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Cannot Parse Answer File RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,

    I have a task sequence that deploys an image. I made one change to the unattend.xml file and that was to copy the default user profile. After the task copies the image to the HDD and reboots,  Iget an error stating the unattend file could not be parsed at the exact same step I modified. Unattend files are a bit of an issue. After I create the task sequence, I cannot open the unattend.xml file from its properties. It just sits there, until I stop it, creating the catalog file. After I stop it, I can go back in and forcibly open the utility that edits the unattend.xml file. That seems like the wrong way to go about it. I just want to change that one setting, which has to be done this way. What is the correct way to generate a catalog file, so that the unattend.xml can be opened in a timely fashion? Can I copy the catalog file from one task to another? They're all descended from the same Windows 7 ISO?

    Thanks

    Jason


    Jason


    • Edited by N74JW Wednesday, June 24, 2015 6:35 PM Clarity
    Wednesday, June 24, 2015 6:33 PM

All replies

  • You have to wait longer for the catalog to be created before you edit the unattend.xml

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    Wednesday, June 24, 2015 7:28 PM
    Moderator
  • How long? I would like to start using the task sequence as soon as I create it, with the added provision of copying the profile. Should I just let the creation process continue, despite however long it takes? Does running a few deployments with the task sequence create the catalog file as a result?

    Many Thanks


    Jason

    Wednesday, June 24, 2015 9:25 PM
  • No it doesn't.  The catalog gets created when you attempt edit the unattend.xml from within MDT. 

    1. Right click the TS
    2. Select Properties
    3. OS Info
    4. Edit Unattend.xml
    5. Wait while the catalog is generated. You will know when it is generated because the unattend.xml will load in WSIM.

    Just wait for the process to complete in the workbench. It should only be one time per OS.


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    Wednesday, June 24, 2015 10:02 PM
    Moderator
  • What if that process takes hours, which it has in the past. I once let a session run overnight only to find it still wasn't completed in the morning. I'll give it a try though.

    Thanks


    Jason

    Wednesday, June 24, 2015 10:49 PM
  • I just tried to do so with the intention of letting the process go along as it is needed and I got the following error message.

    Performing operation "generate" on Target "Catalog".
    Starting: "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Deployment Toolkit\Bin\Microsoft.BDD.Catalog40.exe" "C:\DeploymentShare\Operating Systems\JW-Classroom-2015C\JW-Classroom-2015C.wim" 1 > "C:\Users\JASONR~1\AppData\Local\Temp\Microsoft.BDD.Catalog.log" 2>&1
    No existing catalog file found.
    PROGRESS: 0: Starting.
    PROGRESS: 0: Creating mount folder: C:\Users\jasonrw-adm\AppData\Local\Temp\IMGMGR_JW-Classroom-2015C_0001DDrive_tt1wu4ta.hll.
    PROGRESS: 5: Creating temp folder: C:\Users\jasonrw-adm\AppData\Local\Temp\IMGMGR_JW-Classroom-2015C_temp_ijcs3ywc.rof.
    PROGRESS: 10: Mounting Windows image: C:\DeploymentShare\Operating Systems\JW-Classroom-2015C\JW-Classroom-2015C.wim. This might take a few minutes.
    ERROR: Unable to generate catalog on C:\DeploymentShare\Operating Systems\JW-Classroom-2015C\JW-Classroom-2015C.wim: System.ComponentModel.Win32Exception (0x80004005): Unknown error (0xc1420127)
       at Microsoft.ComponentStudio.ComponentPlatformInterface.WimImageInfo.PreCreateCatalog()
       at Microsoft.ComponentStudio.ComponentPlatformInterface.OfflineImageInfo.CreateCatalog()
       at Microsoft.BDD.Catalog.Program.DoCatalog()

    Non-zero return code from catalog utility, rc = 2002

    This task was involved in a deployment, but it should have been finished by the time I tried to see the properties.


    Jason

    Wednesday, June 24, 2015 10:53 PM
  • I am guessing there was a file in use issue.

    I have a few questions that will help me understand some things:

    1. What version of MDT?
    2. What version of ADK?
    3. What is the Host OS that MDT and ADK are installed on?
    4. What is the Host OS architecture?
    5. What is the architecture of the Windows 7 you are trying to generate a catalog for?
    6. When you create your custom image are you starting from scratch each time?
    7. Or are you starting from the image you captured previously creating a custom image from your custom image?
    8. Do you know how many iterations of custom image is created from custom image is created from custom image etcetera?

    Also have you tried to open the image directly with WSIM?  That might be a work around for creating the catalog.  If that doesn't work then there is something wrong with the image or ADK.


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    Thursday, June 25, 2015 6:20 PM
    Moderator
  • I'm using MDT 2013 on 64-bit Windows Server 2012 (non-R2). ADK is the version for Windows 8.1. I am trying to generate a catalog for Windows 7 Professional SP1 x64. This image was created from another image that has been previously imported into MDT that had errors. I deployed that image (the one with errors) into a VMware virtual machine, fixed all of the errors, and re-captured back into MDT, a process which takes days to complete. I had to do a bit of creative moving in order to get the fixed image into MDT. For some reason, capturing from VMware Workstation into MDT takes a very long time. To get around this and allow the action to complete, I actually captured to another instance of MDT 2010, running on Windows Server 2008 R2 64-bit with the Windows 7 WAIK which was also running in VMware Workstation. After that, I used robocopy to get the image over the network from MDT 2010 to MDT 2013, which was much faster. The image I fixed has been sysprepped at least once, when it was originally captured into MDT 2013. I don't know how many other times other than that.

    Thanks


    Jason

    Thursday, June 25, 2015 7:19 PM
  • There are a finite number of times something can be installed then sysprepped and captured.  Either this image is over that number or it is corrupted in some way.

    Did you try what I suggested and take MDT out of the picture just using WSIM to generate the catalog file?


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    Thursday, June 25, 2015 8:14 PM
    Moderator
  • Is there a way to reset the number of times a given Windows install has been sysprepped? I think this may be the issue because I redeployed the same image in a completely new task sequence and it still failed with the same error. I did not modify the unattend.xml file at all this time.

    Jason

    Wednesday, July 1, 2015 3:54 PM
  • Unfortunately no you can't reset the number of times.  The cleanest thing to do is start from scratch.

    http://deploymentresearch.com/Research/Post/357/Building-reference-images-like-a-boss


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    Wednesday, July 1, 2015 5:48 PM
    Moderator
  • I was able to get my existing and desired image to deploy by not touching the unattend.xml file at all. That is OK in this case because the default profile was already copied over and there is no need for me to do it during the deployment task. I still don't understand why modifying the one setting of CopyProfile to "True" fouled up the whole process. In future scenarios, I'll need to do that to copy the default profile. 

    Jason

    Friday, July 3, 2015 12:42 PM
  • Did you ever try my suggestion of using WSIM to try to generate the catalog?

    For clarity: Without a proper catalog file generated for your image there is no way to know for sure what is in your WIM. You have a work around for now but, you don't have a solution.  This will be an issue again later when you try and do something with the WIM (or try to sysprep and capture again).


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    Monday, July 6, 2015 5:57 PM
    Moderator
  • I'm trying to create a catalog file for a custom WIM that I imported into MDT. Is it possible to open that as an installation source in WSIM? Ideally, what I need the unattend.xml for is to copy the profile over to the default.

    Thanks


    Jason

    Monday, July 6, 2015 6:25 PM
  • You just open WSIM and select 'Select a Windows Image or Catalog file'. If a catalog doesn't exist WSIM will attempt to create it.  If WSIM is unable to generate the catalog then you will have to regenerate your image.


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    Monday, July 6, 2015 8:27 PM
    Moderator
  • I'll give that another try. Thanks. Can I then import that catalog into MDT?

    Jason

    Monday, July 6, 2015 10:54 PM
  • If you open your image from \\%deployroot%\Operating Systems\<WhateverOSFolder>\ then the clg file will be located there. let me know the results.  Regardless of whether it works or not it is still interesting.  In the case where it (generate from WSIM) works then MDT is broken in some way.  In the case where it doesn't work it confirms the image is corrupt.

    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread.


    Monday, July 6, 2015 11:35 PM
    Moderator