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About esgaroth

  1. I don't intend to be booting up these machines after running sysprep. I'm only doing so now to test the end user out of box experience. As it is now the customer would have to enter the product key. I don't expect that any of them would see that screen and have any idea what to do. I figured that most documentation would be here or on technet but I may contact our Microsoft rep as well if need be.
  2. Well that sounds like what I would like to happen. Although every time I try windows asks me for the product key after running sysprep /oobe /shutdown What type of licenses are you deploying? Just normal oem home/pro? I assume you are entering the activation product code during the final audit mode just before the last sysprep?
  3. Hmm, from my testing, I install windows 7 from the dvd or our deployment server and then enter audit mode and activate. Then reseal with sysprep.exe /oobe /shutdown. Upon starting up windows will ask me for a product key. Do you have nothing in your unattend.xml to retain the product key? Do you use /generalize with sysprep before sending to the customer?
  4. We are a small oem installing windows 7 and windows 8 on our desktop systems for our customers. We are using WDS and/or MDT to deploy our images to the system. After deployment to the target system I would like to be able to enter audit mode for final customization and software installations and then activate windows before resealing for the customer. Now the question of how to preserve activation while resealing with sysprep has come up many times. I should be able to enter the key into the unattend.xml file and set SkipRearm to 1 in the appropriate sections. Although I haven't gotten this to work yet I am left with another concern. This is a very manual step in an otherwise rather automatic solution. The unattend.xml file would have to be manually edited to enter the key. Manual steps are easily forgotten. Also most of our techs who are doing the actual deployment know little about sysprep. I need to keep this process as automated as possible. Does any one have another method that does not involve manually editing the unattend.xml file for each deployment?
  5. I just found this in microsofts documentation: "An x64-based Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) computer can boot only by using x64 Windows PE boot files. This differs from BIOS. In BIOS, an x64-based computer can boot by using x86 Windows PE boot files. " So I guess this really does only work on atom cpu's, an x64 WinPE is still required for UEFI boot on x64 cpu's.
  6. I say some computers in the sense that they fail differently, but they all fail to boot. These are brand new computers so I wouldn't expect the UEFI to be that old. I have already read through each of those threads, I have yet to find anyone indicate that it has actually worked for them. My x64 PE boots in UEFI mode just fine. Only the x86 PE fails.
  7. I was under the impression that WinPE 4.0 x86 was capable of UEFI boot. I have so far been unable to get it to work. I have a x64 WinPE that boots fine with UEFI but the x86 version does not. Some computers will not recognize the usb drive or a cd as a bootable device if it has the x86 version on it. Some will attempt to boot but then fail with a message about winload.efi being corrupt. I know there is a minimum version of UEFI that will boot to x86 WinPE but these are all new computers and should meet that requirement. Updating the bios has not helped. I have secure boot turned off for now. Has anyone else successfully booted a x86 WinPE 4.0 with UEFI turned on? Is there any documentation somewhere that indicates this does not work?
  8. ah, that was it. I thought I had already overwritten taskmgr.exe. I am now thinking that the problem with the taskbar probably has nothing to do with running services under either user account. We can run explorer.exe as system using psexec while logged into the current users account in under a normal windows 8 install. This should mean there is no change in running services or processes. Here are procmon logs both taken in a windows 8 rtm install showing what explorer does when started by a regular user and as system user. The second is considerably shorter.
  9. I tried copying all of the files you suggested but it didn't make a difference. What about registry? There are many more services running in pe but they would not show in the task manager at first. I am not sure which files I copied to get it to show the full list.
  10. Hello Meyer, How did you get taskmanager to use the new windows 8 layout? As you can see from my screen shots it will only run with the old layout. Do you have a list of files and or registry keys that you have copied so far? And for the taskbar problem, maybe a comparison of running services and processes when explorer is run from the system user account as opposed to a normal user account would give us a clue.
  11. I started working on this again recently and was able to make a small bit of progress. I can get dwm to run in pe. Only required the direct3d/directdraw registry keys from HKLM/Software/Microsoft. Taskbar still does not work though. With dwm running windows now have the windows 8 theme to them. The folder view and task manager don't have the new windows 8 skins though so something still isnt loading.
  12. Thats what I thought about dwm.exe not working in PE. I thought that maybe dwm.exe would have to be loaded with the windows 8 theme working in order for explorer to work since there is no other theme to fall back on. But in the last screenshot the theme is working so dwm.exe must be running yet explorer still does not work correctly. If I try to run task manager or any other exe I get "The device is not ready." So I can't check to see what is running and what is not.
  13. Yes, like I explained in the first post. The taskbar is visible but open applications do not show up there. The desktop is also blank, no icons are shown. Here is a screenshot of what happens to a normal windows 8 rtm install if SystemSetupInProgress is set to 1. Very similar to how the taskbar behaves in winpe 4.0.
  14. Looks like the problem definitely has to do with the HKLM\System\Setup\SystemSetupInProgress registry key. Setting it to 1 in a normal windows environment reproduces the problems with explorer. Looks like both dwm.exe and explorer.exe check the value of SystemSetupInProgress when starting up. I tried patching the string in the exe but it looks like both dwm.exe and explorer.exe get that value from some other loaded dll or exe. So its starting to look like Microsoft may have deliberately prevented explorer from running in winpe this time around.
  15. Since most of the classic theme and shell code has been removed from windows 8; I wonder if this is just a matter of getting themes and the desktop window manager running in PE. I have gotten the theme service to run, but the desktop window manager is no longer a service as it was in windows 7. dwm.exe is spawned by winlogon.exe during startup. If I add dwm.exe to my wim file with no other changes then it boots to a black screen with no command prompt. So winlogon.exe must be automatically starting dwm.exe if it exists. I don't know if the black screen is the system locking up or if it just isn't able to display anything properly. I tried copying dwm.exe after booting the PE and running it manually, but it just exits after a couple of seconds. I have found that the taskbar and desktop are at least somewhat usable. If you right click the desktop and select refresh then the icons will show up. I can also right click on the task bar and add toolbars. The toolbar shortcuts function properly. Running applications still do not show on the taskbar,