So, I am responsible for creating the image for Windows 7 in my company. And it all went, I must say, painlessly smooth until the default user profile.
A little bit of background before I get to the issue:
0) Our base image is built using MDT 2010 to compress everything into one ISO file, then burn it to DVD. I have been successful in downloading a legal Windows 7 Enterprise Image, downloading all our needed apps, and even putting together an unattend.xml file through WAIK which does most of what we ask for right off the bat. The only thing it really didn't do too well on: default user profiles. And that's where this story begins.
1) Installed the LiteTouch image of Windows 7 + standard applications to the PC we're using (brand new Lenovo ThinkPads with 6 GB RAM and 300+ GB HD). Success
2) Handed the laptop to a colleague, who installed his department-specific applications (please, don't ask why we haven't used MDT yet for those department-specific apps, that's not my call). Success
3) Set up a local customized user profile, for the purpose of copying it to the Default User Profile. Success
4) Copied my unattend.xml file to C:\Windows\system32\sysprep and verified that the file had the CopyProfile attribute set to True. Success.
5) Ran the sysprep command as per microsoft's site. It looked like:
sysprep.exe /generalize /shutdown /unattend:unattend.xml
Success appeared to be, as the command did its thing then shut down the computer.
6) Booted up computer to verify that the default user profile was successful. I got an error that the Unattend.xml file could not be found. Press OK to reboot. I did so.
Now, I'm stuck in a loop that goes as follows:
1) Boot machine
2) Come to Windows 7's "Setup is preparing your computer to for first use"
3) Receive error that states the following:
Title: Install Windows
Text: The computer restarted unexpectedly or encountered an unexpected error. Windows Installation cannot proceed. To install Windows, click OK to restart the computer, and then restart the installation.
There is no current backup of this laptop pre-sysprep. Fail on me, I know.
Is there any way I can at least break the loop of "Boot > Fail > Reboot and Repeat" that doesn't involve starting from zero? I have the media and have tried to use some of the tools on it for repair, but the can't start up tool can't find anything.
Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.