Unattended Windows 2000 installation:
Loading drive controller drivers

One of the most common stop errors in Windows 2000 is 0x0000007B or INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE. This error usually happens when the drive controller's drivers are not loaded. If the problem occurs during setup, you can use F6 during installation to add your drive controller's drivers manually. See http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=822051 for details.

Instead of using F6, you can integrate the drivers by performing an unattended Windows installation. If you do not have a floppy drive available, this may be your only option.

This example is using an Intel Chipset that is not included with Windows 2000 by default.

  • General Info

  • Intel Chipset Page
    Intel Drivers
    Intel Chipset Identification Utility
    Unattended Installation Instructions

  • Preliminary Setup

  • Download the latest Intel drivers and extract them.
    See readme.txt for details; to further extract the .inf and .cat files from the setup directories to C:\Temp, run:
    setup -a -a -p C:\Temp

    Determine which .cat and .inf files correspond to your chipset (845, 855, 865...).

    Boot from a Windows 9X floppy or CD
    Partition C: as needed and format C: as FAT32 (you can convert to NTFS during installation).
    Copy the I386 directory from your Windows 2000 CD to C:\I386

  • Drive Controller Installation

  • Create the following directory structure under C:\I386

    Copy the Windows 2000 .inf file from the preliminary setup to C:\I386\$OEM$\$$\INF
    Copy the Windows 2000 .inf and .cat file from the preliminary setup to C:\I386\$OEM$\$1\drivers\IntelINF

    Modify the default Windows 2000 installation answer file, C:\I386\UNATTEND.TXT, to include the following information:
    OemPreinstall = Yes

    Once your I386 directory and Unattended.txt file are setup, run the following command to perform the unattended installation:
    WINNT.EXE /u:C:\I386\UNATTEND.TXT /s:C:\I386

  • Notes

  • Run smartdrv prior to installing to speed up the process.
    Convert to NTFS during setup so that default permissions will be applied.

    I have never tried to load an existing Windows 2000 image onto a PC where the drive controller's drivers where not already included. I'm not sure if the above method can be used to do this. As a safeguard, I add a promise controller (no drives attached) to every image that I make. If I ever need to use that image on a PC where the drive controller's drivers are not loaded, I add the promise card to the system and use it as the default controller. Once the system is up and running and all drivers do get loaded, I can switch to the desired controller.

    05/25/2004: Corrected syntax for unattended installation command.