About - Requirements - Installation - Folder layout


Windows Post-Install Wizard (WPI for short) is a hypertext application designed for giving users choice. While Windows XP offers many ways of customizing the setup process out of the box, its major drawback is the lack of being able to select which applications an end user may install. In the past, end users and administrators needed to either download the files manually, or create overly complex scripts that could only be used once. WPI allows you to create one image, which can then be custom configured, and optionally, automated, so that end users can install any applications.
WPI was designed by Derek McCabe (Whimsy). It was created for end users to have a simplified interface for installing applications, and as a learner’s project for Hypertext applications.

Coolsights2000 developed a new branch of the app, calling it version 3.

Derek and several others maintained the original branch for some time. Then bishooman and gresh announced version 2.7. It was the moment when I began using this cool piece of soft, but I needed some more options and features. So I decided to add new functionality and share it with others ...


Previously, WPI was designed to run at 800X600. WPI 2.0 now supports resolutions from 640 X 480 up to 1024 X 768. WPI also requires the Windows Scripting host. Windows XP and 2000 can run HTA Files out of the box by default, but when you design a winnt.sif, be sure to have this component installed. You may create a script to remove it after WPI has executed.

It’s recommended that you have:

- A winnt.sif file that can call a few batch files.
- Internet Explorer 6 (which comes with XP).
- Knowledge of program installation switches.
- It’s a good idea to be fluent with JavaScript.
- Time to configure that thing.


The process of preparing WPI for usage in your windows XP Distribution is perhaps mundane. On average, implementing WPI takes about 25 minutes plus testing, however once initially setup, it becomes much easier.
Note: If you choose to employ QCDI, there are instructions and additional hints located in the appendix. WPI works well with QCDI, as you will see.

It is assumed that you have an “image” prepared in advance. If you do not, then please prepare one. You will need to have experience modifying winnt.sif in order to understand how to use using WPI. Please consult the excellent guides located at http://unattended.msfn.org/ for more details.

Here are step-by-step instructions for adding WPI to your Windows XP Distribution Folder

  1. Locate your $oem$\$1\install folder, and extract WPI into this folder. The result should be a new folder $oem$\Install\WPI
    If your installation path is different, modify it as required.
  2. Create or edit install.cmd in $oem$\$1\install (That is, the root of your install folder) and add the folowing line:
    start /wait %systemdrive%\install\WPI\WPI.HTA
    See here how my install.cmd looks like:
    rem The following line hides the command window ...
    cmdow @ /HID
    ECHO Calling WPI
    start /wait %systemdrive%\install\WPI\WPI.HTA
  3. Open WPI (double-click the HTA file), set your options and configure you programs. See the sample config.js for instructions.
  4. Test it - for this, enable debug mode in options wizard. All registry entries will be written, but none executed. Check your registry, if the correct keys were written. Manually delete the keys in RunOnceEx afterwards.
  5. Disable debug-mode and the options-button. (This is done in the options dialog).
  6. Be sure to agree to all associated licenses! This includes all third party licenses.
  7. Remove any batch files or installer scripts you used before and that you did not add to WPI, and then add the following lines to your winnt.sif, under your guirunonce section:

    Of course you can also call WPI directly from winnt.sif:


    Note: If you use a cleanup script, be sure it runs after the WPI scripts, or else WPI will fail to execute.

  8. Your custom WPI is finished. Use any steps you normally follow to create a slipstreamed, bootable CD image.
    It is highly recommended that you test your CD Image as much as possible. Simply doubleclick WPI.hta to open it on your local machine.
  9. To test the whole installation process you have 2 options: a spare pc or a virtual machine.

Have fun.

Folder Layout

My unattended folder-layout. The Source folder gets burned bootable with the bootloader saved in Bootloader. Tools contains some utilities I use(d).
Move around in left image to make the folder contents appear at the right.