Disabling the Network Location Prompt

Over the past few months, many of the clients I have been working with have started deploying Windows Vista into their environment. One thing that commonly crops up is that the Windows Vista Network Location prompt fires up on all newly built machines asking for the network type that the machine is connected to (Home, Work or Public).

It doesn’t harm the build or deploy process and can usually be ignored – it will just sit in the background and wait for input or machine shutdown, however a more elegant solution is to stop it appearing. The easiest way to do this is to this is by adding a RunSynchronousCommand to RunSynchronous section  in the x86_Microsoft-Windows-Deployment_neutral block in the specialize phase of your unattend.xml file… 🙂

If you are using BDD 2007, the unattend file created by BDD will have three RunSynchronous commands already configured in this section – to enable the local administrators account (two commands) and to un-filter the local administrators token. These are listed as EnableAdmin, EnableAdmin_PLOC and UnfilterAdministratorToken and are ordered as 1, 2 and 3.

To stop the Network Locator Prompt from appearing add a fourth RunSynchronous command to RunSynchronous block (specialize) with the following details: 

  • In the Description field, enter something to identify the task – like “DisableNetworkLocationPrompt“.
  • In the Order field enter 4 (if you are editing the BDD 2007 created unattend.xml file) or 1 if it is your first RunSynchronous command.
  • In the Path field enter the command line (as one complete line)

reg add “HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\NetworkList\Signatures\FirstNetwork” /v Category /t REG_DWORD /d 00000001 /f

  • In the WillReboot field enter Never

When this command runs as part of the build or deploy process, the Network Location Prompt will be suppressed.

Note: You will probably want to turn this back on after the build or deploy process has been completed, as this tool provides the user with a friendly way of configuring the Windows Firewall to protect them in a number of differing network locations. You may want to consider running a VB Script to reset the registry key and turn the Network Location Prompt back on from the BDD 2007 task sequence as one of the final tasks in your build or deploy process. 

Comments (3)

  1. Anonymous says:

    We cannot use this setting in unattend.xml?

    Microsoft-Windows-Shell-SetupOOBENetworkLocation = Work

  2. Anonymous says:

    Essentially, you can get rid of it by running: reg add "HKLMSOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionNetworkListSignaturesFirstNetwork" /v Category /t REG_DWORD /d 00000001 /f If you want a cool trick to integrate that into your BDD

  3. jess says:

    jdulongc_1 it is not working for me. seems others are having the same issue.