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Windows could not parse or process the unattend answer file


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I am so frustrated with this issue. We were running Software Version: 2.0.1010 with no issues. And after upgrading to Software Version: 2.0.1020 we cannot deploy images. We have two .WIM files and both are failing with different errors.

Image named "Tech-Win7x64" fails at the end of the process with the following message:

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-Deployment].

  • I have deleted the .WIM and created a new image - still fails
  • I have created a new Answer File and Boot Device - still fails
  • I have verified that the VM used to create the .WIM has the Windows 7 Product Key and is ACTIVATED
  • Happens on all hardware tried, so it is not a particular driver pack

Image named "All-Win7x64" fails at the beginning of the process with the following message:

The .WIM file you have selected does not appear to have been created with the Smartdeploy Capture Wizard and cannot be processed. Please select a .WIM file that was created using the Smartdeploy Capture Wizard.

  • This .WIM was indeed created with the Smartdeploy Capture Wizard!!! We have been using it for quite a while. This is the first time using after upgrading to Version: 2.0.1020.
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Hi there,

That does sound frustrating! Sorry you've been experiencing these issues, and we'll do whatever we can to help troubleshoot them.

Regarding Tech-Win7x64, which is failing with the "Windows could not parse or process" issue:

The most common cause of this issue is a mistyped Windows product key. From the details that you provided, it sounds like you've heard this suggestion from us before, so I'm glad we can rule that out! To diagnose the cause of this issue, we'll need you to retrieve the Windows Setup logs from a device that has failed in this manner. Since you've retried a number of different times, I'd like you to go ahead and perform another test deployment, and when you see this error, simply press and hold the Power button to power off the device. Once you've done so, email us at support (at) smartdeploy.com, and be sure to include a link to this DeployCentral thread for reference. We will provide instructions for how to retrieve the logs.

Regarding the All-Win7x64 image:

If this image was indeed created with the SmartDeploy Capture Wizard, and is known-good on other devices, this may be a bug we'll need to zero in on. I'd like to have a look at the WIM metadata for this particular image. Please complete the following steps:

On your SmartDeploy IT Workstation, click Start, and type SmartDeploy Enterprise Command Prompt. Right-click the prompt in the search results, and click Run as administrator.

In the command prompt, browse to the folder that contains your captured image, and execute this command:
SMARTWIM /info "[yourimagename.wim]" >wiminfo.txt

Here’s an example of this command being executed on a wim stored on my system:

cd C:\Demo\Images

SMARTWIM /info "Windows 7.wim" >wiminfo.txt

This will create an output file that includes the wim information, in the same folder as the wim itself. Please send this file with your reply. Note: If this command fails, try it again without the >wiminfo.txt included. This will output the result of the command in the window, where you can select the text and copy it into an email instead. Using either method, go ahead and send us the output of this command to support (at) smartdeploy.com.

SmartDeploy Support Team

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