Systems Deployment Question

Changing the local accounts password in my answer file

09/11/2017 1146 views

I've got what seems to be a very silly problem, and can't find any solution anywhere.

I'm working in an organization that deploys laptops (same model everywhere) to various sites. Each site has a different set of local admin account passwords (the account names are the same but the password change from one site to another). So I've got my Windows 7 image with all the accounts in there with a dummy password and I'd like to use my answer file to modify the password depending on which site I'm preparing a laptop for.

What my answer file currently says is:

<LocalAccount wcm:action="modify">











Is there anything else I should do ?

The Administrator account in the image is spelled the same way.

Thanks !

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Answer Chosen by the Author


uh oh, we got carried away far from the original question :)

So let's say I prep my image with Administrator. Then, in my unattend file, I add a local admin. How can I disable the built-in Administrator ?

Thanks :)

Answered 09/12/2017 by: theclaw
White Belt

  • The official answer from Microsoft is that you should only use the in-built administrator account when in audit mode and that it should never be enabled in the first place.

    That being said, you can run a first logon command to disable it:
    net user administrator /active:no

    Remember to update the auto login to your new user and password, too, unless you like logging in manually.

Community Chosen Answer

When you save the unattend file using the Windows System Image Manager it encodes the password. 
It is only encoded using Base64 so it is easily retrieved. You can either keep a catalog of the encoded values and swap them out or change the <PlainText> value to true and just put the plain text value where the encoded value is.

As a side note, Microsoft no longer recommends using the original administrator account (and hasn't for quite some time). You may want to consider creating a separate local administrator account in your unattended installation. 
Answered 09/12/2017 by: chucksteel
Red Belt

All Answers

There are two places where the password is stored in an answer file.

The Specialize pass and the OOBE pass, you should change the password in both places. The one you have is the OOBE I think.... and hopefully that is not the actualy password, is too long.
Answered 09/11/2017 by: Channeler
Red Belt

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