Rules are for Fools (Boot.ini)


Once you have installed MDT, one of the first things you need to do is setup the rules for your deployment. There are two text files that set the rules:

  • boot.ini
  • customsettings.ini

They are both just standard INI format text files. Yes, it’s 2016 and we’re still using INI files from Windows 3.1. I nt to start with Boot.ini. It’s short and sweet but crucial. It’s where you point your deployments to the share. Nothing will work if you don’t get that right.

The syntax of the BootStrap.ini file is identical to the CustomSettings.ini file. The BootStrap.ini file contains a subset of the properties used in CustomSettings.ini:

  • DeployRootmandatory

Note: Ensure that the DeployRoot property is specified in the BootStrap.ini file, as the LTI deployment process will not be able to find the CustomSettings.ini file in the deployment share. If not configured correctly, errors and warnings are displayed when running the Deployment Wizard.

Boot.ini Settings



SkipBDDWelcome Stops the Welcome wizard
UserDomain Set the Domain Name
UserID Logon username (text)

Logon password (text)


 Sets the keyboard language, at boot time.

The value can be in either of the following formats:

  • Text (en-us)
  • Hexadecimal (0409:00000409)

TIP: Try using DeployRoot=\\%WDSServer% to avoid hard-coding server names.

Rule Britannia



One of the first things I do set the language of the deployment to British English. Mainly because I am British, but also because I don’t have an American keyboard.

Note, there are several different settings to change the language completely and together they form the “locale” of the build. They are

  • Country code
  • Time Zone
  • Language of the keyboard

You will probably need to go and look up the various codes for your own country, for each setting. It’s not always obvious.

The following table shows links for the default keyboards set when you selects a language and region in Windows 8.

Input locales are pairings of an input language (the language hexadecimal identifier) with an input method (the keyboard hexadecimal identifier). Specifically, an input locale describes the language that is being entered, and how it is being entered.

Time Zones are strings that specify the name and offsets of the time from GMT.




 Windows 8 keyboard locale codes
Input locales
Time Zone string



Hint: For UK use en-GB for the language.


  1. 085
  2. GMT Standard Time
  3. (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time : Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London

NB: There are only 6 properties for bootstrap. If you have more than that you’ve made a mistake!

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