The official name of the answer file wizard that sc302 mentioned is ‘Windows System Image Manager’ (WSIM, or Windows SIM), which is a component of the Windows AIK (Windows Automated Deployment Kit) or Windows ADK (Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit). You may want to also read the TechNet article ‘Best practices for Authoring Answer Files’ to avoid common mistakes. Likewise, it is always good to keep a link to the ‘Unattended Windows Setup Reference’ handy as a reference component and setting definitions and proper syntax.
Audit Mode is used to customize a reference image prior to capture. However, you would not capture an image that is in Audit mode, as it must be configured to boot to Windows Welcome (OOBE) before capture of the image. Please see ‘Customize Windows in Audit Mode’ for more details.
OOBE stands for ‘Out of Box Experience’, and you can automate all of it with an answer file. Including creating a user account.
You have not specified exactly what you are trying to accomplish, so I will quote a few lines from the TechNet article ‘What is Sysprep’ to help you better understand why OOBE must be selected on the final run (or only run if you don’t use Audit mode):
“The System Preparation (Sysprep) tool prepares an installation of Windows for duplication, auditing, and customer delivery. Duplication, also called imaging, enables you to capture a customized Windows image that you can reuse throughout an organization.
Sysprep also enables you to prepare an image to be delivered to a customer. When the customer boots Windows, Windows Welcome starts.
You must not use Sysprep to reconfigure an existing installation of Windows that has already been deployed.”
Hope this helps,
Windows Outreach Team – IT Pro
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