Unattended Windows install after sysprep

I can’t believe how hard this was to find. You can get an unattend.xml that installs call of duty, but you can’t find one that just does as little as possible. This is it, for Windows 2012. I wanted to setup my base machine (which is very thin), sysprep it, and after cloning it, have it not ask any questions. If anyone finds this useful, please enjoy.

The reference for these files is here.

<!-- c:\Windows\System32\Sysprep\sysprep.exe /oobe /generalize /reboot /unattend:C:\unattend.xml -->
<unattend xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:unattend"> 
<settings pass="windowsPE"> 
      <component name="Microsoft-Windows-International-Core-WinPE" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" processorArchitecture="amd64">
            <SetupUILanguage>
                  <WillShowUI>OnError</WillShowUI>
                  <UILanguage>en-US</UILanguage>
            </SetupUILanguage>
            <UILanguage>en-US</UILanguage>
      </component>
</settings>
<settings pass="specialize">
      <component name="Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" processorArchitecture="amd64">
            <ComputerName>*</ComputerName>
      </component>
</settings>
<settings pass="oobeSystem">
      <component name="Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" processorArchitecture="amd64">
            <OOBE> 
                  <HideEULAPage>true</HideEULAPage> 
                  <NetworkLocation>Work</NetworkLocation> 
                  <ProtectYourPC>3</ProtectYourPC>
                  <SkipMachineOOBE>true</SkipMachineOOBE> 
                  <SkipUserOOBE>true</SkipUserOOBE>
                  <HideLocalAccountScreen>true</HideLocalAccountScreen>
            </OOBE>
            <UserAccounts>
                <AdministratorPassword>
                    <Value><passwordgoeshere></Value>
                    <PlainText>true</PlainText>
                </AdministratorPassword>            
            </UserAccounts>
            
      </component>
</settings>
</unattend>
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AD authentication for RavenDB

RavenDB 2.5.2750 IIS 7.0. Wow, I’ve started a lot of posts in the RavenDB Google group like that. This is what I’ve learned about RavenDB AD authentication.

  1. You need a valid commercial license.
  2. You need to enable both Windows authentication and Anonymous.
  3. Your web.config must have Raven/AnonymousAccess set to none
  4. Users need explicit access to the <system> DB to create databases (all won’t cut it)
  5. Putting users in Backup Operators allows backups (who knew)
  6. Local admins are always admins!

I’m not going to cover the commercial license bit, that’s easy enough.

Authentication modes

It seems obvious that you would enable Windows Authentication and disable Anonymous in IIS. Turns out, this is not the case. According to Oren:

Here is what happens.
We make a Windows Auth request to get a single use token, then we make another request for with that token, which is the actual request.
The reason we do this (for streaming and as well as a bunch of other stuff) is that windows auth can do crazy things like replay requests, and there there is payload to consider.
You still keep Windows auth enabled, so that IIS will handle dealing with the creds, but raven will set the header.

The web.config

The only thing that needs to be set in here is:
    <add key="Raven/AnonymousAccess" value="None" />
You can also set this to bypass authorization if you’re local to the box:
    <add key="Raven/AllowLocalAccessWithoutAuthorization" value="True" />

Permissions

Permissions are set in the system database –> Settings –> Windows Authentication. There are user and group tabs. Once you’ve added a group, push the little green plus icon to add new DBs to that user/group.
ravengrouppermissions
In Raven, all the DB permissions live in the system DB, not the DB itself.

Gotchas

Local admins

Yeah, that’s a few weeks we’ll never get back. Regardless of domain group membership, local admins on the server get admin access. That means if you put contoso\Everyone into SERVER\Administrators, then everyone in contoso gets admin access. Surprise!

Backup Operators

This is another loosely documented feature. If you want non-admin users to be able to backup, make them backup operators. Seems obvious, but it’s not written down.

Testing

Raven has a special URL, https://ravendb.example.com/debug/user-info which will present an authentication challenge and report the users permissions. You’ll get something like:
{"Remark":"Using anonymous user","User":null,"IsAdminGlobal":false,"IsAdminCurrentDb":false,"Databases":null,"Principal":null,"AdminDatabases":null,"ReadOnlyDatabases":null,"ReadWriteDatabases":null,"AccessTokenBody":null}