It seems that Microsoft fixed the bug in the setup program of the WAIK (Windows Automated Installation Kit) now. I blogged about it sometime ago. It is again available as a separate download. The WAIK deployment guide can be found here.
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According to the publishing date it has been available since Feb. 13th, but Nick MacKechnie, a Microsoft employee, claimed in his blog that they just published it today. Someone linked to the German version of the WAIK in a commentary here which, according to the publishing date, was already released in November 2006.
Anyway, I installed it today. It is working now without any tricks. Note that you have to install MSXML 6.0, first. If you run STARTCD.exe from the WAIK DVD, you'll get a menu which links to the MSXML setup.
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By the way, if you want to try WAIK under VMware Workstation, you can just mount the img file, you downloaded. You only have to select "All Files" for files type when you browse for the image file in the Virtual Machine settings, then just mount it like an ISO image.