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MDT 2013 - Windows 8.1 deployment to VMware - "The answer file is invalid"

    Question

  • Trying to deploy Windows 8.1 via MDT 2013 to VMware workstation virtual machine. Deploying to physical boxes is fine but when trying to deploy to VMware ESXi virtual machine or VMware workstation virtual machine I get an error: "Windows could not parse or process unattend file [C:\Windows\Panther\unattend.xml] for pass [specialize]. The answer file is invalid.

    I mounted the virtual VMDK and looked at the "setupact" and/or "setuperr" in the "Panther" directory and here is what it states:

    SETUPERR:

    2014-04-29 08:20:04, Error                 CSI    00000001 (F) 80220005 [Error,Facility=FACILITY_STATE_MANAGEMENT,Code=5] #100# from CWcmScalarInstanceCore::PutCurrentValue(options = 0, value = { type: 8204 (0x0000200c), bytes ( 116 (0x00000074) ): 500043005f0056004d0077006100720065002d00350036002000340064002000300065002000660061002000300037002000360037002000340030002000330066002d00650066002000310033002000350037002000650032002000390032002000300030002000360038002000620062000000 })
    [gle=0x80004005]
    2014-04-29 08:20:04, Error                        [setup.exe] SMI data results dump: Source = Name: Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup, Language: neutral, ProcessorArchitecture: amd64, PublicKeyToken: 31bf3856ad364e35, VersionScope: nonSxS, /settings/ComputerName
    2014-04-29 08:20:04, Error                        [setup.exe] SMI data results dump: Description = Value is invalid.
    2014-04-29 08:20:04, Error      [0x060432] IBS    The provided unattend file is not valid; hrResult = 0x80220005
    2014-04-29 08:20:04, Error      [0x060565] IBS    Callback_Unattend_InitEngine:The provided unattend file [C:\windows\Panther\unattend.xml] is not a valid unattended Setup answer file; hr = 0x1, hrSearched = 0x1, hrDeserialized = 0x0, hrImplicitCtx = 0x0, hrValidated = 0x1, hrResult = 0x80220005
    2014-04-29 08:20:04, Error      [0x0600c2] IBS    Callback_Unattend_InitEngine:An error occurred while finding/loading the unattend file; hr = 0x1, hrResult = 0x80220005[gle=0x00000490]

    SETUPACT:

    2014-04-29 08:20:02, Info                         [setup.exe] UnattendSearchExplicitPath: Found unattend file at [C:\windows\Panther\unattend.xml]; examining for applicability.
    2014-04-29 08:20:02, Info                         [setup.exe] UnattendSearchExplicitPath: Found usable unattend file for pass [specialize] at [C:\windows\Panther\unattend.xml].
    2014-04-29 08:20:03, Info                  IBS    Callback_Unattend_InitEngine:Using unattend file found at [C:\windows\Panther\unattend.xml].
    2014-04-29 08:20:03, Info                         [setup.exe] ValidateSMIPass: serialized settings stream; status 0x00000000
    2014-04-29 08:20:04, Info                         [setup.exe] ValidateSMIPass: construct settings context; status 0x00000000
    2014-04-29 08:20:04, Error                 CSI    00000001 (F) 80220005 [Error,Facility=FACILITY_STATE_MANAGEMENT,Code=5] #100# from CWcmScalarInstanceCore::PutCurrentValue(options = 0, value = { type: 8204 (0x0000200c), bytes ( 116 (0x00000074) ): 500043005f0056004d0077006100720065002d00350036002000340064002000300065002000660061002000300037002000360037002000340030002000330066002d00650066002000310033002000350037002000650032002000390032002000300030002000360038002000620062000000 })
    [gle=0x80004005]
    2014-04-29 08:20:04, Error                        [setup.exe] SMI data results dump: Source = Name: Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup, Language: neutral, ProcessorArchitecture: amd64, PublicKeyToken: 31bf3856ad364e35, VersionScope: nonSxS, /settings/ComputerName
    2014-04-29 08:20:04, Error                        [setup.exe] SMI data results dump: Description = Value is invalid.
    2014-04-29 08:20:04, Info                         [setup.exe] ValidateSMIPass: load SMI settings; status 0x00000001
    2014-04-29 08:20:04, Error      [0x060432] IBS    The provided unattend file is not valid; hrResult = 0x80220005
    2014-04-29 08:20:04, Error      [0x060565] IBS    Callback_Unattend_InitEngine:The provided unattend file [C:\windows\Panther\unattend.xml] is not a valid unattended Setup answer file; hr = 0x1, hrSearched = 0x1, hrDeserialized = 0x0, hrImplicitCtx = 0x0, hrValidated = 0x1, hrResult = 0x80220005
    2014-04-29 08:20:04, Info                  IBS    UnattendErrorFromResults: Hit an unattend error; dumping any info we have about the failure...
    2014-04-29 08:20:04, Info                  IBS    UnattendDumpSetting: ------Unattend setting error / warning------
    2014-04-29 08:20:04, Info                  IBS    UnattendDumpSetting: Error code = 0x80220005
    2014-04-29 08:20:04, Info                  IBS    UnattendDumpSetting: Pass = specialize
    2014-04-29 08:20:04, Info                  IBS    UnattendDumpSetting: --------------------------------------------
    2014-04-29 08:20:04, Info                  IBS    UnattendErrorFromResults: Error text = Windows could not parse or process unattend answer file [C:\windows\Panther\unattend.xml] for pass [specialize]. The answer file is invalid.
    2014-04-29 08:20:04, Error      [0x0600c2] IBS    Callback_Unattend_InitEngine:An error occurred while finding/loading the unattend file; hr = 0x1, hrResult = 0x80220005[gle=0x00000490]
    2014-04-29 08:20:04, Info                  IBSLIB PublishCriticalError: Publishing blocked message [Windows could not parse or process unattend answer file [C:\windows\Panther\unattend.xml] for pass [specialize]. The answer file is invalid.]
    2014-04-29 08:20:04, Info                         This installation is blocked from completing due to compliance failures or invalid input; this is not an internal error

    Anyone seen this before with regard to Windows 8.1? I removed the "Internet Explorer" and "Product key" lines from the "unattend.xml" and still get an error. 


    • Edited by Rock07 Tuesday, April 29, 2014 5:19 PM
    Tuesday, April 29, 2014 5:04 PM

Answers

  • I didn't notice it before but the problem was staring at me in the face when I posted the error logs - the issue was "ComputerName". 

    I got clued into looking at this from a similar post:

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/54274009-8d74-457c-9673-36e32a82c038/unattendxml-answer-file-is-invalid?forum=mdt

    The answer in that post was:

    "Check the Setupact.log file to see why it's failing. Normally it's an incorrect computer name, invalid product key, or incorrect settings for IE10. But again, the Setupact.log file will tell you why it failed."

    I re-created the task sequence, removed IE and product key entries, and deployed again Windows 8.1. Boom! Same error. Mounted the VMDK to another VM, looked at the logs again and this time noticed:

    "Error                        [setup.exe] SMI data results dump: Source = Name: Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup, Language: neutral, ProcessorArchitecture: amd64, PublicKeyToken: 31bf3856ad364e35, VersionScope: nonSxS, /settings/ComputerName"

    I then got the "light bulb" that I was specifying a computername in my CUSTOMSETTINGS.INI. I had set computername to name itself "pc_%serialnumber%". And since I've been trying to push this to a virtual machine, the deployment was hanging up on itself because VMs don't have a serial number. Physical boxes do which is why it would work just fine on physical boxes. 

    After removing that variable from my CUSTOMSETTINGS.INI, the deployment was successful. No errors! :)


    • Marked as answer by Rock07 Tuesday, April 29, 2014 7:15 PM
    • Edited by Rock07 Tuesday, April 29, 2014 8:50 PM
    Tuesday, April 29, 2014 7:15 PM

All replies

  • I didn't notice it before but the problem was staring at me in the face when I posted the error logs - the issue was "ComputerName". 

    I got clued into looking at this from a similar post:

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/54274009-8d74-457c-9673-36e32a82c038/unattendxml-answer-file-is-invalid?forum=mdt

    The answer in that post was:

    "Check the Setupact.log file to see why it's failing. Normally it's an incorrect computer name, invalid product key, or incorrect settings for IE10. But again, the Setupact.log file will tell you why it failed."

    I re-created the task sequence, removed IE and product key entries, and deployed again Windows 8.1. Boom! Same error. Mounted the VMDK to another VM, looked at the logs again and this time noticed:

    "Error                        [setup.exe] SMI data results dump: Source = Name: Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup, Language: neutral, ProcessorArchitecture: amd64, PublicKeyToken: 31bf3856ad364e35, VersionScope: nonSxS, /settings/ComputerName"

    I then got the "light bulb" that I was specifying a computername in my CUSTOMSETTINGS.INI. I had set computername to name itself "pc_%serialnumber%". And since I've been trying to push this to a virtual machine, the deployment was hanging up on itself because VMs don't have a serial number. Physical boxes do which is why it would work just fine on physical boxes. 

    After removing that variable from my CUSTOMSETTINGS.INI, the deployment was successful. No errors! :)


    • Marked as answer by Rock07 Tuesday, April 29, 2014 7:15 PM
    • Edited by Rock07 Tuesday, April 29, 2014 8:50 PM
    Tuesday, April 29, 2014 7:15 PM
  • Hi,

    Glad to see your problem resolved. Hope your experience was helpful with other.


    Roger Lu
    TechNet Community Support

    Wednesday, April 30, 2014 6:45 AM