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Answer File (Unattend.txt) Branding Is Not Applied to Internet Explorer During Unattended Installation of Windows XP

This article was previously published under Q305604
Any of the following symptoms may occur:
  • No default or custom Favorites and Links are added to Internet Explorer during an unattended installation of Windows XP, which includes an upgrade or a clean installation.
  • Important URLs that are specified (such as Home, Search and Support) are missing or overwritten by Internet Explorer defaults when a user logs on.
  • Proxy information that is specified in the Unattend.txt file is missing.
This problem occurs because the help text for the Unattend.txt file incorrectly lists the syntax for how to add Favorites and Links. In addition, unattended upgrade installations to Microsoft Windows XP from Microsoft Windows 98, Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition, or Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Me) with Microsoft Internet Explorer branding in an Unattend.txt file will be branded over by the default .ins file when a user logs on. Branding is not applied at all for unattended upgrade installations to Microsoft Windows XP from Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 or Microsoft Windows 2000 with Microsoft Internet Explorer branding in an Unattend.txt file.
To resolve this problem, use the appropriate method:

Method 1

If you have already deployed Windows XP through a clean installation or upgrade, or if you are upgrading a previous Microsoft operating system, you can use one of the following methods:
  • In the Group Policy editor (Gpedit.msc), expand User Configuration, expand Windows Settings, and then expand Internet Explorer Maintenance (IEM) to manage these settings.

  • Use the Microsoft Internet Explorer Administration Kit (IEAK) version 6 to manage these settings.

  • Follow these steps:
    1. Back up the default Install.ins file in the Program Files\Internet Explorer\Signup folder.
    2. Edit the Install.ins file and insert the branding that you want. You can refer to the Windows XP or Windows 2000 Resource Kit Help for INS file syntax and format. The Unattend.txt file supports the following three settings:
      • Home, Search, Support links are added to the [URL] section of the INS file.
      • Create the [Proxy] section to add proxy settings.
      • Favorites and Links are added to the [Favorites] and [FavoritesEx] sections respectively.
    3. Run the following command line to brand Internet Explorer with the settings that are contained in the default Install.ins file (this adds just the default Internet Explorer Favorites and Links), and the custom Install.ins file (which brands Internet Explorer with the settings that were created in step 2):
      rundll32.exe iedkcs32.dll,BrandIE4 SIGNUP

Method 2

If Windows XP has not yet been deployed, and you are performing a clean installation and not an upgrade, use the following text in your Unattend.txt file to ensure that the default Favorites and Links are branded to Internet Explorer:
[URL]Quick_Link_1_Name = "Customize Links.url"Quick_Link_1      = ""Quick_Link_2_Name = "Free Hotmail.url"Quick_Link_2      = ""Quick_Link_3_Name = "Windows.url"Quick_Link_3      = ""Quick_Link_4_Name = "Windows Media.url"Quick_Link_4      = "" [FavoritesEx]Title1=""URL1=""Title2="Radio Station Guide.url"URL2=""Title3 = ""Url3   = "" [Branding]BrandIEUsingUnattended = Yes					
Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed at the beginning of this article.
It is important to note that the Help text for the Unattend.txt is incorrect. All values must be enclosed in quotation marks (for example, the string would look like "test"), and if Favorites and Links are not present, these folders will be empty (Home Page, Search, Support URLs will be the default). Also note that only Favorites, Links, Important URLs, and Proxy settings can be customized in the Unattend.txt file. If you want to customize Internet Explorer further (for example, Title bar, icons, user agent string, or policy and restrictions), you must use the IEM or IEAK 6. An autoconfiguration script (.ins) file that you create with the IEAK can be specified in the Windows Setup Manager when creating or modifying the files that control an unattended Setup of Windows XP.

Article ID: 305604 - Last Review: 01/16/2006 15:04:00 - Revision: 3.2

  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0
  • kbenv kbsetup kbprb KB305604