You have two Autounattend.xml files (answer files) that can be used in an unattended installation of Windows Vista. One Autounattend.xml file is in the root directory of the Windows Vista installation disc. The other Autounattend.xml file is in the root directory of a USB flash drive. When you perform an unattended installation of Windows Vista, the installation uses the Autounattend.xml file on the Windows Vista installation disc instead of the Autounattend.xml file on the flash drive. You expect the installation to use the file on the flash drive according to the implicit order of the search paths.
This issue occurs because the GetFileAttributes function does not work correctly. An unattended installation of Windows Vista calls this function.
Service pack information
To resolve this problem, obtain the latest service pack for Windows Vista. For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
935791 How to obtain the latest Windows Vista service pack
A supported hotfix is available from Microsoft. However, this hotfix is intended to correct only the problem that is described in this article. Apply this hotfix only to systems that are experiencing this specific problem. This hotfix might receive additional testing. Therefore, if you are not severely affected by this problem, we recommend that you wait for the next software update that contains this hotfix.
If the hotfix is available for download, there is a "Hotfix download available" section at the top of this Knowledge Base article. If this section does not appear, contact Microsoft Customer Service and Support to obtain the hotfix.
Note If additional issues occur or if any troubleshooting is required, you might have to create a separate service request. The usual support costs will apply to additional support questions and issues that do not qualify for this specific hotfix. For a complete list of Microsoft Customer Service and Support telephone numbers or to create a separate service request, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
Note The "Hotfix download available" form displays the languages for which the hotfix is available. If you do not see your language, it is because a hotfix is not available for that language.
To apply this hotfix, you must have Windows Automated Installation Kit (Windows AIK) or Windows OEM Preinstall Kit (Windows OPK) installed.
You do not have to restart the computer after you apply this hotfix.
Hotfix replacement information
This hotfix does not replace any other hotfixes.
The English version of this hotfix has the file attributes (or later file attributes) that are listed in the following table. The dates and times for these files are listed in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). When you view the file information, it is converted to local time. To find the difference between UTC and local time, use the Time Zone tab in the Date and Time item in Control Panel.
Windows Vista, 32-bit versions
Windows Vista, 64-bit versions
Hotfix installation information
To apply this hotfix, follow these steps:
Type the following command at a command prompt to expand the .msu file:
Expand.exe PathOfMSU -F:* PathOfTempFolder1
Note Replace PathOfMSU with the path of the .msu file. Replace PathOfTempFolder1 with the path of a temporary folder.
Type the following command to expand the .cab file to another temporary folder:
Expand.exe PathOfCAB -F:* PathOfTempFolder2
Note Replace PathOfCAB with the path of the .cab file. Replace PathOfTempFolder2 with the path of another temporary folder.
Copy the Boot.wim image file from the Source folder on the Windows Vista installation disc to a local temporary location.
Mount the image for read access and for write access. To do this, type the following command at a command prompt:
imagex.exe /mountrw PathOfBootWIM 2 MountLocation
Note Replace PathOfBootWIM with the path of the Boot.wim file. The number following this location is the boot index number. Replace MountLocation with the destination of the file that you mount.
Copy the Unattend.dll file from the PathOfTempFolder2\x86_microsoft-windows-setup-unattend_RandomInformation\ folder to the MountLocation\ source folder.
Note RandomInformation is a placeholder for a string that is randomly created.
Copy the Unattend.dll file from the PathOfTempFolder2\x86_microsoft-windows-setup-unattend_RandomInformation\ folder to the MountLocation\Windows\System32\ folder.
Unmount the Boot.wim file to commit all the changes. To do this, type the following command at a command prompt:
imagex.exe /commit /unmount MountLocation
Mount the image again for read access and for write access. To do this, type the following command at a command prompt:
imagex.exe /mountrw PathOfBootWIM 1 MountLocation
Note the different boot index number in this command.
Copy the Unattend.dll file from PathOfTempFolder2\x86_microsoft-windows-setup-unattend_RandomInformation\ folder to the MountLocation\Windows\System32\ folder.
Unmount the Boot.wim file to commit all the changes. (Use the same command that you used in step 7.)
Copy the modified Boot.wim file to the InstallPoint\Source folder.
Note InstallPoint is a placeholder for the location of the contents of the Windows Vista disc image.
To work around this issue, copy the Autounattend.xml file from the USB flash drive to a floppy disk. Then, perform the unattended installation.
Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section. This problem was first corrected in Windows Vista Service Pack 1.
For more information about the terms that are used to describe software updates, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
824684 Description of the standard terminology that is used to describe Microsoft software updates