Category Archive: Windows

Dec 18

Proxy PAC configuration file

Had to work on one of these for a client, and decided that while there’s a whole host of documentation out there, there aren’t a lot of good working examples of how to use the proxy auto config functions properly in a complex file.

Since I spent the better part of 8 hours getting something that works properly in the environment (including site blocking to a custom server), I figured I’d share it with the users of this series of tubes in the hope it helps someone.

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Dec 08

Win7 Themes from RSS feeds

This has been posted about the web many times, but I wanted to post it here for folks who read this blog as well.  I love space imagery, so using the NASA picture of the day as a theme/wallpaper seemed interesting, and I know it had been done but had never really figured out how to do it (I didn’t really try hard, either, but that’s neither here nor there).  I managed to make a .theme file that works with the NASA Large Image Of The Day RSS feed, so I’ll post the contents here in the off chance anyone wants to use it.  Obviously it can be modified to use any RSS feed containing images, I’d suppose, by changing the DisplayName (for cosmetic reasons) and the RssFeed parameter (for obvious functional reasons).  I used the post on this from the Engineering Win7 blog as a guideline, so read that if you want more info.
Here’s the file, in it’s entirety:

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Oct 20

Login Scripts?

OK, so I haven’t had a chance to finish up either of the two posts I’ve been working on, so to start I’m merging them into one larger MDT post.  Secondly, however, I’ve also been working with a friend of mine on creating a logon script for his environment that will replace a certain other tool they are using for logon management for their mix of 9x and 2000 workstations.  They’re slowly upgrading their back-end environment in preparation for a migration to Windows 7 on the clients, and they wanted to see if they could move from <product> to logon scripts and group policy (they are going to be using MDT and SCCM for deployment and lifecycle management).  They had to try and completely replace their current solution with group policy and a logon script (or scripts), and this has been accomplished.

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Aug 12

Adding additional boot options to your deployment USB key

Having a USB key that will install multiple versions of Windows is great, but what if you want to add other Windows PE images to it, above and beyond the installers?  For example, what if you wanted to add a recovery environment, like the Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset (DaRT), or a BartPE environment, or any other Windows PE-based environments?  Well, it’s not that hard to do, and I’ll document how to do it with the Microsoft DaRT x86 and x64 recovery ISOs that it creates in this example.

Adding the DaRT files

First, you will need to copy the files from the MS DaRT WinPE ISO image to your “Content” folder that was created when you used MDT 2010 as per my previous post.  The content folder should look something like this:


And the contents of the MS DaRT ISO image, once extracted to the hard disk, will look something like this:

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Aug 11

Default Keys for Vista and Windows 7 deployment

Update: If you want the default VL/KMS activation keys for Windows Vista through Windows Server 2012R2, they can be found here.

To go along with my previous post on deploying Windows via MDT 2010, here is a list of the “default” keys that Windows uses when you choose not to enter a product key during setup.  These keys of course will not activate, but you can enter them into your task sequences when you are prompted for a product key to use.  This will make your setup more unattended.

Here’s the list:

Windows Vista:

  • Ultimate  –  VMCB9-FDRV6-6CDQM-RV23K-RP8F7
  • Business  –  4D2XH-PRBMM-8Q22B-K8BM3-MRW4W
  • Home Premium  –  X9HTF-MKJQQ-XK376-TJ7T4-76PKF
  • Home Basic  –  RCG7P-TX42D-HM8FM-TCFCW-3V4VD

Windows 7:

  • Ultimate  –  D4F6K-QK3RD-TMVMJ-BBMRX-3MBMV
  • Professional  –  HYF8J-CVRMY-CM74G-RPHKF-PW487
  • Home Premium  –  RHPQ2-RMFJH-74XYM-BH4JX-XM76F
  • Home Basic  –  YGFVB-QTFXQ-3H233-PTWTJ-YRYRV
  • Starter  –  7Q28W-FT9PC-CMMYT-WHMY2-89M6G

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Aug 10

MDT 2010 and deployment from a USB key

Note that the content in this guide has been updated to include deployment over a network, and some other tips/tricks.  After reading this, you might want to take a look at the updated guides here:


Have you ever wanted to put every version of Vista, Server 2008, Windows 7, Server 2008 R2, and perhaps a version of XP or two on a single USB key?  No?  Then you’re probably normal.  If you’re like me, however, the thought has crossed your mind.  However, the daunting task of configuring said USB key to boot to some multiboot Linux distro or hacking a bit at bcdedit to boot a WinPE to handle it also made it something to avoid, at least for me, because, well, I tend to be lazy about these things.

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