Getting 'answer file is invalid' after generating custom WinPE

ttblum
Beiträge: 91
Registriert: 23 Jun 2017, 14:18
Wohnort: Cleveland, Ohio USA

Getting 'answer file is invalid' after generating custom WinPE

Beitragvon ttblum » 28 Jun 2017, 17:13

Hello,

I'm testing deploying unattended Win7 to an HP Elitedesk.

The WinPE I generated from ADK doesn't detect the Intel NIC, so I generated a custom WinPE using drivers from HP's website. It now detects the NIC, but the startnet.cmd part of the setup is moving in very slow motion, so I'm not sure if I have the correct NIC driver yet.

If I wait it out, it does go through the 'Installing Windows...' part, but at the end it shows:

Code: Alles auswählen

Windows could not parse or process unattend answer file [C:\Windows\Panther\unattend.xml] for pass [specialize]. The answer file is invalid.


What could this be?

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SisterOfMercy
Beiträge: 999
Registriert: 22 Jun 2012, 19:18

Re: Getting 'answer file is invalid' after generating custom WinPE

Beitragvon SisterOfMercy » 28 Jun 2017, 20:00

ttblum hat geschrieben:The WinPE I generated from ADK doesn't detect the Intel NIC, so I generated a custom WinPE using drivers from HP's website.


Ehhhhh, you know you don't have to do this when you are using the opsi bootimage to install a windows client? During the linuxphase of the setup the drivers are copied, which includes the correct network driver. The WinPE find this driver and away it goes.

On the other hand, if you want to do it this way, why didn't you just modify the WinPE you had with drivers from the intel website? Or if you meant to do it like that, show the steps you did. Because if unattended.xml did not change, and everything else did not change, but only the driver integration in the PE changed, well, maybe we can see something from that.
Bitte schreiben Sie Deutsch, when I'm responding in the German-speaking part of the forum!

uncle_scrooge
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Registriert: 21 Feb 2012, 12:03
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Re: Getting 'answer file is invalid' after generating custom WinPE

Beitragvon uncle_scrooge » 28 Jun 2017, 20:49

ttblum, do you use your own customized unattend.xml? Or the one provided inside the netboot product for Win 7?
If the latter the file might got corrupted during copy. Digging through the logs in c:\windows\panther and below might give some hint on what is going wrong.
For the NIC driver issue, I would go with SisterOfMercy's suggestion using the drivers directly from Intel. Manufacturer provided drivers might work with PE. But chances are they do not.

ttblum
Beiträge: 91
Registriert: 23 Jun 2017, 14:18
Wohnort: Cleveland, Ohio USA

Re: Getting 'answer file is invalid' after generating custom WinPE

Beitragvon ttblum » 29 Jun 2017, 17:20

Ok, thanks.

I've been using the default unattend.xml file for testing. How can I get a new Win7-x64 unattend.xml file?

uncle_scrooge
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Registriert: 21 Feb 2012, 12:03
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Re: Getting 'answer file is invalid' after generating custom WinPE

Beitragvon uncle_scrooge » 29 Jun 2017, 17:58

Sorry, I wasn't clear on the corruption thing.
As you were talking about problems with the NIC, one possible reason for a failing unattend.xml might be corruption during copy from your OPSI server to the client you are installing.
The unattend.xml inside the netboot package should be fine. So no need for a new one.

Did you check the logs in \windows\panther and below?

ttblum
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Registriert: 23 Jun 2017, 14:18
Wohnort: Cleveland, Ohio USA

Re: Getting 'answer file is invalid' after generating custom WinPE

Beitragvon ttblum » 29 Jun 2017, 18:49

C:\Windows\Panther\setuperror.log showed:

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SMI data results dump: Description = Value is invalid.

which led me to realize that the computer name was 17 characters long, way longer than the 15 character max. I shortened it to a 12 character name instead.

I downloaded the latest PROWinsx64.exe from Intel's website. I extracted NIC drivers from it with 7-zip, and used used configed to upload them to /var/lib/opsi/depot/win7-x64/drivers/drivers/Intel-NIC-Drivers-x64, then ran 'opsi-setup --set-rights ./drivers' and './create_driver_links.py'.

Now, when WinPE boots up a black command window appears, showing 5 consecutive 'mountresult:1231 : The network location cannot be reached' errors. Following that it shows:

Code: Alles auswählen

DrvLoad: Successfully loaded c:\drv\1\e1d63x64.inf.
mountresult: 0 : The operation completed successfully.

This stays on the screen for about 6 minutes, then a 'Setup is starting...' screen appears for another 6 minutes, then the 'Installing Windows...' screen appears and Installs Windows OK.

Is it copying a lot of data during the 'startnet.cmd' and 'Setup is starting' screens, or is it not supposed to take this long? I'm using a gigabit.

ttblum
Beiträge: 91
Registriert: 23 Jun 2017, 14:18
Wohnort: Cleveland, Ohio USA

Re: Getting 'answer file is invalid' after generating custom WinPE

Beitragvon ttblum » 29 Jun 2017, 23:28

I adding the chipset drivers, which removed the delay on the 'startnet.cmd' and 'Setup is starting' screens.

I added the video driver, Windows booted up but there was only a black screen. I'll keep working with it, I'm assuming it's better to include video drivers than to auto-launch an installer afterwards.

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wolfbardo
uib-Team
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Registriert: 01 Jul 2008, 12:10

Re: Getting 'answer file is invalid' after generating custom WinPE

Beitragvon wolfbardo » 30 Jun 2017, 08:01

Regarding
ttblum hat geschrieben:I ... the delay on the 'startnet.cmd'...


Assuming you build the winpe based on Windows 10 the delay in starting the winpe comes reasonably form a wrong

value of "properties of depots" -> "depot configuration"

depotRemoteUrl smb://<IP or fqdn?>/opsi_depot

The old default <netbios name of the opsi-server> was fast with old samba versions but nowerdays it seems to be better tu use <ip of the opsi-server> or <fqdn of the opsi-server>

regards,
Bardo Wolf

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