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Windows could not finish configuring the system error after sysprep /generalize

    Question

  • Hi

    I just installed Windows 7 Ultimate RTM off from technet and as always I do make use of WIM images on having them deployed to my home PC's

    I was able to have it installed on a clean machine and once the wizard appeared i immediately entered Audit mode (shift+ctrl+f3) and the usual I loaded all of the software i need to pre-install after I was done I Immediately loaded sysprep and had it with the generalized option

    now this is where the problem begins....... after it restarts during the "Setup is starting Services" screen it gives me a message box error saying "Windows could not finish configuring the system. To attempt resume configuration, restart the computer" and once I press ok it jsut restarts and gives the same error again.

    This does not happen when i dont select the generalize option in sysprep.

    Anyone who had the same issues?
    Sunday, August 09, 2009 7:16 AM

Answers

  • I now have the ACTUAL SOLUTION to this problem.  This solution will actually tell you exactly what registry key is causing your sysprep to fail, so then you don't have to slowly install every program until you find the problem -- especially since this didn't work for me because my problem has been intermittent.

    This issue is caused by certain registry keys that are either:

    a) Larger than 8kb

    b) Set with incorrect permissions

    c) Corrupt in some way

    For me, the problem was intermittent (same registry key would sometimes cause the issue and sometimes not - must be corrupt sometimes) so it was impossible to tell what program was doing it.  Luckily, there is a log you can look at that will tell you exactly what registry key is erroring out.  Here are the steps for getting the log you need to see:

    When you see the error message, do the following:

    1.) Push Shift+F10 to get to a command prompt

    2.) Navigate to C:\windows\Panther

    3.) Find the Setup.etl file and find a way to copy this file off of the system (I copied it to the D:\ partition and used Ghost to gather that partition and get the file off)

    4.) Copy the setup.etl file from the corrupted system to another computer that has Windows 7.  Put it on the root of C:\ for easiest access.

    5.) Open a Command Prompt on the Windows 7 computer.

    6.) Navigate to the root of C:\ (or wherever you saved the file)

    7.) Type "tracerpt setup.etl -o logfile.csv"

    8.) Close the command prompt and open up logfile.csv in your text editor of choice. 

    9.) Look through the log file (towards the end probably) for messages that say "Failed to process reg key or one of it's decendants"  For me, the exact eror looked like this: "Failed to process reg key or one of its descendants: [\REGISTRY\MACHINE\SOFTWARE\ESET\ESET Security\CurrentVersion\Plugins\01000200\Profiles\@My profile]"  If you search for "reg key" or "failed to process" you should find the failure.

    10.) Remove this software from your image, or find out how to get the registry key that is failing to work properly.

    After this, you should be able to properly identify any problem keys and remove/workaround them on your image.

    Friday, June 04, 2010 4:09 PM
  • In my case the error was caused by Avira AntiVirus Premium 9 only on the x86 edition. Other virus scanner may cause this problem too.
    • Proposed as answer by Roman Korecky Sunday, August 16, 2009 8:03 AM
    • Marked as answer by Charles Yap II Tuesday, August 18, 2009 1:40 PM
    • Unmarked as answer by Charles Yap II Tuesday, August 18, 2009 1:41 PM
    • Unproposed as answer by Charles Yap II Tuesday, August 18, 2009 1:41 PM
    • Marked as answer by Charles Yap II Wednesday, August 19, 2009 11:45 PM
    Sunday, August 16, 2009 8:03 AM

All replies

  • I can confirm the same issue as "Charles Yap II" with the Windows 7 Enterprise RTM. I have used sysprep with OOBE and generalize option and even on the same machine where sysprep has been run on, restarting it results in the same specific message. Thus I must conclude it may not be related to changes in BIOS, nor hardware configuration, nor partition scheme as everything obviously remained the same on that computer. Very much looking forward to a solution from Microsoft because this will greatly delay planned deployment.
    Sunday, August 09, 2009 7:21 PM
  • On my test system, I ran sysprep with the oobe option but without using the generalize option. Upon restart the mini setup starts without the error (as I expected). This is further indication that something goes wrong during the preparation with the generalize option, possibly related to the license activation process with the "Microsoft-Windows-Security-Licensing-SPP component " as I've been able to gather from other references. Of course this does not allow me to deploy systems because a.o. the SID will not have been changed and several other undesirable settings are still in effect. This test was performed for troubleshooting purposes only.

    Further references to this problem can be found at:

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/w7itproinstall/thread/b72212b0-3131-4194-89a1-7c101749e2b2 (updated)

    http://windows7forums.com/windows-7-installation-upgrade/1468-install-fails-windows-could-not-finish-configuring-system-attempt.html (no recent updates)

    Hopefully someone will be able to get to the bottom of this soon...

    Sunday, August 09, 2009 9:53 PM
  • I wonder if Microsoft is already working on this issue, this would definitely be a big issue with deployments

    I do not want to call support for this only to loose one of my free support incidents, for an issue that Microsoft should have fixed
    Monday, August 10, 2009 6:32 AM
  • Hey Microsoft


    Did you find any solution to this uberbug?

    I lost two days trying to make this work. Sysprep /generalize /oobe throws me the same error: "Windows could not finish configuring the system. To attempt resume configuration, restart the computer"
    Something interferes with the generalize process. Logs seem not to help anyone.

    Someone said to stop ALL Microsoft services listed by running msconfig. This is the next thing I'll try. It's 4:32 am, bed time. Aaaaggghhhh

    Friday, August 14, 2009 1:35 AM
  • Hi all

    It seems that killing the “wmpnetwk.exe” before sysprepping lets the sysprep process run smoothly.:)

    It worked. I got to the mini setup oobe window. Everything is just fine.

    One problem is that the Administrator account created during MDT deployment is not removed as it should by sysprep. I had to disable it. Weird, the log says it remved the account.

    I hope it helps someone.

    hardkorn


    Friday, August 14, 2009 12:46 PM
  • "It seems that killing the “wmpnetwk.exe” before sysprepping lets the sysprep process run smoothly.:)"

    Yes, but wmpnetwk.exe is not running on Enterprise by default. All Media Player services in Windows 7 Enterprise are set to "Manual", and in the processes list, thye never show up.

    I have a FULLY configurated Windows 7 Enterprise installation, which gives me the same error as in the first post: "...could not finish configuring..." during boot.

    However, I have created a new installation, simply based on a clean Windows 7 Enterprise installatation with NO changes en NO updates nothing, and this one works with sysprep! During boot it says "Starting services" and then the GUI appears. Everything works fine.

    Please keep in mind that we are testing on ONE system, same hardware. We use /shutdown, so the system shuts down, and then we simply turn it on again. :)

    Conslusion: is seems that somewhere along the way installing our system, the sysprep method doesn't work anymore. This could be Updates, installed software, installed services etc.
    I'm currently removing all the software components and services, just until the sysprep works. -> this is what keeps me going, because with a clean installation, sysprep works!


    Friday, August 14, 2009 2:44 PM
  • Hi all

    It seems that killing the “wmpnetwk.exe” before sysprepping lets the sysprep process run smoothly.:)

    It worked. I got to the mini setup oobe window. Everything is just fine.

    One problem is that the Administrator account created during MDT deployment is not removed as it should by sysprep. I had to disable it. Weird, the log says it remved the account.

    I hope it helps someone.

    hardkorn


    will try this later to see if this is the cause of it all
    Friday, August 14, 2009 11:47 PM
  • I have the same problem here, but only with x86. The x64 edition with exactly the same applications and other configuration is not experiencing this problem. Since I assume, that we are not installing all the same applications on the systems, it is propably a problem with a Windows Update in the x86 version. I will try this in the next days.
    • Proposed as answer by Roman Korecky Sunday, August 16, 2009 8:02 AM
    Saturday, August 15, 2009 4:37 PM
  • In my case the error was caused by Avira AntiVirus Premium 9 only on the x86 edition. Other virus scanner may cause this problem too.
    • Proposed as answer by Roman Korecky Sunday, August 16, 2009 8:03 AM
    • Marked as answer by Charles Yap II Tuesday, August 18, 2009 1:40 PM
    • Unmarked as answer by Charles Yap II Tuesday, August 18, 2009 1:41 PM
    • Unproposed as answer by Charles Yap II Tuesday, August 18, 2009 1:41 PM
    • Marked as answer by Charles Yap II Wednesday, August 19, 2009 11:45 PM
    Sunday, August 16, 2009 8:03 AM
  • I am having the same issues. I have tried all the known "solutions" - disable media player sharing (even though it is manual in enterprise version), I ran through the error logs in %windir%\panther\setupact.log and  %windir%\panther\UnattendGC\setupact.log without any luck. I also removed Symantec antivirus from the deafault image as I read that this may be the cause, but still the same error. I even tried using my unattend.xml from my Vista image which worked fine on Vista, made a new catalog for RTM 7 and a few minor changes, but same error
    If anyone has any ideas, then I am game to trying - its driving me nuts. Why did they have to take away the simple and always working setupmgr from XP days :(
    Sunday, August 16, 2009 10:42 AM
  • I resolved the issue - it was actually so simple I could kick myself. I simply removed the machine from the domain before running the sysprep with unattend.xml. I now have a good functional working image.
    • Proposed as answer by moschino25 Wednesday, April 21, 2010 5:16 PM
    Monday, August 17, 2009 1:54 PM
  • In my case the error was caused by Avira AntiVirus Premium 9 only on the x86 edition. Other virus scanner may cause this problem too.
    I was in the same situation as you are and tried experimenting around AVIRA free edition

    Was able to have it running on my 64bit image

    but no luck with the 32bit whenever I have AVIRA Installed
    Tuesday, August 18, 2009 1:45 PM
  • Has anyone managed to get this working yet? I'm on the RTM build of Windows 7 Enterprise. Have tried uninstalling Sophos Anti-virus from the build but to no avail, still get the "Windows could not finsih configuring the system" loop.

    Frustrating because for once I actually want to deploy a new Windows operating system!
    Wednesday, September 09, 2009 4:16 PM
  • We have the same issue. The only problem is that we do not have a backup of the machine in a state before we run sysprep.
    Is there a way to get the system working again? We had Kaspersky for Windows Workstation 6.0.4 installed - which may cause the trouble...

    This is really urgent at the moment because we wanted to deploy one of the new PCs today and tweaked every detail on that system, untill we had it ready to be cloned.
    And now this :( If we cannot get that machine working again we will have to re-build everything.
    Friday, December 11, 2009 10:36 AM
  • Somehow we managed to boot the machine.
    Booting in Safe mode caused the same error message, but after it it did not reboot and continue to install drivers etc... The next normal boot was successful.

    First thing to do now is a backup. We are so lucky.
    • Proposed as answer by imagReal Tuesday, January 19, 2010 5:31 PM
    Friday, December 11, 2009 11:08 AM
  • I had this same issue and I was using 64 bit 7 Professional.  I inserted the 7 Pro DVD and did a "Repair."  It automatically detected the issue and "repaired itself," but it did not solve the problem.

    Thursday, January 21, 2010 1:49 PM
  • I was getting the same result to fix

    reboot hit F8 choose the option to disable Digital Driver Signing in Windows 7

    the dirver loaded by AV programs are not digitaly signed. I'm using Kaspersky work space

    on this link http://www.killertechtips.com/2009/05/05/disable-driver-signing-windows-7/

    you can disable it on boot

    I hope this will help anyone else that comes across this problem
    Thursday, February 11, 2010 8:25 PM
  • I have tried everything listed here including the killertechtips.com link and still no go.

    I am using Dell Optiplex 780 Ultra Slim Form Factor, Windows 7 Pro OEM, sysprep w/ generalize, oobe, reboot.

    Keep getting "Windows could not finish configuring the system.  To attempt to resume configuration, restart the computer."

    Friday, March 19, 2010 7:21 PM
  • Somehow we managed to boot the machine.
    Booting in Safe mode caused the same error message, but after it it did not reboot and continue to install drivers etc... The next normal boot was successful.

    First thing to do now is a backup. We are so lucky.

    Same thing here. F8 to safe mode. Failed of course then normal boot and it completed. Thats kinda weird.
    • Proposed as answer by moschino25 Wednesday, April 21, 2010 5:15 PM
    Wednesday, March 24, 2010 10:23 PM
  • I am having the same issues as the OP and for the life of me can't figure out what to do. I want to have a fully configured system including my antivirus  and daemon tools. I suspect those programs are causing the issue. Any more ideas?
    Saturday, May 01, 2010 9:45 PM
  • I now have the ACTUAL SOLUTION to this problem.  This solution will actually tell you exactly what registry key is causing your sysprep to fail, so then you don't have to slowly install every program until you find the problem -- especially since this didn't work for me because my problem has been intermittent.

    This issue is caused by certain registry keys that are either:

    a) Larger than 8kb

    b) Set with incorrect permissions

    c) Corrupt in some way

    For me, the problem was intermittent (same registry key would sometimes cause the issue and sometimes not - must be corrupt sometimes) so it was impossible to tell what program was doing it.  Luckily, there is a log you can look at that will tell you exactly what registry key is erroring out.  Here are the steps for getting the log you need to see:

    When you see the error message, do the following:

    1.) Push Shift+F10 to get to a command prompt

    2.) Navigate to C:\windows\Panther

    3.) Find the Setup.etl file and find a way to copy this file off of the system (I copied it to the D:\ partition and used Ghost to gather that partition and get the file off)

    4.) Copy the setup.etl file from the corrupted system to another computer that has Windows 7.  Put it on the root of C:\ for easiest access.

    5.) Open a Command Prompt on the Windows 7 computer.

    6.) Navigate to the root of C:\ (or wherever you saved the file)

    7.) Type "tracerpt setup.etl -o logfile.csv"

    8.) Close the command prompt and open up logfile.csv in your text editor of choice. 

    9.) Look through the log file (towards the end probably) for messages that say "Failed to process reg key or one of it's decendants"  For me, the exact eror looked like this: "Failed to process reg key or one of its descendants: [\REGISTRY\MACHINE\SOFTWARE\ESET\ESET Security\CurrentVersion\Plugins\01000200\Profiles\@My profile]"  If you search for "reg key" or "failed to process" you should find the failure.

    10.) Remove this software from your image, or find out how to get the registry key that is failing to work properly.

    After this, you should be able to properly identify any problem keys and remove/workaround them on your image.

    Friday, June 04, 2010 4:09 PM
  • Hi,

    The solution of Jeff Harrison work.

    It's save me precious time by discovering that it was the printer which hanghe reboot.

    Many thanks

     

    Tuesday, July 13, 2010 3:41 PM
  • Wow. I just followed Jeff's advice and what I found was that I had a value in the registry referring to IE that couldn't be read.

    That led me to review what profiles were set up on the laptop - I had set up the image using an admin account I created other than administrator. What I did to fix the issue was this:

    I went in to user profiles and deleted all profiles except administrator and default. Then, I followed through and verified that the profile folders were deleted from the operating system, emptied the recycle bin. Finally, I went into user manager in control panel and made sure those accounts were not listed there - to my surprise, one of them still was.

    After that, I ran through ccleaner on the computer to clean up the registry and whack any temp internet files.

    Defrag, sysprep again - Bingo! Phew. What a drag!

    Thanks for your advice, Jeff!

    Tuesday, July 20, 2010 1:04 AM
  • Too good to be true ;)

    I'm sure the - very well described - process you propose works 95% of the time. Or maybe 99%. But not 100% : it didn't work for me. Same error message ("Windows could not finish configuring the system. To attempt resume configuration, restart the computer" just after the "Windows is starting services" boot screen) after rebooting the (virtualboxed) Windows 7 Home Premium x64 i just set up and sysprep-ed.

    In the case i'm stuck with, the method you propose gives a file with no error at all. Strangely enough, the setup.etl timestamp is coherent with the reboot, though the logfile.xml obtained with tracerpt shows no entry with the date of today (in fact, all entries have the date of the day i installed Win 7 right from the DVD).

    No antivirus installed, no Daemon Tools. In fact, i have quite the same setup (except for some software versions) on a Win 7 Professional x64 whose generalized image works well. So i really don't see a software that could cause the problem.

    A log file (%windir%\Panther\UnattendGC_setupact.log) shows a 0x8007139f error code, but this led me nowhere (Kaspersky AV or Daemon Tools, not installed). So far, i tried to reboot in safe mode, disabling the drivers signing : no go.

    Seems like i'll have to explore the "uninstall this and that and look if it works". Lots of fun to come, eh ?!

     

     

    Friday, July 30, 2010 4:05 PM
  • Hi All,

     

    I have used several imaging tools to backup and restore in the past and they always allowed me to restore on top of existing data on the target partition, or should I say that an automated format was completed by the application prior to deploying image. Imagex simply does not do an automated format and will not deploy well to volumes that already hold data. Instead I used winpe to boot and then using the diskpart format tool to quick format the target volume, once the volume was formatted all images tested so far have deployed more or less perfectly. More importantly I have never seen the deployment annoyingly fail on starting services since!!

    A simple solution in my case but I hope it helps somebody.

     

    Kind Regards

    Thursday, September 23, 2010 5:29 PM
  • I hade the same problem and my problem was fixed by installting the following hotfix.

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/981542/

     

    Tuesday, October 19, 2010 12:40 PM
  • I had the exact same problem Jeff Harrison had (the ESET reg key failed to process). As I had ESET NOD32 installed, with no way of deleting the problematic reg key, I thought the only way to fix it was to uninstall it and reinstall manually after imaging every PC.
    Note that both Windows hotfixes didn't work.

    I tried one more thing before I gave up though - booting to safe mode. It worked! Boot into safe mode after sysprep, it will tell you setup cannot continue in safe mode. Reboot again and this time and it should be all fixed. All in all booting to safe mode once is much easier and quicker than manually installing NOD32 every time I image a PC.

    tldr:
    Had the same problem Jeff Harrison did, but the safe mode trick worked for me.

    Wednesday, October 20, 2010 3:52 AM
  • Guys,

    Microsoft fix solved the problem with me.


    december1
    Tuesday, October 26, 2010 10:41 AM
  • This fixed it for me.
    Wednesday, November 03, 2010 12:35 AM
  • Me too.

    Cheers!

    Wednesday, November 03, 2010 7:03 AM
  • Worked just great. after figureing out the registry path - On the affected machine pushed Shift+F10  and I used cmd /C reg delete "path to the key" /f'  - the machine restarted the affected machine and it was all good. Thanks Jeff

    Thursday, November 11, 2010 5:06 PM
  • MS Hotfix worked for me
    Tuesday, December 07, 2010 1:19 AM
  • The MS Hotfix worked for me.  Thanks Thomas.
    Friday, December 10, 2010 4:02 PM
  • Thanks Jeff!  You just saved me a gang of frustration.  I simply copied the setup.etl file from C:\Windows\panther to C:\ and then ran "tracerpt setup.etl -o logfile.txt" instead of .csv as Excel would not open the .csv file for whatever reason.  I then used jrhus's suggestion and ran the command 'cmd /C reg delete "path to the key" /f' to delete the key, which was the printer providers key and rebooted I was good!
    Thursday, January 06, 2011 3:13 PM
  • Is this hotfix installed on the source server or destination...? Sorry for the dumb question...
    Saturday, January 08, 2011 1:07 AM
  • Georgemeister, the Hotfix is applied to the source you are imaging.  

     

    Tuesday, January 11, 2011 7:24 PM
  • Everyone,

    I've spent most of the day reading your posts.  None of these items resolved the issue for my scenario.  Are there any other suggestions?  I am new to deployment services and would really like to take full advantage of the product.

    My Windows 7 machine boots fine, runs the sysprep, reboots then fails.  I've looked at the setup.etl file on both instances, and there are no registry errors.

    How can I go from a functional install, to a debilitating error on a reboot?

    The only helpful information I could gather was after the first reboot, in Applicaton Event Viewer, it showed that sysprep failed rearm remaining error code 0xc004d307, for the app ID which looked like Windows Update.  wucltux.dll.

    Rearm failed for AppId = 55c92734-d682-4d71-983e-d6ec3f16059f, SkuId = (null) - 0 Rearms Remaining. Error Code: 0xC004D307

    @%systemroot%\system32\slui.exe,-10

    @%systemroot%\system32\wucltux.dll,-6

    @%systemroot%\system32\wucltux.dll,-5

     

    Your suggestions are much appreciated.

     


    Wendy Diem
    Friday, January 14, 2011 10:41 PM
  • Beautiful!

    Saved my life. Found my offending reg key and blew that thing away.

    Thank you Jeff!
    Tuesday, January 25, 2011 10:24 PM
  • I tried all kinds of things to fix this error message in my sysprepped Win7 x64 professional image.

    I applied the hotfix, disabled wmpnetwk.exe, tried jeff's method to see which registry key was giving errors (there were 2 keys that failed to process, but they didn't contain any link to software that I had installed.)

    None of them worked for me.

     

    What did work though, and I find it kinda strange, was pressing F8 and booting into safe-mode, which then would produce an error that safe mode wasn't available.

    But the next normal boot after doing that I didn't get the 'Windows could not finish configuring the system'-error and my setup continued and completed normally...

     

     

    Wednesday, January 26, 2011 11:20 AM
  • I'm stuck with the same error message. Is there a way to get to a command prompt so that I can try to run some of the commands at bootup to take my system out of sysprep mode?

    Mine happened after running sysprep.exe then selecting Eneter Audit Mode, selected "Generalize" and selecting "Reboot" as  the action option. Sorry, going from memory so my descriptions may not be exactly as appeared on the screen. How can I undo this audit mode? I had made a USB Flash bootable drive to boot into Windows Pre Installation Environment, and I also have the Windows 7 DVD. I did try to repair my installation however this causes the system to reboot then it goes back to the same loop as described in the original post.

    Help!

    Friday, January 28, 2011 8:12 AM
  • The Hotfix worked for me - but got stuck on the specialise phase of sysprep. Back to the drawing board with my unattend.xml
    Monday, January 31, 2011 11:54 PM
  • Thanks for this: the MS hotfix for the larger than 8k reg key issue was just what I needed. I’ve been looking about for a troubleshooting method to trace the error, and what you have provided was spot on. Thanks a million. BTW, I had a reg key in HKLM\Software\Microsoft\CurrentVersion\Installer\UserData causing the issue. Didn’t trace it to the exact program, but I’m sysprepping madly now! Presumably the hotfix is rolled into SP1 released today? Can anyone confirm? Pete
    Thursday, February 24, 2011 5:17 AM
  • Hi, I'm having this issue with an SP1 integrated iso off the ms licensing page. Its absolutely killing me at the moment and i'm losing faith in WDS/sysprep/ms in general, very fast. I have spent three days struggling with this. None of the fixes suggested above have worked, I cant find anything interesting in any of the logs.

    - Created an install image from the new SP1 iso (Win7 Pro SP1)
    - Installed Windows on a PC through WDS (no unattend just a straight install)
    - Install went fine I press ctrl+shift+F3 to enter audit mode
    - Reboot without doing anything
    = fail - Windows could not complete the installation error message.
    Sometimes I can get it to work but the slightest change (removing windows dvd maker for instance) breaks it.

    Its also joining the clients to the domain when I specifically tell it not to through wds.
    Not sure if thats causing my problem, but it shouldnt be joining the domain when I have it checked not to do so.

    Can anyone help?

     

    Wednesday, March 02, 2011 10:05 AM
  • ACTUAL SOLUTION + A BIT MORE:

     

    Figured out how to solve the ESET issue.

    I first tried to install that hotfix, but it says my system didn't need it. I started with a Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 x64 source so it was probably already included.

     

    Then I tried to delete the registry keys (out of a mix of frustration/desperation) from my pre-sysprep image to see if maybe ESET would rebuild them when sysprep was done..., but I was given a message saying that there was an error, then it hit me... SELF-DEFENSE!

     

    ESET blocks changes to its registry keys just in case malware tries to disable it by deleting its keys. This disallows sysprep access from these keys during the first-time bootup after you have restored an image on a new machine.


    ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS: Disable Self-Defense in ESET by enabling Advanced Mode, going into Setup -> Advanced Setup, uncheck the Self-Defense box, restart the computer, and then do your sysprep/generalizing/oobe. 

     

    This works for ESET, but there must be some sort of defense mechanism that other AVs employ for their registry keys. Disable them prior to sysprepping and you can enable them afterwards.

     

    I'm now looking at a restored, syspreped image that went all the way to the desktop without issue after employing this fix.

     

    I like giving back... Cheers!

    Sunday, March 13, 2011 1:49 AM
  • Addendum: You may leave the Self-Defense on in all other accounts (even if you have a User account that you copy to Default) except for the Administrator account that you use when u do the sysprep process. That way, when you restore and create the user account in OOBE, Self-Defense is already active there and all other subsequent created user accounts.
    Sunday, March 13, 2011 2:45 AM
  • Step 7 failed with "The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable."  Giving up and starting over.

    Thanks for trying, Jeff!

     

    Wednesday, March 16, 2011 7:59 PM
  • Hi, I am also facing same issue with Windows 7 Pro,please let me know the procedure to resolve this issue ASAP. Thanks in advance, waiting for your replay.
    Friday, March 18, 2011 5:07 AM
  • Hello Everyone,

    Been reading this thread to try and fix my issue.  It seems close to what you are experiencing so maybe this will help someone.

    When I sysprep Windows 7 Pro SP1 after installing all programs and drivers to get my Gold image, I sysprep with an unattended XML and the /generalize /oobe /shutdown /unattend:unattendfile.xml

    The sysprep process starts and it gets to a place where the screen goes black and the monitor goes to sleep but the system stays running forever.  (Or at least 72 hours as I left it in this state over a weekend)  If I power down the system and bring up the system is not usable.  I cannot login, no minisetup, admin account is locked.

    I then reimaged with our non SP1 image and updated SP1 instead of using the image with SP1 built into the install and it syspreped fine.  I then installed the Intel Graphics driver HD (lastest version from Intel) and then tired a sysprep and it failed. 

    So in my case using generalize with the Latest version of the Intel Graphics HD driver loaded causes an issue. I also tired a two other recent issues with same result. I think if I use generalize with PersistentAllDeviceInstallsit will work.

    Hopefully that helps someone.

    Ref: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc766514%28WS.10%29.aspx

    Persisting Plug and Play Device Drivers during generalize

    You can persist device drivers when you run the sysprep /generalize command by specifying the PersistentAllDeviceInstalls setting in the Microsoft-Windows-PnPSysprep component. During the specialize pass, Plug and Play scans the computer for devices and installs device drivers for the detected devices. By default, these device drivers are removed from the system when you generalize the system. If you set PersistAllDeviceInstalls to True in an answer file, Sysprep will not remove the detected device drivers. For more information, see the Unattended Windows Setup Reference
    Tuesday, March 29, 2011 12:52 PM
  • Any update as to whether using the answer file solved the problem?
    Thursday, April 07, 2011 2:36 PM
  • daemon tools was my problem
    Friday, April 22, 2011 9:26 PM
  • In my case the error was caused by printers drivers not assigned
    Tuesday, June 14, 2011 12:53 PM
  • I now have the ACTUAL SOLUTION to this problem.  This solution will actually tell you exactly what registry key is causing your sysprep to fail, so then you don't have to slowly install every program until you find the problem -- especially since this didn't work for me because my problem has been intermittent.

    This issue is caused by certain registry keys that are either:

    a) Larger than 8kb

    b) Set with incorrect permissions

    c) Corrupt in some way

    For me, the problem was intermittent (same registry key would sometimes cause the issue and sometimes not - must be corrupt sometimes) so it was impossible to tell what program was doing it.  Luckily, there is a log you can look at that will tell you exactly what registry key is erroring out.  Here are the steps for getting the log you need to see:

    When you see the error message, do the following:

    1.) Push Shift+F10 to get to a command prompt

    2.) Navigate to C:\windows\Panther

    3.) Find the Setup.etl file and find a way to copy this file off of the system (I copied it to the D:\ partition and used Ghost to gather that partition and get the file off)

    4.) Copy the setup.etl file from the corrupted system to another computer that has Windows 7.  Put it on the root of C:\ for easiest access.

    5.) Open a Command Prompt on the Windows 7 computer.

    6.) Navigate to the root of C:\ (or wherever you saved the file)

    7.) Type "tracerpt setup.etl -o logfile.csv"

    8.) Close the command prompt and open up logfile.csv in your text editor of choice. 

    9.) Look through the log file (towards the end probably) for messages that say "Failed to process reg key or one of it's decendants"  For me, the exact eror looked like this: "Failed to process reg key or one of its descendants: [\REGISTRY\MACHINE\SOFTWARE\ESET\ESET Security\CurrentVersion\Plugins\01000200\Profiles\@My profile]"  If you search for "reg key" or "failed to process" you should find the failure.

    10.) Remove this software from your image, or find out how to get the registry key that is failing to work properly.

    After this, you should be able to properly identify any problem keys and remove/workaround them on your image.

    I see this post is about a year old at this point, but after searching the internet for weeks, I had high hopes for this solution. It seemed to go well, but the logfile.csv doesn't have the word "fail" in it anywhere...no "reg key", nothing. Did a sysprep install with an unattend.xml answer file that seems to be working properly, but hangs at "Setup is starting services." forever.

    At this point, I'm pretty convinced that the problem is a service or reg key error from one of the apps I installed during audit mode, but I can't tell which app/service is causing the problem.

    Are there any other methods for viewing failed services or registry errors that would cause the sysprep install process to hang at "Setup is starting services."?

    Willing to post logfile.csv from the "tracerpt setup.etl -o logfile.csv" command, or other log files such as setupact.log, etc. Nothing popped out at me.

    For now I think I'll start making multiple .wim files with only certain software installed to try to discover which application is the culprit...just wish there was an easier way.

    Wednesday, June 22, 2011 8:59 PM
  • I had this same issue, reboot loop after SYSPREP with OOBE and Generalize...

    It would error saying setup would continue after the restart, and then just the same thing again on the next boot/resume.

    What fixed it for me was:

    1. Hit F8 on boot

    2. Take the option that disables forced driver signing

    3. Reboot

    Was fine for me after that and continued loading drivers etc and then got into windows 2008R2.

    Can only assume I had some unsigned drivers that were ok when I had accepted them via the gui when I build the machine, but after sysprepping it it went back to the defaults of not accepting unsigned drivers so got stuck in the boot loop.....

    Good Luck Out there!

    Thursday, August 18, 2011 3:51 AM
  • I cannot convert the setup.etl to csv or txt. When I use tracerpt then a message says that the file is not legible. If I open with notepad I cannot read it because it is not a text document. Anyone can help me in open the setup.etl in order to see the wrong registry key?. Please I wait your response and really thanks if someone can help me with this. Best Regards,
    Friday, November 11, 2011 9:20 PM
  • so for me the F8 + Safe Mode (no networking!)

    did the trick, also i tried a couple o times but in the end it sorted itself out.

    i think the problem was the Intel HD Drivers.

    but it's working!

     

    thangs a lot guys!

    Jesse.

    Sunday, November 27, 2011 5:05 PM
  • I had the same issue.

    I had to delete all the userprofiles besides the default one

    make sure you delete them the correct way so that it clears the registry

    Friday, February 17, 2012 1:46 AM
  • Hello SuperPin.

    When you said you had the same issue, did you had the same issue as me?.

    Also can you write the correct way to delete all users profiles?.

    Thanks!

    Friday, February 17, 2012 12:40 PM
  • When you guys posted that the hotfix work for you, what exactly did you do?  Furthermore, how can you apply the exe fix when you cannot even bypass the error message.  Rebooting in safe mode or anything will just loop.
    Thursday, August 02, 2012 4:13 PM
  • i was having the same issue and just wanted to let everyone know that after i got to the cmd promt i just on a whim typed explorer and the system came up. i was logged in as SYSTEM though. this may help with trouble shooting.

    also after i got into system i was able to make the administrator account active by running "net user administrator /active:yes" in the same cmd promt window.

    then you can switch users to login as the administrator and........

    Monday, August 20, 2012 4:00 PM
  • This option worked for me. I cannot say it will work for anyone else though...

    I'm assuming it was a driver that was downloaded through Windows Update that caused the error.

    Wednesday, May 08, 2013 12:27 AM
  • I've been suffering from this problem for the past 2 weeks and it's crept right up on the end of my image creation schedule deadlines. I now have one and a half weeks to create and test 5 seperate images. The one update they all have in common is the insallation of AVG. And of course, this is the root source of all my problems. I tried Microsofts Hotfix for this issue, no success. I tried setting full control permissions on the registry keys for AVG, no success.

    I then found a post somewhere, can't remember where, but someone had discovered not only the solution for this issue, but also the exact cause. For anyone experiencing this issue due to an AntiVirus application, Disable Auto-Protect. I have not yet tested this, but apparently if you set up a Default Profile on one account, and then run sysprep from another, the Auto-Protect will remain enabled for all users except that from which you sysprepped. Due to my ever looming deadlines I've opted to just disable the Auto-Protect and be done with it. I work in a school so all devices will end up being reimaged again in three months anyway so this isn't a big issue for me.

    I hope this helps some people as I'd hate for an issue like this to plague others like it has me. I'm going to try posting this around on the other forums and if I find the source of this solution I'll link it here for everyone to see.

    Tuesday, June 18, 2013 10:48 PM
  • Hi Jeff,

    You saved my day.

    I was facing issue with Windows 2008/2012 Vmware images and able find the culprit with your detailed information.

    Thanks a lot

    Tuesday, July 16, 2013 6:05 PM
  • Thank you very much for this, out of all the possible solutions, this one worked for my situation perfectly.  I have now managed to image 10 out of 13 systems booting to safe mode first, then into normal boot and it works every time.  To me, this is the ACTUAL SOLUTION
    Monday, July 29, 2013 7:38 PM
  • Jeff's solution fixed my problem. It lead me to find the issue had to do with AVG virus software causing a problem. Based on the info in the log from Jeff's solution I found the rest of the solution here:

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/windows/en-US/206d0b46-c1d3-4494-9535-a7e6dae7106d/sysprep-and-avg-antivirus.

    I was able to disable the AVG setting from the command screen and then Sysprep continued and completed.

    • Proposed as answer by msdpcc Tuesday, August 13, 2013 3:16 PM
    Tuesday, August 13, 2013 3:10 PM
  • surprisingly worked for me, thanks Daniel

    Wednesday, October 09, 2013 4:33 AM
  • press shift + f10

    this opens up a command prompt

    think of any possible program that has caused the problem

    then c:\program files\xxx\setup.exe

    and uninstall it

    also think of any possible services that caused the problem

    then type servces.msc at the command prompt

    then enable or disable the service that caused the problem

    Wednesday, October 16, 2013 8:49 AM
  • Thanks, this helps me a lot! I have to ask though, why not open the *.etl file with Event Viewer rather than converting the file, then opening it with a text editor? It seems much easier (both for reading and effort) to just skip those steps and open the ETL file with event viewer.
    Thursday, October 17, 2013 12:54 PM
  • It works perfecty for me.

    Additional info:

    You can remove the problematic key in Safe mode!!!

    Thanks,

    Peter

    Tuesday, October 22, 2013 4:03 PM
  • Hi All,

    To save someone the headache I also found that my issues with th Specialize pass failing was caused by none other than the IE 10 update and my Unattend.xml file have a reference in it that was no longer readable by sysprep/IE. Bug apparently that Microsoft know about. See the solution on the link below.

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/c41a2b69-a591-4cd3-86ab-6a0f8a73b858/getting-windows-could-not-parse-or-process-the-unattend-answer-file-for-pass-specialize-with?forum=mdt


    Visual Studio begginer

    Tuesday, October 29, 2013 1:06 PM
  • i was having the same issue and just wanted to let everyone know that after i got to the cmd promt i just on a whim typed explorer and the system came up. i was logged in as SYSTEM though. this may help with trouble shooting.

    also after i got into system i was able to make the administrator account active by running "net user administrator /active:yes" in the same cmd promt window.

    then you can switch users to login as the administrator and........

    This... so much this.  All I had to do is set the Administrator account active (with a password), reboot and then "BOOM" it finished booting.  THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

    1- Boot
    2- Wait for error message
    3- Shift+F10
    4- net user administrator "set a password"
    5- net user administrator /active:yes
    6- Reboot
    7- Magic happens!


    Friday, November 08, 2013 5:22 PM
  • Thank you for this tip, helped me out.

    In my case, the problem was caused by Avast! Free Antivirus on Windows 7 Ultimate x86 and x64.

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014 3:40 PM
  • This is a complicated answer to this error, but I did it and it helped me to pinpoint my issue, which was AVG.  Thanks Jeff.
    Thursday, April 24, 2014 7:08 PM
  • Had the same problem.

    Somehow, this is the most unexplainable but accurate solution there is to this problem.

    Sunday, July 06, 2014 3:53 AM