Windows 7 will not boot after sysprep

Posted on 2009-12-21
Last Modified: 2012-06-22

I am building an image of Windows 7 Enterprise edition. after creating a simple unattend file in WAIK. After running sysprep, when the machine boot up i get the following:

 "Windows could not parse or process the unattend file for a pass [specialize]. The Setting specified in the answer file cannot be applied. The error was detected while processing settings for component [Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup]."

If i remove it the image will boot. The problem is i want to use that specialize option.

Have anyone run into this and have a solution for it?
Question by:Vjz1
    LVL 17

    Expert Comment

    When you try to use the PC name which contains space/s, you can receive this error.
    Are you using a single word PC name in your unattended setup?

    Some, but not very cheerful solution from Microsoft:

    You've probably already read this article, but it might reveal some WAIK issues.

    Accepted Solution

    No solution found, please close question.

    Expert Comment

    I also experienced a very similar issue and had to remove a particular piece of software to get the copyprofile command to work during sysprep in Windows 7 Enterprise. If you have the patience I actually recorded 2 videos showing success and failure of sysprep due to the software:

    Sysprep failing with error: "Windows could not parse or process the unattended answer file for pass [specialize]."

    Sysprep success! (after software install)

    I hope this helps as I have seen ALOT of posts about this error. I tried many many resolutions including rebuilding the XML answer file using different images, removing all accounts except administrator from User Manager, Registry, and from C:\Users all to no avail.

    This worked! So lessons learned, it could be a piece of software preventing the copyprofile command from executing properly.

    Expert Comment


    How were you able to tell if the issue related to that specific piece of software?  That was interesting to see and I have alot more software loaded into my image than you do with the same specialize pass error.


    Expert Comment

    Hello all first post here.  I just spent a little time creating an image and ran sysprep to complete the image for deployment.  However I am getting the Windows could not parse or process the unattend answer file for pass specialize..........yada yada yada  same as above.  I didn't create an image prior to running sysprep.  Is there away to get back into Windows or am I looking a starting over?

    Expert Comment

    I would think that you are most like going to get into a "sysprep loop" and wont be able to get past it without disabling the offending service / application.

    To address sparky's question, the image didnt contain too many applications so process of elimination. It so happens that was the 2nd or 3rd one that I tried. Pure Luck!

    Write Comment

    Please enter a first name

    Please enter a last name

    We will never share this with anyone.

    Featured Post

    How to run any project with ease

    Manage projects of all sizes how you want. Great for personal to-do lists, project milestones, team priorities and launch plans.
    - Combine task lists, docs, spreadsheets, and chat in one
    - View and edit from mobile/offline
    - Cut down on emails

    Suggested Solutions

    The Display applet of Windows 7 Control Panel has changed a great deal since Windows XP  (it was missing and more or less replaced in Windows Vista by the Personalization applet.)  Below is a screenshot of what the Display applet of Windows XP, whic…
    The recent Microsoft changes on update philosophy for Windows pre-10 and their impact on existing WSUS implementations.
    The viewer will learn how to install the Spideroak software to backup files. Start your default browser: In the URL location bar type and press enter: When you see the spideroak site, click the “Try for free” button in the upper ri…
    The viewer will learn how to download, install and use CrashPlan from on Windows 7. Open your browser and go to Click get started, it’s free then Click the Download CrashPlan button: Click save in Internet Explorer, the…

    737 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

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    16 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now