Windows 10: Cant get the $oem$ folders to copy to where I want it.

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  1.    18 Nov 2017 #1

    Cant get the $oem$ folders to copy to where I want it.


    I'm trying to design a Win 10 (x64 pro) autoinstallation setup using Windows System Image Manager and answer files so I can save some time at work. I've only just recently started with it but I'm beginning to learn, thanks in part due to the tutorials on this website.

    My goal is to setup a self-contained Win10 install that runs from a USB, make partitions without any(little) user input and contains one main account, has custom background, custom User Logo, several installed third-party applications, custom Start-menu Tiles, custom start-page for webbrowsers, custom energy settings and more of the same. I've done the whole capture image into a custom install.wim but I can't get it to work as I wish and I'd rather keep at it with Autounattend.xml only.

    I've successfully experimented with, and implemented, several of the above mentioned "to-do"-list items. But so far what I've not been able to do despite browsing soooooo many online articles/tutorials that my eyes bleed is the whole $oem$ folder/configuration share/configuration set in working order.

    Here is what I do (when I fail):
    I have a folder full of third-party programs (java, adobe-reader, vlc-player, chrome etc) and backgrounds/images that I want automatically copied into the "c:\users\public\documents" folder of the destination-PC. I use Windows SIM to create a "Distribution Share"(Dist Share in short) folder on my tech-PC. Three folders are created including the "$OEM$ Folders". (Let's say it's on "c:\dist share\$OEM$ Folders" for simplicity's sake.)


    As I've understood it, in order for the automation process to copy these files to the respective folders on the destination-PC I have to create a folder structure inside $oem$folders to match. So in this case I've made the following folder structure in my distribution share: "c:\dist share\$OEM$ Folders\$1\users\public\documents". If I'd wanted to create a new folder instead I would have used "c:\dist share\$OEM$ Folders\$1\testfolder".

    I then create a configuration set: I select the target folder, which in this case is my Win10
    USB drive: "d:\sources" and then I select the source: "c:\dist share"

    The files should then be copied into "
    C:\Users\Public\Documents" on the Destination-PC as I've understood it from all my previous perusing of tutorials on the web. The problem is they dont. Instead they are copied, along with the entire USB-media, into "c:\windows\configsetroot". Meaning full path is instead "c:\windows\configsetroot\sources\$OEM$ Folders\$1\users\public\documents" on the Destination-PC.

    I'm obviously missing something here. It does this every time I run this installation on a VMWare Virtual Machine. It's probably something simple I overlooked but not knowing makes me wanna chew my own foot off. I would apreciate any help in this matter.

      My ComputerSystem Spec


  2. Posts : 10,985
    Windows 10 Pro and Windows 10 Pro Insider
       18 Nov 2017 #2

    Windows System Image is not very flexible. Most here recommend Macrium Reflect for imaging. .
    You might have better results using the ADK. See if there is anything in this tutorial that may help you.
    Create Windows 10 ISO image from Existing Installation Installation Upgrade Tutorials
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  3.    18 Nov 2017 #3

    Thank you for the link but like I said I'd rather not have to use imaging if it can be done with the autounattend file. I might not be able to get all the functions/configurations done via Windows SIM but right now I would settle for getting my automated installation to copy the third-party files to the right folder on the Destination-PC which is something Windows SIM is supposedly able to do using the Distribution Share but I cannot get it to work.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  4. Posts : 10,985
    Windows 10 Pro and Windows 10 Pro Insider
       18 Nov 2017 #4

    Maybe @Kari could take a look. He's very experienced with answer files.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  5.    18 Nov 2017 #5

    My foot would apreciate that
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  6. Posts : 14,401
    Windows 10 Pro
       18 Nov 2017 #6

    Just a question:

    If all you want to is to get some files to Public\Documents folder, why don't you just place the files there when customizing image in Audit Mode, set CopyProfile = TRUE in unattend.xml, run Sysprep with /generalize switch and capture the image?

    When installed from your custom install.wim, Windows would then contain your data in Public\Documents.

    Anyway, if you insist using $OEM$ folders, here some reference articles from Microsoft worth to read with thought:

    Judging by your original post you for sure do not need any advice in creating answer files, but I'll add the tutorial link just in case you want some reference: Create media for automated unattended install of Windows 10 Installation Upgrade Tutorials

    Kari
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    18 Nov 2017 #7

    When I first started experimenting 3-4 weeks ago I began with Windows SIM and eventually got stuck with the OEM folders.
    I then tried the whole capture image approach via the Tutorial you linked.
    I've had several problems with the custom imaging despite the tutorial.

    Maybe it's easier if I describe exactly what I'm after.
    I work for a small IT company that sells computers, repairs & services. It is mostly my task to perform clean installs of Windows 10 (which includes installing Windows Updates) on computers which are afterwards specially configured and installed with third-party software such as adobe, vlc, remote desktop support etc. Allthough we don't do the installations by the hundreds each week it is all done manually which is why I started with Answer file configurations to begin with.

    Here is what is expected of each install besides the obvious like partitioning, language selection and product key:

    1. The creation of one main local account with a custom name with Admin rights that logs in automatically.
    2. Custom OEM pic for said account with the Company logo.
    3. Custom Computer-name (company name+"computer")
    4. Custom (OEM) support-url, support-telephone-number & webpage
    5. Installation of several programs including Adobe Reader, VLC player, Java, Chrome and a remote desktop support app developed by the company. (the last installs just like any other program)
    6. The tiles on the start-menu are to be sorted according to a pre-determined layout. Using Win10 group policy is not a viable option as it will fix them in place afterwards and not allow the user to add/replace/move the tiles.
    7. Custom set of icons in the taskbar.
    8. Custom set of icons on the desktop.
    9. Setting the built in browser's (Edge) default start-page to that of the company and also that of Chrome.
    10. Switching the same two browser's default search-engine to Google instead of Bing.
    11. Customizing the energy settings of the screen, harddrive and network card: Adjusting how long before the screen and harddrive shuts down. This include turning of the Network card's power saving mode.
    12. Installing and configuring the company's own custom screensaver.
    13. Custom desktop background image
    14. Running Windows Update for latest updates, though with the exception of the Creators Fall Update this does not need to be included on the Install media and/or done automatically.
    15. Running the Disk Cleanup utility.
    16. Activating and creating a system restore point.
    17. Done!

    These are the things that I want done automatically as far as it's possible. Just plugin a USB, run it and go AFK. I've already managed to set up a autoattend.xml that performs the partitioning, language-selection, user account creation without having to stop for anything but the product key. You can see why I would like at least the $oem$folders copy-thing to work.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  8. Posts : 14,401
    Windows 10 Pro
       18 Nov 2017 #8

    Fredster38 said: View Post
    You can see why I would like at least the $oem$folders copy-thing to work.
    My question remains: As you must do the customizations in Audit Mode and then sysprep to get a generalized, hardware independent image, why do you not put the files in Public\Documents folder before sysprepping and capturing the image?

    In doing so, each PC which got Windows installed from your custom image would automatically contain said files exactly where you want them to be, in Public\Documents.

    I am sorry but I fail to see the importance of using $OEM$ folders instead of that stunningly simple approach?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    18 Nov 2017 #9

    Just to be clear, when I said I wanted oem folders to work I meant in Autoattend. I already know that in a captured image the programs are installed and the other files already in place.. I actually did successful captures of Win10 installations using the tutorial on this site.

    There are a few issues that appeared that I wasn't able to overcome though (and one I had to find another tutorial for). To be honest it scared me away; the whole process of capturing and maintaining images (plus the issues I had). I've lost track how many times I've mounted a install.wim just to replace the unattend.xml and then repack it just to see if this version worked better than the last one.
    It felt like using a single file, properly and meticulously configured: autoanswer.xml was alot more easier..Minus the oem folder problem which I hoped I could figure out. From the Windows SIM menu it definetly seemed like you could do almost everything. :)

    Since I'm on the subject I could mention the two main issues I wasn't able to fix: Once I captured an image and proceeded to install it (using VmWare) I kept getting this message:
    There is a file or folder called "c:\Program" which could cause certain applications to not function correctly. Renaming it to "c:\Program1" would solve this problem
    The other was (is) "defaultuser0". And of course the tiles aren't sorted in the captured install. I get the impression that since 1703 there has been difficult to import a custom tile layout.

    I also had issue with the user accounts in general. The first time I performed a (captured) installation I got two seperate accounts with the same name. Another time it simply said "incorrect username and/or password" at startup. Then there was this time when there was just a local account created that did not have any admin-rights whatsoever meaning I couldn't even run the simplest of programs. Obviously I missed more than one thing in my configuration attempts.
    Like I said, all of it it was a major bummer so I figured that using Windows SIM & autoattend.xml was the way to go instead of images.
    Plust the fact that I had not even heard of Windows ADK & SIM or answer files until 4 weeks ago I've had alot to read up on and honestly there are things that I have yet to grasp.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    07 Apr 2018 #10

    Are you still needing help? I work alot with the $oem$ folder and may be able to help.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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