Windows Server 2008

Creating an Unattend Installation File for DCPROMO in Windows Server 2008

This article describes the syntax that you use to build answer files to perform unattended installations of Active Directory Domain Services on Windows Server 2008-based domain controllers. Performing an unattended installation using an answer file is not as hard as it sounds, and can be performed without any user interaction. Using the answer (or sometimes referred to as the unattend) file eliminates the need for an administrator to interact with the DCPROMO wizard, and is most important when using a server core machine to act as a DC. You can read more about Active Directory on Windows Server 2008 core installations on my "Installing Active Directory on Windows 2008 Server Core” article. You can also use the answer files to remove AD DS in unattended mode. Note that a similar article exists that describes the basics of the unattend file in Windows 2000/2003 – “How do I automatically upgrade a server to a domain controller during installation?“.

One method of creating the unattend file is by manually copying a sample text and pasting it into a text file. You can read more about this process in the next section below. Another method of creating the file is by running the DCPROMO wizard on a different server, then, when finished, saving the configuration into a text file, and then pressing Cancel. You can read more about this method below.

Sponsored Content

What is “Inside Microsoft Teams”?

“Inside Microsoft Teams” is a webcast series, now in Season 4 for IT pros hosted by Microsoft Product Manager, Stephen Rose. Stephen & his guests comprised of customers, partners, and real-world experts share best practices of planning, deploying, adopting, managing, and securing Teams. You can watch any episode at your convenience, find resources, blogs, reviews of accessories certified for Teams, bonus clips, and information regarding upcoming live broadcasts. Our next episode, “Polaris Inc., and Microsoft Teams- Reinventing how we work and play” will be airing on Oct. 28th from 10-11am PST.

Manually creating the unattend file

The unattend file can be manually created, and the fields in it properly populated. Here are some examples.

Note: Fields in the “[DCInstall]” section of the answer file specify the details of the installation or removal operation. In this article I will only discuss installation options, however you can read more about other options in KB 947034 (

The following list provides the common fields that are used for each operation. The default values are used if the option is not specified.

Related Topics:

External Sharing and Guest User Access in Microsoft 365 and Teams

This eBook will dive into policy considerations you need to make when creating and managing guest user access to your Teams network, as well as the different layers of guest access and the common challenges that accompany a more complicated Microsoft 365 infrastructure.

You will learn:

  • Who should be allowed to be invited as a guest?
  • What type of guests should be able to access files in SharePoint and OneDrive?
  • How should guests be offboarded?
  • How should you determine who has access to sensitive information in your environment?

Sponsored by: