MDT Tutorial Part 8: Unattend.xml

Living Table of Contents


Today’s Agenda:

  • View Unattend.xml
  • Generate Catalog
  • Edit Unattend.xml

Recommended Reading

View Unattend.xml

The unattend.xml lives in subdirectory named after your Task Sequence ID that sits in the Control directory of your Deployment Share.  For example, if your Task Sequence ID is BC151164ENT then you can find the unattend.xml in either:

  • C:\DeploymentShare\Control\BC151164ENT
  • \\MDTServer\DeploymentShare$\Control\BC151164ENT

You can edit it using your favorite text editor, but I recommend using the Windows System Image Manager (SIM).

  1. Edit your Task Sequence
  2. Go to the OS Info tab
  3. Click the Edit Unattend.xml button
  4. Go make a pizza

Generate Catalog

Doing the above will require you to generate a catalog file for the WIM you imported.  Fortunately this process happens automatically.


Unfortunately this process can take a while depending on your configuration.

Once the generation is complete, you’re free to make changes to your Unattend.xml.

Also, you may want to pre-generate catalogs in a separate SIM session since it takes a while:


Edit Unattend.xml

Typically my first step is to run the Validation check to see what the SIM isn’t happy about.


Double click on any results to be taken right to that setting to remediate any issues.

  1. For the first four in the screenshot above, I simply revert the change by secondary mouse-clicking on the setting and selecting that option.
  2. For the NetworkLocation warning, I typically leave it as-is & ignore warning.  Even though it’s officially deprecated, it still seems to work but for how long is anyone’s guess.

Since we’re already in amd64_Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup__neutral/OOBE, why don’t we set ProtectYourPC to 3.

Make any other necessary changes, verify the answer file, save and exit.

In Closing

You can do a lot in the unattend.xml but since I’m prone to forgetting  🙂  I try to add just the bare minimum and put the rest in a Task Sequence; It’s much easier to manage/maintain that way but there are legitimate reasons to put something in the unattend.  Do what works for you.

Good Providence to you!


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