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Customize Windows in Audit Mode

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 how to boot to audit mode, customize your computer, and then prepare your computer for end users.

Booting to Audit Mode

You can use one of the following methods to boot to audit mode:

  • For attended installations, from the Windows® Welcome screen, press SHIFT+CTRL+F3.

  • In unattended installations, configure the Microsoft-Windows-Deployment\Reseal\Mode setting to audit. For more information about this setting, see the Windows® Unattended Setup Reference.

  • On existing images, modify the image by adding an answer file that has the Microsoft-Windows-Deployment\Reseal\Mode setting. For more information, see Modify an Image to Boot to Audit Mode.

After you configure a computer to boot to audit mode, the computer boots to audit mode by default until you configure the computer to boot to Windows Welcome.

Customizing the Computer

From audit mode, you can add device drivers, install applications, and test the validity of the installation. OEMs and corporations should use audit mode to complete manual customizations before they send the computer to an end user.

CautionCaution
  • If you are in audit mode and a password-protected screen saver starts, you cannot log back on to the system. The built-in administrator account that was used to log on to audit mode is immediately disabled after logon.

    To disable the screensaver, either change the power plan through Windows Control Panel, or configure and deploy a custom plan. For more information, see Configure Power Plans.

  • Settings in an unattended answer file from the oobeSystem configuration pass do not appear in audit mode. However, depending on the configuration of the system, scripts that are configured in the oobeSystem configuration pass may run. For more information, see Modify an Image to Boot to Audit Mode.

To change Unattend settings in audit mode

When the computer is in audit mode, you can create a new Unattend file to modify system settings.

  1. On your technician computer, in Windows System Image Manager (Windows SIM), create a new Unattend file. For more information, see Create a New Answer File.

  2. In the Unattend file, add only the settings that you want to change.

  3. Save the file onto a portable storage device, such as a USB drive. For example, save the file as F:\Unattend-NewSettings.xml, where F: is the drive letter of the portable storage device.

  4. Remove the portable storage device, and then insert the device in the reference or destination computer.

  5. From a command line, run the Sysprep utility. Use the /unattend setting to reference the file. For example, use the following command:

    sysprep.exe /audit /reboot /unattend:F:\Unattend-NewSettings.xml
    
    
    where F: is the drive letter of the portable storage device.

    This command shuts down the computer, applies the new unattend settings, and then reboots the computer back into audit mode.

    noteNote
    If your computer is joined to a network domain, and you run the sysprep command together with the /audit option, the computer will be removed from the domain. You can rejoin the domain after the computer has booted back into audit mode.

Preparing the Computer for End Users

After you have completed your customizations and have verified that the computer is ready to send to a customer, you can configure the system for end users.

noteNote
  • OEMs and system builders must configure the computer to boot to Windows Welcome when an end user starts the computer. The end user must agree to the Microsoft License Terms.

    To preconfigure Windows Welcome, see Automate Windows Welcome.

  • You can pre-configure custom options in Windows Welcome by using the Oobe.xml content file. For more information, see Oobe.xml Technical Reference.

  • To transfer an image to a different computer, you must first remove the computer-specific information from the configured computer. For information, see Prepare to Capture an Image for Deployment (Generalize).

To prepare the computer for deployment

To configure the computer to boot to Windows Welcome, use one of the following methods:

  • From audit mode, run the Sysprep command together with the /oobe option.

  • In unattended installations, configure the Microsoft-Windows-Deployment\Reseal\Mode setting to oobe. For more information about this setting, see the Windows® Unattended Setup Reference.

The computer restarts and boots to Windows Welcome.

See Also

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