For those installing Windows XP Mode in a managed environment and would like a quiet install, you may find it frustrating trying switches on the WindowsXPMode_en-us.exe file. Regardless of /quiet, /passive, or even /? it will come up as if you simply ran it through explorer.

The trick is to break this outer shell of the program and get the files within. There are many ways to do this. I’ll outline a couple.

If you have WinRAR or a similar unpackaging program, try using it on this file. WinRAR will allow for a simple right click – Extract to subdirectory. UniExtract is another valuable tool, if you work in IT daily this is a must have. I have not tried 7Zip but I’d imagine that would not have troubles either.

The simpler approach may be to just run the program and hunt down the temporary directory it unpacks to. I found that it does not use the usual user or Windows temporary directory but rather a GUID Named (22-24 random characters) folder placed on the root of the Windows drive (i.e. c:\ebca0a28b5531be75a5ebd75)

Within this, you will find subfolder sources, which contains MSI’s for the usual install commands. For a quick refresher the following would install the msi quietly, without a restart (/? will work on the MSI!)

msiexec /i C:\MyFiles\Installers\xpminstl64.msi /qn /norestart


  • good

  • I figured it’d be msiexec /passive /i xpminst132.msi /norestart ALLUSERS=1, but had no go. I want it all to be x86/32-bit.