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How can i disable “Connect to a wireless network” during Windows 8 OOBE



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Introduction

 

During Windows 8 deployments, if you are using wireless capable computers then you’ll most likely have wireless enabled on them by default and this means that the following screen will most likely appear during Windows 8 setup (OOBE).

 

The installation will halt until you pick a wireless network or until you click on the Connect to a wireless network later link.

 

wireless1.png

 

That is great if you want to connect to a wireless network during setup, but not great if you want everything automated, so how do we stop this screen from popping up ?

 

We can create a custom unattend.xml file to change this behavior and the best way of doing this is by using Windows SIM which is a component of the Deployment Tools which in turn is part of the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (Windows ADK). So if you havn’t installed the ADK yet, do so now.

Step 1. Start Windows SIM

 

Start up Windows SIM located in the start menu on your Server 2012 install

 

Windows-System-Image-Manager.png

 

or it can be found here on traditional Server 2008R2 start menu

 

wsim-in-server2008.png

 

The application will appear pretty bland on first start but we’ll change that soon enough

 

Windows-SIM-blank1.png

Step 2. Select a Windows Image and create a new Answer File

 

Click on File and choose Select Windows Image,

 

select-windows-image.png

 

browse to the path of your Windows 8 media and select the Install.WIM file located in the sources folder of that media, if it’s the first time you’ve done this you’ll get a message about the Catalog File being missing, answer Yes.

 

catalog-file-missing.png

 

Note that you’ll need to be logged on as a local administrator of this machine. Next you’ll see Windows SIM is mounting the image to generate the catalog file

 

Generating-Catalog-file.png

 

and once it’s done mounting the image and generating the catalog file you’ll see your image listed in the Windows Image section of Windows SIM.

 

Windows-8-Enterprise.png

 

Now click on the File menu again, and choose New Answer File,

 

New-Answer-File.png

 

this will populate our Answer File Pane with the 7 passes of a Windows Deployment.

 

7-passes.png

Step 3. Add our changes to the answer file

 

Expand Components and scroll down the component called amd64_Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup_6.2.9200.16384_neutral

 

select-component1.png

 

click on the plus to the left of this component and find a section in it called OOBE (out of box experience), select it. You will note that the settings associated with this section are listed to the right in the OOBE Properties window pane however we cannot do anything with them until we add them to a Pass.

 

Right click on OOBE and choose Add Setting to Pass 7 oobeSystem

 

Add-Setting-to-Pass-7-oobeSystem.png

 

find the setting HideWirelessSetupInOOBE and click on the drop down menu, select TRUE to hide this.

 

HideWirelessSetupInOOBE-set-to-TRUE.png

Step 4. Save our Changes to the Answer File

 

And for the purposes of this post, we are done with editing this unattend.xml (however feel free to experiment with the settings listed), click on File and choose Save Answer file as

 

save-answer-file-as.png

 

Save the file on your Configuration Manager server in your \\server\sources\os\unattend xml\ folder as HideWirelessSetupInOOBE.xml. (If you are are doing many customizations in your xml name it unattend.xml for simplicity)

 

HideWirelessSetupInOOBE-xml.png

 

Step 5. Create a Package in Configuration Manager

 

Now we need to create a package containing this unattend.xml file within Configuration Manager 2012. In the Software Library workspace, select Application Management, Packages, and choose Create Package.

 

create-package.png

 

fill in some details about the package making sure to select This Package Contains source files and browse to the UNC where you saved your Unattend.xml file earlier.

 

This-Package-contains-source-files.png

 

Click next and select Do not create a program (as none is needed)

 

do-not-create-a-program.png

 

and continue through the wizard to completion.

Step 6. Distribute Content

 

Now that our package is made we need to distribute the content to our distribution points otherwise our clients cannot find it. Right click on our newly created package and choose Distribute Content.

 

distribute-content.png

 

The Distribute Content wizard appears, select next

 

distribute-content-wizard.png

 

Add your distribution points by selecting Add, select Distribution Point from the drop down menu and placing a check mark beside any DP you want to include, and then click next through the remainder of this wizard

 

add-dp.png

 

Step 7. Edit your task sequence

 

Now all the steps are in place to edit our task sequence to add our unattend file, so select your Deploy Windows 8 task sequence, right click and choose Edit.

 

edit-task-sequence.png

 

and select the Apply Operating Image step, in this step place a checkmark in Use an unattended or sysprep answer file for a custom installation and browse to our previously created package, select the package, click ok and type in the name of our unattend.xml file as in the screenshot below:

 

Use-unattended-or-sysprep-answer-file-for-a-custom-installation.png

 

Click Apply and you are done, try a new deployment and note that you are no longer prompted to Connect to a wireless network during OOBE.

cheers

 

niall

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Hi !

 

What version of Windows 8 are you using for you deployment? In our enviorment we dont get the "Connect to a wireless network" during deployment (Windows 8 Enterprise)

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Hi !

 

What version of Windows 8 are you using for you deployment? In our enviorment we dont get the "Connect to a wireless network" during deployment (Windows 8 Enterprise)

 

same version, are you trying this on Wireless enabled devices in a place where there are wireless networks ?

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Niall, this worked great, but i don't want remove my MDT settings, what should i do?

unat.jpg

 

Now i have to choose between my xml's, is there a way to fix this?

 

 

Maybee i should paste in the settings from my "HideWirelessSetupInOOBE.xml" to the bottom of my untattend.xml, and the update the DP, whould that work?

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If you do a build and capture successfully and use that wim to deploy windows 8 you wont need this step hooray :)

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If you do a build and capture successfully and use that wim to deploy windows 8 you wont need this step hooray :)

 

Haha that helped me so much right now :P

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Haha that helped me so much right now :P

 

haha yeah i know sorry! but i still think its strange that you cant get it to work.Im going to check your other post tomorrow . I just got UEFI to work via SCCM really nice :D

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Captured using Litetouch now, and it works great i do not get that wireless options when i deploy it now.

 

haha yeah i know sorry! but i still think its strange that you cant get it to work.Im going to check your other post tomorrow . I just got UEFI to work via SCCM really nice :D

 

Have you network deployed it or is it by USB-stick?

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Niall, this worked great, but i don't want remove my MDT settings, what should i do?

unat.jpg

 

Now i have to choose between my xml's, is there a way to fix this?

 

 

Maybee i should paste in the settings from my "HideWirelessSetupInOOBE.xml" to the bottom of my untattend.xml, and the update the DP, whould that work?

 

you can combine the settings from one XML into another the only reason i call this specific XML file "HideWirelessSetupInOOBE.xml" is that it is all it does, obviously you can create XML files in Windows SIM that do much much more than this and name them accordingly

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Captured using Litetouch now, and it works great i do not get that wireless options when i deploy it now.

 

 

 

Have you network deployed it or is it by USB-stick?

 

Yes i am using USB to deploy because the modell i am testing on (HP 8540w) only has legacy bios with UEFI and does not have any network drivers for UEFI. Still cool that it works tho, going to try UEFI with Windows 7 now :P

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Hey All,

 

I am deploying an image to HP ElitePad 900 tablets.

 

I want the install to be completely automated but the installation stops at the "HP register & protect" and waits for the user to enter or skip. - see screenshot.

 

Is there a way to bypass this screen with the use of a SIM answer file?

 

Thanks,

James

post-21415-0-52199300-1378997218_thumb.jpg

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have you tried setting HideOEMRegistrationScreen to true ?

 

hideOEMRegistrationScreen.png

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Thanks for the reply and that looks like it could resolve the issue.

 

But I actually got this working by uninstalling the registration program from add remove programs of the wim.

 

I now have the tablet install completely automated.

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completely automated with Configuration Manager 2012 ?

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