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Repairing Windows 7 install after a borked sysprep

Posted on 2015-01-19
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
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?
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Question by:Frosty555
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by:John Hurst
ID: 40559533
Can you run Windows 7 Repair from the Recovery Console?  I am not certain because you usually need the system running to run Repair Install.

Sysprep does not automatically load drivers so you would need Video, Chipset and possibly other drivers.

Can you install new drivers just booting with another Windows DVD?  I don't think so. I think you need the system running.
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Frosty555 earned 0 total points
ID: 40565909
Turns out the problem was something totally different that nobody here could have anticipated.

This particular Dell Latitude E6410 it turns out Windows doesn't have the AHCI drivers. You can't install windows without side-loading the SATA controller drivers.

Put the BIOS into IDE mode, and it booted fine aside from a few minor issues with Sysprep that are unrelated to the error I posted in my question.

I can try to figure out how to get it back into AHCI mode and do the necessary registry tweaks to get that working, but this is a fairly old computer that I don't really care that much about and the performance with the currently installed SSD is adequate, I might just leave it as is.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Frosty555
ID: 40572379
Sorry guys, no way anyone here could have figured this out.
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