Windows 8 Change PC Settings does not work in Audit Mode (Windows 8 Pro 64-bit)


New Member
Sep 24, 2010
Here is the problem. I'm an IT pro and I'm in the process of creating Windows 8 Pro (64-bit) images for my workplace using audit mode (i have done this countless times on windows 7). The problem is, the 'Change PC settings' button does NOT work when I click on it in audit mode. Nothing happens at all, the charms bar just slides away as it should, and then....nothing.

Heres what I'm doing:

1. Installing Windows 8 using our (MAK) dvd on my base image PC (Dell Optiplex 780). This is a CLEAN install on a wiped hard disk using verified installation media.
2. I Press Ctrl-SHift-F3 at the 'Personalize' screen to launch audit mode
3. The system logs in as it should with the built-in admin account

At this stage, Windows is not yet activated. The change PC settings button does not work.

I then:

4. Activate Windows 8 using the 'slui 3' command to input my volume product key. This activates OK.
5. I reboot to complete activation
6. I verify in system settings that windows IS activated.

The 'change pc settings' button still does not respond at this stage (nothing happens at all, no errors etc). And this is with ZERO changes to the PC.

Attempted Workarounds

For the record, I have tried countless things in a bid to fix this, including but not limited to:

* put the resolution to 1024x768 (as some forums recommended) - 'change PC settings' still not working.
* installing ALL available windows updates (before activation, after activation etc) - 'change PC settings' still not working.
* updated the PC bios and tried again - 'change PC settings' still not working.
* I have created new local accounts (admin and non admin) just to test it using the new accounts, and that doesnt work either.
* I have wiped the disk and attempted complete wipe and reinstalls countless times (and on 3 different models of PC), with the same result. 'change PC settings' still not working.
* tried countless possible fixes found in forums all over the web - none of which worked.

I have done all this and more, countless times, and in countless different orders to try and beat this thing, but to no avail.

Technical information:

When I try and click 'Change PC settings' the following is always recorded in Event Viewer:

"Event 5973, Apps

Activation of! failed with an error: This app failedto launch because of an issue with it's license. Please try again in a moment. See the Microsoft-Windows-TWinUI/Operation log for additional information."

This error is the same in event viewer before and after windows activation, and occurs on all instances of me clicking the 'change pc settings' button.

I have tried countless workarounds, but cannot go ahead creating an image without the functionality of 'change pc settings'. I have even called the Microsoft Automated line to provide my key and input the activation key they gave me to ensure activation was good - STILL didn't fix it.

I need to know how to fix this, as I know this feature SHOULD be enabled in audit mode. Is it something to do with the BIOS? or a local policy item that needs to be edited? I have searched for and tried lots of fixes but to no avail.

I even downloaded a different copy of Win 8 professional using MSDNAA with its own license key. I installed this, went to audit mode and the EXACT same thing happens - 'change pc settings' doesnt work. Even after activation - no 'change PC settings' doesnt work.

I've searched for days on this, and all i see is recommendations to refresh the system. Please know in advance, this is no use to me. I am doing complete re-installs from scratch and the problem persists.


1. This happens whether I am using the Volume license disk or the MSDNAA disk
2. This happens on different computer models and laptops (pre/post activation)
3. This happens on COMPLETELY clean installs. No modifications/additions made. The behavious starts on its first boot into the built-in admin profile, and continues after updates, activation, software installation, tweaks, attempted fixes etc.

If i actually run sysprep when in audit mode, and the PC restarts, goes through the oobe process and boots into (normal) windows, the 'change pc settings' WILL work! It just will NOT work in audit mode. Please help and address this issue asap, as I know for a fact I'm not the only one with it. Do I need to use a PC with a certain bios type to run audit mode? Is there a problem with activation in audit mode? Do you have to be activated to use the 'change pc settings' button? Who knows!

I would really appreciate any help with this, as it's really holding me back. I know this is a looonnng post, but I wanted to include as much information as possible to save time.

Thanks in advance.
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