Microsoft Windows Setup switches

Updated: 03/13/2021 by Computer Hope

Below is a listing of the different switches and options that run with Microsoft Windows 95 and Windows 98 setup.exe.

Windows 2000 setup switches

Below is a listing of switches that run with WINNT.EXE or WINNT32.EXE for the setup of Windows 2000. If you are familiar with Windows NT setup, you may recall the WINNT /b switch that allowed for diskless installation of Windows NT. Fortunately, this has been incorporated into the default installation of Windows 2000.

Switch Description
/s Location of Windows NT source files.
/unattend Unattended installation.
/udf Specifies Uniqueness Database File for unattended install.
/tempdrive Location of temporary files.
/copydir Installs additional directory.
/copysource Copies source files to local directory.
/cmd Executes command after GUI (graphical user interface) mode.
/syspart Copies temporary files to specified drive.

Windows 98 and Windows ME setup switches

Switch Description
/m Causes Windows to not play the introduction .wav sound file.
/na Bypasses the Microsoft Windows program check and can run with the options below.
  • 0 = Default setting.
  • 1 = No Windows-based program check, MS-DOS-based programs are blocked.
  • 2 = No MS-DOS-based program check, Windows-based programs are blocked.
  • 3 = No Windows-based or MS-DOS-based program check.
/nd Force Microsoft Windows to overwrite most newer files. Note: The /nd switch can cause compatibility issues with Windows and in some cases Windows to no longer function.
/nf Stop the prompt to remove the floppy disk from occurring.
/nh Bypass running the hwinfo.exe program.
/nm Bypass running the minimum system hardware requirement test.
/nx Skip the check for versions of setupx that are running.
/ia Turn off the after providers listed in setupc.inf under [AfterProvider]
/ib Turn off the before providers listed in setupc.inf under [BeforeProvider]
/ic Clean boot.
/ie Skip the Windows 98 startup disk wizard screens.
/in Do not call the setup code.
/ir Do not update the MBR (master boot record).
/iv Do not display the setup screens during an upgrade within Windows.
/ix Do not perform a character set test.
/f Fast. Notifies setupx dosFindFirst looks in file name cache.
/u:<UPI> Enables users to specify an UPI (User Program Interface).

Windows NT setup switches

Below are various switches that can be combined with the setup command used to set up Windows NT 4.0.

Switch Description
/b Option to not make the three setup boot disks.
/c Skips the check for available free space.
/I:inf_file Specify the name of the Setup information file. The default file name is Dosnet.inf
/f Options to skip the verifying of files as they are copied.
/l Creates a log file called $WINNT.LOG that lists all errors that occur as files are being copied to the temporary directory.
/ox Creates the three setup boot disks and then stops.
/s:server_path Specifies the location of the installation source files.
/t Specifies a temporary drive.
/u Allows all or part of an installation to proceed unattended. The /b option for floppy less installation is automatically invoked and the /s option for location of the source files must be used. The /u option can be followed with the name of an answer file to fully automate installation.
/udf Use during an unattended installation to specify settings unique to a specific computer that are contained in a uniqueness data file.
/w Undocumented switch that enables the WINNT.EXE program to execute in Windows instead of requiring execution from an MS-DOS command prompt.
/x Does not create the three boot disks. You must already have the three boot disks.

Windows 95 setup switches

Switch Description
/? Displays a brief listing of the available options for the setup.exe command and how to use them. Note: Not all the commands listed on this page are listed in this command.
/c Does not run smartdrive.
/d Does not use or ignores the existing win.ini and the system.ini.
/id Does not check for free space.
/ig Run setup for older computers.
/ih Runs ScanDisk in foreground.
/im Ignore the conventional memory check.
/iq Does not run ScanDisk. However, does check for cross-linked files.
/is Does not run ScanDisk.
/it Does not check for TSRs.
/IW This switch skips the license agreement. Make sure the "IW" is capitalized.
/l Uses Logitech mouse.
/n Run setup without using a mouse.
/t:<dir> Where to copy setup's temporary file. When finished, all files in this directory are deleted.
-s Utilize a different setup .inf file for installing Windows.