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Published on 01.31.08 by Brent Trahan

Installing Windows Vista without Setting It Up

How to install Windows Vista and leave the set up to be completed by the computer’s user.

This guide shows you how to install Windows Vista but leave the set up (user name and password, PC name, recommended settings, time zone, and firewall settings) to the soon to be user of that computer just like the major PC manufacturers like Dell and HP do.

This is great for when you install Vista on a computer for a friend or family member but you want to leave the set up to them.

Install Vista without Setting It Up

  1. Install Windows Vista but stop at the first set up window (the user account creation window) also known as the beginning of Out of box experience (OOBE) shown below.


  2. Press Ctrl + Shift + F3. Your computer will restart.
  3. The computer will boot up in Audit mode and logged in as Administrator. Now would be a great time to install updates, software, and set any system settings you’d like.
  4. When you’re ready to shutdown the computer and give it to its owner make sure System Cleanup Action is set to OOBE in the System Preparation Tool so that when the user turns the computer on for the first time he/she will start at the user account creation window or OOBE. Do not check off Generalize.


  5. Change Shutdown Options to Shutdown and then click OK to shut the computer down.
  6. The computer will do its thing and then shut down.

When the user boots the computer up for the first time the computer will start at the OOBE section.

install_vista_audit_mode3.png install_vista_audit_mode4.png

They can finish the installation by setting it up.

Still need help? Ask your computer question now.

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6 Responses to “Installing Windows Vista without Setting It Up”

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  1. Mike says:

    Will this only work with a Full version of Vista ? Or would it also work with the upgrade edition doing the work around install of not putting in the product key the first time and then reinstall within windows ?

  2. Brent Trahan says:

    This works best with a clean full install.

  3. Mike says:

    Is there a way to do this on a WINDOWS XP install ?

  4. Brent Trahan says:

    Yes, but I don’t know how.

  5. Kathline Grzybowski says:

    It sounds like you’re creating problems yourself by trying to solve this issue instead of looking at why their is a problem in the first place.

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