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For all those readers who are struggling with unattended sound card installation in Windows NT 4.0, I'd like to suggest an option I recently implemented on a Dell OptiPlex GX1 standard platform PC with a Voyetra Turtle Beach Montego sound card. Although Windows 2000 (Win2K) with its plug and play (PnP) features is on its way, I believe that it's not too late to implement this tip because many IT departments, including the one in my company, will stay with NT 4.0 for some time.

Most people are aware that NT 4.0 doesn't detect sound cards, but did you know you can't create a Sysdiff image or specify sound card settings in an unattended installation file? That fact bothered me because within my company, we automate the installation of more than 15 applications and scripts to create a standard desktop NT install (no user response required). Fortunately, I was able to use Microsoft's ScriptIt utility to create a simple and efficient solution to automatically install the sound card drivers, and it didn't require any additional investment (i.e., the ScriptIt utility came free as part of our Microsoft TechNet subscription). ScriptIt works by monitoring the window's titles of active processes and sending a set of keystrokes to that window.

To install ScriptIt, I inserted the TechNet CD-ROM labeled Server Utilities and copied scriptit.exe from the \winnt\tools directory. Next, I used a text editor to create an .ini file. Listing 1 shows the script I created for installing Montego Sound Card drivers for English platforms, and Listing 2 shows the script I created for installing Montego Sound Card drivers for French platforms. You can automate this installation process by executing the script through a batch file or some other scripting engine (e.g., SMS Installer, WinInstall).