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Windows 7 will not boot after sysprep

Posted on 2009-12-21
Medium Priority
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

ID: 26100395
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

Vjz1 earned 0 total points
ID: 26183044
No solution found, please close question.

Expert Comment

ID: 34039766
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.
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Expert Comment

ID: 34888046

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

ID: 35112201
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

ID: 35112613
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!

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