Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Windows could not parse or process the unattend answer file

During Sysprep the following error message appears:

"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]"

The error is
generated by the CopyProfile setting in the unattend file not being able to copy the customized profile settings to the default user profile.

One solution would be to remove this setting from the answer file and allow the build process to complete successfully. Note that the default user profile will now not receive the custom settings you want to save.

Before sysprep is run, make sure only one local account exists i.e. Administrator

Remove any other local accounts from Computer Management > Local Users and Groups.

Browse to C:\Users and delete any profile directories for the local accounts that have been removed.

The final step is to clear the ProfileList in Windows registry (scroll to bottom of this article). Browse to HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList and make sure that profiles exists only for SYSTEM, LocalService, NetworkService and Administrator.

Run sysprep and capture a new image. the CopyProfile setting will now apply and save your custom settings to the Default User profile.


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