A text file (.bat) that contains information that Windows requires in order to do an unattended installation.
A text file containing a series of OS commands. Autoexec.bat is a batch file.
Firmware that can control much of a computer’s input/output functions, such as communication with the keyboard and the monitor.
boot loader menu
A startup menu that gives the user choice of which operating system to load such as Windows 8 or Windows 7, when both are installed on the same system, creating a dual boot.
Certificate of Authenticity
A sticker that contains the Windows product key.
Used to install Windows on a new hard drive or to overwrite the existing operating system and applications when installing Windows on a hard drive that already has Windows installed.
A group of settings that can be applied to older drivers or applications that might cause them to work using a newer version of Windows than the one the programs were designed to use.
In the Windows setup program, the option used to overwrite the existing operating system and applications, producing a clean installation of the OS. The main advantage is that problems with the old OS are not carried forward.
A procedure to install Windows, device drivers, and applications on a computer, and can include the process to transfer user settings, application settings, and user data files from an old installation to the new installation.
A small program stored on the hard drive and installed in Windows that tells Windows how to communicate with a specific hardware device such as a printer, network, port, on the motherboard, or scanner.
The primary Windows tool (devmgmt.msc) for managing hardware.
Making an exact image of a hard drive, including partition information, boot sectors, operating system installation, and application software to replicate the hard drive on another system or recover from a hard drive crash. AKA disc cloning or drive imaging.
A Windows command to manage hard drives, partitions, and volumes.
A file server holding Windows setup files used to install Windows on computers networked to the server.
The collective files in the installation that include Windows, device drivers, and applications. The package of files is served up by a distribution server.
The ability to boot using either to two different OSs, such as Windows 8 an Windows 7. AKA multiboot.
The overall structure that an OS uses to name, store, and organize files on a disk. Examples of file systems are NTFS and FAT32. Windows is always installed on a volume that uses the NTFS file system.
GUID Partition Table (GPT)
One of two methods used to organize partitions on a hard drive. A GPT partitioning system installed on a hard drive can support 128 partitions and is recommended for drives larger than 2 TB.
A method used by USMT (User State Migration Tool) that does not copy user files and settings when the source computer and destination computer are the same.
high-touch using a standard image
A strategy to install Windows that uses a standard image for the installation. A technician must perform the installation on the local computer.
high-touch with retail media
A strategy to install Windows where all the work is done by a technician sitting at the computer using Windows setup files. The technician also installs drivers and applications after the Windows installation is finished.
The ability to plug or unplug devices without first powering down the system. USB devices are hot-swappable.
Software that creates and manages virtual machines on a server or on a local computer. AKA virtual memory machine (VMM).
Installing a standard image on a computer.
A Windows installation that is launched from the Windows desktop. The installation carries forward user settings and installed applications from the old OS to the new one. A Windows OS is already in place before the installation begins.
A file format that has an .iso file extension and holds an image of all the data, including the file system that is stored on an optical disc. ISO (International Organization for Standardization).
lite-touch, high-volume deployment
A strategy that uses a deployment server on the network to serve up a Windows installation after a technician starts the process at the local computer.
A Windows user account that applies only to the local computer and cannot be used to access resources from other computers on the network.
Master Boot Record (MBR)
One of two methods used to organize the partition tables on a hard drive. On an MBR hard drive, the first sector on the drive is called the MBR and contains the partition table and a program BIOS uses to boot an OS from the drive.
Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit
Software that can be used by a system administrator from a network location to query hundreds of computers in a single scan to determine if a computer qualifies for a Windows upgrade.
The ability to boot using either of two different OSs, such as Windows 8 and Windows 7. AKA Dual boot.
Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) license
A technology that allows a client computer to create a data source so that the client can interface with a database stored on a remote (host) computer on the network.
Preboot eXecution Environment or Pre-Execution
Programming contained in the UEFI/BIOS code on the motherboard used to start up the computer and search for a server on the network to provide a bootable operating system.
The process that Microsoft uses to prevent software piracy. For example, once Windows 8 is activated for a particular computer, it cannot be legally installed on another computer.
Programs and Features
A window within Control Panel that lists the programs installed on a computer, where you can uninstall, change, or repair programs.
A Windows installation that requires the local user to start the process.
An installation where a server automatically pushes the installation to a computer when a user is not likely to be sitting at the computer.
A partition on a hard drive that contains a recovery utility and installation files.
remote network installation
An automated installation where no user intervention is required.
A command used by the User State Migration Tool (USMT) to copy user settings and data from an old computer to a safe location such as a server or removable media.
A UEFI feature that prevents a system from booting up with drivers or an OS that are not digitally signed and trusted by the motherboard or computer manufacturer.
A collection of several patches or updates that is installed as a single update to an OS or application.
Used to change motherboard settings. For example, you can use it to enable or disable a device on the motherboard, change the data and time that is later passed to the OS, and select the order of boot devices for startup UEFI/BIOS to search when looking for an operating system to load.
A hard drive that has no moving parts.
An image that includes Windows, drivers, and applications that are standard to all the computers that might use the image.
Part of the UEFI/BIOS firmware on the motherboard that is responsible for controlling the computer when it is first turned on. Startup UEFI/BIOS gives control over to the OS once the OS is loaded.
Firmware on the motherboard that is used to control essential devices before the OS is loaded.
Drivers that are not included in UEFI/BIOS or Windows and must come from the manufacturer.
UEFI CSM (Compatibility Support Module) mode
Legacy BIOS in UEFI firmware.
A Windows installation that is done by storing the answers to installation questions in a text file or script that Windows calls an answer file so that the answers do not have be typed in during the installation.
Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI)
An interface between firmware on the motherboard and the operating system that improves on legacy BIOS processes for booting, handing over the boot to the OS, and loading device drivers and applications before the OS loads. UEFI also manages motherboard settings and secures the boot to ensure that no rogue operating system hijacks the system.
Software used to find out if a system can be upgraded to Windows 8.1.
A qualifying OS required by Microsoft in order to perform an in-place upgrade.
User State Migration Tool (USMT)
A Windows utility that helps you migrate user files and preferences from one computer to another to help a user make a smooth transition from one computer to another.
A command used by USMT that provides encryption options and hard-link management.
virtual machine (VM)
Software that simulates the hardware of a physical computer, creating one or more logical machines within one physical machine.
virtual XP mode
The term used by CompTIA for Windows XP mode.
A primary partition that has been assigned a drive letter and can be formatted with a file system such as NTFS.
Windows 7 editions include Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate. Each edition comes at a different price with different features and capabilities.
A free update or release of the Windows 8 operating system. The edition of choice for a laptop or desktop computer used in a home or small office. This edition supports homegroups, but it doesn’t support joining a domain or BitLocker Encryption.
Windows 8.1 Enterprise
A Windows 8 edition that allows for volume licensing in a large, corporate environment.
Windows 8.1 Pro for Students
A version of Windows 8 that includes all the same features as Windows 8 Pro, but at a lower price, available only to students, faculty, and staff at eligible institutions.
Windows 8.1 Pro
This version includes additional features at a higher price. It also supports homegroups, joining a domain, BitLocker, Client Hyper-V, Remote Desktop, and Group Policy.
Windows Assessment and Deployment (ADK)
The Windows ADK for Windows 8 contains a group of tools used to deploy Windows 8 in a large organization and contains the USMT.
Windows Automated Installation Kit (AIK)
Used for Windows 7 and contains a group of tools used to deploy Windows 7 in a large organization and contains the USMT.
Anti-malware software embedded in Windows 8 that can detect, prevent, and clean up a system infected with viruses and other malware. Antispyware utility included in 8/7/Vista.
Windows Easy Transfer
A Windows tool used to transfer 8/7/Vista user data and preferences to the Windows 8/7/Vista installation on another computer.
Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE)
A minimum operating system used to start the Windows installation.
Windows Pro Pack
An upgrade available to Windows 8 that adds the functionality of Windows 8.1 Pro to the more basic editions.
A Windows 8 edition that is a lighter version, designed for tablets, netbooks, and other mobile devices.
Editions include Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, Enterprise, and Ultimate. Each edition comes at a different price with different features and capabilities.
Windows XP Mode
A Windows XP environment installed in Windows 8/7 that can be used to support older applications.
When using an unformatted hard drive for a clean installation, this folder is created to store the previous operating system settings and user profiles.
zero-touch, high volume deployment
An installation strategy that does not require the user to start the process. Instead a server pushes the installation to a computer when a user is not likely to be sitting at it.
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