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Sysprep failure on Windows 8.1 RRS feed

  • Question

  • Trying to Sysprep a Windows 8.1 VM running on Windows 2012 Hyper-V.  It fails with the following in setuperr.log:

    [0x0f0073] SYSPRP RunExternalDlls:Not running DLLs; either the machine is in an invalid state or we couldn't update the recorded state, dwRet = 31

    [0x0f00ae] SYSPRP WinMain:Hit failure while processing sysprep cleanup external providers; hr = 0x8007001f

    The media I'm using is Win 8.1 Enterprise x64 Technet.  Running "slmgr -dlv" shows remaining rearm count as "1000" and License Status as "Licensed".  This is the first time I've tried to Sysprep the VM, so I have not used up the 3 rearms. 

    I've never had this problem before but this is the first time I'm trying Sysprep with Windows 8.1.  I've seen plenty of postings for the same error messages in previous versions of Windows.  Based on those posts, I've tried the following:

    - Changed the GeneralizationState Registry key to 7

    - Reinstalled MSDTC

    - Deleted the Panther directory

    - Stopped the Window Media Player Network Sharing service

    None of these step solved the problem.  Can someone confirm whether or not this is a problem with Windows 8.1? 

    Monday, October 14, 2013 5:00 AM

Answers

  • I never would actually use sysprep except in Audit Mode, but I did a test anyways. No error for me! I bet if you did a test deployment with no extra software installed, maybe just drivers, and try to sysprep and see what happens. I have heard that some Antivirus or Firewall software can cause a problem with sysprep.
    • Marked as answer by CFS3rd Tuesday, October 15, 2013 9:12 PM
    Tuesday, October 15, 2013 3:49 PM

All replies

  • One thing I should have mentioned is that on the first attempt I realized I hadn't activated the source machine.  As far as I can remember from past experience, the source machine does need to be activated for Sysprep to succeed, but I thought that once I did that I could simply run Sysprep again. I'm hoping someone can answer these questions, as I have not found the answers yet in my own searches:

    - Am I correct that the source machine needs to be activated for Sysprep to succeed? 

    - If I get the error mentioned in my opening post, does this mean that Sysprep cannot succeed until the image is rebuilt, even if the cause of the failure is corrected?  That might explain why it continued to fail even after activation.

    - I have Office 2013 installed on the image.  If I do not activate Office and it's within the 30 day grace period, can that cause Sysprep to fail?  I wouldn't think so, but I feel that I better check.

    Besides trying to avoid wasting lots of time rebuilding over and over in order to capture an image, I would also like to avoid using up activations unnecessarily.  I'm using TechNet licensing for my test environment and I shouldn't need more than a few licenses for both Windows and Office, but they can get used up quickly with problems like this.

    Monday, October 14, 2013 6:21 PM
  • The source PC does not need to be activated. I'm not sure why you deleted the panther directory. I've never seen anyone recommend that as a step.

    Are you running Sysprep in Audit Mode?

    You don't have to worry about disabling the Windows Media Player service. Just don't select a network location when prompted and you won't run into that problem.

    Monday, October 14, 2013 6:39 PM
  • Thanks for the reply.

    Not running in Audit mode.  Using these parameters, as I always do for a machine to be deployed via WDS:

    sysprep /generalize /oobe /shutdown

    I deleted the Panther directory only because I did see that as a recommended step in a forum post I read somewhere.  I renamed the old one and a new one got created.  It didn't solve the problem, but I don't see that it should cause any trouble, as far as I can tell.  But I had never heard of that until yesterday either.

    I only stopped the Window Media Player Network Sharing service.  Was I supposed to disable it?  It seems to me in the past I always just stopped it, but I'm not certain.

    I've started over again, this time on a physical machine.

    Monday, October 14, 2013 9:21 PM
  • I tried this on a physical machine and it failed in the same way.  In both cases I was using Windows 8.1 Enterprise TechNet Media. 

    Today I'm in a new environment and I just tried to Sysprep a third 8.1 machine, this time the version is 8.1 Pro MSDN Media.

    I had been thinking that possibly some apps installed on the first two machines were causing the problem, but this third machine has completely different ones.  In all cases, there are very few apps installed.

    So this has got to be a general problem and I'm hoping someone else has tried this.  It seems that either Sysprep just fails on Windows 8.1, which is probably unlikely, or maybe it only fails on TechNet and MSDN Windows 8.1 media. 

    I just looked at the help for this version of Sysprep and the syntax is no different than for Windows 8.  I have Sysprepped Windows 8 TechNet Media machines with no issues.  In fact, I've been using Sysprep since NT 4 and I've not seen it fail consistently like this.

    I think someone from Microsoft needs to see this post and look into it if they don't already know the answer.

    Thanks.

    Tuesday, October 15, 2013 3:29 PM
  • I never would actually use sysprep except in Audit Mode, but I did a test anyways. No error for me! I bet if you did a test deployment with no extra software installed, maybe just drivers, and try to sysprep and see what happens. I have heard that some Antivirus or Firewall software can cause a problem with sysprep.
    • Marked as answer by CFS3rd Tuesday, October 15, 2013 9:12 PM
    Tuesday, October 15, 2013 3:49 PM
  • Thanks for trying to repro the problem.  What sort of media did you use?  I guess it would have to be TechNet, MSDN or the general preview, since that's all that's been released so far for 8.1.

    I'll wipe the Pro version I have installed, install the Enterprise version (clean install), then run sysprep without installing anything, just as you did.  Actually, I'll trying uninstalling VirusScan first, which wasn't on the other failing machines, to see if that makes a difference.  On the other failing machines only Defender was installed.

    I'll let you know how it turns out. 

    Tuesday, October 15, 2013 5:12 PM
  • Got the same result as you this time:

    Windows 8.1 Enterprise MSDN Media, new install, no apps at all.  I ran Sysprep logged on with my linked "Microsoft" account and there were no problems.

    On the machine that failed here, my guess is that the culprit was VirusScan, but the ones that I tried in the other environment had only Defender, as I said, so it must have been something besides virus protection causing the problem on those.  It might have been another type of app that isn't yet compatible with 8.1.  I think the only installed apps were Office, Java, Adobe Reader, iTunes.  All of them seemed to install okay, but that doesn't necessarily mean each one is 100% compatible yet.  I guess I won't be creating any 8.1 images for a while.

    Cheers.

    Tuesday, October 15, 2013 9:15 PM
  • Well of course the slow way to test is try each software at a time. It is also possible that the software may conflict with each other. I ran into such a situation with Windows 7 once.

    • Proposed as answer by MorneBarnard Monday, October 28, 2013 9:43 AM
    Wednesday, October 16, 2013 3:41 PM
  • Thanks.  That's pretty much what I did and no problems this time.  I suspect that the culprit was the pre-release version of RSAT for Windows 8.1.  A new version came out just before the Windows 8.1 general release.  This time I used that version.

    So now that I've created the image, I'm getting an error deploying it via WDS (it says there's a problem in the answer file).  Ugh.  I'm posting separately for that issue.

    Cheers.

    Sunday, October 27, 2013 7:18 PM