windows 7 wds sysprep error

Posted on 2010-01-07
Last Modified: 2012-05-08
I have setup a new computer with the Dell Windows 7 OEM disk.  I ran sysprep using the answer file below.  When I try to deploy this image on to desktops I get an error. Windows could not parse or process unattend answer file [c:\windows\panther\unattend.xml] for pass [specialize]. The answer file is invalid.

I have checked and there is no unattend.xml in the panther directory before I start the sysprep, and when I check later the unattend.xml file looks like a copy of my file anyway so maybe that is part of the sysprep process.

The computer connects to the WDS server and does the whole setup up to the point "Setup is applying system settings" and then the error appears.  When you click OK  the system restarts and and you get to the point "Setup is preparing your system for first time use" and you get another error saying windows installation cannot proceed.  When you click OK the system restarts again.  It now keeps going back to this point and you cannot continue any further.  You cannot get into the system to check any log files.

I have attached the answer file I am using.

I am using the WDS server to deploy XP systems and that works fine.

Question by:iepaul
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    Iv had smiliar errors.  Did u install anything todo with Virtual DVD or CD drives?  Daemon Tools or Alcohol120%?

    Accepted Solution

    The problem appears to have been with the WDS server.  Even though I had syspreped the computer with an answer file, I also had to attach this answer file to the image on the wds server.

    Expert Comment

    I have this exact same error on a WDS server using the standard disk media from Microsoft (not a customized sysprep capture image), it has worked perfectly for 10 installations and now is failing.  Anyone got any thoughts on how to fix the problem?  The Microsoft KB articles related to this issue are not helpful.

    Expert Comment

    I forgot to mention above that this is a Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard installation I am trying to complete using WDS.  I do have Windows 7 in a separate image group on this WDS.  I have both a 64-bit and 32-bit boot image.  I have run mixed WDS before without any problems so I do not believe the mixed environment is the problem.

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