HOW TO: Use Setup Manager to Create an Answer File in Windows Server 2003

For a Microsoft Windows 2000 version of this article, see
308662 .



This article describes how to install Setup Manager and use it to create an answer file. An answer file (the Unattend.txt file) helps automate Windows installations by providing Windows Setup with the information that it needs during an unattended installation.

How to Install and Run Setup Manager

By default, Setup Manager is not installed. To install and run Setup Manager:
  1. Insert the Windows Server 2003 CD-ROM into the computer's CD-ROM drive or DVD-ROM drive. Press and hold down the SHIFT key as you insert the CD to prevent it from starting automatically.
  2. Start Windows Explorer, and then open the Support\Tools folder on the Windows Server 2003 CD-ROM.
  3. In the right pane, double-click the file to open it.
  4. On the Edit menu, click Select All.
  5. On the Edit menu, click Copy.
  6. Create a new folder on your local hard disk. To do this:
    1. Click Local Disk (C:), or click the drive in which you want to create the new folder.
    2. On the File menu, point to New, and then click Folder.
    3. In the New Folder name box, type the name that you want, and then press ENTER.
  7. Right-click the new folder that you created, and then click
  8. Double-click the new folder to open it, and then double-click the Setupmgr.exe file. The Setup Manager wizard starts. Follow the instructions in the wizard to create an answer file.


Additional support information and sample answer files are available on the Windows Server 2003 CD-ROM in the following locations:
  • I386\Unattend.txt
  • Support\Tools\\Ref.chm
  • Support\Tools\\Deploy.chm