Updating obfuscated Administrator password in unattend.xml

by Mitch Tulloch [Published on 9 Jan. 2013 / Last Updated on 31 Oct. 2012]

How to udpate an obfuscated Administrator password in a Windows 7 answer file.

You have an unattend.xml answer file for deploying Windows 7. The answer file contains the password for the local Administrator account in obfuscated form. You want to change the password in the answer file but keep it obfuscated. To do this, perform the following steps:

  1. Open Windows SIM and click Select A Windows Image Or Catalog File.
  2. Change the Files Of Type to .clg and browse to select the catalog file for your Windows edition.
  3. Open your unattend.xml answer file and click Yes when prompted to associate the answer file.
  4. Change the value of the AdministratorPassword setting and save your answer file.

Now if you open your answer file in Notepad, you should see the AdministratorPassword setting has an obfuscated value.

Mitch Tulloch is a eight-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award and widely recognized expert on Windows administration, deployment and virtualization.  This tip was excerpted from his new book Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012 Training Guide published by Microsoft Press which is available from Amazon.  For more tips by Mitch you can follow him on Twitter or friend him on Facebook.

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The Author — Mitch Tulloch

Mitch Tulloch is a well-known expert on Windows Server administration and cloud computing technologies. He has published over a thousand articles on information technology topics and has written, contributed to or been series editor for over 50 books.

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