Preparing a disk for an unattended install of Vista

Before you can install Vista onto a bare-metal system, you must prepare the disk by creating a partition. To do this, you must configure the following answer file component:


The setting you normally configure for this component is called Size, which you use to specify the size in GB of the partition you are creating. However, if you don’t know the size of your disk, or if you want to create as large a partition as possible, use the Extend setting instead. By configuring this setting as True, Windows Setup will create a partition that fills the entire disk.

For more information on deploying Vista, see my series of articles titled Deploying Vista right here on


Mitch Tulloch was lead author for the Windows Vista Resource Kit from Microsoft Press, which is the book for IT pros who want to deploy, maintain and support Windows Vista in mid- and large-sized network environments. Mitch was also the author of Introducing Windows Server 2008 and technical project lead for the Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 Resource Kit, both books also from Microsoft Press. For more information on these and other books by Mitch, see

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