Archive for May, 2011

Since I recently posted pretty much everything that needed to be done to get this working properly on TechNet forums, I figured I might as well write a proper guide for it now.
I can imagine that some are like “why would you even want to?” well, it’s rather simple… there are still end-users who use this OS. And some of them can’t install Windows themselves, so they bring their pc to a local pc store, or any other pc system builder (with the exception of the “A”-brand OEM’s). Depending on the size of these companies, some might actually still do everything manually when it comes to installing Windows. Some might still keep a Win2003 server with RIS around for Windows XP installs. When I was setting up our deployment server, we already had a running deployment solution with RIS/WDS running on a server 2003 in hybrid mode. Windows Vista and Windows 7 installs were very slow due to the slower network stack and larger file sizes of the images to deploy. At first I created a new server to install just the Vista/Win7 with WDS, and soon thereafter using MDT as well (MDT had some limitations for me at that time which I first needed to work around creating scripts). But I was still stuck with an old RIS server for Windows XP installs, and really wanted to stop using 2 virtual servers for the deployments so it’s less management. Windows XP Professional was all very easy to do on MDT, however Windows XP Home Edition causes me a few errors down the road. I’ll describe the error’s you’ll run into when trying to deploy windows XP Home Edition with MDT 2010 and how to fix them.
First off, when you try to Import a new OS from source files and select a Windows XP Home disk, you will get an error saying:

Import Error

To fix this error, you will need to fool MDT thinking that the OS you’re trying to import is Windows XP Professional. To do this, you will need to rename a file in the root directory of the XP Home source files. One of the files below will suffice, however you can change them all if you want, the “highest” SP level that is changed from IC to IP will be the one that MDT will detect as an XP Professional source file directory.
• Win51IC > Win51IP (changing only this file, will make MDT recognize the imported OS as Windows XP Professional)
• Win51IC.SP2 > Win51IP.SP2 (changing only this file, will make MDT recognize the imported OS as Windows XP Professional SP2)
• Win51IC.SP3 > Win51IP.SP3 (changing only this file, will make MDT recognize the imported OS as Windows XP Professional SP3)

XP Home detected as Professional SKU

Above is an example where I only changed Win51IC.SP3 to Win51IP.SP3, notice how the default name MDT suggests is Windows XP Professional SP3?
Now you can continue to import the OS into the workbench.
The next error that you will run into is that MDT will try to auto-logon as the built-in Administrator account, named “Administrator”. While this account is actually marked as active, it’s not possible to log into this account unless booting from safe mode. Sometimes you might not actually see there is an error happening at this point and you will simply see this screen:

Windows XP Home logon screen

However, if you look closer and ALT-Tab you’ll see the following error:

Windows XP Home logon error

To resolve this, you will need to change the auto-logon settings.

Update: 04/11/2012;

To simplify the auto-logon fix discard my previously written explanation as the following method is far easier. You need to edit the Unattend.txt file of existing task sequences and change the following value as displayed below. Alternatively you can enter the same value (Computer’s Owner) during the creation of a task sequence in the screen that asks for Owner (this is the field you need to fill in with this value), Company name and website.
Note: Despite this value is written in English, it will translate correctly to all other languages of Windows XP Home you will install. I have verified this with multiple different language editions of XP Home, and the Autologon works correctly.

FullName=”Computer’s Owner”


We will need to edit the file “unattend.txt”, you can easily edit this file if you open the properties of the Windows XP Home task sequence (I presume you already created one after importing the OS, if you didn’t yet you will need to create one first) and go to the OS Info tab. From there click Edit Unattend.txt
The part we’re looking for is this;

“cscript.exe C:\MININT\Scripts\LiteTouch.wsf /start”
“cscript.exe D:\MININT\Scripts\LiteTouch.wsf /start”
“cscript.exe E:\MININT\Scripts\LiteTouch.wsf /start”
“cscript.exe F:\MININT\Scripts\LiteTouch.wsf /start”

We’ll add a command in here that will change the Auto-logon value to the correct username. For the English version of Windows XP Home, it will be “Owner”, you will have to find the correct username if you use a different language. This is the default account created by the setup.

“regedit /s C:\MININT\Autologon.reg”
“cscript.exe C:\MININT\Scripts\LiteTouch.wsf /start”
“cscript.exe D:\MININT\Scripts\LiteTouch.wsf /start”
“cscript.exe E:\MININT\Scripts\LiteTouch.wsf /start”
“cscript.exe F:\MININT\Scripts\LiteTouch.wsf /start”

Now, create a new text file, and make sure to include the following text. Then save it as Autologon.reg (or name it differently if you want, but then adjust the filename again in the GuiRunOnce section of the Unattend.txt

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon]

At last you need to ensure that this file will be present on every single Windows XP Home installation. There are several ways you can achieve this, for example creating a new task in one of the early TS stages. The method I used, was making use of the $OEM$ folder within DeploymentShare\Operating Systems\{OS Name}. An example of this is shown in the picture below.

Windows XP Home $OEM$ folders

Now that the autologon will work again, the task sequencer can continue just like a normal Windows XP Professional installation. I hope this information was helpful to those few people who might actually need to deploy Windows XP Home edition for whatever reason, and couldn’t get it to work with MDT and for that reason were still stuck with RIS. If you happen to run into an issue, feel free to leave a message or contact me.


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