Editing CustomSettings.ini in MDT

One of the neat things you can do with Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 is you can customize it to show or hide screens when running through the deployment wizard.

Lets have a look at my customsettings.ini file, the file is found in the Control folder. This file is on my memory stick and installs my Patron computer builds. What I do is block all pages except the computer name field. I manually enter the computer name and I am off to the races. It also will give me the final summary letting me know if everything worked or not.

TimeZoneName=Eastern Standard Time

In order for this to work properly, we need ensure we modified our task sequences to install software we want installed. We also need to ensure when setting up the task sequence we entered in a license key (if needed) and the admin password.

I’ll be covering these customizations of a few blog posts. I am also going to be creating some instructional podcasts around MDT as well, so this could be included in that.

For more information on this as well, check out fellow MVP Mitch Tulloch’s posts on the subject at http://www.windowsnetworking.com/articles_tutorials/Deploying-Windows-7-Part7.html. He has a whole series dedicated to Windows 7 Deployment.

About Todd

I am a Microsoft MVP, MCSE and MCT who lives in Kingston, Ontario.

9 Thoughts on “Editing CustomSettings.ini in MDT

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  3. Hello,

    I am very new to the deployment process and have been given the task to upgrade our XP Pro pc’s to Win7 x64. I have two questions in which I haven’t been able to find the answers to and thought you might be able to help. I have configured the 2010 MDT and customized the settings for an unattended install.

    1. How can I change and keep the custom background image when I’m PXE booting? I have replaced the background.bmp and winpe.bmp images with my own and my custom image comes up fine when the PXE boots but when it starts the “installing the OS” screen for the image it defaults back to Microsoft’s default screen. Help! How can I get my custom background image to stay throughout the whole deployment process?

    2. I cannot get Arizona to show up in my timezonename setting. Here is what I have:
    TimeZoneName=U.S. Mountain Standard Time
    Can you tell me what the correct syntax should be for this? When the pc is deployed it’s set to Mountain Standard time and not Arizona.

    Thanks! Phill

    • Hi Phil,

      the installing Windows screen is part of the OS rather than MDT. I think (not sure) it can be changed, using some sort of toolkit an OEM would use. The MS Partner site, looking at the OEM stuff would be a good starting point.

      Your time zone information looks correct. I know the name is usually what gets used. There must be another name like Arizona Standard Time, I’ll see if I can hunt it down.

  4. I need to customize a customsettings.ini for each time I put down an image so I can put in a unquie OU for the PC to joing the Domain and place.

    Where can I store the customsettings.ini on my boot device or where so I can customize it to use each time?

  5. how to give multiple time zones and multiple languages in a single image using mdt2010.plz help me

  6. I think the values in CustomSettings.ini are case sensitive (but I’m not 100% shure)!
    It works for you because you already have a en-us version of Windows.
    So you should use
    as described in MDT Help

  7. Hi Todd,
    I have a question that I have not been able to find an answer to. I am fairly new to Microsoft deployments, so it may be an obvious answer that I am missing.

    In my custom.ini file I have SKIP Computername=NO. This is fine as we want to enter the computer name manually at this time. This was the only input needed, until I added the WSUS server reference and enabled both “Windows Update (Pre-Application Installation) and Windows Update (Post-Application Installation). Now, I am asked for the computer name two more times, (however the computer name I initially entered is in the computer name box, I just need to click Next). I am assuming that these two additional times are because the Custom.ini is being accessed prior to both of the Windows Update tasks being enabled, but is there a way to automate this as well? It’s really inconvenient to have to go back to click Next two more times when re-imaging a large number of computers.
    As an aside, do I need to have BOTH Pre and Post Application update checked, or would Post suffice?


    • Odd about the computer name coming up. I would try disabling both tasks to see if it goes away.
      If you are using WSUS, once the machines join the domain they will start getting updates. My concern with using WSUS in the Task Sequence is the time it takes to do the updates and you have to wait until those complete before the task sequence could go on for an extended period.

      You can add the updates to the WIM file using DISM. http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff794819(v=winembedded.1001).aspx

      If I do use the task sequence, then I use post application updates, not both.

      Hope this helps.


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