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Add an Application

Published: October 22, 2009

Updated: October 22, 2009

Applies To: Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2

noteNote
This content applies to Windows 7. For Windows 8 content, see Windows Deployment with the Windows ADK.

This topic describes preinstalling and highlighting applications.

To highlight an application, you can it to the Start panel, to the taskbar, and to an OEM First Run application that introduces end-users to the computer.

In this topic

Prerequisites

Preinstallation Processes

There are several ways in which you can make applications available to be installed during an unattended installation:

  • In networked environments, you can create a distribution share. Distribution shares are UNC paths that are located on a network drive, which can be accessed by a destination computer during Windows® Setup. When you create your answer file, you must specify the UNC paths of the applications and drivers you want to install from the distribution share. The benefit of using a distribution share is that you can create a single location that includes the latest applications and driver versions. However, for this strategy to work, you must ensure that you have network connectivity with the destination computers and that you can potentially troubleshoot networking and authentication issues.

    noteNote
    You can save hard drive space by not copying the source files of the application to the destination computer.

  • In non-networked environments, or in environments where you only need a subset of the content located on a distribution share, you can create a configuration set. A configuration set copies all of the applications and drivers referenced by a distribution share to media, such as a USB flash drive. The benefit of using a configuration set is that it is ideal for field offices, or locations that do not have access to a central server. However, you must verify that you have network adapter-driver support and you must review your application-redistribution rights with the application vendor.

    ImportantImportant
    To verify that your network card is supported, you must boot into the Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE), and then, at the command prompt, type netcfg -v -s n to return a verbose list of the supported network cards.

  • Create a data Windows image (.wim) file that contains all of the applications, drivers, and other resources that you want to make available on the destination computer. During unattended installation, you can configure the data .wim file to be applied to the Windows installation. However, you must review your application-redistribution rights with the application vendor.

noteNote
For more information about distribution shares and configuration sets, see Understanding Distribution Shares and Configuration Sets. For more information about building your configuration sets or data images, see Build Configuration Sets or Data Images.

Preinstalling Device Driver Application Packages

Not all device drivers are available as individual setup information (.inf) files. Some driver packages are not available outside of an application installation. In addition, some devices might require additional application support for end users. For example, many video drivers include custom applications that provide additional functionality and capabilities.

We recommend that you install driver applications during audit mode. This enables you to quickly boot to the desktop, install the driver application as a RunSynchronous command, and then test the functionality of the device.

Troubleshooting Application Preinstallation

Review the Windows Setup log files to determine which application did not install. The log files provide information about the status of Windows Setup, and where errors might have occurred. For the location of the log files, see Windows Setup Installation Process.

Many of the common problems when installing applications are due to network configuration issues. If you are installing applications from a network, ensure that you are providing the proper credentials to access the share, and Domain Name Services (DNS) is configured correctly.

ImportantImportant
To verify that your network card is supported, you must boot into Windows PE, and then at the command prompt, type netcfg -v -s n to return a verbose list of the supported network cards.

For local application installations from removable media, ensure that the drive letters specified in the answer file matches the drive letter of the media. In some cases, the drive letters might differ from the reference computer to the destination computer.

Preinstalling Multilingual Applications on a Multilingual Windows Image

If you intend to install applications in a single-language operating system, or if the application is Multilingual User Interface (MUI)-compliant, you should install that application during audit mode. However, if you intend to install an application to an operating system that supports multiple languages, and the application is not MUI-compliant (for example, there is a single version for each language), then the application should be installed by using FirstLogonCommands in the oobesystem configuration pass, after the user has gone through Windows Welcome and has selected their language and locale.

To preinstall applications in the case of a non-MUI-compliant application, you must create an application that automatically detects the system language, and then preinstall the applications for that language. By using the FirstLogonCommands setting in the Microsoft-Windows-Shell component, you can run an application that should perform the following tasks:

  1. Calls the GetSystemPreferredUILanguages function to obtain the selected language of the Windows installation.

  2. Install one or more applications specific to the language of the Windows installation.

  3. If the Windows installation language is a Language Interface Pack, or a partially localized language pack, and the application is not available in that language, then the fallback language, base language, or parent language should be used.

noteNote
For more information about FirstLogonCommands, see the FirstLogonCommands topic, located in the Microsoft-Windows-Shell section of the Windows® Unattended Setup Reference. For more information about the GetSystemPreferredUILanguages function, see the topic: GetSystemPreferredUILanguages on the MSDN Web site.

Preinstalling by Using FASTOEM Property

Some OEMs and corporations may be able to expedite the installation of applications by using applications that support the FASTOEM property or the Advertisement option.

ImportantImportant
Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) must modify their application installations to support these properties.

The FASTOEM property is designed to enable you to reduce the time it takes to install Windows Installer applications. As you are prioritizing your applications, FASTOEM is most appropriate for applications that must be completely installed. FASTOEM is supported only on applications that do not require user interaction.

noteNote
For more information about the FASTOEM property, see the topic: FASTOEM Property on the MSDN Web site.

By using the Advertisement option, Windows Installer can advertise the availability of an application to users or other applications without actually installing the application. If an application is advertised, only the interfaces that are required for loading and launching the application are presented to the user or other applications. For example, an advertised program will be displayed in the Program Files folder, but will be only installed when a user runs that application.

Advertisements require ISV support. Advertisement options are more appropriate for applications that are less frequently used. The additional benefit to using Advertisements is that they present an ISV marketing and branding opportunity.

noteNote
For more information about Advertisements, see the Advertisement topic on the MSDN Web site.

To install an application to the reference or destination computer

To speed up the out-of-box experience for end-users, we recommend installing applications in audit mode. For information on audit mode, see Customize Windows in Audit Mode.

To install an application to the reference or destination computer, you can:

  • Boot the computer to audit mode, and manually install the files.

    -or-

  • Create a synchronous command to install the files automatically. To do this:

    1. Place the application installation files where they can be accessed by the reference or destination computer.

      To install files from the network, add the files as described in the topic: Deployment Network Considerations. For example, add the folder \\network\apps\Application1.

      To install files from your configuration set, copy the installation files to your distribution share, using the folder structure described in the topic: Understanding Distribution Shares and Configuration Sets. For example, use the folder: "$OEM$ Folders\$1\Program Files\Application2" to copy the installation files to the folder C:\Program Files\Application2 on the reference or destination computer.

    2. In Windows System Image Manager (Windows SIM), click Insert, click Synchronous Command, and select either Pass 6 audituser or Pass 7 oobeSystem. For more information on which setting to use, see the section: Preinstalling Multilingual Applications on a Multilingual Windows Image earlier in this topic.

      The Create Synchronous Command window opens.

    3. In the Enter command line text box, type the path of the command used to install the application. Example: \\network\apps\Application1\setup.exe.

    4. If you have more than one command to run, enter a number in the Order field to specify in which order the commands will run. Select 1 for the first command, 2 for the second command, and so forth.

      The following XML output shows how to install one application from the network, and another from the local computer.

      <RunSynchronous>
          <RunSynchronousCommand wcm:action="add">
              <Order>1</Order>
              <Path>\\network\apps\Application1\setup.exe</Path>
          </RunSynchronousCommand>
          <RunSynchronousCommand wcm:action="add">
              <Order>2</Order>
              <Path>C:\Program Files\Application2\setup.exe</Path>
          </RunSynchronousCommand>
      </RunSynchronous>
      

To add an application link to the Start Panel

When a new end-user clicks the Start button, the Start menu opens, with a list of five predefined links to applications on the left side of the Start menu. You can add up to five additional links to appear in this menu.

These links are gradually replaced by the applications that the end user uses most frequently.

  1. Find the full file and pathname of an application shortcut located in the Start menu or desktop. Right-click the shortcut, and click Properties. In the General tab, the file name is listed at the top, and the file path is listed next to Location.

  2. On the technician computer, in Windows SIM, create a new answer file.

  3. In the new answer file, add the Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup\StartPanelLinks setting.

  4. In the StartPanelLinks setting, type the name of the location of the application shortcut that you wrote down in step 1.

  5. Save the answer file (example:E:\ApplicationLinks.xml).

    The following XML output shows how to set a shortcut for Notepad and a shortcut to FreeCell.

    <StartPanelLinks>
       <Link0>%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Accessories\Notepad.lnk</Link0>
       <Link1>%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Games\Freecell.lnk</Link1>
    </StartPanelLinks>
    
  6. Copy the answer file to the destination computer.

  7. On the destination computer, open an elevated command prompt.

  8. Run the sysprep command with the /unattend option pointing to the new answer file, example:

    c:\Windows\System32\sysprep\sysprep.exe /audit /reboot /unattend:E:\ApplicationLinks.xml.
    

To add an application link to the taskbar

On first boot, the taskbar has three predefined links. You can add up to three additional links to appear in the taskbar.

  1. Find the full file and pathname of an application shortcut located in the Start menu or desktop. Right-click the shortcut, and click Properties. In the General tab, the file name is listed at the top, and the file path is listed next to Location.

  2. On the technician computer, in Windows SIM, create a new answer file.

  3. In the new answer file, add the Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup\TaskbarLinks setting.

  4. In the TaskbarLinks setting, type the name of the location of the application shortcut that you wrote down in step 1.

  5. Save the answer file (example: E:\ApplicationLinks.xml).

    The following XML output shows how to set a shortcut for Notepad and a shortcut to FreeCell.

    <TaskbarLinks>
       <Link0>%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Accessories\Notepad.lnk</Link0>
       <Link1>%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Games\Freecell.lnk</Link1>
    </TaskbarLinks>
    
  6. Copy the answer file to the destination computer.

  7. On the destination computer, open an elevated command prompt.

  8. Run the sysprep command with the /unattend option pointing to the new answer file, example:

    c:\Windows\System32\sysprep\sysprep.exe /audit /reboot /unattend:E:\ApplicationLinks.xml.
    

To add an OEM First Run application introducing end users to the computer

You can create an OEM First Run application to introduce users to the computer, to highlight tools, or to provide information about specific programs or offers.

When added, the OEM First Run application appears in the Start panel, in the list of most-frequently-used items. It can contain an additional set of up to ten links applications that are visible when you hover the mouse over the OEM First Run application link.

Examples of these links may include a tutorial about the computer, an application to connect to a corporate network, an offer to purchase software, or a video demonstrating how to use a built-in webcam.

To add an OEM First Run application:

  1. Create a custom application file, and install it as described previously in this topic.

  2. Add the component: Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup\OEMWelcomeCenter to your answer file. Add the complete path and file name to a shortcut file (with a .lnk extension). This will be the same path that is used to specify the StartPanelLinks.

  3. Add the setting: Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup\StartPanelLinks\Link0 to your answer file. Add the same path you used for OEMWelcomeCenter to display the OEM First Run application as the first item in the Start panel.

  4. To add up to ten additional links to applications, add the component: Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup\OEMWelcomeCenterLinks to your answer file. Add the complete path and filename to the other shortcuts that introduce end users to the computer.

  5. The following XML output shows how to designate an OEM First Run application and to add ten tasks to the OEM First Run Application Jump List.

    <StartPanelLinks>
       <Link0>%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Fabrikam\Welcome.lnk</Link0>
    </StartPanelLinks>
    
    <OEMWelcomeCenter>
       <link>%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Fabrikam\Welcome.lnk</link>
    </OEMWelcomeCenter>
    
    <OEMWelcomeCenterLinks>
       <Link0>%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Fabrikam\View license agreement.lnk</Link0>
       <Link1>%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Fabrikam\Register your new Fabrikam computer.lnk</Link1>
       <Link2>%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Fabrikam\Set up an Internet connection.lnk</Link2>
       <Link3>%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Fabrikam\Install an antivirus program.lnk</Link3>
       <Link4>%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Fabrikam\Back up your computer.lnk</Link4>
       <Link5>%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Fabrikam\Add a printer.lnk</Link5>
       <Link6>%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Accessories\Connect to a projector.lnk</Link6>
       <Link7>%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Windows Update.lnk</Link7>
       <Link8>%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Fabrikam\Learn about other Fabrikam products.lnk</Link8>
       <Link9>%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Fabrikam\Send feedback to Fabrikam.lnk</Link9>
    <\OEMWelcomeCenterLinks>
    
    
    
    

See Also

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