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Enabling /NOGUIBOOT in VistaPE (WinPE 2.0)

Now first thing’s first…why would you want to do this?  Well if any of you have booted to VistaPE or Vista you will have noticed the tastefully bland boot screen that is mostly empty except for a wonderful leprechaun green status bar that doesn’t even really show a status at all (as if a bar going across the screen over and over again actually means anything).  This is where /NOGUIBOOT comes in.  By enabling NO GUI BOOT you are actually turning off this animated progress bar and turning on a static bitmap image instead.  This bitmap resides in winload.exe.mui and the default one is still pretty lacking in the excitement department.

MyVistaBoot winload.exe.mui Screenshot

There are plenty of websites out there that will help you create a new winload.exe.mui and they all talk about how easy it is to enable this in Vista, MyVistaBoot.com is my favorite and it has pre-made boot screens for you. All you have to do is use ‘msconfig’ to put a checkmark in “No GUI Boot”. But alas, it is not such a simple task when you’re dealing with VistaPE which does not contain msconfig. For those of you not familiar with what BCD is, it is the Boot Configuration Data file that has replaced the boot.ini from Windows XP and it cannot be modified as a text file, you must use BCDEDIT.exe to make changes to it (or EasyBCD from NeoSmart Technologies). Here’s the easy solution using BCDEDIT:

  1. Find where your VistaPE BCD is, ie. if on your usb key at e: then it’s e:\boot\bcd

  2. Use the following command: bcdedit /set {default} quietboot on /store e:\boot\bcd

It’s that simple! The hard part is tracking down the intelligent person at Microsoft that named the command switch “quietboot” when what it sets is the /NOGUIBOOT switch in the BCD string.  Maybe someone will knock some sense into him/her.  Let me know and I’ll send you $5.00

Taken from Microsoft MSDN:

quietboot [ on | off ]

Controls the display of a high-resolution bitmap in place of the Windows boot screen display and animation. In operating systems prior to Windows Vista, the /noguiboot serves a similar function.