Windows could not parse or process the unattend answer file for pass [specialize]

9 בApril 2014

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Hi everyone,

Recently, I’ve bumped into this error message during 2 different MDT Project and they both occurred from different reasons.

The following message appeared after the Apply Operating System step in MDT Task Sequence when deploying Windows 7 SP1


At the first time this message appeared to me it was a little bit tricky to come out with the reason. In this project I’ve configured CustomSettings.ini file to provide OSDComputerName automatically for the computers with the Serial and asset tag of the computer.

Until then, everything worked great, and after some time the organization bought a new set of workstation.

When these workstation began to fail with this error message I immediately thought it must be a Drivers issue. After some troubleshooting I found out that the Serial number of this computers is longer than all former machines.

Eventually the reason was that my Computer name formula made the name longer than 15 characters (which is a big no no).

After changing it for this hardware set, everything got back to normal.

Conclusion – keep your attention to the number of characters used for the computer name.

The second scenario this “lovely” message appeared, was after I implemented Software Updates inside the Build and Capture Task Sequence and try to deploy the wim file created with a Client Task Sequence.

The integration of all Updates to the process also installed Internet Explorer 10\11 to the Image and there was a mismatch between the unattended.xml file to my Image content.

All I had to do to get this work again is to edit the unattended.xml file attached to my TS (placed in: Deploymentshare\Control\%TSID%\unattended.xml)

And removed the line:


After that, everything got deployed perfectly!



Ori Husyt

Agile IT Consulting Team Management

System Center Cloud and Datacenter Management MVP

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