WIM image unuseable, help needed!!

Posted on 2010-01-06
Last Modified: 2012-05-08
Hello everyone

I'm having some problems with a WIM image that I have created for some Dell Latitude D610 laptops we have in the company that I work for. I have used same procedure that I have used many times, for example when I created images for Dell Optiplex 755 desktop, Dell Latitude E6400 Laptop and Dell Optiplex GX520 Desktop and they all work fine.

This is what I do:
Install windows xp
configure windows xp as needed for the image
run sysprep (reseal)
boot up on USB harddrive with WinPE installed
use imagex to capture (imagex /capture /check c: f:\image.wim "name")
boot up on identical laptop with USB harddrive
run diskpart (select disk 0, clean, create partition primary, select partition 1, active, format fs=ntfs quick, assign letter=c, exit)
apply image with imagex (imagex /apply image.wim 1 c:)

I have tried creating the image serveral times and apply the image to 2 Dell Latitude D610 laptops, but after imagex has succesfully applied the image, then I'm not able to boot up.

I'm getting a windows boot error at startup, please see the attached photo. The text is in danish, but translated it means something like:
Windows could not start due to problems with the configuration of the hardware to the harddrive. The selected bootdisk could not be read, Check the bootpath and the hardware to the harddrive....................

Anyone have any ideas what I could try?

Btw. all the laptops has newest BIOS firmware and identical settings. All the harddrives has same size (60GBs) and is IDE interface.
Question by:DDK_Stephan
    LVL 22

    Expert Comment

    by:Adam Leinss
    What version of PE are you using?  If it's Vista or Windows 7 based, this is likely due to the disk boundary uberbug:
    Relatively easy to fix with a REG file import.

    Author Comment

    My WinPE is baded on a Vista installation

    I will give it a try to see if the .reg file is going to help.

    But I cant help to wonder why my old images work perfectly? I neither have any problems when applying them. These images was created in the exact same way as my last attemps with the Dell D610 Laptop.
    LVL 22

    Expert Comment

    by:Adam Leinss
    Were you using a XP PE based disc to apply them in the past?
    I'm using GimageX/ImageX with Vista and Windows 7 based media to apply Vista/XP images with no problems.  You can see my guide here:  Sounds exactly like what you are doing.  I do run bootsect before applying the WIM, perhaps that be causing an issue with the bootloader as well?

    Author Comment

    Nope, I have since I started using WinPE used version 2.0 based on a Vista machine..  I used the very helpfull guides from and it has worked perfectly for me untill now for capturing and applying Windows XP/Vista installations. I do not capture the WIM image to a network share (didnt have time to mess around with network drivers), so I simply capture to a second NTFS partition on my USB harddrive that has WinPE 2.0 installed.

    I'm certainly no expert in WinPE and ImageX, but I know something, i think :) After reading your guide, then I start suspecting that I need to "refresh" the MBR. These laptops used to have HDD password protection enabled (not anymore), I have no idea if that messes with the MBR in some way, do you know?
    LVL 22

    Expert Comment

    by:Adam Leinss
    I don't believe so.  HDD protection is usually done in the firmware of the disk controller itself.  The only thing that might affect the MBR would be if you had the hard drive encrypted with EFS or you installed another foreign operating system like Linux that uses it's own bootloader launched from the MBR.
    Since you brought it up...diskpart clean only wipes the active partition from the disk.  To wipe the whole disk you need to use diskpart clean all or use mbrwiz /disk=0 /part=* /del /confirm.  It could be possible that the diagnostic partition that comes with Dell laptops is still on the disk and diskpart is not cleaning this off, thereby causing a boot issue.


    Author Comment

    Thank you for your inputs... I'm currently on the way home from work, so I will try out your suggestions tomorrow or later this week. Any other suggestions is of course very welcome. Regards, Stephan

    Author Comment

    Hello again

    I have now tried using:
    mbrwiz /disk=0 /part=* /del /confirm
    after that I reapplied the image again on destination laptop.

    Now I get BOOTMGR is missing at boot
    mbrwiz /repair=1 /disk=0 wasnt able to fix that

    Should i prep with bootsect? If yes, where can I get it?

    Thanks in advance.... Regards, Stephan

    Author Comment

    OK, I managed to fix the BOOTMGR problem by inserting a Windows XP install CD and run a chkdsk /r, after that I applied my WIM image again and guess what? now I'am back to the original problem again :)

    Can I totally outrule that there is nothing wrong with the source laptop with the sysprepped windows? As explained in my original post, then I have tried capturing the image several times and I even tried to do a second sysprep, but still no difference. The source laptop works fine if you start it up and windows welcome runs and works, etc..

    Regards, Stephan

    Author Comment

    I think I'm getting close now.

    By starting up WinPE on the source laptop and runnning MBRWiz /list, then I get this:

     MBRWiz - Version 2.0 **beta** for Windows XP/2K3/PE         April 30, 2006
       Copyright (c) 2002-2006 Roger Layton          

     Disk: 0   Size:  38G CHS: 4864 255 63
     Pos MBRndx Type/Name  Size Active Hide Start Sector   Sectors    DL Vol Label
     --- ------ ---------- ---- ------ ---- ------------ ------------ -- ----------
      0    0    DE-Dell    101M   No    No            63      208,782 -- <None>    
      1    1    07-NTFS     38G   Yes   No       208,845   77,931,315 C: <None>    

    Disk 0 has a partition that is 101MB and that partition does not exist on the destination laptops. Now, how do I delete this partiion without corrupting the Windows XP installation? Regards, Stephan

    Accepted Solution

    Problem solved, FINALLY!!!

    It was a simple thing as the boot.ini file in my WIM image that was poiting at the wrong partition number, because the source laptop had a Dell hidden partition (1) and Windows system partion (2) as I wrote earlier.

    I wasn't able to edit boot.ini from WinPE, got access denied (read-only file). So what I did was to boot on a Windows XP install CD and choose Repair mode and type 'bootcfg /rebuild' in the command prompt. There might be other ways to do it, but this worked for me.

    So what have I learned from all this? Make sure that you start working on a clean computer without hidden partitions for making WIM images..

    Thanks to aleinss for helping me in the right direction. Case closed!!!

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