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Wednesday, 28 March 2007

"The system is not fully installed": Windows XP, WMP 11 and Sysprep


Kudos to lizardking009 for this post at the 2cpu.com forums.

After using Sysprep to prepare a new Windows XP build for distribution to some Dell laptops, I got the a message saying The system is not fully installed when trying to restart the machine.

It turns out that this is due to the presence of Windows Media Player 11 which screws up the Sysprep process somehow. I can't say that I'm a big fan of this DRM-laded stuff, but generally speaking you always load the latest version of everything before resealing the machine to take an image from it.

Microsoft have this knowledgebase article showing how to recover from the problem, although I discovered that this does not work very well on machines that have already been built from a Sysprep (such as Dells). If you're working in a reasonably well equipped environment with another XP machine and a suitable external USB drive enclosure then it's probably easier to edit the registry on the affected PC's hard disk by plugging it into the USB port of another machine, i.e.:

  • Load REGEDIT
  • Select HKEY_USERS
  • Go into File.. Load Hive..
  • Browse to the \WINDOWS\System32\Config\System file on the USB connected drive
  • Name the hive "system" or whatever you like
  • Find the Setup key on the newly loaded hive and locate SystemSetupInProgress.
  • Change the data from 1 to 0.
  • Unload the Hive
Then, once the hard disk is reinserted into the original machine, bring it up in Safe Mode, deinstall Windows Media Player 11 and reboot. This should start the setup process (you can choose to take an image at this point, if you wish).

14 comments:

Jérôme said...

Thank you very much for the procedure... I was just wondering how do you know that it is Windows Media Player in cause ???

John Paul Cook said...

It is Windows Media Player. After uninstalling Windows Media Player 11 and the WMP 11 Runtime, sysprep worked just fine.

proli said...

You're a freaking genious!

Brendan said...

Thanks for this!!! Also, a tip that saved me a bundle of time, if you have already captured the image of the sysprepp'ed machine (the one that does not boot) you can mount the image with the windows automated installation kit tool, imagex. Mount the image, then run regedit and load the hive of the sysprepped machine's image, fix the registry entry, unmount the image and all is good, no need to re-do your master image anymore. (Which would have saved me half a day at least!!)

Thanks again, I was about to format and reinstall before I found your blog!

-B

Andy said...

WMP 11 Indeed. This ought to be the #1 link on the search results page.

dm said...

It's ammusing, WMP 10 must have caused the same issue. I've been experiencing this when creating images after installing optional updates for over 2 years. Very agrivating that MS has yet to publish an article that properly identifies the cause of the problem.

Glad to finally know what update is the root of the issue.

Roadford said...

Just wanna say thanks for your post, it saved us heaps of time!

All the best

Roadford

Ice_Monsta said...

I have an image that has this problem without media player, what is the runtimes KB code?

Ice_Monsta said...

sorry i mean, i'm not running windows media player 11 on the system and still recieving the same error upon deployment. Only XP home is affected for me which is frustrating. Need to get this sorted asap. any ideas please mail me steven@the-ark.co.nz

Gerald said...

I've been having the same issues with sysprep and Windows XP Home SP2. I've uninstalled the WMP11, Runtime, and updates. The key in question in the registry is set to 0. It just isn't working... Any ideas here greatly appreciated!!!

I'll try removing WMP 10 and any applicable updates as well, but I don't have this issue on XP Professional, just XP Home. I'll post back after trying the WMP 10 removal...

Gerald said...

Issue still persists with only
WMP 9 installed on XP Home SP2, there must be another update or component that is conflicting. Ideas appreciated...

Gerald said...

Ah, it was UIU, it is not compatible with Windows XP Home Edition. Apparently the -mini and -pnp options are also not compatible with the XP Home Edition. Sysprep by itself works, and I've found that an old version of UIU still works (2.0, with driver updates only).

erikig said...

Thanks,
If you have access to an ERD Commander or BartPE CD, you can boot into that CD, run Registry edit and set the key to 0.

Shaun said...

WMP 11 is not the only reason this occurs. Im still testing now, but many of you may have followed guides on the internet which suggest getting deploy.cab from an SP2 CD. Now if you're like and you use nLite to make your original slipstreamed CD, you wont have deploy.cab. So you may have used (like me) the SP2 version of deploy.cab. Im thinking this may be the problem. I dont know yet, but Ive just download deploy.cab for SP3 from MS, and Im going to try it all again. At no point did I install any WMP11 related stuff throughout my build, and I still received this error. Will post back and let you know the outcome.