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Can someone help me with a simple guide to using


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pmcx9: I know what you mean: I, too, am very lazy.

I'd say you are well on your way. I think I have all the visual settings restored correctly on my box, though I have not gone over it with a fine toothed comb. I have not played with the power stuff, and there may be some sort of hardware dependecies, so you tell us. If I may be so bold ... a few things I would like to see in a "small time system builder":

Insurance, a la MS. You keep your install CD up to date, and send 'em one a month. For a certain fee ...

Safe system restore. Create a 2/3 partition system: [1 = Diagnostics], 2 = System, 3 = Data, all loaded onto a "clean" HDD from CD (ghost or such - there are even enough freewares). You can use the CD or Diagnostics partition to restore the system, and leave the data intact, in the case of chronic user "install everything I can download". You would need to make sure the partitions are active/non-hidden, etc, as well as defining user's directories (i.e. "My Documents") are stored on the D (Data) disk. None of this is too difficult, and once in place, fairly maintenance free.

My reasoning is that if you do not have a large customer base, you need to get more $$ per customer, while offering a quality service that they are satisfied with, and happy to pay for. You recover 2 years, or even two months of some one's data, and you are (rightfully so) their hero.

Just a thought. Let us know how you get on with the last steps.

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i did chuckle reading that reply.

My customers are individuals not business. I install remote administrator software(tightvnc) as standard on all pc's so I can "sort" out their cock ups.

Have you ever sat on the phone or on msn messenger and tried to explain to someone how to hover over a black "V" to get an ip and they swear blind it is not there.

Regarding the ntuser.dat file......it definitely contains all the settings that I am interested in a new user having. Like you said before I need to get a way of overwriting the original immediately after reboot before guirunonce initiates

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I'd still go with export/import. The whole thing ain't that big, try it. If you feel the need for copying the whole thing, I'm sure that there is an "overwrite on next reboot" queue, and I would bet it is availible from within a simple .inf file. There are certainly people on board that can tell you about those: I cannot, but it sounds like it may be what you want.

Brave chap, using VNC. I would go nuts if I looked at what they did!

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Thought I'd ask, guys - since my scripts aren't that bloated and all (:)), should I use just the cmdlines.txt method?

Here are what my scripts happen to resemble:





   FullName="Marz of Zenogias"
   OrgName="Zenogias Gunshot Glitter Gathering"






   CustomDefaultThemeFile="%WinDir%\Resources\Themes\Marz' White Look.theme"






@echo off
ECHO Over the next few minutes you will see automated installations
ECHO of various sofware applications, windows updates, and registry
ECHO hacks being implemented. The computer will restart automatically
ECHO once the whole process has finished!
ECHO -- Disabling Messenger Service with Shoot The Messenger...
start %systemdrive%\install\Tools\ShootTheMessenger disable
ECHO -- Disabling Universal Plug and Play with UnPlug n' Pray...
start %systemdrive%\install\Tools\UnPnP disable
ECHO -- Copying Tools...
COPY "%systemdrive%\Install\Tools\deluser.exe" "%systemroot%\"
COPY "%systemdrive%\Install\Tools\UPTIME.exe" "%systemdrive%\Documents and Settings\%username%"
ECHO -- Copying PSKill utility...
COPY "%systemdrive%\Install\Tools\pskill.exe" "%systemroot%\"
ECHO -- Applying Metapad 3.5 Filters...
REGEDIT /S %systemdrive%\install\filters.reg
ECHO -- Applying Registry Tweaks...
REGEDIT /S %systemdrive%\install\RegTweaks.reg
ECHO -- Deleting Temp Drivers Folder...
RD /S /Q %systemdrive%\Drivers


@echo off
ECHO -- Installing Windows Update Hotfixes
ECHO Installing Q330994: April 2003, Cumulative Patch for Outlook Express 6 SP1...
start /wait %systemdrive%\install\Hotfixes\q330994.exe /Q:A /R:N
ECHO Installing Q815411: Help Algorithm Update for atypically large Heap Requests...
start /wait %systemdrive%\install\Hotfixes\Q815411_WXP_SP2_x86_ENU.exe /Q /M /Z
ECHO Installing Q819696: Unchecked Buffer in DirectX could enable Sys. Compromise...
start /wait %systemdrive%\install\Hotfixes\Q819696_WXP_SP2_x86_ENU.exe /Q /M /Z
ECHO Installing KB817787: Flaw in WMP Skins D/Ling Could Allow Code Execution...
start /wait %systemdrive%\install\Hotfixes\WindowsMedia8-KB817787-x86-ENU.exe /Q:A /R:N
ECHO Installing KB820291: New "Set Program Access and Defaults" Start Menu icon...
start /wait %systemdrive%\install\Hotfixes\WindowsXP-KB820291-x86-ENU.exe /Q /M /Z
ECHO -- Restarting the PC in 1 minute...
shutdown.exe -r -t 60 -f -c "Windows XP will now restart in 1 minute, this will give enough time for the shortcuts to update and for the shell to fully load before its ready to restart!"
ECHO -- Deleting Temp Installation Files...
RD /S /Q %systemdrive%\install


Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 

;This will add "Services" to the right-click menu of "My Computer"
@=hex(2):25,00,77,00,69,00,6e,00,64,00,69,00,72,00,25,00,5c,00,73,00,79,00,73, 00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,33,00,32,00,5c,00,6d,00,6d,00,63,00,2e,00,65,00,78,00, 65,00,20,00,2f,00,73,00,20,00,25,00,53,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,52, 00,6f,00,6f,00,74,00,25,00,5c,00,73,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,33,00, 32,00,5c,00,73,00,65,00,72,00,76,00,69,00,63,00,65,00,73,00,2e,00,6d,00,73, 00,63,00,20,00,2f,00,73,00,00,00

;This adds the "Open Command Window Here" on the right-click menu for drives and folders
@="Open Command Window Here"
@="cmd.exe /k \"cd %L\""
@="Open Command Window Here"
@="cmd.exe /k \"cd %L\""

;This gets rid of the annoying IE icon in Windows Explorer
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Toolbar\ShellBrowser]
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Toolbar\Explorer]

;Some various Explorer settings

;Alters some Internet Explorer settings
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main]
"Use FormSuggest"="yes"

;Adds search keywords to Internet Explorer (in this order: Microsoft Knowledge Base, Altavista, Google, MSN, FileMirrors)
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchUrl\MSKB]
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchUrl\AV]
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchUrl\GGL]
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchUrl\MSN]
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchUrl\FM]

;Prevents Internet Explorer windows from being reused
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main]

;Max your Internet Explorer's simultaneous downloads to 32 (default was 2)
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings]
[HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings]

;Broadband Tweak for Windows 2000/XP/2003 (makes it act faster)

;Increase the Icon Cache Size to 16384
"Max Cached Icons"="16384"

;Increase the Folder Cache Size to 7000
"BagMRU Size"=dword:00001b58
"BagMRU Size"=dword:00001b58

;Change the Start Menu load speed to a faster setting
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop]

;RAM usage tweaks
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management]

;AMD Processor Fix
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management]

;Prefetcher tweak (faster booting)
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management\PrefetchParameters]

;System Pages memory tweaked to 256Mb
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management]

;Disable Automatic Restart in the event of a BSOD

;Disable the Desktop Cleanup Wizard

;Disables Error Reporting, but notifies when errors occur

;Disable Imapi CD-Burning COM Service

;Disable Indexing Service

;Set IPSEC Services Service to Manual

;Disable MS Software Shadow Copy Provider Service

;Disable Volume Shadow Copy Service

;Disable NetMeeting Remote Desktop Sharing Service

;Disable Nvidia Driver Helper Service

;Disable Portable Media Serial Number Service

;Set Protected Storage Service to Manual

;Disable Remote Registry Service

;Disable Smart Card Service

;Disable Smart Card Helper Service

;Set Task Scheduler Service to Manual

;Disable Windows Time Service

;Speed up browsing remote computers

;Speed up NTFS

;Speed up shutdown process (Part 1)
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop]

;Speed up shutdown process (Part 2)

;Disable System Restore
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\SystemRestore]

;Allow renaming of Recycle Bin

;This will allow you to autologin.
;Replace InsertName value with the Username you want to autologin with.
;Replace InsertPassword value with the password corresponding to the Username specified.
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon]

;Won't check if you are low on diskspace or pop-up a balloon telling you.

;Removes the Recent Documents section from the start menu.

;Do Not Receive Media Player Licences

;Disable Media Player identification through Internet sites

;Disable automatic codec downloads

;Do not allow Windows/MSN Messenger to start with Outlook Express
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Outlook Express]
"Hide Messenger"=dword:00000001

;Disable 'Hide Inactive Icons'

;Sorts My Computer on top of My Documents on the desktop

;Enable ClearType for ALL Users
[HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop]
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop]

;Do not allow the CD to autorun

;Do not cache failed DNS lookups

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As you may have guessed ... I do everything from CMDLINES.TXT. My installations consist of Windows and windows add-ons/upgrades, like DX9, WMP9, MDAC, and that other stuff which I consider to be an "integrated part" of the basic Windows OS. I find CMDLINES.TXT the best place for me to do this. If you are installing 3rd party software, I can see the advantages to doing it here, and reasons that perhaps it should/must be done later. I don't install other software this way, so I cannot speak from experience. There are others out there that can guide you better. I would suggest to just taste and see. If it works, great. If not .. oh well.

I would think it does depend on what exactly you are installing, etc, but your scripts are too long for me to read... some of it might belong in one place, and some in another. HKCU reg stuff should certainly be done here.

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GreenMachine: I do the same. All Windows files (hotfixes, updates...) I do them from cmdlines.txt. I do software installations from the GuiRunOnce. In my environment I have only found one program that requires HKCU setup, but this is only on about 10 PCs out of 500. I do not get much time to play around with some of the things that I would like to try because does not wish to give me the time to do so. Yet, they want me to make sure everything is up to date on our RIS server without giving me alocated time. (Hence the reason for my "self discovery" hotfix script I have detailed in a few posts here) I do have a setup at home but it's hard finding time to play around and take care of my 16 month old daughter. I am about 50% done with the documentation I will be using to create a HOW TO webpage on RIS. I will make sure the link is available to all here when I am done.

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Okay, I've built my Installs.cmd file. I kinda based it on your design GM, as you may notice here:


TITLE Post Install Setup

:: ---------- Update MS Components

ECHO Updating Microsoft JavaVM.
START "MS JavaVM" /WAIT ".\MsJavaVM_3810.exe" /Q:A /R:N

:: ---------- Install important Hotfixes

ECHO Installing Q330994: April 2003, Cumulative Patch for Outlook Express 6 SP1.
START "Q330994" /WAIT ".\HOTFIXES\q330994.exe" /Q:A /R:N

ECHO Installing Q815411: Help Algorithm Update for atypically large Heap Requests.
START "Q815411" /WAIT ".\HOTFIXES\Q815411_WXP_SP2_x86_ENU.exe" /Q /M /Z

ECHO Installing Q819696: Unchecked Buffer in DirectX could enable Sys. Compromise.
START "Q819696" /WAIT ".\HOTFIXES\Q819696_WXP_SP2_x86_ENU.exe" /Q /M /Z

ECHO Installing KB817787: Flaw in WMP Skins D/Ling Could Allow Code Execution.
START "KB817787" /WAIT ".\HOTFIXES\WindowsMedia8-KB817787-x86-ENU.exe" /Q:A /R:N

ECHO Installing KB820291: New "Set Program Access and Defaults" Start Menu icon.
START "KB820291" /WAIT ".\HOTFIXES\WindowsXP-KB820291-x86-ENU.exe" /Q /M /Z

:: ---------- Install the PSKill tool

ECHO Installing PSKill utility.
COPY "%systemdrive%\Install\Tools\pskill.exe" "%systemroot%\"

:: ---------- Disable a few services

ECHO Disabling Messenger Service with Shoot The Messenger.
START "Shoot the Messenger" /WAIT ".\TOOLS\ShootTheMessenger.exe" disable

ECHO Disabling Universal Plug and Play with UnPlug n' Pray.
START "UnPlug n' Pray" /WAIT ".\TOOLS\UnPnP.exe" disable

:: ---------- Adjust the registry

ECHO Importing Registry Files.

ECHO Importing metapad 3.5 Filters.

START "" /WAIT REGEDIT /S "Filters.reg"


This consists of most of the stuff you saw in my adjust and hotfixes cmds. Plus I took your registry division idea and divided my RegTweaks.reg into seperate reggies consisting of certain types of settings judging by their names. :)

Where do I need to store the files though? Inside $OEM$? Inside $OEM$/$1? And what about my NVIDIA drivers? My winnt.sif is set to "Drivers\Nvidia4523", so I assume I would need to keep $1 still right? And the stuff in $$ as well?

I'm not installing .NET Framework 1.1 since I don't feel I absolutely need it as of this time. Do I need it however to do all that user creating bizziness at the end, or can I simply create my account through the Windows First-Time Setup as normal? As of now I'm the sole user of the computer I'm using and so needn't worry about creating multiple users.

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this may sound silly but can i use call commands in cmdlines.txt to read something like this

ECHO installing progams directx9b, .NET, Windows Media player 9etc.
call .\hotfixes\recommend\recommend.cmd

ECHO Installing all bug fixes for windows and other recommended updates.
call .\hotfixes\critical\critical.cmd


If I was to make a cd and new a cmdlines.txt do i need to tell the winnt.sif to use it and where about do I put the file in the CD eg \I386\ or \$OEM$\

Im trying not to use the $OEM$ if I can but I haven't made the cd yet just getting the files together and making my Hotfixes scripts working so that i can use them in an unattended install or a preinstalled system using a windows xp custom cd :)

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You weren't going to take no for an answer, eh? Well, you posted a bit more than 20 lines of code, but I read it anyway (I think it was the double colons, space, 10 dashes, space, comment that caught my eye...)

I divide the reg files, cause they were getting long and hard to read. I also copy the HKCU.reg file to %SYSTEMROOT%\System32, and make a shortcut to regedit calling it silently, so I can easily reset those settings at the click of a mouse.

I would think your drivers go in <CDROM>:\$OEM$\$1\Drivers\...

I don't know what's in <CDROM>:\$OEM$\$$\, but this method should not change anything in that respect. You do not need to use either of these directories for programs that are called from CMDLINES.TXT: you can store them in $OEM$, as you will do with the hotfixes. Your CD should look something like this: (according to your script)

--$$ - Files to be copied to %SYSTEMROOT% (I think ...)
--$1 - Files to be copied to %SYSTEMDRIVE% (Probably C:\)

You may want to change it a little: you have a TOOLS and a Install\Tools directory.

You do this:

COPY "%systemdrive%\Install\Tools\pskill.exe" "%systemroot%\"

You do not need to copy to HDD from $OEM$\$1\, then copy again. You can either put it in the proper $oem$ directory, or copy it directly from the CD.

I don't know what your Shooter and UnPnP executables do, but if it is to stop services, as the comment suggests, why not do from a .reg file?

I install .Net because I know that it will be needed at one moment or the other, and I control the installation better at this point.

Even in a single user system, I do not use the built-in administrator account, so i still need to create users, which I do simply through the NET command. You can also do it from the first-time setup, and you will have any reg settings you made here.

@Garth: CMDLINES.TXT goes in $OEM$, and that is what triggers it. No $OEM$, No OEM type install, WINNT.SIF or no WINNT.SIF. You can slipstream most (not all) hotfixes, and that will avoid the need of $OEM$, but your installation will not be completly up to date on critical updates, and you cannot do the "extra" programs like WMP, DirectX, etc.

In CMDLINES.TXT you list calls that will be parsed by setup. Yours should look something like


I prefer just one call, and DOS 8.3, but that should not matter.

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