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Am stuck at the "Windows could not parse or process the unattend answer file for pass [specialize]. The settings specified in the answer file cannot be applied. The error was detected while processing settings for component [Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup]" phase.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<unattend xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:unattend">
<settings pass="specialize">
    <component name="Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup" processorArchitecture="amd64" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
        <ProductKey></ProductKey>
        <RegisteredOrganization>POCL</RegisteredOrganization>
        <ComputerName></ComputerName>
        <ShowWindowsLive>false</ShowWindowsLive>
        <StartPanelOff>false</StartPanelOff>
        <CopyProfile>false</CopyProfile>
        <DisableAutoDaylightTimeSet>false</DisableAutoDaylightTimeSet>
        <DoNotCleanTaskBar>true</DoNotCleanTaskBar>
        <BluetoothTaskbarIconEnabled>false</BluetoothTaskbarIconEnabled>
        <TimeZone>Pacific Standard Time</TimeZone>
        <AutoLogon>
            <Password>
                <Value>[removed]</Value>
                <PlainText>false</PlainText>
            </Password>
            <LogonCount>5</LogonCount>
            <Username>[removed]</Username>
        </AutoLogon>
    </component>
</settings>
<settings pass="oobeSystem">
    <component name="Microsoft-Windows-International-Core" processorArchitecture="amd64" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
        <InputLocale>en-us</InputLocale>
        <SystemLocale>en-us</SystemLocale>
        <UILanguage>en-us</UILanguage>
        <UserLocale>en-us</UserLocale>
    </component>
    <component name="Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup" processorArchitecture="amd64" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
        <UserAccounts>
            <LocalAccounts>
                <LocalAccount wcm:action="add">
                    <Password>
                        <Value>[removed]</Value>
                        <PlainText>false</PlainText>
                    </Password>
                    <Name>[removed]</Name>
                    <Group>Administrators</Group>
                </LocalAccount>
            </LocalAccounts>
        </UserAccounts>
        <OOBE>
            <HideEULAPage>true</HideEULAPage>
            <HideWirelessSetupInOOBE>true</HideWirelessSetupInOOBE>
            <NetworkLocation>Other</NetworkLocation>
            <ProtectYourPC>3</ProtectYourPC>
        </OOBE>
        <StartPanelOff>false</StartPanelOff>
    </component>
</settings>
<cpi:offlineImage cpi:source="wim:c:/users/administrator/desktop/ces_img0.wim#CES Win7" xmlns:cpi="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:cpi" />
</unattend>

Anyone see anything obvious?

EDIT: Its for a win7 pro install

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2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Is there a reason that you auto-logon 5 times during specialize? Unattended installations don't like being rebooted during the specialize pass, if you're actually logging in 5 times, you should do it in the oobe phase instead.

Try removing the entire

    <AutoLogon>
        <Password>
            <Value>[removed]</Value>
            <PlainText>false</PlainText>
        </Password>
        <LogonCount>5</LogonCount>
        <Username>[removed]</Username>
    </AutoLogon>

block from specialize and test an install.

You should also get rid of the empty <ProductKey></ProductKey> and <ComputerName></ComputerName> fields if you really don't want to use them.

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I have been messing with this for several days. That's probably an artifact of one attempt or another. –  ethrbunny Feb 28 '12 at 21:09
    
No luck. Still getting the "settings cannot be applied message". Do you know if there is any sort of error log available? The system is unbootable at this point. –  ethrbunny Feb 28 '12 at 22:07

@ethrbunny Did you find your answer to this? I put your unattend.xml into my Windows System Image Manager (WSIM) and it tells me that the setting 'StartPanelOff' is deprecated and should not be used. When I remove those 2 lines (both in specialize and oobe passes), then the only warning I get is that the image it is trying to locate is on your desktop.

Are you using the Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK)? It has WSIM included, and WSIM will help you author your unattend.xml files and there is an option to validate the file to check for errors. WAIK can be downloaded here. WAIK is also a part of the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT). MDT can be a stand alone imaging tool, or will integrate with WDS or SCCM to make your deployments easier. MDT can be downloaded here.

You should also visit the Springboard Series on TechNet where you will find the information and tools that you need to deploy Windows. Section 3 (Deliver) is all about deploying Windows.

Hope this helps.

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I think the problem was that the system didn't have a formatted disk. Once I put a base OS on the box the unattended was much happier. Seems like this should be an easy thing for unattended install. Oh well. –  ethrbunny Mar 7 '12 at 20:57

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