Breaking into audit mode

by Mitch Tulloch [Published on 21 May 2008 / Last Updated on 21 May 2008]

How to break into audit mode during a manual install of Windows Vista.

Audit mode is a mode of Windows Setup that lets you bypass Windows Welcome so you can quickly access the desktop. Audit mode is usually entered by running sysprep /audit command or using an answer file setting during unattended installation. But if you install Windows Vista manually on a computer, you can also break into audit mode when the Windows Welcome screen appears by pressing CTRL+SHFT+F3. This lets you get to the desktop quickly so you can add drivers, install applications, and do other stuff without having to go through all the steps of Windows Welcome.


Mitch Tulloch was lead author for the Windows Vista Resource Kit from Microsoft Press, which is the book for IT pros who want to deploy, maintain and support Windows Vista in mid- and large-sized network environments. Mitch was also the author of Introducing Windows Server 2008 and technical project lead for the Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 Resource Kit, both books also from Microsoft Press. For more information on these and other books by Mitch, see

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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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