The OOBE Massacre: The Beginning of Shift F10

Last Updated on August 17, 2022 by rudyooms

This will be my first blog after I took a short break from “blogging” as I didn’t feel the urge to start writing about some ideas. Maybe because it had something to do with me having Covid and being in Quarantine…. but I am back…

Please note: This blog will be an addition to my last blog about Autopilot and the local account massacre. I guess the name just says it all… it has something to do with the OOBE and pressing Shift+F10

I will divide this blog into multiple parts

  1. The Issue
  2. Fixing It
  3. Explaining the Better Fix
  4. The whole PowerShell script
  5. Windows.Old Fix Adjustment
  6. Conclusion / Results

1.The Issue

Before I am going to show you, how to fix it we still need to know what we need to fix. I guess everyone knows about the possibility to press shift + F10 to get a nice system shell/cmd during out-of-box experience (OOBE)

For me, this shift f10 could be even worse than the possibility to create a local account during Autopilot (even while it shouldn’t be possible to create a local admin account)

For It Pro’s who need to do some troubleshooting, the Shift F10 option is great! Nothing to complain about. But when we don’t need it, we must have the possibility (in my opinion) to disable it because a regular user doesn’t need it right?

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Why do we want to disable it? That’s an easy one! because you can do a lot of “nice” stuff with a cmd shell like this, like for example, creating additional local admins. But that’s not what I am afraid of, I am afraid of the stuff we don’t have thought about and don’t have security barriers configured for.

2.Fixing it

Of course, I can advise you to use Windows 10 S mode and I would be done with this blog but let’s just forget about Windows 10 S mode for now. It’s isn’t Christmas anymore but this one is definitely on my Christmas wish list for next year.

As I would love to see the possibility to just have the option in the Autopilot profile to disable shift f10. Just like we have to change the default user account to “Standard

But unfortunately, this nice option above isn’t available. So we need to fix it another way. Luckily it’s easy to block this. The only thing you will need to do is, to make sure you have created a file named: “DisableCMDRequest.tag” and have placed this file in the c:\windows\setup\scripts folder (scripts folder normally doesn’t exist)

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And you are done, right?

Done GIF - I Am Done Done Finished - Discover & Share GIFs

But you will need to do this every time you are performing a push-button reset. Waiting for that process to complete could take up some of your time before you can manually copy that file and you will need to do it manually. And like everything you need to do manually there comes a time, you just forget about it!.

That’s not great at all. First I wanted to take a look if we could fix this issue with a Provisioning Package, but we would still have the same issue when we perform a remote wipe from Intune.

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But what about when a user performs a reset of his own device? Luckily all of our users don’t have local admin permissions, so when they want to perform a device reset from the settings menu, they will be prompted for Admin credentials but like always company portal to the rescue!

When you don’t configure the end-user experience customization and make sure you “Hide reset button on corporate Windows Devices” like shown below,

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A standard user could simply open the Company Portal app and could decide to “reset” his device on his own and you will end up again with a device with the possibility to press Shift+ F10 to get a nice cmd.

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Normally when resetting the device you will be asked to “remove everything” or “keep my files” and after making your decision, your device will be reset.

3. Fixing It even after a remote wipe/local wipe

So let’s take a look at how else we could raise some barriers to make it harder for the user to get a cmd when pressing shift-f10.

It’s a good thing we could add some nice customization to the Push Button reset options. We need to place 3 files inside the c:\recovery\oem folder ResetConfig.Xml to configure Windows Recovery Environment Push-button reset features.

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  1. ResetConfig.xml
  2. CommonCustomizations.cmd
  3. DisableCMDRequest.TAG

3.1: ResetConfig.Xml

The Resetconfig.xml will be used when we are resetting the device. There are four Extensibility points you could use during the reset process.

We are going to take a look at two extensibility points at the end of (after) the reset. Those 2 extensibility points can be used to point to a script that needs to be executed just after the old c:\windows files are moved to c:\windows.old. and the new Windows files are going to be moved to the famous c:\windows folder.

So shall we take a better look at this resetconfig.xml? Looking at this file you will probably notice the “BasicReset_afterimageApply” and “FactoryReset_AfterImageApply” . Both of them will use the same Commoncustomizations.cmd

<Run Phase="BasicReset_AfterImageApply">
    <Path>CommonCustomizations.cmd</Path>
    <Duration>2</Duration>
  </Run>
  <Run Phase="FactoryReset_AfterImageApply">
    <Path>CommonCustomizations.cmd</Path>
    <Duration>2</Duration>
  </Run>

Please Note: This file needs to be UTF8 encoded!

So what do BasicReset and FactoryReset tell us? Luckily it’s just one simple difference between those two.

BasicReset_AfterimageApply AKA Keep My files

FactoryReset_AfterImageApply AKA Remove Everything

So with this XML we covered both of the reset options we have seen earlier, that’s pretty nice. With these 2 extensibility points, we can make sure a script is executed.

3.2: CommonCustomizations.cmd / DisableCMDRequest.TAG

Let’s go further and let’s take a look at the CommonCustomizations.cmd script it calls upon

for /F "tokens=1,2,3 delims= " %%A in ('reg query "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\RecoveryEnvironment" /v TargetOS') DO SET TARGETOS=%%C
for /F "tokens=1 delims=\" %%A in ('Echo %TARGETOS%') DO SET TARGETOSDRIVE=%%A
if not exist "%TARGETOS%\Setup\Scripts\" mkdir "%TARGETOS%\Setup\Scripts"
copy "%TARGETOSDRIVE%\Recovery\OEM\DisableCMDRequest.TAG" "%TARGETOS%\Setup\Scripts\DisableCMDRequest.TAG" /y

So this script above pretty much queries the registry and sets some needed variables like “Targetosdrive” and “targetos” and if those variables are set it just creates the needed setup\scripts folder and copies the needed disablecmdrequest.tag file to this folder.

And with these 2 files I have explained the 3 needed files, shall we take a look at the whole script?

4. The whole PowerShell Script

I have created this simple PowerShell script, converted it to a Win32 app, and uploaded it to Intune. To be sure this PowerShell script is executed during the pre-provisioning Autopilot process, I also added this App to the required apps in the ESP

###############################################################################
# Create disablecmdrequest in the c:\windows\setup\scripts                 #
##########################################################################
$path = "C:\Windows\Setup\Scripts"
If(!(test-path $path))
{
      New-Item -ItemType Directory -Force -Path $path
}

$path = "C:\Windows\Setup\Scripts\DisableCMDRequest.TAG"
If(!(test-path $path))
{
      New-Item -ItemType file -Force -Path $path
}


#######################################################
# Create disablecmdrequest in the oem recovery folder #
#######################################################

$path = "C:\recovery\oem"
If(!(test-path $path))
{
      New-Item -ItemType Directory -Force -Path $path
}

$path = "C:\recovery\oem\DisableCMDRequest.TAG"
If(!(test-path $path))
{
      New-Item -ItemType file -Force -Path $path
}

#######################################################
# create enablecustomizations.cmd in the oem folder   #
#######################################################


$content = @'
for /F "tokens=1,2,3 delims= " %%A in ('reg query "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\RecoveryEnvironment" /v TargetOS') DO SET TARGETOS=%%C
for /F "tokens=1 delims=\" %%A in ('Echo %TARGETOS%') DO SET TARGETOSDRIVE=%%A
if not exist "%TARGETOS%\Setup\Scripts\" mkdir "%TARGETOS%\Setup\Scripts"
copy "%TARGETOSDRIVE%\Recovery\OEM\DisableCMDRequest.TAG" "%TARGETOS%\Setup\Scripts\DisableCMDRequest.TAG" /y

'@

Out-File -FilePath c:\recovery\oem\CommonCustomizations.cmd  -Encoding utf8 -Force -InputObject $content -Confirm:$false


$MyPath = "c:\recovery\oem\CommonCustomizations.cmd"
$utf8 = New-Object System.Text.UTF8Encoding $false
$MyFile = Get-Content $MyPath -Raw
Set-Content -Value $utf8.GetBytes($MyFile) -Encoding Byte -Path $MyPath


#######################################################
# create ResetConfig.xml in the oem folder   #
#######################################################


$content2 = @'
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<!-- ResetConfig.xml -->
<Reset>
  <Run Phase="BasicReset_AfterImageApply">
    <Path>CommonCustomizations.cmd</Path>
    <Duration>2</Duration>
  </Run>
  <Run Phase="FactoryReset_AfterImageApply">
    <Path>CommonCustomizations.cmd</Path>
    <Duration>2</Duration>
  </Run>
  <!-- May be combined with Recovery Media Creator
       configurations – insert SystemDisk element here -->
</Reset>
'@

Out-File -FilePath c:\recovery\oem\ResetConfig.xml -Encoding utf8 -Force -InputObject $content2 -Confirm:$false

$MyPath = "c:\recovery\oem\ResetConfig.xml"
$utf8 = New-Object System.Text.UTF8Encoding $false
$MyFile = Get-Content $MyPath -Raw
Set-Content -Value $utf8.GetBytes($MyFile) -Encoding Byte -Path $MyPath

This script above just output’s the contents to the required files we discussed earlier. But the only thing I need to explain a little bit more is the UTF8 part. Normally when using the out-file option, the file created isn’t created with the needed UTF8 encoding. Even when specifying -Encoding utf8, it will not save the file as we want. So I made sure I encoded it the right way with these few additional lines

$MyPath = "c:\recovery\oem\CommonCustomizations.cmd"
$utf8 = New-Object System.Text.UTF8Encoding $false
$MyFile = Get-Content $MyPath -Raw
Set-Content -Value $utf8.GetBytes($MyFile) -Encoding Byte -Path $MyPath

5. Windows.OLD adjustment

Microsoft decided to use the same idea to fix the lingering.old folder, the same way I did but by doing so they will break this possibility to lock down the Shift+f10 functionality.

Please read this blog to fix it!

KB5011487 | KB5011493 | Windows.old fix breaks Shift+F10 Fix (call4cloud.nl)

6. Conclusion / Results

Normally I could show the outcome, but this script removes the possibility of just pressing Shift + F10 after a wipe… it’s hard to show nothing?

Hopefully, Microsoft will give us the possibility to disable the Shift-f10 possibility when we need it to be disabled!. In the meantime, you could use the push-button reset script to fix it

Script GIFs | Tenor

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