I'm attempting to perform an installation of Windows Server 2008 - 32 bit version, and am getting the following error:

"Windows could not parse or process the unattend answer file for pass [specialize]. The settings specified in the answer file cannot be applied. The error was detected while processing settings for component [Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup]."

After googling the error, I found this:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd349350(WS.10).aspx
which indicates it might have something to do with the password. (Server 2008 requires a complex password - which I am using...) It also mentions specifying a value for Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup | UserAccounts | AdministratorPassword - which wasn't in the file previously but has since been added, but ending up with the same result when deploying the server scripted install.

Anyone else run into this, or something similar? I used the Kace Wizard for creating the answer file for unattended setup, and it created the following: (I've modified the key, passwords [the passwords are all 14 character passwords with upper case, lower case and numbers] and other fields).

Also - I added the 4 lines below myself after the first attempt did not work using the Kace created unattend file.

<AdministratorPassword>
<Value>Password</Value>
<PlainText>true</PlainText>
</AdministratorPassword>

but received the same results.

Any suggestions?

Dave

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<unattend xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:unattend" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
<settings pass="windowsPE">
<component name="Microsoft-Windows-Setup" processorArchitecture="x86" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS">
<UseConfigurationSet>true</UseConfigurationSet>
<UserData>
<AcceptEula>true</AcceptEula>
<FullName>Company</FullName>
<Organization>Company</Organization>
<ProductKey>
<Key>Key</Key>
<WillShowUI>OnError</WillShowUI>
</ProductKey>
</UserData>
<ImageInstall>
<OSImage>
<InstallToAvailablePartition>true</InstallToAvailablePartition>
<InstallFrom>
<MetaData>
<Key>/IMAGE/Name</Key>
<Value>windows longhorn serverstandard</Value>
</MetaData>
</InstallFrom>
</OSImage>
</ImageInstall>
</component>
<component name="Microsoft-Windows-International-Core-WinPE" processorArchitecture="x86" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS">
<UILanguage>en-US</UILanguage>
<SetupUILanguage>
<UILanguage>en-US</UILanguage>
</SetupUILanguage>
<InputLocale>en-us</InputLocale>
<SystemLocale>en-us</SystemLocale>
<UserLocale>en-us</UserLocale>
</component>
</settings>
<settings pass="specialize">
<component name="Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup" processorArchitecture="x86" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS">
<RegisteredOwner>Company</RegisteredOwner>
<RegisteredOrganization>Company</RegisteredOrganization>
<ProductKey>Key</ProductKey>
<TimeZone>Eastern Standard Time</TimeZone>
<AutoLogon>
<Enabled>true</Enabled>
<Username>admin</Username>
<Password>
<PlainText>true</PlainText>
<Value>Password</Value>
</Password>
</AutoLogon>
<ComputerName>*</ComputerName>
</component>
<component name="Microsoft-Windows-UnattendedJoin" processorArchitecture="x86" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS">
<Identification>
<JoinWorkgroup/>
</Identification>
</component>
<component name="Microsoft-Windows-Deployment" processorArchitecture="x86" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS">
<RunSynchronous>
<RunSynchronousCommand wcm:action="add">
<Path>reg add "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\NetworkList\Signatures\FirstNetwork" /v Category /t REG_DWORD /d 00000000 /f</Path>
<Description>Setting Network Location</Description>
<Order>1</Order>
<WillReboot>OnRequest</WillReboot>
</RunSynchronousCommand>
</RunSynchronous>
</component>
</settings>
<settings pass="oobeSystem">
<component name="Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup" processorArchitecture="x86" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS">
<OOBE>
<HideEULAPage>true</HideEULAPage>
<NetworkLocation>Work</NetworkLocation>
<SkipMachineOOBE>false</SkipMachineOOBE>
<SkipUserOOBE>false</SkipUserOOBE>
<ProtectYourPC>3</ProtectYourPC>
</OOBE>
<UserAccounts>
<AdministratorPassword>
<Value>Password</Value>
<PlainText>true</PlainText>
</AdministratorPassword>
<LocalAccounts>
<LocalAccount wcm:action="add">
<Name>admin</Name>
<Group>Administrators</Group>
<Password>
<Value>Password</Value>
<PlainText>true</PlainText>
</Password>
</LocalAccount>
</LocalAccounts>
</UserAccounts>
</component>
</settings>
</unattend>
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Just a guess, but this might be happening because you are trying to define the local Admininistrator account password without actually enabling said account. Add this to your answer file in pass 4 under <RunSynchronous>
<RunSynchronousCommand wcm:action="add">
<Description>Enable Administrator</Description>
<Order>2</Order>
<Path>net user administrator /active:yes</Path>
<WillReboot>OnRequest</WillReboot>
</RunSynchronousCommand>

Don't forget to format your XML accordingly.
Answered 02/14/2012 by: mpace
Red Belt

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