's interface prior to starting the machine. At the end of the setup process, the operating system is installed without requiring any further user interaction. This feature requires the virtualbox-unattended-templatesAUR package.


The Oracle Extension Pack provides additional features and is released under a non-free license only available for personal use. To install it, the virtualbox-ext-oracleAUR package is available, and a prebuilt version can be found in the seblu repository.


If you have installed the additions to your virtual machine, please uninstall them first. Your guest, especially if it is using an OS from the Windows family, might behave weirdly, crash or even might not boot at all if you are still using the specific drivers in another hypervisor.


After enabling OpenGL acceleration as described above, reboot the guest into safe mode (press F8 before the Windows screen appears but after the Virtualbox screen disappears), and install Virtualbox guest additions, during install enable checkbox "Direct3D support". Reboot back to normal mode and you should have accelerated Direct3D.


After completing the installation, boot your computer natively with an GNU/Linux installation media (whether it be Arch Linux or not), chroot into your installed Arch Linux installation and install and configure a bootloader.


You will now be brought to couple of obscure PCI paths. The first one is the one that you just attempted to boot from and it did not work. The second (or third) one should be the one with the MacOS recovery partition that you need to load to continue the installation. Click the second Entry. If it is empty, press Esc to go back and select the third entry. Once you get one with folders click though the folders. It should be something like macOS Install Data > Locked Files > Boot Files > boot.efi. Once you click enter on the boot.efi you should boot into the MacOS installer and resume installation. Note that some of the subdirectories might be missing. Remember that you need to get to a boot.efi.[4]


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