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Post-Sysprep Error "The system registry contains invalid file paths ..."

    Question

  • Here's my setup:

    Partition 1 - 10 Gigs
    Partition 2 - 24 Gigs

    Both primary partitions. Windows Vista RC1 is installed on Partition 1. Partition 2 set to active and boots to Windows PE. Two partitions is a requirement for me here.

    Using the WAIK 6.00 RTM tools.

    After sysprepping the system with:

    sysprep /generalize /oobe /unattend:sysprep.xml

    on the next reboot I get an error messgae in a box labeled "Install Windows"


    "The system registry contains invalid file paths. Installation cannot proceed. This system image was applied without guaranteeing that drive-letter assignments would match across computers."

    What the heck is going on here? I've successfully done single-partition imaging using the same process. This window comes up and if I click OK it just reboots. I can't be doing anything too out of the ordinary here ... any ideas anyone? I really could use some help on this - so far I have found no reference to this error message or what it means anywhere, or indication of what I'm doing wrong.

    Sysprep.xml below:

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
    <unattend xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:unattend">
    <settings pass="oobeSystem">
    <component name="Microsoft-Windows-International-Core" processorArchitecture="x86" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
    <InputLocale>en-US</InputLocale>
    <SystemLocale>en-US</SystemLocale>
    <UILanguage>en-US</UILanguage>
    <UserLocale>en-US</UserLocale>
    </component>
    <component name="Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup" processorArchitecture="x86" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
    <OOBE>
    <HideEULAPage>true</HideEULAPage>
    <NetworkLocation>Work</NetworkLocation>
    <ProtectYourPC>1</ProtectYourPC>
    <SkipMachineOOBE>true</SkipMachineOOBE>
    <SkipUserOOBE>true</SkipUserOOBE>
    </OOBE>
    <TimeZone>(GMT-05:00) Eastern Time (US and Canada)</TimeZone>
    </component>
    </settings>
    <settings pass="specialize">
    <component name="Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup" processorArchitecture="x86" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
    <ProductKey>XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX</ProductKey>
    <ComputerName>xxxx</ComputerName>
    </component>
    </settings>
    <cpi:offlineImage cpi:source="catalog:c:/documents and settings/DEFAULT/desktop/install_windows vista ultimate.clg" xmlns:cpi="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:cpi" />
    </unattend>

    Sunday, November 26, 2006 2:37 AM

Answers

  • Figured I'd follow up on my old thread here.

    This issue was related to Vista being on anything except the C drive (was trying on D).

    When imaging to C I have no issues with this error. Doesn't seem Vista supports itself being on anything but C with sysprep usage.
    Thursday, April 19, 2007 7:37 PM
  • I must say that it works.
    Also must be said that, you may not close regedit.
    After exporting the registry-keys. Just leave it open.
    run sysprep, and than import the saved registry keys.
    close regedit and close vista.

    Thanks.
    Tuesday, April 24, 2007 5:45 PM
  • 1. Exporting the REG-Hive

    2. Run Sysprep /oobe / generalize /quit

    3. Importing the REG-Hive

     

    those 3 steps work. but is this what you want to achieve? now are all your disk guids the same on all deployed systems.

     

    I think that the problem resides in BCDedit.. this problem only occur when you use multiple partitions. and your boot record

    is on the second disk.. I'm right now testing WDS to deploy multiple partitions and when i use setup.exe (install.wim)  deployment.  the boot manager is placed on my second partition...

     

     

    Tuesday, May 15, 2007 12:42 PM

All replies

  • Flipped my partitions:

    Partition 2 - 10 Gigs
    Partition 1 - Remaining space.

    and stopped using /unattend:sysprep.xml switch

    Same error message.

    Anyone have any idea? This isn't exactly a small "bug" or "feature" - am I being led to believe here that sysprep simply doesn't work with multiple partitions?

    Has anyone else encountered this?

    Monday, November 27, 2006 10:48 PM
  • I encountered this when running sysprep on a dual boot configuration where i installed xp first then vista when patitioning with the XP installer.

    When I used the vista dvd to setup the partitions and had the vista partition as the first OS partition then quit without installing vista to install XP then vista sysprep worked.
    Wednesday, February 07, 2007 6:37 PM
  • The registry contains numerous hard-coded references to the Windows folder and SystemDrive (e.g. “c:\windows\system32”, “e:\windows\myfile.txt”).  If you are deploying a Vista OS image without using setup.exe, then these drive paths will not get auto-patched to account for the drive-letter assignments doled out automatically by the OS mount manager when booting up a generalized image on a target machine.  (setup.exe fixes up these paths during its WinPE phase, if necessary.)  Upon reaching setup.exe, we perform a quick sanity check to make sure the drive letters match the registry paths; if they don’t, we throw up this error message.

     

    You can work around this issue by using setup.exe to deploy generalized images instead of imagex or a 3rd party imaging tool.
    Thursday, February 08, 2007 7:07 PM
  •  Hi

    I am having the same problem.  I initially used SIM to create 2 xml files for WDS use.  I am creating 2 partitions, 1 for the System Volume and 2 for BitLocker.  I am successful in deploying the initial image down through WDS.  I then install all my apps, update drivers etc, and then run sysprep to generalize the image and push back to WDS.  After doing so, I receive the exact same Registry error.  I am baffled!!

    Any assistance would be appreciated.

    Cheers

     

    Monday, March 05, 2007 11:54 PM
  • I have noticed that when I come to select the volume under the WDScapture utility it see's my partion as follows;

    D: system

    C: Bitlocker

    However, prior to sysprepping my partitions are the exact opposite;

    C: System

    D: bitlocker

    Can this be the cause of why I am receiving the "System registry contains invalid file paths......" error

    • Proposed as answer by BitTitan Thursday, February 06, 2014 12:03 AM
    Tuesday, March 06, 2007 1:11 AM
  • For what it's worth, I've been creating (2) partition images that are Bitlocker ready using Ghost, but can't speak to ImageX or WDS captured images.  Here's what I've done as recommended by MS (note:  to my knowledge this isn't supported but works every time).

    Created master image with the following setup:

    C: - Operating System

    S: - System Files (active partition fixed at 1.5 GB)

    1. Before you Sysprep, export the Mounted Devices key. (HKLM\SYSTEM\MountedDevices)
    2. Open a cmd prompt and run sysprep -oobe -generalize -quit
    3. From the same cmd. prompt, opened regedit and import Mounted Devices key.
    4. Reboot into WinPE
    5. Capture disk image with Ghost

    Cloned machines will have two partitions and are ready for Bitlocker without having to run the Bitlocker Drive Prep Tool.

     

    Thanks,

    jb

     

    Tuesday, March 06, 2007 7:12 AM
  • thanks jballgame

    I will give it a go in the next few days and will let you know of the outcome.

    Cheers

    Tuesday, March 06, 2007 7:36 AM
  • I have tried this and unfortunately, I was unable to import the reg file back in after the sysprep - presumably becaused the drives had been switched...

    Anyone having better luck?

    Matt

    Wednesday, March 07, 2007 6:42 PM
  • You need to import the reg file after running Sysprep but before shutting down to capture the image.  The process goes 1) Export the key 2) Sysprep -generalize -oobe -quit 3) Leave the command prompt open and import the key 4) Shutdown and capture the image with Ghost. - jb

    Saturday, March 10, 2007 4:38 AM
  • I've met the very error too~~

    when I use "sysprep /oobe /quit", it will be OK;

    but when I use "sysprep /generalize /oobe /quit",the very error will occured!

    Can some one give me an idea?

    Thx!

    Thursday, March 22, 2007 3:40 AM
  • Figured I'd follow up on my old thread here.

    This issue was related to Vista being on anything except the C drive (was trying on D).

    When imaging to C I have no issues with this error. Doesn't seem Vista supports itself being on anything but C with sysprep usage.
    Thursday, April 19, 2007 7:37 PM
  • Did anyone try the suggestion from jballgame. I'm having the same problem.
    I'm eager to know if this works because i'm searching quite a while now to find a solution.
    unfortunately i can give it a go, after the weekend.
    Friday, April 20, 2007 8:22 PM
  • I must say that it works.
    Also must be said that, you may not close regedit.
    After exporting the registry-keys. Just leave it open.
    run sysprep, and than import the saved registry keys.
    close regedit and close vista.

    Thanks.
    Tuesday, April 24, 2007 5:45 PM
  • 1. Exporting the REG-Hive

    2. Run Sysprep /oobe / generalize /quit

    3. Importing the REG-Hive

     

    those 3 steps work. but is this what you want to achieve? now are all your disk guids the same on all deployed systems.

     

    I think that the problem resides in BCDedit.. this problem only occur when you use multiple partitions. and your boot record

    is on the second disk.. I'm right now testing WDS to deploy multiple partitions and when i use setup.exe (install.wim)  deployment.  the boot manager is placed on my second partition...

     

     

    Tuesday, May 15, 2007 12:42 PM
  • It appears that the sysprep'd image assumes that the first partition on the drive is C:

    If in fact, you have installed Vista on the second or third partition, then it reletters the drives and screws itself up.  Aside from the registry restore described by jballgame and others, you can also hide all other drives from Windows Vista, and thereby the installing partiton is the only partition and is designated with C:

     

    The Error message implies that there is an XML specification that would fix this, but I haven't found it.

     

    JimmerG

    Thursday, July 26, 2007 4:44 AM
  •  

    Use driveletter.bat supplied by Microsoft. This should fix the problem. It did for me.

     

    Tom

     

    Friday, August 17, 2007 6:48 PM
  • How does one go about obtaining the driveletter.bat?  I haven't found it yet.
    Wednesday, September 19, 2007 4:58 PM
  • Did you ever get the driveletter.bat file?  If so, would you please send me the file or the location where I can download it?

    Thanks,

    Austin

    Tuesday, September 25, 2007 5:05 PM
  • I work for a PC manufacturer and have used driveletter.bat with bitlocker for this issue. I know it is a Microsoft file but I am not exactly sure where it comes from. My guess is that it is part of the Vista OPK. It is meant to run within Windows PE.
    Friday, September 28, 2007 7:58 AM
  • I encountered the same "registry contains invalid file paths" message as mentioned in this thread.

     

    I will explain my setup and then how I worked around this issue:

     

    Partition 1 - Windows XP

    Partition 2 - Software and Images (Active partition)

    Partition 3 - Windows XP Pro

     

    My goal was to boot to Windows XP, and apply a sysprepped Windows Vista .wim image to Partition 1 (a script would format the drive, and then apply the Windows Vista .wim). After applying the image the system should be Dual boot to Windows Vista or Windows XP.

     

    To do this I did the following:

     

    1. Apply the sysprepped Windows Vista image to partition 1.

    2. Before rebooting, make partition 1 the active partition.

    3. Reboot and allow the system to go through the initial boot (a script is built into my image to then change the active partition back to partition 2 and reboot).

     

    To do this, I had 2 sets of BCD files. One set for when partition 1 is the active partition (these are captured in my Vista.wim image) and a second set for when partition 2 is the active partition.

     

    Depending on your installation scenario, you may need to run: Bootsect /NT60 C: after step one.

     

    This is working for me, so hopefully it will help someone else.

     

    Thursday, October 18, 2007 5:32 PM
  •  

    Does anyone have an official supported fix for this?

     

    Like do we need to modify the BCDEdit?

     

    Please let me know if Microsoft has some kind of fix.

     

    Thanks in advance.

    Thursday, April 17, 2008 6:43 PM
  • Not for me it doesn't; when rebooting Vista on the original machine it errors out with a BSOD (which closes too quickly to read) and shuts down. After rebooting the source machine AND on the cloned machine, to which I restored the [BootVista] disk image to the [BootVista] partition (was c: in Vista; is actually dSmile, Vista crashes out during the initial config with the error "Your computer unexpectedly restarted or an unexpected fault occured. Windows installation cannot continue. Click on OK te restart and start the Windows installation again if you wish to reinstall Windows"

     

    Now the aim of this exercise was to clone a fully configured dual boot XP-Vista system to a number of indentical machines - I certainly don't want to have to reinstall Vista and all the apps.

     

    Strangely, I can restore an image, made without sysprepping, from [BootVista] to [BootVista] and the only error I get is one about a corrupt Recycle Bin on the D: disk (in Vista this is the XP boot disk). I can clone XP without problems but this has me beat.

     

    Wondering about whether the MountedDisks key in Vista also incorrectly lists the disks/partitions......

     

    Will now be trying sysprepping XP, shutdown, sysprepping the Vista with export-import of MountedDisks key, image the entire system and rebooting (to Vista or XP first? anyone have any preferences?) then attempting to clone by restoring the entire system to pc2.

     

    Watch this space.....

    Friday, August 01, 2008 7:25 PM
  • Well, that doesn't work either. Rebooting to Vista simply opens oobe, BSOD's halfway through the setup configuration, then tells me I need to reinstall Vista.

     

    Help.........

     

    Saturday, August 02, 2008 12:50 PM
  • For what it's worth, I've been creating (2) partition images that are Bitlocker ready using Ghost, but can't speak to ImageX or WDS captured images.  Here's what I've done as recommended by MS (note:  to my knowledge this isn't supported but works every time).

    Created master image with the following setup:

    C: - Operating System

    S: - System Files (active partition fixed at 1.5 GB)

    1. Before you Sysprep, export the Mounted Devices key. (HKLM\SYSTEM\MountedDevices)
    2. Open a cmd prompt and run sysprep -oobe -generalize -quit
    3. From the same cmd. prompt, opened regedit and import Mounted Devices key.
    4. Reboot into WinPE
    5. Capture disk image with Ghost

    Cloned machines will have two partitions and are ready for Bitlocker without having to run the Bitlocker Drive Prep Tool.

     

    Thanks,

    jb

     

    Worked for me.. just be certain to leave regedit open after you export the settings. You will not be able to launch it after the sysprep has been run. once the sysprep is complete, refresh the the whole regedit tree then import the settings...

    WORKS GREAT!!!
    Cheers
    Hotliner
    Monday, April 06, 2009 4:11 PM
  • Driveletter.bat is the proper fix for this as stated above. It is a MS-provided fix. You run it after imagex from within WinPE.
    Monday, June 22, 2009 8:36 PM
  • The reg copy solution did not work for me.  What did work for me was disconnecting the memory card reader which came with the computers.  I was able to use the image I had already created without re-sysprepping.

    I had Windows XP SP3 on the main partition and Vista SP2 on the second.  The weird part of the error was that the first time after I created an image with ghost, and rebooted the source machine, it was fine.  When the target machines popped up the error, and I tried the registry export/import, the source machine started popping up the error as well. 

    Hypothesis: One of the last changes I made to my sysprep.xml file was to enable "PersistAllDeviceInstalls".  I think this allowed it to mount the USB drives right away, and assign them letters before giving my main hard drive C: and D:.    I do not know why it worked the first time without errors. 

    Tuesday, August 11, 2009 8:13 PM
  • I had this problem using MDT 2012 Update 1 and a customized Vista SP1 32-Bit image.

    It turns out that the problem was with the task sequence for "Format and Partition Disk"

    Make sure "Create Extra 'Active' Partition" is unchecked.

    My installation of Vista was the only partition on the original hard drive.  There was no system reserved partition.  This option to create an extra active partition creates the system reserved partition and forces the vista image on to a second partition and causes this error.

    Monday, February 17, 2014 9:59 PM
  • i just changed the drive letters in registry and it works ;)

    http://shubell.wordpress.com/2014/05/12/windows-vista-sysprep-multiple-partitions/

    Monday, May 12, 2014 12:54 PM