Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Vista: Setup Configuration Passes

Pass 1 windowsPE

Windows PE is a minimal version of Windows that is designed to prep a system for installing Windows on it, and you can use Windows PE to boot a system that has no operating system, partition and format its drives, copy disk images to the system’s drives, and launch Setup from a network share.

This really means two things: the windowsPE pass is equivalent to the first phase of Windows Setup, but it’s also something standalone by itself.

Pass 2 offlineServicing

Settings for this configuration pass can be used to do things like add additional drivers, security updates, hotfixes, language packs, and other packages to your Windows Image (WIM) file. Note that you can’t add boot-critical drivers during this pass—these must be added during the windowsPE pass described above.

From the perspective of running Windows Setup, the offlineServicing pass happens during the second phase of Setup after the .wim file has been copied to the system’s hard disk. This is because the image has to be applied to the hard drive before it can be serviced by Package Manager, the built-in tool in Vista that is used for applying updates, fixes and packages to the image

Pass 3 specialize

This pass is used to configure system-specific settings such as network settings, internationalization, domain membership, and so on.

Pass 4 generalize

This pass is closely tied to using the sysprep /generalize command. Sysprep , the System Preparation Tool, is used mainly to prepare an image for deployment onto multiple destination computers.

Pass 5 auditSystem

This pass happens only when Setup is running in audit mode using the sysprep /audit command. Audit mode is used in certain deployment scenarios for adding various customizations to a Windows image and bypasses the final Windows Welcome phase of Setup. Whatever takes place during the auditSystem pass happens in the context of the Local System account and occurs before the user logs onto the computer.

Pass 6 auditUser

This pass is similar to auditSystem (i.e. it only happens when Setup is running in audit mode) except that whatever happens during this pass occurs in the context of the user’s account and takes place after the user has logged on to his computer.

Pass 7 oobeSystem

This final configuration pass corresponds to the beginning of the third and final phase of Setup and is used to configure happens during the Windows Welcome phase of Setup.

Reference: http://www.windowsnetworking.com/articles_tutorials/Deploying-Vista-Part3.html

Monday, April 28, 2008

Vista: Unattended Installation

To install Windows from the product DVD


Turn on the new computer and insert the removable media containing the answer file (Autounattend.xml) and the Windows Vista product DVD.


Restart the computer (CTRL+ALT+DEL). Windows Vista Setup (Setup.exe) starts automatically and searches all removable media for an answer file named Autounattend.xml.


After Setup is complete, ensure that all customizations in the answer file were applied as specified.


From the command prompt, type the following command to reseal (generalize) and shut down the computer:

C:\Windows\System32\Sysprep\Sysprep.exe /oobe /generalize /shutdown

The Sysprep tool (Sysprep.exe) in this command prepares the image for capture by cleaning up various user and machine settings and log files.

Windows XP: Mini-Setup wizard appears to stop responding for up to three minutes

The Windows XP Mini-Setup wizard appears to stop responding for up to three minutes


When you start a computer for the first time after a new operating system is installed, the Mini-Setup wizard gathers any information that is required for the new operating system. When the wizard begins to configure network settings for a wireless LAN based computer, the computer may appear to stop responding for one to three minutes.

Note This behavior only occurs during the network configuration phase of the Mini-Setup wizard on some computers. The behavior does not occur again and does not affect typical operation of the computer after the Mini-Setup wizard has completed.


Refer: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/835362

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Windows XP: Slow login / Offline Files

1. Ensure no Group Policy is applied that enforced folder redirection / offline files.
2. Log on as local Administrator
3. Click Start, and then click My Computer.
4. On the Tools menu, click Folder Options.
5. Click the Offline Files tab.
6. Select the Enable Offline Files check box, and then click OK.
7. Log on as user

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Vista / XP: Add items to "Send To" menu

1. Run > shell:sendto
2. In the new windows, add shortcut to your applications.

Policy: Enable Internet Explorer tabs

Create reg file with the below contents:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[-HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Control Panel]


Policy: Enable Display tabs

Create reg file with the below contents:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00



Vista: Disable UAC

1. Administrative Tools > Local Security Policy
2. Local Policies > Security Options
3. User Account Control: Behavior of the elevation prompt for administrators in Admin Approval Mode > Change to Elevate without prompting

Vista: Install GPMC

Install Group Policy Management Console (GPMC) on Vista SP1.

1. Download RSAT Tools (Windows6.0-KB941314-x86.msu)
Tip: Google KB941314
2. Control Panel > Programs and Features > Turn Windows features on or off
3. Expand Remote Server Administration Tools > Feature Administration Tools > Check Group Policy Management Tools > OK
4. Done. Group Policy Management Console appears in Administrative Tools