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I am deploying Windows XP SP3 images in a stand-alone environment using SYSPREP. I am updating an existing image with patches, drivers, etc. Although my first images never launched Windows Security Center at first login, my new images are.

Symantec Corporate is installed prior to SYSPREP and has current virus definitions. The Security Center launches at login, seems to initially think that antivirus is disabled, but then goes "green" once Symantec loads. The Security Center remains open.

Since "end users" are applying the image onto hardware themselves, I would like to prevent Security Center from appearing at all.

I've tried to disable Security Center by modifying the registry prior to SYSPREP, and via CMDLINES.TXT that runs at the end of mini-setup. I have used the following registry key/value combinations:

;Override Antivirus Monitoring
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Security Center]
; Setting persists across SYSPREP - no effect.

;Disable Anti-virus Notifications
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Security Center]
; Setting persists across SYSPREP - no effect.

;Disable Security Center Service
; Setting does not persist across SYSPREP.

These registry keys have had no effect.

How would I go about hiding Security Center or preventing it from loading?

EDIT: Added actual observed results under each registry setting.

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BTW, if anyone can think of a better tag than "antivirus", please feel free to change it. I can't create my own tags yet... – Steve Kalemkiewicz Nov 15 '11 at 14:56
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I finally resorted to simply stopping and disabling the Security Center service prior to running SYSPREP.

This is discussed elsewhere on the Internet. In short:

  1. Launch the Services applet in Control Panel (START, SETTINGS, CONTROL PANEL, ADMINISTRATIVE TOOLS, SERVICES).
  2. Locate Security Center.
  3. Right-click, click Stop.
  4. Right-click, click Properties
  5. Change Startup Type to Disabled.
  6. Click OK and close all windows.

After this, run SYSPREP as you normally would. The settings persist during image deployment.

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