Sysprep Fatal Error

The Story

The error is fatal alright…

I was helping my buddy setup a bunch of laptops for a classroom deployment, since all these drives had spindle discs it was a lot faster to get windows install on one machine, get all the drivers, install all the updates, install all the software…. then shrink the partition to size used (using gparted in linux live), then sysprep it, then DD the drive up to the used spaced partition end point to a NTFS formatted drive.

After that simply DD the .img file to any /dev/sda drive via Linux Live. Since the DD is writing the image onto the disc sequentially this is far faster then doing the above steps for every machine. When you boot them up they are in OOBE mode, enter a user, machine name, license key and away you go…

However, I got an error…

“A fatal error occured while trying to sysprep the machine”

How insightful, so to google I go… Most of the usual answers…

Issues with Generalize (I’m not generalizing this image)…

The Solution

Checking the registry for sysprep state keys (This was a brand new install, so all was clean), at this point I did remember I had injected “SP2” into this Windows 7 install and thought maybe that might be something… but then I noticed something really simple and odd from one Microsoft Answers page…

OldMX “Load a command prompt with admin rights and type “Net Stop WMPNetworkSvc”

I didn’t think it would work, but figured it was worth a shot, to my amazement it worked!

Thanks OldMX!