One of the common tasks that you may do on a regular basis is installing Windows Server 2012 and you want to automate it as much as possible. Using similar tools to those used with Windows Server 2008 R2, you can create an autounattend.xml file that you inject into the Windows Server 2012 installation ISO for a hands-free install.
The same set of instructions would also work for Windows 8 as well, but you will need to use the Windows 8 install.wim image, and also pay attention to whether you want to automate a 32-bit or 64-bit installation. The autounattend.xml can contain configuration data for both, so only one xml file is needed. If you want to download a pre-configured autounattend.xml file, you can find it here on my Skydrive folder.
1. Download the Windows ADK (Assessment and Deployment Kit) from this link. Never mind that it says Windows 8, as it will work with Windows Server 2012 since they are the same code base.
2. Start the installation process and after a long download select the two options below (Deployment Tools and Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE)). WinPE is technically optional, but in case you need it in the future, I’d install it anyway.
3. After the installation completes go to the Start Menu and select Windows Kits > Windows ADK > Windows System Image Manager.
4. Mount the ISO image of Windows Server 2012, go to the sources directory and copy install.wim to a local drive, such as D.
5. From the File menu click on Select Windows Image, find the install.wim you copied, then select the edition that you want to build an answer file for. I selected SERVERSTANDARD.
6. Next it will complain that a catalog cannot be found, so it will build one for you, taking a few minutes. After the catalog is built, from the file menu select New Answer File.
7. Scroll through the Components pane and select amd64_Microsoft-Windows-International-Core-WinPE-_6.2.9200.0_neutral, as shown below, right click, and add to Pass 1.