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Windows 7 Sysprep/Deployment Error

Posted on 2010-08-12
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Last Modified: 2013-12-12
I have set up a Dell Optiplex 380 with Windows 7 Professional and installed all software and set necessary desktops for the local account, as well as three domain user accounts.

I ran Sysprep using the following command line:
sysprep.exe /oobe /reboot /generalize /unattend:c:\answerfile\unattend.xml

It continued through the Sysprep, rebooted, and I captured the image using Ghost.

Upon deploying that captured image, I get a "unable to parse answer file during 'specialize' pass" message.  The computer then needs to be rebooted, and is stuck in this loop.

The answer file does not have a lot of information in it.    It's pretty simple.  Here it is:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
- <unattend xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:unattend">
- <settings pass="specialize">
- <component name="Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup" processorArchitecture="x86" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
  <CopyProfile>true</CopyProfile>
  <ShowWindowsLive>false</ShowWindowsLive>
  <TimeZone>Eastern Standard Time</TimeZone>
  </component>
  </settings>
- <settings pass="oobeSystem">
- <component name="Microsoft-Windows-International-Core" processorArchitecture="x86" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
  <InputLocale>en-us</InputLocale>
  <SystemLocale>en-us</SystemLocale>
  <UILanguage>en-us</UILanguage>
  <UserLocale>en-us</UserLocale>
  </component>
- <component name="Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup" processorArchitecture="x86" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
- <OOBE>
  <HideEULAPage>true</HideEULAPage>
  <NetworkLocation>Work</NetworkLocation>
  <ProtectYourPC>3</ProtectYourPC>
  </OOBE>
  <RegisteredOwner>Technology Department</RegisteredOwner>
  <RegisteredOrganization>North Attleboro School Department</RegisteredOrganization>
  </component>
  </settings>
  <cpi:offlineImage cpi:source="wim://conts14/deploymentshare/operating%20systems/windows%207%20professional%20x86/sources/install.wim#Windows 7 PROFESSIONAL" xmlns:cpi="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:cpi" />
  </unattend>

I'm not sure why this is happening, and I need to get the computer to boot.

Thanks in advance,

Justin
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Question by:nasupport1
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Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
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Did you validate the answer file first in the WAIK?
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by:nasupport1
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Yes.  There were 0 issues in the XML tab, 25 "no changes" on the second tab, and 0 issues on the third tab.
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by:nasupport1
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I've since rebuilt the image, and I no longer get the specific error about not parsing the answer file.  I do, however, get a new "Windows could not finish configuring the system" error.  You must reboot to continue or "try again", and when you do, this message comes back, creating a boot loop.

Again, the XML unattend file is VALIDATED...no errors.  The computer is not joined to our domain.
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Expert Comment

by:ivanoviola
Comment Utility
Try adding the following pass to your xml (see image) ...if not joining the domain put the computer into a workgroup.


image.JPG
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nasupport1 earned 0 total points
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I might try ivanoviola's suggestion at a later time, but this question wasn't sufficiently answered in a reasonable amount of time.

I rebuilt the image and was able to use the XML unattend file from my first post without any issues.  But this time, I never joined it to our domain at all (previously, I had joined it to our domain, added some stuff, and removed it from the domain before imaging).  I doubt that was the cause, however, as we had used the process to image labs before.
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