Windows 10 Sysprep Was Not Able To Validate Your Windows Installation

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Windows 10 Sysprep Was Not Able To Validate Your Windows Installation
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Windows 10 Sysprep Was Not Able To Validate Your Windows InstallationWindows 10 Sysprep Was Not Able To Validate Your Windows Installation

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If you have built a Windows 10 reference (master) machine and you are ready to sysprep, but upon running sysprep, you are presented with the error “Sysprep was not able to validate your Windows installation“, this article may help you resolve this issue.  Often, this error is caused by a Windows app (AKA metro apps).  These apps were introduced in Windows 8 and caused a similar sysprep error “A fatal error occurred while trying to sysprep the machine“.

Windows 10 Sysprep Was Not Able To Validate Your Windows InstallationImage : Sysprep was not able to validate your Windows installation error screen.

Windows 10 Sysprep Was Not Able To Validate Your Windows InstallationIMPORTANT: NEVER try to sysprep your master image drive!  Always make a copy and sysprep the copied drive!  Use a cloning tool like Ghost or a disk duplicator to photocopy your source drive.  A failed sysprep can trash your master drive, making it where you have to start over.  We have been through this after spending 3 days building the “perfect image”!


Things to check first:

  • Is Windows activated with a valid license?
    • Be sure the reference image is activated.
  • Did you upgrade an existing install?
    • Although upgrading an existing version of Windows can be done and with reports of success, you should always build master images fresh from the DVD or ISO.  If you upgraded:
      • Using REGEDIT, make sure the following registry key is NOT present, if it is, delete it!  (only the upgrade key is deleted!)
        • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\SETUP\UPGRADE
    • Make sure your reference image only contains the needed software.
    • Be sure all Windows Updates are applied to the reference image.
  • Have you restarted?
    • As simple as this sounds, its troubleshooting 101.  Try a restart, if you haven’t already done so.
    • Windows must be in a fully clean state before sysprep can successfully complete.
  • 0x80073cf2 failure?
    • Try running the following command from a powershell prompt (run powershell as an admin!)…
    • Find the powershell program, right-click and ‘run as administrator’.  Execute the following command:
      • Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers| Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml”}
  • Did you install any apps from the App Store or update any apps on your reference image?
    • If you installed any apps from the store this can cause problems for imaging.  There are a couple of known apps that cause trouble for Sysprep, starting with the Windows 10 1511 release: “Candy Crush Soda Saga” and “Twitter“.  You can easily remove these two apps by right-clicking them and choosing ‘uninstall’ or using powershell.  (Powershell steps on page 2 of this article).

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  1. I am running into a similar issue when attempting to remove all apps, aside from Calculator and Photos Viewer. I am only logged in using the default administrator account. When attempting to run sysprep, I get the same error message as you. I haven’t created any other accounts. Mind you, all provisioned apps are removed but the 2 mentioned above, but still getting the same message. Any suggestions?

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