I'm having diffculties configuring 20 new Dell Vostro minis here. I set up one of them with my preferred OS, applications and settings, especially the Visual Effects Settings of Windows XP. I set them to best performance and deactivated everything else in the box.

I copied this profile to Default User Profile and did sysprep -mini -reseal. After capturing this image and deploying it again, the desktop settings are correct except the visual effects settings. fading and everything else is reenabled for each new user which is created on the system.

How do I preserve my settings from being overwritten by sysprep?



Your specific need should be easily resolved by creating a .REG file to set the UserPreferencesMask registry value, then running a script/batch file via Registry RunOnce or Run values that executes REGEDIT /S YOURFILE.REG.


I believe I had a problem similar to yours: I needed to apply configuration settings to the registry that would affect all users at their first login (I didn't care if a user changed their preferences subsequently). I tried modify a temp user profile and overwrite the Default User profile as you had done -- this did not work for me. Also, for whatever reason, Run/RunOnce didn't provide what I needed either. This is what I did:

  1. In the i386\$oem$ folder, create/modify cmdlines.txt to execute batch.cmd during minisetup:

  2. In the i386\$oem$ folder, create/modify batch.cmd to use reg.exe to mount the Default User's ntuser.dat to an arbitrary mount point under HKEY_USERS (I called mine HKU\DEFUSER), import a *.reg file containing your desired registry settings, and then unmount. Here is what it might look like:

    @echo off
    REM *********************************************************************
    REM Importing Registry Data into HKU\DEFUSER
    REM *********************************************************************
    echo Importing Registry Data into HKU\DEFUSER...
    REG.EXE LOAD HKU\DEFUSER "C:\Documents and Settings\Default User\ntuser.dat"
  3. In the i386\$oem$ folder, create a *.reg file containing your desired registry settings. I called mine HKU_DEFUSER Settings.reg. Make sure the key names in the *.reg file agree with what you named your mount point in batch.cmd (Mine was DEFUSER):

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
    [HKEY_USERS\DEFUSER\Control Panel\PowerCfg]

Since cmdlines.txt is executed near the end of minisetup, these settings will not be overwritten.

Note about Step 1: The Microsoft documentation says that cmdlines.txt is parsed and then executed -- it's not a normal batch or command file. There can be some escaping concerns with complicated commands containing quotes, etc. The Microsoft-recommended method is just to have cmdlines.txt execute a single batch file and place all the complicated things in the batch file.

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