Compaq / Dell - Sysprep and Imaging Problem

Posted on 2003-11-15
Last Modified: 2008-03-06
I have a two XP images that I created for my Job. One for the Laptops, the other for the desktops.

I'll only use the laptop as an example to my problem since it's solution will solve the desktop problem as well.

The image was created on a Compaq Armada M700 (400MHz) machine about one year ago. I've sucessfully installed the image on all Compaq Armada's from 300 MHz to 700 MHz with absolutely no problems. The company I work for was bought by another company that is standardized on Dell machines.

I've ordered my first batch of laptops and thought...okay...this is going to be a breeze. Just put ghost my image onto their hard drive and fire it up. Just like I always do. NOT!

The Dell machine does nothing. I see the POST message. then nothing, just a blinking cursor in the upper left corner of the screen.

I've done the following:
Method 1:
1.Boot to the Recovery Console.
2.Run Chckdsk /r
3.Run Copy [cd driver]\i386\ntldr c:\
4.Run COpy [cd drive]\i386\ c:\

That doesn't work.

Method 2:
1. Boot with XP CD
2. Select Setup
3. Select Repair

That doesn't work.

I know this can be done becuase our corporate guru's distribution CD works on both machines. I've asked them but all they would divulge is that in the sysprep.inf file I need this:




When I seal the image I do so with this command:
SYSPREP.EXE -mini -pnp -reseal - quiet

I can take the HD out of the dell, put it in my compaq and it boots right up.

What could be wrong?
Question by:gemarti
  • 7
  • 5
  • 2
  • +7
LVL 18

Expert Comment

ID: 9754563
I don't know if this would be any help, but have you seen these articles?

How to use Sysprep with Ghost

Introduction to cloning a Windows NT, Windows 2000, or Windows XP computer

How to Prepare Images for Disk Duplication with Sysprep
LVL 21

Author Comment

ID: 9754693
I have not seen the second one. I'll take a look and test. I won't let you know anything until Late Monday Morning.
LVL 57

Expert Comment

by:Pete Long
ID: 9754911
hello gemarti

If it wasnt you asking the question id be posting straight away, but im obviously missing something important =(

youve ghosted a compaq PC

the image wont work on a dell PC

but if you put the HDD in the compaq it works

This is 100% normal! now im confused, what am I missing, youve chaged the HAL it wont work, a compaq deskpro ep image wont work on a compaq deskpro en, simply because of the HAL?

Now I know you know your stuff gemarti hence my first comment, there must be some factor that (Im to thick to see)?

Ransomware-A Revenue Bonanza for Service Providers

Ransomware – malware that gets on your customers’ computers, encrypts their data, and extorts a hefty ransom for the decryption keys – is a surging new threat.  The purpose of this eBook is to educate the reader about ransomware attacks.

LVL 21

Author Comment

ID: 9755036
Our company was standardized on Compaq Deskpro's and Armada's.
I have two images that work on the Desktop's and Laptops.

Our company is now owned by a company that insists that we standardize on Dell Desktop's and laptops.

I need my image to work on the Dell Machines.

The image will not boot when I put it on a hard drive and put it in the Dell Machine. It just sits there with a cursor in the upper left corner of the screen.

I can boot into the Recovery Console and the OS is recognizes. I can log into the image. I just cannot get it to boot.

I'll have to post the Hal.dll information Monday, but it seems to me I checked that and the hal was the same.

LVL 21

Author Comment

ID: 9755063
The image originates from a Compaq machine. The Dells are new to me.

LVL 21

Author Comment

ID: 9755085
>>I can log into the image.
Correction: I can log onto the image in the recovery console.

Just in case my statement above was unclear. :)
LVL 21

Author Comment

ID: 9755093
Crash2100- These two are the same:
How to use Sysprep with Ghost

Introduction to cloning a Windows NT, Windows 2000, or Windows XP computer

LVL 18

Accepted Solution

Crash2100 earned 500 total points
ID: 9755428

Expert Comment

ID: 10569520
Could you mind share the final answer of clone machine on different hardware? I facing the same problem with you using dell machine create image and only have a boot up cursor at Compaq machine. Thanks.

Expert Comment

ID: 11958681
Was there a solution to this. Because I have a similar situation.

Expert Comment

ID: 12009904
It can still be the hal, even though they "appear" to be the same. One thing to try is changing you hal within windows before running sysprep on it.

I have one image working on the following dells:  c800,c810,d600,d800,gx200,300,400,gx240,gx260,gx280

I don't think you can get one image to work successfully between compaq's and dells because of the MOBO chipset differences and the Hal. The Hal will be your major concern. I have gotten that exact description you said when it doesn't work.


Expert Comment

ID: 12206751
it could also ne because dell installs a 32mb partition then the os is installed on a different partition, i wonder if that is the case? because i am facing same problem i am restoring to a dell gx260 from a dell gx260.


Expert Comment

ID: 12217685
Its the HAL. I used a laptop as my base image and sysprep it. And that same base image work with all the other computers we have. Weird I know. But it work. We have Dells and Compaqs, desktops and laptops. The base is a C600 laptop dell.  Desktop to desktop sysprep image did not work. But a laptop to desktop sysprep image work.
And I have not found any problems or issues. Go figure??

Expert Comment

ID: 12217999
The laptop to desktop works because the devices used are different, therefore they are loaded during mini setup. The laptops use similar hardware so most of those work also. To get the image working on most systems you have to kind of hack the image before running sysprep.

If you changed the HAL to "Standard pc" I bet it would work on any system, but then you wouldnt have proper acpi functionality. "like shutting down etc"

Here is my current sysprep.inf: Below this I will list what I have done to make this image work on numerous systems.

    ProductKey=XP KEY
    FullName="Network User"












To get this image working on numerous systems I did the following:

Its better to make an image on a desktop because in most cases they have less devices (card readers, wireless, touchpad, docking station)
Changed the HAL to "Advanced configuration acpi"

before running sysprep on the image uninstall any devices specific to the machine (audio/video etc) Make sure to select NO to reboot.

Change the IDE controller to "Standard Dual PCI IDE controller"  select no to reboot.

Uninstall Primary and secondary IDE controller

Uninstall Video/Display device

Uninstall Audio Device

Under system devices: This may take some testing but try to uninstall specific devices, but dont uninstall the LMBUS (ISA to PCI Bridge) becasue it kicks off Plug and PLay and reinstalls devices on the fly.

Once you have the devices uninstalled run sysprep.

I think if you're trying to use the image on a working you shoent manufacturer this would be the way, since you're making the hal a generic one, and then uninstalling any devices specific to the curretn hardware. If you get this working on different hardware it should work as long as you have the drivers.

I know of another link you could check out but I would have to dig for it first and then post it.

Expert Comment

ID: 12218019
I think if you're trying to use the image on a different manufacturers this would be the way, since you're making the hal a generic one, and then uninstalling any devices specific to the current hardware. If you get this working on different hardware it should work as long as you have the drivers.

I know of another link you could check out but I would have to dig for it first and then post it.

Expert Comment

ID: 12573892
This is because Dell uses a Utility Partition which is a Hidden ( Fat 16 ) Diagnostic Partition on its Hard Drive. The Ghost Image may not work if the Image was taken from a HDD that does not have this hidden partition. Try Deleting the Partition using F-Disk and then try. Also ensure that the ghosted image was taken from a Fat32 hdd and the Dell machines too having the same partition. It should be like wise partition to be on the safe side.

Expert Comment

ID: 13264303
Thanks for the very helpful posts.  You said you "Changed the HAL to "Advanced configuration acpi""  How did you do this?

Expert Comment

ID: 13265216
Go into Device Manager, under Computer you should see what "type" of hal yours is. You can right click on it and choose to "Update Driver". When searching for the driver, choose "Install form a list or specific location", then "Don't search. I will choose the driver to install." At the next screen you should have a few options.

"Standard PC" - Most compatible with all computers, but you will lose ACPI functionality (won't turn off at shutdown), and the ability to use/track hyperthreading and dual CPU's in windows.

"Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) PC" This is the one we used for all pc's without hyperthreading or dual CPU.

"Multiprocessor something" - What we use for all machine that have hyperthreading or dual cpu's.

You CAN use the Advanced for hyperthreaded and dual cpu's, but both cpu's won't show up on the process tab in task manager, so I'm not positive what kind of effect it will have.

We now run with two ghosts (Type 1, for non hyper threaded or single cpu's) and (Type 2, for dual). It's easy because we just update the Type 2 image and sysprep it, then go in...change the hal...and sysprep again for the Type1 image. ;)

Expert Comment

ID: 13265318
I should have mentioned, start with the higest common denominator. Meaning, if you need a ghost to work on dual cpu's, start with that as your base ghost. You can always downgrade the HAL, but you won't be able to upgrade it. Once you change the HAL to Standard, you won't have the option to change it back to Advanced or Multiprocessor.

SO basically if you need more than one ghost, always start with the most advanced HAL and work your way down.




FYI - You cannot change the HAL back once you down grade, so be careful :)

Expert Comment

ID: 13265715
I inherited an image for the GX280 (single P4 processor with Hyperthreading I think) and I was trying to get it to work on a new D600.  The image I was given had the Uniprocessor ACPI HAL and I successfully switched this to the Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) PC.  It work fine with the D600 now, but I wonder what I lose by using the downgraded HAL on the gx280.

Expert Comment

ID: 13266945
I'm not sure what kind of effect you'd notice unless you have applications that utilize the hyperthreading. If you notice, bring up the task manager and go to the Performance tab. You won't have a CPU Usage box for both virtual cpu's. You'll only have one. You WILL have two devices for CPU under your device manager there though. So windows knows its either a dual cpu or hyper threaded box, but with the hal I'm not sure if its utilizing it or not. Other than that the machine will operate fine.

I've also got our image working on the D600 and D400 without any problems as well ;) I just use the advanced HAL on both of those since the Mobile chip isn't hyperthreaded ;)

Good luck!

Expert Comment

ID: 13424422
Great comments above; But, If nothing here worked for you:  Try this.  Sysprep Images do not work right if there is any system specific SID / GUID even Domain info encoded / hardcoded in an application.  Uninstall each application and remove related registry keys until you find the offender.  Of course,
start in the middle.  If you have 8 apps, remove 4.  If that doesn't do it, remove the other 4.  If that doesn't do it, then it isn't an application.  

Sysprep may also not work right, (according to MS) if there is a non-standard place for %USERPROFILE%.


How many partitions does the original have?  What size were the drives?  Do the new drives pass diagnostics fully?   Some newer drives have differences that were not conducive to imaging.
Note:   Fdisk doesn't remove the system partitions anymore.  You'll have to use DiskPart on bootable media.

Expert Comment

ID: 13429146
That's something I probably should have noted. I am not running any applications within the ghost. We have a standard image that contains only the OS and patches. We made a seperate installer that we could select which components to install and it runs by itself. Just a FYI.

Featured Post

Creating Instructional Tutorials  

For Any Use & On Any Platform

Contextual Guidance at the moment of need helps your employees/users adopt software o& achieve even the most complex tasks instantly. Boost knowledge retention, software adoption & employee engagement with easy solution.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Suggested Solutions

Title # Comments Views Activity
Number of files limit per folder in XP? 12 86
Windows print sharing 1 84
Asus ks2003 driver XP 32 33 154
Mouse not working on HyperV / Windows XP Mode 4 154
Migration of Exchange mailbox can be done with the ExProfre.exe tool. But at times, when the ExProfre.exe tool migrates the Exchange Server user profile, it results in numerous synchronization problems. Synchronization error messages appear in the e…
Sometimes people don't understand why download speed shows differently for Windows than Linux.Specially, this article covers and shows the solution for throughput difference for Windows than a Linux machine. For this, I arranged a test scenario.I…
Two types of users will appreciate AOMEI Backupper Pro: 1 - Those with PCIe drives (and haven't found cloning software that works on them). 2 - Those who want a fast clone of their boot drive (no re-boots needed) and it can clone your drive wh…
With Secure Portal Encryption, the recipient is sent a link to their email address directing them to the email laundry delivery page. From there, the recipient will be required to enter a user name and password to enter the page. Once the recipient …

726 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question