Local Administrator Account on Vista and Windows 7

When you image a computer with Vista and Windows 7 and sysprep the image, the local administrator account becomes disabled. This can create a problem if the computer is not joined to a domain as you are shutout from access unless you have another account.

To alleviate this problem, before uploading the image with a sysprep:

1. Make another account, give it a password and put it in the local administrators group.

2. Test the account to make sure it works.

3. Upload the image with your imaging tool of choice and sysprep

4. If for some reason, you forgot to do this, you can use a utility to enable the local administrator account and blank out the password. The one I use is “Offline NT Password and Registry Editor.” ¬†Directions and downloads can be found here.

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Adding Drivers to WinPE PXE Files in Altiris Deployment Solution

Have had a lot of questions lately on adding NIC drivers to an Altiris WinPE PXE image. There are probably a couple ways of doing this, but here’s what works for me.

  • First, you need to download drivers from the vendor’s website if you don’t have them. Make sure you download the Vista drivers. In most installs this would be the 32-bit driver.
  • Extract these drivers to a folder on your Altiris server.
  • If you have downloaded an Intel driver it is probably in an executable named PROWin32.exe or something similar. If you double click on this, it will try and install the drivers on your server, which you do not want to happen. To extract them, do the following:
    • Copy the PROWin32.exe to the root of the C:\ Drive.
    • Make a folder on this drive — I named mine Intel-NIC.
    • Open a command prompt and cd\ to the C:\ drive.
    • Type “PROWin32.exe /s /e /f C:\Intel-NIC” ¬†(without the quotes). This will extract the files into the Intel-NIC folder that you will navigate to later.
  • Once you have drivers downloaded, open up the Altiris deployment console.
  • Click on the “PXE Configuration” icon located in the upper right part of the window.
  • Next click on “WinPE Managed” and then the “Edit” button.
  • In the “Edit Shared Menu Option” screen, click on “Edit” button.In the “Boot Disk Creator” window, click on the “Edit” button at bottom of screen.In the “Boot Disk Creator – Create Configuration” window, click on “Next.”

    In the “Boot Disk Creator – Create Windows PE Configuration” window, deselect the “Auto-detect all Device Drivers” check box and then click on the “Have Disk…” command button.

    In the “Add WinPE Hardware Device Drivers” window, click on “Browse” to navigate to the folder where the extracted drivers are located. You will want to locate an *.inf file to upload. Each driver is a bit different, so you may need to navigate to a couple different folders to get the drivers you need.

    Once you locate the *.inf file, you will be presented with a window that lists the drivers that will be installed. Click “OK” to begin the process.

    Select the “Auto-Detect Device Drivers” checkbox again if it was deselected and keep selecting “Next” taking the defaults until you start to build the pxe files. There will be several screens to click through. The final screen building the pxe image again is noted below. This will take several minutes to complete, so be patient and get a cup of coffee.

    That should do it and your WinPE should be good to go.