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Windows XP SP2 -> Windows XP SP3 upgrade fails w/ "File Copy Error"

    Question


  • Hello,

    I have one computer that I have been upable to upgrade to SP3. I have spent about ten hours on it now and I can't solve the problem. This is one of those problems that has left me extremely frustrated, emotionally drained, and on the verge of tearing my hair out.

    It has SP2. I have a VLK CD that I am using to upgrade. I put the CD in, run setup.exe, select "upgrade," enter the key, then it does "copying files." The bar gets all the way to the end, then an error message comes up saying "File Copy Error." The file that it says it can't copy is different every time. It appears to always start with "a", then seven random letters and numbers, then ".sys". For example, "aeuvv323.sys". Since these file names are randomly generated, they are not on the CD, hence the "File Copy Error." If I do "Skip File," then the install fails on reboot because it wants the missing file.

    I have done extensive searching on the web and cannot find any information whatsoever about this problem.

    Any info or ideas on how to fix this would be greatly appreciated.
    Wednesday, June 18, 2008 5:15 AM

Answers

  • Hi

    I think this is a bug. I've seen it happen to some users before. It's not specific to the XP SP3 CD... I saw this on SP2, as well as Windows Server 2003.

    When it does happen, it only happens when you choose "upgrade" after running setup.exe. Before the first reboot, the progress bar goes to 100%, then returns an error that it can't copy a file. The file starts with "a" followed by seven random alphanumeric characters followed by .sys. The setup routine run by the CD actually is scripted to look for the randomly generated file. In other words, the CD is NOT bad and it is NOT caused by a virus trojan or malware. The randomly generated file name is NOT any kind of valid driver, it's just garbage. To date, no one associated with Microsoft has publically acknowledged this behavior, what it is, why it happens, etc.

    Anyway... if this is happening to you, it's relatively easy to fix it:

    Run the setup.exe on the CD and choose "upgrade". When it stops with the "File Copy Error," click "Skip File." Let it reboot.

    On reboot, it will give you a boot menu. DON'T select the "Windows XP Install" option. Instead, select the normal operating system and boot back into Windows XP.

    After you're back in XP, go into the C:\$WIN_NT$.~BT\ directory. Open the unsupdrv.inf file in notepad. There will be two sections in it. The header, then a section that only references the randomly generated file name from above. DELETE the ENTIRE SECTION that references the randomly generated file name. Leave the header alone. Save the file.

    Reboot, then when you get the boot menu, select the "Windows XP Install" option.

    It should now run normally.

    Good luck!!!

    Wednesday, June 18, 2008 12:51 PM

All replies

  • Hi

    I think this is a bug. I've seen it happen to some users before. It's not specific to the XP SP3 CD... I saw this on SP2, as well as Windows Server 2003.

    When it does happen, it only happens when you choose "upgrade" after running setup.exe. Before the first reboot, the progress bar goes to 100%, then returns an error that it can't copy a file. The file starts with "a" followed by seven random alphanumeric characters followed by .sys. The setup routine run by the CD actually is scripted to look for the randomly generated file. In other words, the CD is NOT bad and it is NOT caused by a virus trojan or malware. The randomly generated file name is NOT any kind of valid driver, it's just garbage. To date, no one associated with Microsoft has publically acknowledged this behavior, what it is, why it happens, etc.

    Anyway... if this is happening to you, it's relatively easy to fix it:

    Run the setup.exe on the CD and choose "upgrade". When it stops with the "File Copy Error," click "Skip File." Let it reboot.

    On reboot, it will give you a boot menu. DON'T select the "Windows XP Install" option. Instead, select the normal operating system and boot back into Windows XP.

    After you're back in XP, go into the C:\$WIN_NT$.~BT\ directory. Open the unsupdrv.inf file in notepad. There will be two sections in it. The header, then a section that only references the randomly generated file name from above. DELETE the ENTIRE SECTION that references the randomly generated file name. Leave the header alone. Save the file.

    Reboot, then when you get the boot menu, select the "Windows XP Install" option.

    It should now run normally.

    Good luck!!!

    Wednesday, June 18, 2008 12:51 PM
  • YOU ROCK!!!!

    Man I can't believe how much time I spent working on this... I thought of maybe putting in a dummy file but I didn't think that was a good idea. What a stupid problem. Thanks a lot Microsoft!

    Thursday, June 19, 2008 12:48 AM
  • outstanding!

    good show Microsoftolypse.

    I took your fix a step further:
    (background: install media = xp pro w/sp3 slipstreamed, upgrading win2k laptop, failure at ********.sys)

    Right after it stops with the "File Copy Error" and you click "Skip File" you are faced with a auto-reboot timer or the option to hit ESC and manually reboot.

    I hit escape, edited the unsupdrv.inf as suggested, rebooted, selected "Windows XP Install" and all is well.

    thanks again!
    Wednesday, July 29, 2009 1:18 PM
  • This is a great thread. Saved me lots of hair pulling. I wasted a couple hours on this and finally hit upon the right keywords to google to find this thread. Why Microsoft doesn't have a KB (or patch) out for this bug escapes me.

     

    Monday, April 19, 2010 6:40 PM
  • Proposed solution works, thanks!

    It seems that this behaviour occurs on computers with Daemon Tools software installed.

    More if you check Device Manager->SCSI and RAID Controllers -> "random crap" IDE Controller -> Driver -> Driver Details

    you can find there "random crap".sys file)

    So, I suspect that before windows upgrade/install starts it collects all the drivers/.sys files on the computer.

    Since Daemon Tools randomly generates file names windows setup fails.. something like that.

    Thursday, April 26, 2012 3:38 PM