Create a Windows 8 Answer file

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Windows 8 and Server 2012 annoy me, no matter what you do, you end up with the localisation as USA.  Which is fine if you are in the US, but as i am not, I need a way round this for deployment.

Grab the Windows System Image Manager from the Windows 8 ADK – http://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/download/details.aspx?id=30652

Useful Link for Windows SIM : http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh824929.aspx

Install the deployment tools

Open the Windows System Image Manager.  Mount your windows 8 ISO first, copy the files to a folder that you have read/write access to. This is important as you need the R/W to be able to customise.

Find the install.wim

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Click create catalogue file, wait a while!

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Then File, new answerfile, open an in image – point to the install.wim file.  You should now have the below:

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Now all we want to do with this as an example is change the system local to UK, so select as below in the windows image window – amd64_Microsoft-Windows-International-Core_6.2.9200.16384_neutral

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Right click and select the two options:

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Change the settings as required:

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Save your answerfile as autounattend.xml

To use this with ConfigMgr for deployment, create a package with source files, no program and distribute it to your DP’s.

In your Windows 8 task Sequence on the Apply Operating System step, configure as below:

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Before you go any further – validate your answerfile.  No point wasting time waiting on a build from a TS to find out it does not work, so from the tools menu, validate answer file and see if you have any issues in the window below.

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Run your Task Sequence and check your region:

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All done!

This is just the simplest of overviews of what you can do with an answerfile, but the principles are the same no matter what you want to achieve.