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marfig

Manifest or Policy file error (The SXS.DLL error)

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Hello all,

Using only nLite (1.4.9.1), splistreaming SP3 into a SP1 OEM installation, removing some windows components I don't need, and making some changes to windows configuration.

During test on a VMm I get the following error after the first boot from HD and when Windows is preparing the installation:

Error:

SXS.DLL. Syntax error in manifest or policy file "D:\I386\asms\10100\MSFT\WINDOWS\GDIPLUS\GDIPLUS.CA_ on line 0

***

Error:

Installation Failed: D:\I386\asms. Error Message : Manifest Parse Error : Invalid at the top level of the document.

I've searched the forums for this type of error. There's some references, but nothing that could help me understand what I can do. I'm stumped into what may be causing this.

- A broken GDIPLUS.CA_ file? But I can install from the original CD.

- Cabbing issues? But I tried with High Compression enabled and disabled from the options pane.

- ISO is bad? But I tried with both nLite and RVM Integrator.

Could you please help?

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marfig, I suspect you have run nLite more than once against the same source. Please attach (not paste) your Last Session.ini. Make sure to always start with a fresh copy of your CD files/folders, do all your work in one nLite session and integrate only one SP. Enjoy, John.

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Thanks john. But no. I have worked under the same session and started from scratch.

I suspected maybe some issue with the \I386\asms\10100\MSFT\WINDOWS\GDIPLUS\GDIPLUS.CA_. I tried several approaches to this error.

- Replacing this file inside the generated ISO with another from another CD (there wasn't a 10100 folder. So the replacement file was different. And still the same error).

- Using nLite without any customization whatsoever. Not even SP3 integration. Just to generate an image file. Still, same error. No Error.

- Using nLite only to integrate SP3. Error.

So with this last I'm at least assured it has nothing to do with any changes I was doing to windows setup. But it's a curse in disguise because it leaves me completely stumped without knowing how to circumvent or fix this error.

SP3 is the official SP3 from Microsoft. WindowsXP-KB936929-SP3-x86-ENU.exe

My XP CD is an OEM with SP1

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marfig, you did not attach your Last Session, please attach (not paste) it. I do not have a GDIPLUS.CA_ in my machine at all. I am running XP x64, so possibly there is a difference here. I do have GDIPLUS files in my ASMS01.cab, but no catalog files. Please open your file with a hex editor (I use HxD - free) and see if it is all zeros. I did a Google search and got a number of hits on GDIPLUS.CAT, some saying it was all zeros. Please do a Google (or your favorite search engine) search (search these forums also) - perhaps there is an answer there. Enjoy, John.

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Thank you john,

You'll find "Last Session.ini" attached.

I've inspected GDIPLUS.CA_ and it's full of data. First bytes are "MSCF".

Some more things I tried:

- Changed the whole file to 00s and moved it back into the ISO, but same error.

- Copied the CD contents into my HDD and did a manual integration of the SP3. Then used nLite to just create the ISO. Same error

I don't think this is an issue with nLite. But an issue with my OEM version (Old one. Some 6 or 7 years old).

I'm currently downloading SP2 and will try that SP integration to see what happens. If I manage to create a workable ISO, I'll then try and use this as the basis for nLite and see if then I can integrate SP3.

Last_Session.ini

Edited by marfig

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marfig, when you say your CD is an OEM, do you mean a recovery CD?

- Using nLite without any customization whatsoever. Not even SP3 integration. Just to generate an image file. Still, same error. No Error.
I assume you meant ERROR, at the end. Are you writing CDs or running your VM from the ISO image file? If you are writing a CD, perhaps the problem lies there. Try either using the ISO file, or writing the CD at the lowest speed.

In general you should not try to integrate SP3 into a source that you have integrated SP2 into. Please let us know what you learn. Enjoy, John.

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My bad. I did mean No Error. Somehow I mistyped this.

So, If I use nLite to just make an image of my OEM disc, there's no error. The error is entirely tied to SP3 integration.

Are you writing CDs or running your VM from the ISO image file?

Just images. Won't burn to CD until I get a working and the desirable image.

In general you should not try to integrate SP3 into a source that you have integrated SP2 into.

Will nonetheless give this a shot because even with manual integration of SP3 I am left with an unworkable installation.

Another thing I'm trying is using HFSLIP to generate a XP SP3 working image.

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marfig, here are the size and MD5 for SP3. Perhaps you got a bad DL. Enjoy, John.

316 MB (331,805,736 bytes)

MD5 BB25707C919DD835A9D9706B5725AF58

EDIT: The SP3 file name is WindowsXP-KB936929-SP3-x86-ENU.exe.

Edited by johnhc

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Yes. I did check that before.

Well, seems I hit a dead end. HFSLIP produces an image with the same error. As does slipstreaming SP2 instead of SP3. Nothing I do works. This disc (original oem from toshiba) just can't have an SP slipstreamed. And its the only legit copy of Windows I have :(

Edited by marfig

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marfig, does the original CD have a $OEM$ folder? Why don't you post a screen shot of the original CD Windows Explorer view of it so we can see the file/folders on it. Maybe someone has seen something similar. I also suggest you do a search for problems with recovery CDs. Good luck, John.

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Here's a picture of the CD contents (saved to my HDD).

2lkd7yh.jpg

I've ran out of ideas. But will try some more google tomorrow. Right now it is 4am :)

There's however one thing nagging me. This is a SP1 integrated OEM disk from Toshiba (SPNOTES.HTM -- which I attached for you -- describes it so). But you did mention before it's not advisable to slipstream service packs in succession. So I'm wondering how much of my attempt to get a working nLited image from it isn't a wild goose chase...

SPNOTES.HTM

Edited by marfig

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marfig, wow, great! I think you are absolutely correct! The integrate term in the SPNOTES probably refers to the /integrate:path switch that is used to slipstream an SP into a directory. I have two OEM (purchased) for XP x64 and the older has SP1 and the later has SP2. Neither has the SPNOTES file and both work just fine. I think you are also correct that you can use the CD to do all your nLite work except slipstream an SP. You will have to use Windows Update to get the SPs you need after you install. Since you have already DLed SP2 and SP3, you could try installing them (after install; you need both on a running machine), using your VM and see if all goes well. Please keep us informed. Enjoy, John.

EDIT: You can also consider installing SP2, SP3 and hot fixes out of the RunOnce exit. Kurt_Aust's guide shows how he installs many programs using this technique. I use it on my XP x64 ISOs.

Edited by johnhc

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Thanks for all the help John. And that EDIT of yours answers one of the questions I was going to pose.

I can now confirm that a Nlited image was created and successfully tested on the VM. This time I applied no SP. I'm attaching the "Last Session.ini" file for the record.

So, to summarize, the SXS.DLL error associated with GDIPLUS.CA_ is almost certainly originated from trying to slipstream a later service pack on top of an older one which has been slipstreamed itself.

Last_Session.ini

Edited by marfig

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I just got this "SXS.DLL. Syntax error in manifest or policy file" trying to install XP SP3 from out corporate server (complete with VL serial and such). Usually all the corporate installs come from MSDN distributions delivered to us as MS partners. Strange...

Anyway, I used NLite to slipstream SP3 into SP2 CD (official MSDN release) and the install worked perfectly!!!

Now, I see this "Make sure to always start with a fresh copy of your CD files/folders, do all your work in one nLite session and integrate only one SP." and think I am in trouble.

Your FAQ says "Download the WMP11 installer from Microsoft, install the WMP11 Slipstreamer then simply run nLite and insert the WMP11 installer into the Hotfixes page". So I was going to add WMP to the current SP3 installation, then run NLite again and add the rest (IE7, .NET, DirectX). Does this mean I would not be able to do this?

Then I don't understand what FAQ says. I have to start one nLite session to copy CD to HD. If I exit NLite to use WMP11 Slipstreamer then next time it will be second session, which you say I can't do?

Would you please clarify how to use WMP11 Slipstreamer and what do you mean in this FAQ: "I made an ISO, can i add more drivers in second run?

Yes, since nLite 1.0 RC4."

Maybe the SXS.DLL problem can be fixed the same way if we use some magic procedure for applying succeeding updates?

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wwwoholic, that admonition is mine not nuhi's (owner/author). It is really not absolute but trying to specify the occasions where one can and can't would not be at all easy and certainly not something I want to tackle. The FAQs say, for instance, that you can remove more components in additional runs. Seems reasonable. Just recently there was a post about the changing of an account name in the Unattended section and then seeing the 'removed' account after install. So this is definitely a no-no. I hope you see the conundrum here. I have had symptoms on my VM after an install where the Quick Launch folder was missing, IE shortcuts were gone from the Start menu and several more strange things. When I quit running nLite against the same source, all strange symptoms went away. I make a copy of my CD to an HDD folder and then copy from here to a working folder before I run nLite. I just load my CD, do a Select All>Copy>then Paste in destination folder.

Your FAQ says
Sorry not my FAQ, again it is nuhi's. I am a user as yourself.
FAQ: "I made an ISO, can i add more drivers in second run?

Yes, since nLite 1.0 RC4."

I assume it means what it says, but I would not do it myself. With the use of virtual systems, give it and many other things a try and see what works.

Now to your questions. Learning from marfig, check your source CD for an SPNOTES file. If present seems to indicate an SP has been integrated and trying to integrate another will lead to trouble. Since, I think nLite version 1.4.9, WMP11 Slipstreamer is built in and you only need to place the WMP11 .exe and its updates in the nLite Hot Fix section. Remember to place the updates after the player. When you run nLite, you will see WMP11 Slipstreamer running. If you have more questions, please attach (not paste) your Last Session.ini. Enjoy, John.

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