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Using ImageX to Deploy XP with Recovery Console

    Question

  • I am trying to use Windows AIK to deploy Windows XP Pro 32-bit w/ SP3.  I use ImageX to capture and apply a sysprep'd (with the 'reseal' option) XP image.  The whole thing worked out fine until I tried to add recovery console.  In fact, adding the recovery console (i.e. I386\winnt32.exe /cmdcons) completed without any error.  But when I tried to boot "Microsoft Windows Recovery Console" from the boot menu, it hangs with message "a disk read error has occurred press Ctr-Alt-Del to restart."

    I also tried with installing the recovery console first, making sure I could boot up recovery console and was able to log-in to the recovery console as administrator before I ran sysprep and capture the image with ImageX.  After completing OOBE, system reboot, I chose "Microsoft Windows Recovery Console."  Again I got the exact same error.

    I tried both Vista/Win2K8 AIK (http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=94bb6e34-d890-4932-81a5-5b50c657de08&displaylang=en) and Win7 AIK (http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=696DD665-9F76-4177-A811-39C26D3B3B34&displaylang=en).  It makes no difference.

    I also tried to fix the boot sector with 'bootsect /nt52 <osdrive> /force|/mbr' before applying the image.  It doesn't help.

    However, I could boot the Windows XP Pro option w/o any problem.  XP boots up and function normally in all cases....   Bizarre.

    Any idea?  Many thanks!

    Sunday, April 25, 2010 12:52 AM

Answers

  • Thank you MikeK6044.  You are right.  "bootsect.exe /nt52 <bootdrive> /force" does solve the problem.  I went back and repeated the procedure on both XP Pro and Win2K3 R2.

    When I was looking into the issue, I saw a post on Microsoft's support website talks about the similar issue w/ Win2K.  They suggest to use mini-setup to workaround the issue.  That is, call 'winnt32.exe /cmdcons' with '/unattend' flag in the [GuiRunOnce] section of Sysprep.inf file.  I verified.  It works for XP and Win2K3.

    • Marked as answer by Pindish Sunday, June 06, 2010 6:12 AM
    Sunday, June 06, 2010 6:12 AM

All replies

  • I am having the exact same issue.  I have captured and applied a few iterations of a WinXP SP3 image using ImageX 3.0, and after successfully installing the Recovery Console, I get the "A disk read error has occurred" error when attempting to boot the Recovery Console.  This happens whether the SATA disk is set to "Compatibility" or "AHCI" in the BIOS.  In my case, I have not sysprep'd the image yet.

    Anyone experience this and find a fix?  Or know why this is happening - apparantly only when using ImageX?

     

    Tuesday, May 04, 2010 5:32 PM
  • I found the fix (at least to my specific problem)

    When setting up the hard drive (using Diskpart), running bootsect.exe /nt52 c: /force solved it for me.

    So: partition, make active and format the hard drive.  Then run the bootsect.exe command.  Then apply the image.

    Running the bootsect.exe command on an already imaged drive does not appear to work.

     

    Friday, May 07, 2010 12:17 AM
  • I did pretty much the same in terms of when to run bootsect.exe.  Followings are the procedures I carry out.  You said you didn't run sysprep on your image.  Please let me know what else you did differently:

    (1) Install Windows XP Pro 32-bit w/ SP3 on Reference Computer

    (2) Install all the necessary drivers

    (3) Run sysprep w/ 'reseal', no other options checked, shutdown

    (4) Boot the Reference Computer with WinPE 3.0 (from Win7 AIK)

    (5) Capture the XP image:

    imagex /compress fast /capture c: c:\XP.wim "WinXP custom image" /verify

    (6) Transfer XP.wim to a USB flash drive

    (7) Reboot the Reference Computer with WinPE 3.0 again

    (8) Run diskpart to format the drive

    select disk 0

    clean

    create partition primary

    active

    format fs=ntfs quick

    assign letter=z

    exit diskpart

    (9) Run bootsect.exe /nt52 z: /force

    (10) Apply the image

    imagex /apply d:\XP.wim 1 z:

    (11) Reboot (from hard drive)

    (12) Go thru OOBE, such as entering product key, network configs ... etc.  XP boots up normally

    (13) Add Recovery Console

    d:\i386\winnt32.exe /cmdcons

    (14) Reboot and choose "Windows Recovery Console" boot option

    Read disk error appear.....

    This is how I discovered the problem initially.  I then tried with adding the Recovery Console and verified it works before I run sysprep and capture the image.  That is:

    Step(2.5) Add Recovery Console and verify it works

    Drop Step13

    The rest of steps are identical.  When I choose to boot the Recovery Console option, I got the same error.  Strangely the XP boot option works normally in BOTH cases.

     

    Thanks!

    Saturday, May 08, 2010 11:19 PM
  • Sorry, I haven't been back here - I just now stumbled on to this thread again from a search for something else.

    In my initial tests, I had not yet sysprep'd the image.  But since I resolved my problem, I have sysprep'd the image and still have no problems.

    It is odd that you are having the same problem but only after sysprepping and capturing/restoring the image.  In my process, I do everything you are doing but with only the following small differences:

    I do install the Recovery Console before sysprepping so that it is included in the image.

    When I clean and setup the disk with diskpart, I assign drive letter C: (so my bootsect command is bootsect.exe /nt52 c: /force).  I would not think this would matter, but I mention it just because it is a difference.

    Does your system require a 3rd-party disk driver to boot?  i.e. AHCI or SCSI or RAID drivers?    I configure my AHCI drivers in the Recovery Console so that it can boot using the AHCI mode (instead of having to change the HDD entry in the BIOS to Compatibility mode or supplying the drivers at boot time using F6).  If the drivers are not there and I boot with the BIOS set to AHCI mode, the Recovery Console will blue screen (just like the Windows install does if not supplying the drivers using F6).  If you are not doing this and want to, search for "add drivers to recovery console".  It is a bit of a pain to do, but I think it's worth it to avoid the issues mentioned.  I doubt any of this is related to the Read disk error you are getting though.

    I am not offering much help here....I still think it's very odd you are still having the problem.  I will have to double-check my sysprep'd image and verify the Recovery Console is still working (I swear I checked this, but I will make sure).

     

     

     

     

    Sunday, May 30, 2010 7:08 PM
  • I verified my sysprep'd image can be restored to another machine and works fine.  I always use Diskpart to clean the targeted drive and then I run the bootsect command.  After the image is applied, the Recovery Console has worked every time.
    Saturday, June 05, 2010 1:31 AM
  • Thank you MikeK6044.  You are right.  "bootsect.exe /nt52 <bootdrive> /force" does solve the problem.  I went back and repeated the procedure on both XP Pro and Win2K3 R2.

    When I was looking into the issue, I saw a post on Microsoft's support website talks about the similar issue w/ Win2K.  They suggest to use mini-setup to workaround the issue.  That is, call 'winnt32.exe /cmdcons' with '/unattend' flag in the [GuiRunOnce] section of Sysprep.inf file.  I verified.  It works for XP and Win2K3.

    • Marked as answer by Pindish Sunday, June 06, 2010 6:12 AM
    Sunday, June 06, 2010 6:12 AM