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Windows could not parse or process unattend answer file for pass [windowsPE] RRS feed

  • Question

  • Tried to install HP-branded Windows 2008 R2 Standard x64 ROK on HP ML-350 G6, using Smartstart 8.30 x64.
    All went normally, detected the RAID5 array, selected largest size partition, entered server name and other info, selected default options for SNMP and PSP, and pointed it to the DVD drive with flat files when asked for media location. 
    SS accepted the DVD and proceeded to copy files, it finished, and rebooted.
    Upon reboot, it comes up with this error:
    "Windows could not parse or process unattend answer file [c:\autounattend.xml] for pass [windowsPE]. The answer file is invalid"

    I've tried different settings - changed server name to be only alphanumeric, tried different settings for SNMP and PSP, deleted the array and recreated.  But nothing seems to have worked.

    I've called HP support, but after going through the entire procedure up to the point that it failed, he suggested that I try Microsoft Support before going back to them as it doesn't seem to be a hardware problem.
    Tuesday, February 2, 2010 8:04 AM

Answers

  • Don't know if you ever got this fixed, but the problem in the autounattend.xml has got to do with the product keys inside this xml file.

    * As soon as you get this error run notepad and open c:\autounattend.xml
    * search for <Key> and for <ProductKey>.
    * If you carefully look at the values provided, there is a space behind both productkeys just before the end tags </Key> and </ProductKey>
    * You can either remove both spaces or remove both product key entirely. 
    * Which ever you choose, save the changes to the .xml file and exit notepad
    * run c:\hpssbem.exe and the installation will continu and finish without an error.

    Although Tim Quan does have a point, I'm personally not very fond of those - "it's their software so get their support" - answers. They are not very helpful nor resourceful IMHO. So, I do not agree as the question to be answered by his answer, as your problem is not solved with his answer.

    Erik Nettekoven | MCSE 2000 | MCSE 2003 | MCITP: EA
    • Proposed as answer by ReveTahw Thursday, February 18, 2010 4:07 PM
    • Edited by ReveTahw Thursday, February 18, 2010 4:08 PM typho's
    • Marked as answer by Tim QuanModerator Friday, March 5, 2010 1:34 AM
    Thursday, February 18, 2010 4:05 PM

All replies

  • Hi,

     

    If you cannot install Windows Server 2008 using a Microsoft Retail DVD, Microsoft will have some suggestions to help you.

     

    However, as this DVD is obtained from HP (seems this DVD is customized by HP) and you are installing this DVD on a HP computer, Microsoft is not familiar with this DVD and our suggestions on troubleshooting this issue is quite limited. HP should take the responsibility to help you resolve this issue.

     

    Thanks for your understanding.

     

    Tim Quan - MSFT

     

    Wednesday, February 3, 2010 2:54 AM
    Moderator
  • Don't know if you ever got this fixed, but the problem in the autounattend.xml has got to do with the product keys inside this xml file.

    * As soon as you get this error run notepad and open c:\autounattend.xml
    * search for <Key> and for <ProductKey>.
    * If you carefully look at the values provided, there is a space behind both productkeys just before the end tags </Key> and </ProductKey>
    * You can either remove both spaces or remove both product key entirely. 
    * Which ever you choose, save the changes to the .xml file and exit notepad
    * run c:\hpssbem.exe and the installation will continu and finish without an error.

    Although Tim Quan does have a point, I'm personally not very fond of those - "it's their software so get their support" - answers. They are not very helpful nor resourceful IMHO. So, I do not agree as the question to be answered by his answer, as your problem is not solved with his answer.

    Erik Nettekoven | MCSE 2000 | MCSE 2003 | MCITP: EA
    • Proposed as answer by ReveTahw Thursday, February 18, 2010 4:07 PM
    • Edited by ReveTahw Thursday, February 18, 2010 4:08 PM typho's
    • Marked as answer by Tim QuanModerator Friday, March 5, 2010 1:34 AM
    Thursday, February 18, 2010 4:05 PM
  • Fixing those keys worked perfectly for me... Thanks!!
    Thursday, March 4, 2010 7:19 PM
  • Nice, this saved me a lot of work
    Saturday, March 6, 2010 2:21 PM
  • Beautiful... excellent job.  I ran into this with 4 different model HP servers, and the HP support "script readers" were beyond useless.  Amazing they haven't caught and fixed this already.

     

    Thanks.

    Monday, March 22, 2010 1:59 PM
  • Brilliant. Worked a treat. Shame on HP for allowing this still to go on.

     

    Thanks  

    Tuesday, March 23, 2010 5:46 PM
  • Thank you for this post, I would have went on forever with HP, this worked perfectly...
    Wednesday, May 5, 2010 12:30 PM
  • Don't know if you ever got this fixed, but the problem in the autounattend.xml has got to do with the product keys inside this xml file.

    * As soon as you get this error run notepad and open c:\autounattend.xml
    * search for <Key> and for <ProductKey>.
    * If you carefully look at the values provided, there is a space behind both productkeys just before the end tags </Key> and </ProductKey>
    * You can either remove both spaces or remove both product key entirely. 
    * Which ever you choose, save the changes to the .xml file and exit notepad
    * run c:\hpssbem.exe and the installation will continu and finish without an error.

    Although Tim Quan does have a point, I'm personally not very fond of those - "it's their software so get their support" - answers. They are not very helpful nor resourceful IMHO. So, I do not agree as the question to be answered by his answer, as your problem is not solved with his answer.

    Erik Nettekoven | MCSE 2000 | MCSE 2003 | MCITP: EA

     

    Wednesday, May 12, 2010 7:09 AM
  • Thanks for you help man it realy worked, i'm still fresh in this game and i'm currently busy with my MCSE any help on were i can get good study materials??
    Tuesday, June 29, 2010 8:17 AM