Still celebrating National IT Professionals Day with 3 months of free Premium Membership. Use Code ITDAY17


Windows 2008 Sysprep Change Hal

Posted on 2011-09-12
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Hi all:

I recently had to migrate my Windows 2008 32-bit (Non-R2) vmware guest image to ESXi 4.1u1 from VMWare Server 1.0.10

Unfortunately the image is not booting on the ESXi box and keep blue-screening. As far as I'm aware it is because of dissimilar hardware, which is why I decided that a sysprep would fix the issue... The odd thing is, I cannot seem to execute sysprep?!

I tried using the installation CD, and in the command prompt I typed sysprep, nothing happened.
I booted off of MS-DaRT v6.5, and used its command prompt, and got an error about ActionQueue.dll missing

How does one go about sysprep'ing a windows server 2008 system after the fact, where you don't have access to the running/working environment to sysprep and shut it down properly.

Any help is much appreciated. I do NOT want to be quoted a bagillion KB articles, a simple: "go here, and do this" would earn you the 500 points!
Question by:ovprit
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
  • 5
  • 4
LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:Subhashish Laha
ID: 36524072
Please go through below, it has the link for downloading "Windows Automated Installation Kit" which includes Sysprep and the screenshots to configure Sysprep.

Author Comment

ID: 36524091

I would appreciate it if you could please read my question before giving suggestions. As my question indicates, if I could BOOT the server in the first place, I'd be able to do a sysprep and wouldn't be asking questions here.


Expert Comment

ID: 36524150
Can you pass us the blue screen top row error please? usually it states a file or error code. 0x0000DE or similar

Check if previous count of cpus is still the same for this VM. (changing from 1 cpu to 2 cpus can cause bluescreens/boot problems)
in VM settings for the guest, check that the type of disc-controller is same or similar.
Use Case: Protecting a Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure

Microsoft Azure is rapidly becoming the norm in dynamic IT environments. This document describes the challenges that organizations face when protecting data in a hybrid cloud IT environment and presents a use case to demonstrate how Acronis Backup protects all data.

LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:Subhashish Laha
ID: 36524172
Sorry for above comments.

If you are sure that the issue occurred due to different Hal, you can follow below steps

- You can boot the machine with WIndows 7 / Windows 2008 ISO / CD
- Click Repair your computer.
- Click the operating system that you want to repair, and then click Next.
- In the System Recovery Options dialog box, click Command Prompt.
- Run below commandline
    bcdedit /store C:\Boot\bcd /set detecthal Yes

Or, you can rebuild BCD store using Bootrec.exe

-  Type Bootrec.exe on commandline and press ENTER.

Please let me know if that helps

Author Comment

ID: 36524345
c:\> bcdedit /store C:\Boot\bcd /set detecthal Yes
An error ocurred while attempting to reference the specified entry.
The system cannot find the file specified

c:\> bootrec

Repairs critical dis structures. The following commands (...) gives me 4 options: /FixMbr, /FixBoot, /ScanOS and /RebuildBcd

c:\> bootrec /rebuildbcd
Scanning all disks for Windows installations.

Please wait since this may take a while...

Successfully scanned Windows installation.
Total identified Windows installations: 0
The operation completed successfully.


Next? ;)
LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:Subhashish Laha
ID: 36524431
As per the output of Bootrec.exe commandline, it is not able to find any windows installation

"Total identified Windows installations: 0"

When you selected "Repair your computer", did it showed any OS details?

You can open command prompt and change to C drive then run "DIR". Check is it showing any relevant data.

As you earlier mentioned, you migrated the VM from ESXi 4.1u1 from VMWare Server 1.0.10.
VM disk are configured previously on IDE controller or on LSI controller. Now, after migrating, what is the Storage controller configred for disk?


Author Comment

ID: 36524469
@subhashishlaha & @warddhooghe:

I didn't realize that the default controller picked is the SAS one, I switched it back to Parallel and it seems to be booting the image now. I will try to sysprep as soon as the system comes up, then do the changes.

Will report back with updates shortly.

Author Comment

ID: 36524602
Hey guys... So I am a little upset as sysprep took away ALL the settings, and literally blew it back to "fresh install" status.

How would I go about increasing the CPU count and switching from Parallel to SAS without going into the BSOD issue? The bcdedit method didn't seem to work and yes @subhashishlaha C: drive did contain the c:\Boot\BCD file and was visible.

Is there a way to set it to detecthal while it's booted with the old settings, then I set that somehow, and shutdown, do the changes the boot it up?
LVL 10

Accepted Solution

Subhashish Laha earned 2000 total points
ID: 36524804
You can run below command to change HAL settings for supporting multiple CPUs while Windows is booted.

- Open command prompt as Administrator
- bcdedit /set {default} detecthal yes
- bcdedit /set {current} detecthal yes

After running above commands, shutdown the machine and then increase CPU count and boot.

For changing Storage controller:

- First add additional Disk as SAS disk to VM and boot.
- Install SAS controller driver and check that additional disk is detected in VM.
- Then remove the additional Disk and change the Boot disk from Parallel to SAS controller.


Author Closing Comment

ID: 36527089

We got off on a rocky start there partner, but you pulled thru! Thank you so much for all the assist, and you more than deserve the points!


Featured Post

Free Tool: ZipGrep

ZipGrep is a utility that can list and search zip (.war, .ear, .jar, etc) archives for text patterns, without the need to extract the archive's contents.

One of a set of tools we're offering as a way to say thank you for being a part of the community.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

In this article we will learn how to backup a VMware farm using Nakivo Backup & Replication. In this tutorial we will install the software on a Windows 2012 R2 Server.
Resolving an irritating Remote Desktop connection that stops your saved credentials from being used.
This tutorial will walk an individual through the steps necessary to install and configure the Windows Server Backup Utility. Directly connect an external storage device such as a USB drive, or CD\DVD burner: If the device is a USB drive, ensure i…
This tutorial will show how to configure a single USB drive with a separate folder for each day of the week. This will allow each of the backups to be kept separate preventing the previous day’s backup from being overwritten. The USB drive must be s…

670 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