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Post-Sysprep Errors hanging Setup


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Sysprep is starting to drive me insane.

Heres my issue:

I have two partitions - and I've tested this with Primary/Primary, and Primary/Logical.

Primary/Logical I had Vista installed into the Logical partition.

Setup runs fine, and after running

sysprep /generalize /oobe

I reboot and get this message:

"The system registry contains invalid file paths. Installation cannot proceed. This system image was applied without guaranteeing that drive-letter assignments would match across computers."

Clicking Ok causes a reboot and the message repeats ..

Anyone seen this?

Does Vista have to be installed to the Primary partition, and I can only have one primary partition?

Edited by Thoughtcrime
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If anyone's interested I figured out why this is happening (I think!).

Vista and sysprep specifically do nto seem to like being run on systems where Vista is installed on any partitions other then the First Primary (or first, primary?) partition.

I tried the following structure which failed:

Primary/Primary - Vista on both first and second

Primary/Logical - Vista on logical

Only way I've been able to get sysprep to work is with:

Primary/Logical - Vista installed on Primary.

Extremely disappointing to see after all the hype about ImageX that we still seem to be stuck with crappy limitations of the DOS Age ...

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  • 6 years later...

Hi guys,

Iam running into a similar problem. What Iam doing is:

Booting a Winpe 3.0 over network, acces my network share and try to deploy the original Vista wim from Microsoft. Everything goes fine, the image is deployed the target pc is booting fine.

Unfortunately it always ends up with

"The system registry contains invalid file paths. Installation cannot proceed. This system image was applied without guaranteeing that drive-letter assignments would match across computers."

This is what I do:

diskpart /s z:\diskpartcmd4.txt >nul

ECHO **** APPLYING - Windows Vista Business 32-Bit - IMAGE ****


imagex.exe /apply Z:\images\VISTA_32_SP2.wim 1 C:

bcdboot C:\windows /l de-DE /s C: >nul

bootsect.exe /nt60 C: >nul

copy Z:\Unattend.xml C:\windows\system32\sysprep >nul

And my diskpart cmds:

select disk 0


create partition primary

format fs=ntfs label="WINDOWS" quick

assign letter c



As You can see there is only one primary and active partition, so this is not the problem.

Does anybody have any idea what to do, to get around this problem? As I stated above, Iam using the original wim from a microsoft disc. Its working very well this way with Windows 7 and Windows 8 with the same configuration. However Vista is making these trouble. Maybe the Vista wim is not made to be distributed in this way?

PS: In thought this problem maybe coming from a faulty Unattend.xml I removed that line for testing puposes with the same results.

Edited by Tribble
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Ok, Ive just found out something interesting/funny to this case.

As You can read here: http://blogs.technet.com/b/inside_osd/archive/2007/08/08/why-does-vista-end-up-on-the-d-drive.aspx the install.wim from the dvd was originally captured from a drive D - lmao. To get around this problem I could create 2 partition via diskpart, installing Vista on the 2nd one I guess?

However I dont want to end up having 2 partitions and Vista installed on D drive. Does anybody know how I can use the original install.wim to get it working on one partition and on the C drive?

Edited by Tribble
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If you use Setup.exe to install Windows Vista to the C drive of a machine, and then capture that image, it will resolve the issue for you. This MS support article explains this. Basically, running setup solves this issue upon install, but applying the image with Imagex does not. Creating a custom image (even if you don't customize anything) and using that for your deployment should solve this issue.

Another suggestion would be to only have one partition on the disk but assign it as D in your Diskpart script.

Lastly, older versions of the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit used Setup.exe to apply the images, while MDT 2012 Update 1 does not, as shown in this TechNet blog article. So If you use the link to download MDT 2010 Update 1, and set that up with your Vista image, it will install without this error.

Further information on deploying Windows can be found onthe Springboard Series on TechNet.

Hope this helps,


Windows Outreach Team – IT Pro

Edited by WinOutreach4
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