Creating an unattended copy of Windows setup has many benefits. First of all, you can quickly install Windows as you don’t need to input or configure anything during the installation. Second, since you have already included the product key in the Windows setup, you don’t need to remember or save the product key.
As you likely know, there are a couple of free tools out there to customize Windows setup and create unattended Windows installation. However, one can quickly create an attended Windows setup by simply placing AutoUnattend.xml file in the root of DVD or bootable USB without the help of third-party setup customization utilities.
A quick web search reveals that there are many places from where you can download AutoUnattend.xml or Unattend.xml (both are essentially same) file. However, if you download a pre-configured AutoUnattend.xml file, you need to manually edit the file in order to include your product key, language and many other settings.
Those of you who want to quickly create Unattend.xml file for Windows and Office installation can use an online tool named Windows Answer File Generator.
Create AutoUnattend.xml file for Windows 7/8/8.1
Windows Answer File Generator, as the name suggests, lets you create Unattended.xml answer file quickly and easily.
Generating a Unattend.xml file with Windows Answer File Generator is extremely easy. Just head over to Windows Answer File Generator, select the version of Windows or Office from the menu, enter the product key, and configure various settings such as language, name, input method, and time zone.
In addition to the above mentioned settings, you can also choose the disk where you want to perform the installation, select the file system and various other settings. Once all settings are configured, you can hit the Download button to download the AutoUnattend.xml file. Alternatively, you can also click on the Highlight All button to select the code, paste it in Notepad, and then save it as AutoUnattend.xml file.
As mentioned earlier, this online Windows Answer File Generator can be used to create Unattend.xml file for Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Office 2010, Office 2013, Server 2008/R2, and Server 2012/R2.
Important: If you don’t want to enter your genuine product key on this website to generate the Unattend.xml file, you can simply enter a generic product key (if fact, it includes a generic key with default settings) and then replace the same with your original product key after downloading the XML file.
The AutoUnattend.xml or Unattend.xml file must be placed in the root of the bootable media in order to perform unattended Windows installation.
Overall, I am impressed with Unattend.xml generator. Do give it a try!