Vista’s Setup configuration passes for admins who deploy XP

If you are an administrator who is used to deploying Windows XP using standard deployment tools, it can be difficult learning how to transition these skills to deploying Vista. For example, if you are used to configuring unattend.txt files for deploying XP, which configuration pass in Vista’s unattend.xml file would you add these settings to? Here’s a quick guide to get you up to speed:

  • Unattend.txt and Sysprep.inf settings are now configured in either the generalize or specialize pass.
  • Winbom.ini FACTORY settings are configured in either the auditSystem or auditUser pass.
  • Winbom.ini WINPE settings are configured in the windowsPE pass.
  • Winbom.ini OOBE and Oobeinfo.ini settings are configured in the oobeSystem pass.

For more information on deploying Vista, see my series of articles on starting with


Mitch Tulloch was lead author for the Windows Vista Resource Kit from Microsoft Press, which is the book for IT pros who want to deploy, maintain and support Windows Vista in mid- and large-sized network environments. Mitch was also the author of Introducing Windows Server 2008 and technical project lead for the Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 Resource Kit, both books also from Microsoft Press. For more information on these and other books by Mitch, see

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