Virtualization, Cloud, Infrastructure and all that stuff in-between

My ramblings on the stuff that holds it all together

Problems Restoring a non-SysPrep Vista Image Using DiskPart & ImageX


Goal: keep a single .WIM file, Multiple instances of the same build in the .WIM file

Build001 non-sysprep’d version for maintenence with all latest patches and corp apps

Build002 sysprep but no domain for home workers/3rd party

Build003 sysprep + domain joining and scripted OOBE for corp machines

Build004…etc. tweaks to the sysprep – for different domains/customers or OOBE settings like language etc.

Build a bootable WinPE DVD with ImageX and the large .WIM file stored on it so no network connectivity required to install (at this stage) just a single DVD.

Reboot from Win PE to start Vista MiniSetup/OOBE

I hit a problem as when I restored build001 to my reference machine it wouldn’t boot and immediatley gave a 0xc000000e error

This was because my automated build DVD runs diskpart with a scripted set of commands (WIPEDISK.TXT) which includes the clean command


select disk 0
create partition primary
select partition 1
format fs=ntfs quick
assign letter=c

This caused problems in this instance because The clean command erases the partition table ID.

If an image has not been-sysprep’d it still looks for the original partition table ID (which diskpart removed) hence the stop error at boot.

Sysprep’d images don’t have this problem as the “/generalize” switch resets this dependency on the partition table entries and mini-setup runs at 1st boot to fix it up.

So, if you need to do maintenance on a non-sysprep’d reference image then

    • You need to restore it via imageX and your usual process (in my case a bootable PE DVD)
    • It won’t be able to boot – it will give an 0xc000000e error
    • Boot the reference machine from your original Vista install DVD and choose to repair
    • This puts back the partition table ID and it will boot again
    • Once it’s booted you can carry out any online maintenance, add extra software etc. to customise it
    • Then sysprep /generalize /oobe /shutdown your reference machine
    • Map a drive to your master .WIM file, or a USB disk etc.
    • Append the changes to the master .wim file (remembering to use the /APPEND switch; if you just use /CAPTURE you will OVERWRITE your .wim file and be very sad.. Did it twice before I learnt to backup the .WIM file before hand!
    • Then re-master your DVD – with the appropriate files – I just inject the .WIM file to the Windows PE DVD I made using PowerISO.

Rinse and repeat.

Thanks to this post and this post figured it out…eventually!

One response to “Problems Restoring a non-SysPrep Vista Image Using DiskPart & ImageX

  1. Daryl March 11, 2008 at 2:32 pm

    If you didn’t /generalize your install before taking capturing it in ImageX, all is not lost.

    You can use a WinPE disk to fix up the boot loader without doing an OS repair. Just boot to the WinPE command prompt, and use these commands:

    bcdedit /set {default} device partition=C:
    bcdedit /set {default} osdevice partition=C:
    bcdedit /set {bootmgr} device partition=C:

    Note: “C:” might be something else if you’re booting from an odd place, or have more than one bootable partition. You get the idea, though.

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