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I am trying to Sysprep a Windows image that will run on identical hardware. The issue I'm facing is that the Unattend.XML file is somehow not running whatsoever, but the logs itself do not say anything about the Unattend.XML file having an error but there is still no Sysprep_succeeded.tag file in C:\Windows\System32\sysprep after reboot, even if in setupact.log says

2015-10-28 13:39:10, Info                  SYSPRP ========================================================
2015-10-28 13:39:10, Info                  SYSPRP ===          Beginning of a new sysprep run          ===
2015-10-28 13:39:10, Info                  SYSPRP ========================================================
2015-10-28 13:39:10, Info       [0x0f004d] SYSPRP The time is now     2015-10-28 13:39:10
2015-10-28 13:39:10, Info       [0x0f004e] SYSPRP Initialized SysPrep log at C:\Windows\System32\sysprep\Panther
2015-10-28 13:39:10, Info       [0x0f0054] SYSPRP ValidateUser:User has required privileges to sysprep machine
2015-10-28 13:39:10, Info       [0x0f007e] SYSPRP FCreateTagFile:Tag file C:\Windows\System32\sysprep\Sysprep_succeeded.tag does not already exist, no need to delete anything
2015-10-28 13:39:10, Info       [0x0f005f] SYSPRP ParseCommands:Found supported command line option 'OOBE'
2015-10-28 13:39:10, Info       [0x0f005f] SYSPRP ParseCommands:Found supported command line option 'GENERALIZE'
2015-10-28 13:39:10, Info       [0x0f005f] SYSPRP ParseCommands:Found supported command line option 'SHUTDOWN'
2015-10-28 13:39:10, Info       [0x0f005f] SYSPRP ParseCommands:Found supported command line option 'UNATTEND'
2015-10-28 13:39:10, Info       [0x0f004a] SYSPRP WaitThread:Entering spawned waiting thread
2015-10-28 13:39:10, Info                         [sysprep.exe] UnattendFindAnswerFile: Looking at explicitly provided unattend file [unattend.xml]...
2015-10-28 13:39:10, Info                         [sysprep.exe] UnattendFindAnswerFile: [unattend.xml] meets criteria for an explicitly provided unattend file.
2015-10-28 13:39:10, Info                  SYSPRP SysprepSearchForUnattend: Using unattend file at [unattend.xml].
2015-10-28 13:39:10, Info                  SYSPRP SysprepSearchForUnattend: [generalize] pass in unattend file [unattend.xml] either doesn't exist or passed validation
2015-10-28 13:39:10, Info                  SYSPRP WinMain:Found unattend file at [unattend.xml]; caching...
2015-10-28 13:39:10, Info                  SYSPRP WinMain:Processing unattend file's 'generalize' pass...
2015-10-28 13:39:10, Info                  SYSPRP Sysprep is running a generalize pass with the following unattend file: [%windir%\panther\unattend.xml]

In addition, whenever I run sysprep /oobe /generalize /shutdown /unattend:unattend.xml, Unattend.XML is for sure not run because it does not leave the Sysprep_succeeded.tag, nor does it do anything in the Unattend.XML flie because the PC name is reset to WIN7 instead of the one in the XML, and it doesn't skip OOBE setup as it should and it doesn't run the scripts it refers to in the XML file.

Is there some reason why this is happening? I cannot find anything online about this specific issue where the Unattend.XML file is somehow not being run but with no errors in the logs.

Thanks.

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The things that immediately come to mind are:

  • That your answer file does not pass validation in Windows SIM. You should validate the unattend.xml against your target operating system.
  • That your answer file is being replaced by a higher priority answer file. See Implicit Answer File Search Order and potentially check the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\Setup\UnattendFile registry key post Sysprep.
  • Security software installed in the reference image often interferes with the generalization process. Make sure any security software installed is disabled before running Sysprep.
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I had similar issue with my HP laptop which had Win 8.1 originally installed prior to problem. I successfully fix it and made a video so can help others who face the same issue. Check the link to know more. https://youtu.be/8sfsM40sPCY

Hope it will help you to fix this. Hardik

  • 1
    This doesn't answer the question. If you have a solution, please describe it here instead of asking people to watch a video. – Andrew Schulman Mar 5 '18 at 10:18

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