Mischa Taylor's Coding Blog

On the edge of time and reason

Windows 8 Automated Install Settings

Updated April 03, 2014

  • Updated link to Autounattend.xml

I just recently revised all my automated install XML files for the Windows System Preparation Tool (Sysprep) that I use for my Windows development testbed. For this go around, I’m documenting the XML answer file settings for each version of Microsoft Windows. This article covers the XML answer files settings needed to automate a Windows 8 (64-bit) base OS install.

You’ll need to use the Windows System Image Manager tool to edit Sysprep XML answer files. The Windows System Image Manager is packaged with the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit tool suite. Download and install the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit to install the Windows System Image Manager (WSIM).

Link to Autounattend.xml with all the settings in this article. NOTE: Right-click and choose “Download Linked File As…” in your web browser, as many web browsers will try to interpret the Xml.

Disabling the language settings dialog

In the Windows Image pane, select the component amd64_Microsoft-Windows-International-Core-WinPE_6.2.9200.16384_neutral, right-click and choose Add Setting to Pass 1 windowsPE. Using the Answer File Properties and Settings panes, configure the following settings:

  • InputLocale = en-US
  • SystemLocale = en-US
  • UILanguage = en-US
  • UserLocale = en-US

Disabling the Select Operating System dialog

In the Windows Image pane, select the component amd64_Microsoft-Windows-Setup_6.2.9200.16384_neutral, right-click on ImageInstall/OSImage/InstallFrom/Metadata and choose Add Setting to Pass 1 windowsPE. Using the Answer File Properties and Settings panes, configure the following settings:

  • Key = /IMAGE/NAME
  • Value = Windows 8 Enterprise

Disabling the EULA dialog

In the Windows Image pane, select the component amd64_Microsoft-Windows-Setup_6.2.9200.16384_neutral, right-click on UserData and choose Add Setting to Pass 1 windowsPE. Using the Answer File Properties and Settings panes, configure the following settings:

  • AcceptEula = true

Disabling the Disk Allocation dialog

In the Windows Image pane, select the component amd64_Microsoft-Windows-Setup_6.2.9200.16384_neutral, right-click on DiskConfiguration and choose Add setting to Pass 1 windowsPE. Using the Answer File Properties and Settings panes, configure the following settings:

  • WillShowUI = OnError

In the Windows Image pane, select the component amd64_Microsoft-Windows-Setup_6.2.9200.16384_neutral, right-click on DiskConfiguration/Disk and choose Add setting to Pass 1 windowsPE. Using the Answer File Properties and Settings panes, configure the following settings:

  • DiskID = 0
  • WillWipDisk = true

In the Windows Image pane, select the component amd64_Microsoft-Windows-Setup_6.2.9200.16384_neutral, right-click on DiskConfiguration/Disk/CreatePartitions/CreatePartition and choose Add setting to Pass 1 windowsPE. Using the Answer File Properties and Settings panes, configure the following settings:

  • Extend = false
  • Order = 1
  • Size = 10000
  • Type = Primary

NOTE: Don’t worry about getting the size exact - just set it to a reasonable minimum. In the next setting, we will extend the partition to fill all remaining disk space on the drive.

In the Windows Image pane, select the component amd64_Microsoft-Windows-Setup_6.2.9200.16384_neutral, right-click on DiskConfiguration/Disk/ModifyPartitions/ModifyPartition and choose Add setting to Pass 1 windowsPE. Using the Answer File Properties and Settings panes, configure the following settings:

  • Active = true
  • Extend = true
  • Format = NTFS
  • Letter = C
  • Order = 1
  • PartitionID = 1

In the Windows Image pane, select the component amd64_Microsoft-Windows-Setup_6.1.7600.16385_neutral, right-click on ImageInstall/OSImage/InstallTo and choose Add setting to Pass 1 windowsPE. Using the Answer File Properties and Settings panes, configure the following settings:

  • DiskID = 0
  • PartitionID = 1

Disable PC name dialog

In the Windows Image pane, select the component amd64_Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup_6.2.9200.16384_neutral, right-click and choose Add Setting to Pass 4 specialize. Using the Answer File Properties and Settings panes, configure the following settings:

  • Value - vagrant-win7
  • TimeZone = Pacific Standard Time

Disable Settings dialog

In the Windows Image pane, select the component amd64_Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup_6.2.9200.16384_neutral, right-click on OOBE and choose Add Setting to Pass 7 oobeSystem. Using the Answer File Properties and Settings panes, configure the following settings:

  • NetworkLocation = Work
  • ProtectYourPC = 3

Disabling the Sign in to your PC dialog

In the Windows Image pane, select the component amd64_Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup_6.2.9200.16384_neutral, right-click on UserAccounts/LocalAccounts/LocalAccount and choose Add Setting to Pass 7 oobeSystem. Using the Answer File Properties and Settings panes, configure the following settings:

  • Description = Vagrant User
  • DisplayName = vagrant
  • Group = Administrators
  • Name = vagrant

In the Windows Image pane, select the component amd64_Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup_6.2.9200.16384_neutral, right-click on UserAccounts/LocalAccounts/LocalAccount/Password and choose Add Setting to Pass 7 oobeSystem. Using the Answer File Properties and Settings panes, configure the following settings:

  • Value = vagrant

In the Windows Image pane, select the component amd64_Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup_6.2.9200.16384_neutral, right-click on AutoLogon and choose Add Setting to Pass 7 oobeSystem. Using the Answer File Properties and Settings panes, configure the following settings:

  • Enabled = true
  • Username = vagrant

In the Windows Image pane, select the component amd64_Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup_6.1.7601.17514_neutral, right-click on AutoLogon/Password and choose Add Setting to Pass 7 oobeSystem. Using the Answer File Properties and Settings panes, configure the following settings:

  • Value = vagrant

Disable User Account Control (UAC)

In the Windows Image pane, select the component amd64_Microsoft-Windows-LUA-Settings_6.2.9200.16384_neutral, right-click and choose Add Setting to Pass 2 offlineServicing. Using the Answer File Properties and Settings panes, configure the following settings:

  • EnableLUA = false

Disable Internet Explorer First Run Wizard

In the Windows Image pane, select the component amd64_Microsoft-Windows-IE-InternetExplorer_10.0.9200.16384_neutral, right-click and choose Add Setting to Pass 4 specialize. Using the Answer File Properties and Settings panes, configure the following settings:

  • DisableAccelerators = true
  • DisableFirstRunWizard = true
  • Home_Page = about:blank

In the Windows Image pane, select the component wow64_Microsoft-Windows-IE-InternetExplorer_10.0.9200.16384_neutral, right-click and choose Add Setting to Pass 4 specialize. Using the Answer File Properties and Settings panes, configure the following settings:

  • DisableAccelerators = true
  • DisableFirstRunWizard = true
  • Home_Page = about:blank

Replace Internet Explorer Bing search with Google

In the Windows Image pane, select the component amd64_Microsoft-Windows-IE-InternetExplorer_10.0.9200.16384_neutral, right-click on SearchScopes/Scope and choose Add Setting to Pass 4 specialize. Using the Answer File Properties and Settings panes, configure the following settings:

  • ScopeDefault = true
  • ScopeDisplayName = Google
  • ScopeKey = Google
  • ScopeUrl = http://www.google.com/search?q={searchTerms}
  • ShowSearchSuggestions = true

In the Windows Image pane, select the component wow64_Microsoft-Windows-IE-InternetExplorer_10.0.9200.16384_neutral, right-click on SearchScopes/Scope and choose Add Setting to Pass 4 specialize. Using the Answer File Properties and Settings panes, configure the following settings:

  • ScopeDefault = true
  • ScopeDisplayName = Google
  • ScopeKey = Google
  • ScopeUrl = http://www.google.com/search?q={searchTerms}
  • ShowSearchSuggestions = **true

Enable Remote Desktop

In the Windows Image pane, select the component amd64_Microsoft-Windows-TerminalServices-LocalSessionManager_6.2.9200.16384_neutral, right-click and choose Add Setting to Pass 4 specialize. Using the Answer File Properties and Settings panes, configure the following settings:

  • fDenyTSConnections = false

In the Windows Image pane, select the component amd64_Networking-MPSSVC-Svc_6.2.9200.16384_neutral, right-click on FirewallGroups/FirewallGroup and choose Add Setting to Pass 4 specialize. Using the Answer File Properties and Settings panes, configure the following settings:

  • Active = true
  • Group = Remote Desktop
  • Key = RemoteDesktop
  • Profile = all

In the Windows Image pane, select the component amd64_Microsoft-Windows-TerminalServices-RDP-WinStationExtensions_6.1.7601.17514_neutral, right-click and choose Add Setting to Pass 4 specialize. Using the Answer File Properties and Settings panes, configure the following settings:

  • SecurityLayer = 1
  • UserAuthentication = 0

Turn off computer password

Prevent the image from changing its computer account password, so you can restore old snapshots without being dropped from a domain

REG ADD "HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Netlogon\Parameters" /v DisablePasswordChange /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f

In the Windows Image pane, select the component amd64_Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup_6.2.9200.16384_neutral, right-click FirstLogonCommands/SynchronousCommand” and choose _Add Setting to Pass 7 oobeSystem. Using the Answer File Properties and Settings panes, configure the following settings:

  • CommandLine = REG ADD “HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Netlogon\Parameters” /v DisablePasswordChange /t REG_DWORD /d 2 /f
  • Description = Disable computer password change
  • Order = 1
  • RequiresUserInput true

Turn off all power saving and timeouts

set-power-config.bat
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REM Set power configuration to High Performance
powercfg -setactive 8c5e7fda-e8bf-4a96-9a85-a6e23a8c635c
REM Monitor timeout
powercfg -Change -monitor-timeout-ac 0
powercfg -Change -monitor-timeout-dc 0

In the Windows Image pane, select the component amd64_Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup_6.2.9200.16384_neutral, right-click FirstLogonCommands/SynchronousCommand” and choose _Add Setting to Pass 7 oobeSystem. Using the Answer File Properties and Settings panes, configure the following settings:

  • CommandLine = cmd.exe /c a:set-power-config.bat
  • Description = Turn off all power saving and timeouts
  • Order = 2
  • RequiresUserInput = true