I ran C:\Windows\System32\oobe\audit.exe (bad idea, I know), I got a pop-up message saying "Windows could not complete the installation. To install Windows on this computer, restart the installation" and my computer immediately restarted after pressing OK. Now my computer has a defaultuser0 account, and my start menu and recent items have been cleared out. There may be other effects I haven't found yet. What exactly does this audit.exe do to my computer?

  • Here's a very nice answer at the HP Forums: h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/Notebook-Operating-System-and-Recovery/… – user772515 Jan 25 '18 at 17:25
  • @MichaelBay - The suggested answer would not help the author reverse the changes to his system. All that answer explains is how to change the password policy on a password. Enabling Audit mode does a great deal more then change the password policy on an account. – Ramhound Jan 25 '18 at 18:07

What exactly does this audit.exe do to my computer?

It is used to make changes to your current installation so a custom installation images can be created.

Audit mode is used by OEMs and IT professionals to add customizations to their Standard 7 images. Audit mode does not require settings in Windows Welcome to be applied. By bypassing Windows Welcome, you can access the desktop quicker and perform your customizations. You can add more device drivers, install applications, and test the validity of the installation. OEMs and corporations should use audit mode to complete their manual customizations before shipping the computer to an end-user.

In audit mode, settings in an unattended answer file in the auditSystem and auditUser configuration passes are processed. For more information about these configuration passes, see auditSystem and auditUser.

Differences between Audit Mode and Windows Welcome (Standard 7 SP1)

  • I suggest booting to a boot configuration from before you ran this particular executable. – Ramhound Jan 25 '18 at 17:47

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