Sysprep your Windows OS for more than 3 times

A student employee of mine found this original article and to help push its ranking in google and to also make the information more publicly known I am copying the blog entry here.

Nothing here is my own work, but instead belongs to Sharon on

This is simply to spread the information around and to help someone else with a difficult problem.

t can happen, the need of re-syspreping an already syspreped machine, why ? maybe you lost your Image master. so.. you running the setup process, adding the changes you want, relocating the XML answerfile, running the sysprep with /generalize switch.. the process is running for few seconds and then the sysprep window is disappeared. well.. open the sysprep log file under \sysprep\Panther ... there you will find setup error log, if the logfile contains this line :

Date Time, Error [0x0f0073] SYSPRP RunExternalDlls:Not running DLLs; either the machine is in an invalid state or we couldn't update the recorded state, dwRet = 31

then Microsoft say... "Hey dude, bummer..., re-create the whole image".

well... it's not so true... this error indicates that you syspreped the machine more then 3 times, you cant do that... if the windows system was already activated by pre OEM activation you cant even re-arm the machine.. so you have 2 problems, one - can't sysprep anymore and probably you can't re-arm your machine (it wont let you sysprep if you cant re-arm..).

so, first check if you can re-arm by runing the slmgr.vbs /dlv and check the re-arm counter, if it set to zero.. you need to do the following : (set the <SkipRearm>1</SkipRearm> like in the example, note: this option will make the product key window to appear in the setup process).

you can also try running : slmgr.vbs -rearm, to rearm Windows.

after that, let's come back to the sysprep process.. for syspreping already syspreped machine we have to change few keys in the registry :




After done with the registry, do the following :

  1. Start -> Run : msdtc -uninstall (wait few seconds)
  2. Start -> Run : msdtc -install (wait few seconds)
  3. Restart the machine
  4. Check the registry for the right registry keys values
  5. sysprep with the new XML answerfile.
  6. and.. Walla !
  7. Have fun.

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This page contains a single entry by leonard published on July 11, 2011 11:20 AM.

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