Repairing Windows 7 install after a borked sysprep
Posted on 2015-01-19
Attempting to move my Windows installation from one Dell Latitude series laptop to another slightly different Dell Latitude series laptop.
I ran SYSPREP on the laptop, which succeeded and the laptop shut down. Then moved the hard disk over to the new laptop. Upon booting it up I get the error "C:\windows\system32\ntoskrnl.exe" "error 0xc0000098", "windows failed to load because the kernel is missing or corrupted" and the system won't boot. The original hardware is no longer available to boot from.
I booted into the Windows 7 recovery console, re-created the BCD and made sure the boot sector and MBR was in place. It all looks fine. I'm guessing that this is the result of a failure in the sysprep process, or maybe some sort of missing driver that is preventing Windows from reading the hard disk (e.g missing SATA controller drivers)
I have other computers I can work with, USB sticks, ISOs of Windows 7 etc. at my disposal to try and solve this problem. Is there anything I can do to recover this installation of Windows without having to re-install from scratch?