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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Windows 7 audit mode without creating a new user account

If you are adventuring down the path of creating a base image for your organization and you don't want to create a user account everytime you do a fresh install of windows 7 or after you sysprep just follow the steps below.

Install Windows 7 (Enterprise) from CD, flash drive, or Network when you arrive at the welcome screen and it asks you to create a username, hit ctrl+shift+f3.
This will reboot your machine and put your windows build in ‘audit’ mode.

On reboot, you’ll automatically be logged in under the built-in Administrator account. A sysprep GUI box will appear, but you can close it and NOW begin to customize your profile.

Install any software/drivers, make any profile customizations, etc.
If you need to reboot, the computer will boot you back into the Administrator account. You will be stuck in this audit mode until you run sysprep with the /oobe parameter. After doing so, sysprep will delete/clean up the Administrator account, but if you have copyprofile=true in your unattended answer file, it will copy the customized Admin account to the default profile before deleting it.

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