Huge list of Windows 7 Shell Commands

Below is a huge list of Windows 7 Shell commands that are incredibly useful when creating shortcuts or quickly accessing hard to get to locations. I got this list some time ago from somewhere in the internet and decided to repost it here for my easy reach. They can be used to pin shortcuts to the Taskbar or just to make your life easier.  For those that are preceded by “Shell:” when using them in shortcuts you need to add “explorer.exe” in front of them.  It should then look like this: explorer.exe shell:Personal

Windows 7 Only
shell:Device Metadata Store
shell:User Pinned

Windows Vista & 7
shell:Common Programs
shell:My Video
shell:Original Images
shell:My Pictures
shell:My Music
shell:Quick Launch
shell:Start Menu
shell:Common AppData
shell:Administrative Tools
shell:Default Gadgets
shell:Common Startup
shell:CD Burning
shell:Common Start Menu
shell:Common Templates
shell:OEM Links
shell:Common Desktop
shell:Common Administrative Tools
shell:Common Documents
shell:Local AppData

Windows 7 Shortcuts
I compiled the following list with an early Alpha build of Windows 7.  It is possible that some of these have changed with newer versions.  If you find one that is wrong please let me know so I can correct it.

Wireless Networks pop-up
rundll32.exe van.dll,RunVAN

Advanced Restore
sdclt.exe /restorewizardadmin

Restore Files
sdclt.exe /restorewizard

Backup Location & Settings
sdclt.exe /configure

Add Network Location (wizard)
rundll32.exe shwebsvc.dll,AddNetPlaceRunDll

Indexing Options
control.exe srchadmin.dll

Notification Cache
rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Options_RunDLL 5

Aero (Transparency) Off
Rundll32.exe DwmApi #104

Aero (Transparency) On
Rundll32.exe DwmApi #102

Welcome Center
rundll32.exe oobefldr.dll,ShowWelcomeCenter

Add/Remove Programs
RunDll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL appwiz.cpl,,0

Content Advisor
RunDll32.exe msrating.dll,RatingSetupUI

Control Panel
RunDll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL

Date and Time Properties
RunDll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL timedate.cpl

Display Settings
RunDll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL access.cpl,,3

Device Manager
RunDll32.exe devmgr.dll DeviceManager_Execute

Folder Options – File Types
RunDll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_Options 2

Folder Options – General
RunDll32.exe shell32.dll,Options_RunDLL 0

Folder Options – Search
RunDll32.exe shell32.dll,Options_RunDLL 2

Folder Options – View
RunDll32.exe shell32.dll,Options_RunDLL 7

Forgotten Password Wizard
RunDll32.exe keymgr.dll,PRShowSaveWizardExW

RunDll32.exe powrprof.dll,SetSuspendState

Keyboard Properties
RunDll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL main.cpl @1

Lock Screen
RunDll32.exe user32.dll,LockWorkStation

Mouse Properties
RunDll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL main.cpl @0

Map Network Drive
RunDll32.exe shell32.dll,SHHelpShortcuts_RunDLL Connect

Network Connections
RunDll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL ncpa.cpl

Power Options
RunDll32.exe Shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL powercfg.cpl

Regional Settings
RunDll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL intl.cpl,,3

Stored Usernames and Passwords
RunDll32.exe keymgr.dll,KRShowKeyMgr

System Properties: Advanced
RunDll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL sysdm.cpl,,4

System Properties: Automatic Updates
RunDll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL sysdm.cpl,,5

Taskbar Properties
RunDll32.exe shell32.dll,Options_RunDLL 1

User Accounts
RunDll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL nusrmgr.cpl

Windows Security Center
RunDll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL wscui.cpl

Windows – About
RunDll32.exe SHELL32.DLL,ShellAboutW

Unplug/Eject Hardware
RunDll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL hotplug.dll

Windows Firewall
RunDll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL firewall.cpl

Wireless Network Setup
RunDll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL NetSetup.cpl,@0,WNSW

Open Control Panel (All Items)
explorer.exe shell:::{21ec2020-3aea-1069-a2dd-08002b30309d}

Manage Wireless Networks
explorer.exe shell:::{1fa9085f-25a2-489b-85d4-86326eedcd87}

Sound Control Playback Tab
rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLLmmsys.cpl

Sound Control Sounds Tab
rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLLmmsys.cpl,,2

Sound Control Recording Tab
rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLLmmsys.cpl,,1

Add/Remove Programs
rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL appwiz.cpl

Add/Remove Windows Components
rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL appwiz.cpl,,2

Set Program Access and Computer Defaults
rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL appwiz.cpl,,3

People Near Me
rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL collab.cpl

People Near Me Sign In Tab
rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL collab.cpl,,1

Screen Resolution
rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL desk.cpl

rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL desk.cpl,,2

Screen Saver
rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL desk.cpl,,1

Windows Firewall
rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL firewall.cpl

Device Manager
rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL hdwwiz.cpl

Power Options
rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL powercfg.cpl

Power Options Change Plan Settings
rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL powercfg.cpl,,1

System Properties
rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL sysdm.cpl

System Properties Hardware Tab
rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL sysdm.cpl,,2

System Properties Advanced Tab
rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL sysdm.cpl,,3

System Properties System Protection Tab
rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL sysdm.cpl,,4

System Properties Remote Tab
rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL sysdm.cpl,,5

Pen and Touch Tablet PC Settings
rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL tabletpc.cpl

Pen and Touch Tablet PC Settings Flicks Tab
rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL tabletpc.cpl,,1

Pen and Touch Tablet PC Settings Handwriting Tab
rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL tabletpc.cpl,,2

Phone and Modem Options
rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL telephon.cpl

Phone and Modem Options Modems Tab
rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL telephon.cpl,,1

Phone and Modems Options Advanced Tab
rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL telephon.cpl,,2

Date and Time
rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL timedate.cpl

Date and Time Additional Clocks
rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL timedate.cpl,,1

Action Center
rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL wscui.cpl

Unplug/Eject Hardware
RunDll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL hotplug.dll

Internet Explorer Specific Commands

Delete Temporary Internet Files:
RunDll32.exe InetCpl.cpl,ClearMyTracksByProcess 8

Delete Cookies:
RunDll32.exe InetCpl.cpl,ClearMyTracksByProcess 2

Delete History:
RunDll32.exe InetCpl.cpl,ClearMyTracksByProcess 1

Delete Form Data:
RunDll32.exe InetCpl.cpl,ClearMyTracksByProcess 16

Delete Passwords:
RunDll32.exe InetCpl.cpl,ClearMyTracksByProcess 32

Delete All:
RunDll32.exe InetCpl.cpl,ClearMyTracksByProcess 255

Delete All + files and settings stored by Add-ons:
RunDll32.exe InetCpl.cpl,ClearMyTracksByProcess 4351

Miscellaneous Variables

Windows Directory

Hard Drive That Contains OS

Users Home Directory

Default Temporary Directory

Program Files

Current Users Application Data Directory

If anyone has additional ones that I have missed you can submit them and I will add them to this list

Posted in Vista, Windows, Windows 7, Windows Vista and tagged , , by with comments disabled.

How To Clean The MSCONFIG Startup

MSCONFIG is a Windows system configuration utility used to manage the startup applications. While this utility does its job of listing all applications (both enabled and disabled), it doesn’t have an option to delete disabled applications even they no long exist as they may already have been uninstalled from the system.

Now, these disabled applications could stay there forever without having any effects on the system but the list could grow very long. If you don’t want this list to continue to grow, you could remove the unwanted items from the list by editing the Windows registry. There are also a number of third party utilities to help take care of these unwanted items on the list. I prefer to directly edit the registry as some of these tools might prove to be harmful.

Locations of the entries in MSConfig:

The enabled/checked items are populated from the following locations:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Run

HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Run


HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows NT \ CurrentVersion \ Windows

Values named Run & Load

The disabled entries are present in these locations:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ Software \ Microsoft \ Shared Tools \ MSConfig \ startupreg

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ Software \ Microsoft \ Shared Tools \ MSConfig \ startupfolder

To remove these entries, you first have to start the registry editor (regedit.exe), backup the folder MSConfig before deleting the unwanted items’ folders.

After doing this, all the deleted entries should disappear from the MSConfig startup.

Be careful NOT to break your system. Once again remember to backup before deletion.

Posted in Vista, Windows, Windows 7 and tagged , , , by with comments disabled.

How to Remove WGA (Windows Genuine Activation) Notifications

For some reason, microsoft has decided to integrate this little application in Windows operating system. The problem is, even if you legitimately purchased your copy of the operating system, the nagging application doesn’t stop.

Follow these steps to remove this software:

1.) First you need to start your system in “safe mode”
2.) Search for all WGA files (wga*.*) and delete all entries (you may not be able to delete WgaTray.exe and two other entries. Don’t worry!!!)
3.) Click Start -> Run, enter “regedit” and press the ENTER-Key
4.) Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\Notify
5.) delete WgaLogon folder
6.) Restart your computer (normal mode)
7.) Search again for WGA files (wga*.*) like in step 2
8.) delete all entries
9.) Restart your computer (normal mode)

You’re done!

All traces of WGA should be gone.

Posted in Vista, Windows, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP and tagged , , by with 2 comments.

Hibernate Your PC By Creating A Button on The Windows “Quick Launch” Toolbar

If you don’t know what hibernate is, please click here to read more about this very useful feature in Windows.

The Hibernate function in Windows XP Professional can make the batteries in your laptop computer last longer.

As there is no windows standard button for hibernate in Windows XP, we can create a custom button and place it on the “Quick Launch” toolbar. Follow these steps below:

1.) start the windows explorer by right clicking on “Start” and choosing “Explore”

2.) Navigate to “C:\Documents and Settings\username\My Documents” and create a folder called “MyScripts”

3.) In the folder “MyScripts”, create another folder called “Hibernate”

4.) Launch the “Notepad” (Start –> All Programs –> Accessories –> Notepad)

5.) Type the following in the new document:

@echo off
%windir%\system32\rundll32.exe powrprof.dll,SetSuspendState Hibernate

6.) Save the file as “hibernate.bat” on this path:

“C:\Documents and Settings\stan\My Documents\MyScripts\hibernate.bat”

Don’t forget to choose “All Files” under “Save As Type”. Otherwise the file will be saved as a text file.

7.) Create a shortcut of the file “hibernate.bat” and place the shortcut in the folder “Hibernate” earlier on step 3.

8.) Ricght click on the shortcut and choose “Properties”.

9.) Choose to “Run” the script “Minimized”

10.) Click on “Change Icon” search the Icon of your choice. My choice is shown below:

11.) On the Windows “Toolsbar”, right click on it, navigate to “Toolsbar” and choose “New Toolbar”

12.) Navigate to the folder “Hibernate” and click on it. Click “OK” to Exit

13.) We are almost done! You can unlock your “Taskbar” and arrange the new Toolbar in any position you want.

14.) It looks very urgly for my taste. To make it look more nice, right click on the “Hibernate” Toolbar and remove the hack on “Show Text” and “Show Title” respectively.

15.) Just one more adjustment… Reduce the space occupied by the “Hibernate” Toolbar and lock the taskbar.

And the final result looks like this…

That’s it… Whenever you click on the Hibernate icon, your PC will hibernate and save you some battery consumption.


Posted in Vista, Windows, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP and tagged , , by with 1 comment.

How to create and use a button on the shortcut panel to make Windows XP Hibernate

Let’s start by creating a small batch script in an editor. I’ll use Notepad but any editor of your choice can be used.

1. Click on the windows “Start” button

2. Point to Program => Accessories => Notepad and left click on it.

3. Enter the following in the new file:

@echo off
%windir%\system32\rundll32.exe PowrProf.dll,SetSuspendState

4. Click on file on the top left of the editor and save the file as “hibernate.bat” on the desktop.

5. Create a new folder under “My Documents” and name it “MyScripts”

6. Copy the script “hibernat.bat” created ealier to “C:\\Documents and Settings\%username%\My Documents\MyScripts\”

Note: %username% = your username under which you’re login

7. Make a shortcut of the hibernate.bat file in the same folder MyScripts

8. Change the Symbol of the shortcut to whatever you want. But for the purpose of this tutorial, I’ll use the shutdown symbol.

9. While press-holding the “Ctrl” button, drag the shortcut from MyScripts folder to the shortcut panel as shown on the screenshot below.

Whenever you want to hibernate your “Windows XP”, just click the newly created button.

That’s it!

Posted in Windows, Windows XP and tagged , , , by with comments disabled.

How to recreate “Show Desktop” when all of a sudden it’s nowhere to be found!

It might be a liitle weird to post this here but believe me, it has happened to me before and I thought this might help someone.

Follow these steps to recreate “Show Desktop” shortcut on your Windows Quick Launch:

1. Click Start

2. Click Run

3. Type in “notepad”

4. Click “OK”

5. Copy and paste the follwing text inside the notepad document:


6. Save the file as ShowDesktop.scf in C:\Dokument and Settings\%username%\Appdata\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch

When finished, it lokks like this:

Posted in Vista, Windows, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP and tagged , , by with comments disabled.

Switch IP address configurations between two networks using a simple batch program

I use an official Notebook which I often take home when dealing with official projects. The problem is I only have one Network Adaptor or LAN device on this machine. As a result, the network configurations in both locations becomes very tricky. As a network engineer, I know there are other possibilities of solving this problem but I just thought this little batch program might help someone else.

Just copy and past the content between “Start” and “End” on a file using notpad or other editing tools. Save and name the file what you want, run and follow the instructions. Enjoy and share! 😉

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Start ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

@echo off
Echo ————————— Switch IP Address ——————————————————–
Echo (c) 2010 omotech computer services
Echo This Program was written on March 24, 2010 by Stanley O. Omoregie.
Echo It allow the easy switch of IP Address settings between two networks.
Echo The program is copyrighted and can only be used and distributed as it is,
Echo without removing this copyright information.
Echo —————————————————————————————————————–
echo Choose between A und B:
echo [A] Set Static IP Address (Office)
echo [B] Set DHCP (Home)
echo Choose between A und B:
echo [A] Set Static IP Address (Office)
echo [B] Set DHCP (Home)
for %%? in (A) do if /I “%C%”==”%%?” goto A
for %%? in (B) do if /I “%C%”==”%%?” goto B
goto choice
@ECHO off
echo Please enter IP Adresse for choice [A]:
set /P IP_Addr=

echo Default Gateway:
set /P D_Gate=

echo Subnet Mask:
set /P Sub_Mask=

echo Setting static IP Address&
netsh interface ip set address “LAN” static %IP_Addr% %Sub_Mask% %D_Gate% 1
ECHO Here is the setting information for %computername%:
netsh int ip show config
goto end

ECHO DHCP is resetting the IP Address and Subnet Mask.
netsh int ip set address name = “LAN” source = dhcp

ipconfig /renew

ECHO Here is the setting information for %computername%:
netsh int ip show config
goto end

Script END!

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: End ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

I made an EXE file from the batch program. You can download this to get both files.

Posted in Networking and tagged , , by with comments disabled.


Create, delete, edit, list, start or stop a scheduled task.
Works on local or remote computers.

SCHTASKS /Create [Connect_Options] create_options

SCHTASKS /Delete [Connect_Options] /TN taskname [/F]

SCHTASKS /Query [Connect_Options] [/FO format] [/NH] [/V]

SCHTASKS /Run [Connect_Options] /TN taskname
SCHTASKS /End [Connect_Options] /TN taskname

SCHTASKS /Change [Connect_Options] {[/RU username] [/RP password] [/TR taskrun]} /TN taskname

/S system #remote system (default is local)
[/U username [/P password]] #submit job under this name

[/RU username [/RP password]] #run job under this name
/SC schedule [/MO modifier] #When to run, see below
[/I idletime] #1 – 999 minutes (ONIDLE task only)
/TN taskname /TR taskrun #Name and pathname for task
/ST starttime #HH:MM:SS (24 hour)
[/SD startdate] [/ED enddate] #start and end date “dd/mm/yyyy”

/F Force delete, ignore warnings even if the task is currently runnning.
/FO format Output format: TABLE, LIST, CSV
/NH No header
/V Verbose output
For MONTHLY schedules give the DAY as a number 1 – 31 (default=1)

To prompt for the password, specify /RP * or /RP none
The User Account under which the Schedule service runs may require specific file access permissions, user permissions and drive mappings.
If the /RU username and /RP Password parameters match the currently logged-in user, the task will run interactively (visible in the foreground).

For the system account, /RU username can be written as “”, “NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM” or “SYSTEM”, a Password is not required. The system account has full access to the local machine but has no permissions on any other machines (or mapped drives) across the Network.
/SC schedule The schedule frequency.

/MO modifiers allow finer control:

MINUTE: 1 – 1439 minutes.
HOURLY: 1 – 23 hours.
DAILY: 1 – 365 days.
WEEKLY: 1 – 52 weeks.
ONCE: No modifiers.
ONSTART: No modifiers.
ONLOGON: No modifiers.
ONIDLE: No modifiers.
Power Saving
The property for “Wake up the machine to run this task” cannot be set using schtasks, but this property is essential if you need the task to run on a machine that has PowerSaving enabled.
To work around this, create a task on one computer using the control panel GUI. This will create a .job file in C:\%windir%\Tasks\
To replicate the scheduled task onto other machines copy the .JOB file to C:\%windir%\Tasks on each machine.

This techique will not retain any system account credentials, so if you need to run the tasks under System, run the following after copying the .JOB file:
SCHTASKS /CHANGE /RU “NT Authority\System” /TN “Yourtaskname”
Create a task to run at 11 pm every weekday
SCHTASKS /Create /SC weekly /D MON,TUE,WED,THU,FRI /TN MyDailyBackup /ST 23:00:00 /TR c:\backup.cmd /RU MyDomain\MyLogin /RP MyPassword
Now delete the task:
SCHTASKS /Delete /TN “MyDailyBackup” /f
Create a daily task to run a script at 5 pm:
SCHTASKS /create /tn “My Script” /tr “\”c:\my folder\script.cmd\” arguments” /sc daily /sd 12/29/2008 /st 17:00
Task Scheduler options are stored in the registry

Posted in Vista, Windows, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP and tagged , by with 1 comment.

Here is how to activate Windows manually

We will be using the commandd line to start the activation program.

Windows (XP/Vista/7/2003/2008) will normally remind users to activate their product soon after installation. To activate Windows manually, you can use the Start menu shortcut in the System Tools Accessories folder. At the command prompt, type

oobe/msoobe /a

In case you’re wondering, msoobe stands for “Microsoft Out of Box Experience.”

Posted in Vista, Windows, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP and tagged , by with 4 comments.

How to Deploy Windows XP Professional Using WDS

As I was preparing to write this article, I discovered someone has already written a solid tutorials on this same topic. All credits to Lucius Craig for this excellent guide. I had to rewrite this here partly to suite my needs and also because some of the links provided by Lucius Craig were no longer active. Just click here to read the original blog from Lucius Craig…

The idea is to roll out 29 new Dell Optiplex workstations using Windows Deploy Service (WDS). We will be installing Windows XP Professional SP2 on all workstation and the method of choice is to install WDS on the SBS 2003 server. First, verify that the server you are going to use is running Windows server 2003 SP2. For this tutorials, we are going to use Windows Small Business Server 2003 SP2.

 Step 1 – Installing WDS on your Windows 2003 Server SP2

  • Logon to the Server with Domain Administrator rights 
  • Navigate to the control panel and click Add/Remove Programs
  •  Click Add/Remove Windows Components
  • Scroll down and check Windows Deployment Services 
  • Click Next and Finish (once installed WDS can be found under Administrative Tasks)

Step 2 – Configure Windows Deployment Services

  • Navigate to Start > All Programs > Administrative Tools > Windows Deployment Services (WDS MMC should appear)
  • Expand Server and right click [sever name] and click Configure Server
  • Click Next to start the Wizard
  • Check the Path if needed (I used D:\Remoteinstall because of disk space on system drive C:)
  • For DHCP Options 60 Check both “Do not listen on Port 67″ and “Configure DHCP option 60 to “PXE Client” and Click Next
  • For PXE Server Initial Settings select “Respond to all (known and unknown) client computers” and click Finish 

Step 3 – Download and Install Business Desktop Deployment 2007 (BDD 2007)

  • Navigate here 
  • Save download locally to the server and install
  • Once installed you will need to launch Workbench and added any required components 

Step 4 – Install OS and all needed Applications (excluding Windows Media Player 11)

  • Enable network boot option in BIOS  
  • Install Operating System – In my case I installed a Volume Copy of Windows XP Professional SP2
  • Join to the Domain and install needed Application and Updates
  • Remove from Domain 

Step 5 – Setup Boot Image in WDS

  • Create a folder on the sever to copy two WIM files to (WinPE.WIM and Boot.WIM)
  • Insert a Vista Business DVD in to the DVD-ROM drive and browse the Disk for a file called Boot.WIM and copy to folder recently created folder
  • Navigate to Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\PETools\x86\WinPE.WIM and Copy to recently created folder
  • Now I opened up WDS expanded Server and right clicked the Boot Image Folder and Clicked Add Image
  • Browsed to Boot.WIM  and click OK
  • Repeated for WinPE.WIM and click OK
  • Next, In WDS I right clicked WinPE and Clicked Capture Image
  • Finally, In WDS I created a Master Image Group called “Windows XP Image” 

Step 6 – Sysprep the Master Image

  • To Run the sysprep I inserted the XP Professional SP2 Disk and Browsed to the file (in my case it was D:\Support\Tools\
  • I used WinZip to extract the file to a new folder I created called sysprep (C:\sysprep
  • Navigate to the C:\sysprep folder and launch setupmgr.exe
  • Click Next to Start the Wizard
  • Select “Create new” and click Next to continue
  • Select “Sysprep setup” and click Next to continue
  • Selct “Windows XP Professional” and click Next to continue 
  • Select “No,do not fully automate this installation” and click Next to continue
  • For Gernerl Settings enter the Name and Organization, Display Settings (default), enter the Time Zone applicable and then enter the Product Key
  • For Network Settings select “Automatically generate computer name, Select “Use the following Administrator password (127 characters maximum ; case-sensitive” and enter local administrator password and confirm. Select Typical settings and finally select Workgroup.
  •  For Advanced Settings specify Country or region, enter area code, Regional Settings select “Specify regional settings in the answerfile” and check ”Customize the default regional settings” Click Custom and verify and enter sysprep Identification String (example Windows XP Deployment for Dell Optiplex 755 112007)
  • Click Finish and OK
  • Click Cancel to Close Setup Manager ( This is an annoying microsoft glitch)
  • Now runs Sysprep by navigating back to c:\sysprep and launch sysprep.exe
  • Click OK to Continue
  • The System Preparation Tool 2.0 windows should appear. Check “Use Mini-Setup and then Click Factory 
  • Once PC shuts down press the power button to restart the PC (PC will take some time to reboot)
  • Once at the Desktop Click Reseal and OK to Shutdown the PC
  • PC should Shutdown (do not boot to windows you need to PXE boot and capture the image
  • Sysprep is Complete 

Step 7 – Create Master Image for WDS

  • Boot up the PC that you want to image and press F12 to enter Boot Menu
  • Select Onboard Network Controller and press Enter
  • Press F12 again to Boot from network
  • Select Windows Vista PE (x86) and press Enter
  • From the command prompt type wdscapture.exe
  • Click Next to start the WDS Image Capture Wizard
  • In the Image Capture Source use the dropdown to select the volume to capture (in my case it was C:\) and enter an Image Name and Image Description. Once complete click Next
  • In the Image Capture Destination you will need to browse to a local Destination ( I had problems finding the WDS server when I checked “Upload image to WDS server:”)
  • Click Finish to begin capturing Image
  • Once I had the Image I restarted the Master-Image PC and Join to Domain
  • I copied the image file to a local directory on the WDS server
  • Once complete I opened WDS and expanded Servers> [Server Name] > Install Image
  • Right Click Install Image Group and Select  Add Install Image
  • Browse to the Image and Click OK to upload the Image to WDS

Step 8 – Image New PC

  • Press F2 to access the BIOS and make sure that PXEboot is enabled on the NIC
  • Press F12 to access the Boot Menu
  • Select “Onboard Network Controller
  • After DHCP issues IP address press F12 to continue
  • Select “Microsoft WindowsVista PE (x86)” and press Enter
  • Once wpeinit launches type the following:
    • Diskpart
    • Select disk 0
    • Clean
    • Exit
  • Type exit to let system restart
  • Press F12 and Boot from Onboard Network Controller
  • Press F12 to continue
  • Select “Microsoft Windows Longhorn setup (x86)” and press enter
  • Click Next to start the WDS wizard
  • Enter the domain administrator’s credentials and click OK
  • Highlight the Master Image and Click Next
  • Highlight Disk0 and Click Next – Installation will begin
  • After PC reboots the windows setup should appear click Next to begin
  • Select “Yes, I accept” to click Next
  • Enter the product Key and click Next
  • Enter Computer Name and click Next
  • Enter and confirm the local administrator password and click Next
  • Select No, don’t make this computer part of a domain and click Next
  • Click skip and slect No, not at this time and click Next
  • Click Finish
  • Once PC reboot confirm that you can logon to the desktop as a local administrator
  • Reboot in to the BIOS and disable Network PXE


PROBLEM: Not able to configure WDS


RESOLUTION: Copied the same from service pack files folder


PROBLEM: Not able to PXE Boot to WDS – “WdsClient: An Error occurred while starting networking: a matching network card driver was not hound in this image. Please have your Administrator add the Network driver for this machine to the Windows PE image on the Windows Deployment Services server.” 

CAUSE: Boot Image missing network driver

RESOLUTION: Need to inject the network driver in the Windows PE image. I used the procedures at


PROBLEM: Reboot after loading the install image generates the corrupt hal.dll message ““Windows could not start because the following files is missing or corrupt: \systems32\hal.dll. Please re-install a copy of the above file.”

CAUSE: Hidden partition present and needed to delete

RESOLUTION: Resolution was added to procedures (see above)

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