Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Computer Keeps Booting Into SysPrep

  1. #1


    Irvine, CA
    Posts : 16
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64

    Computer Keeps Booting Into SysPrep


    Hi Everybody!

    My laptop was infected. So I used Malwarbytes and Hitman Pro to remove the infections. Then I updated it from Windows 8 to Win 8.1. After the upgrade finish, it rebooted and now only boots into SysPrep. I can't even boot into Safe Mode, I get an "installation needs to finish" error.

    Also, once it logs into SysPrep, I log out of Administrator into my user account and use "net user administrator /active:no" command in Command Prompt and reboot, but still it boots into SysPrep.

    I've also tried using msconfig and set it to Normal Boot, but again it restarts into SysPrep.

    Any solutions for this issue? I'm assuming the Win 8.1 upgrade glitched out. How can I fix this?

    Thanks

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    A Finnish ex-pat in Leipzig, Germany
    Posts : 1,452
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center


    Sysprep is not a mode or state of Windows so I assume you mean your Windows boots to Audit Mode automatically logging in as built-in administrator, instead of the normal mode letting you to select your usual user account. Sysprep is just a native Windows tool.

    Windows does not just go to Audit Mode by itself, it must be specifically told to do that.

    Audit Mode is easy to recognize, not only because it bypasses the Welcome screen and login selection, but also because when it starts, the Sysprep dialog is presented in the middle of the desktop. Audit Mode is a special mode of Windows used to customize Windows image, see example of its usage at our sister site: Windows 7 Image - Customize in Audit Mode with Sysprep - Windows 7 Help Forums.

    As long as the Audit Mode is not specifically told to exit, Windows stays and returns to Audit Mode even when rebooted. There is only one valid method to exit Audit Mode: running the Sysprep and telling Windows to boot to OOBE / Welcome Mode. Do this:
    • First, reboot, let Windows cleanly enter the Audit Mode
    • Let the Sysprep dialog stay open on your display
    • Open an Elevated Command Prompt and stop the WMP Network Sharing Service (WMPNetworkSvc) by giving the following command:
      • net stop wmpnetworksvc
      • Notice that this service might not be running at all but as the stop command does no harm in any case, just do it; if the service is running and not stopped, the Sysprep fails
    • Now check that Sysprep dialog shows correct values:
      • System Cleanup Action should be Enter System Out-of-Box Experience (OOBE)
      • Shutdown Options should be Reboot
      • Generalize selection should be unselected

        Click image for larger version
    • Click OK to let sysprep run, Windows exits the Audit Mode now and boots to OOBE

    If you get any error messages, please come back telling the exact words of such messages.

    Kari
    Last edited by Kari; 25 Sep 2014 at 07:27. Reason: Some typos fixed
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Irvine, CA
    Posts : 16
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64


    Thank you for the help, and educating me.

    But while I was waiting for a response, I tried something else and now I have a new problem.

    In System Configuration (msconfig), I set the Boot option to Safe Boot and now when I boot up I get the error "Windows cannot complete installation in Safe Mode. To continue installing Windows, restart the computer."

    This error occurs every time I restart/boot now, because obviously that configuration is "locked in."

    I tried booting to Windows CD and running a System Restore (but there are no restore points), a Refresh Your PC (it is unable to complete this), and bootrec.exe (which says it works, but makes no change).

    How can I resolve this? Your help is highly appreciated!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    A Finnish ex-pat in Leipzig, Germany
    Posts : 1,452
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center


    Please do not take this too personally but your case is a typical, really classical example of what can be caused by thinking "Oh s**t, what happened? I don't understand it but I'll try some tricks of my own first before asking or Googling help!". My previous post which would have solved your issue was written one hour after your original post, which if I may say so is quite good response time in a site fully manned by volunteers.

    I most sincerely recommend a fresh, clean install if you do not have a recent system image to restore. Even if we could somehow save your WIndows now, it might be screwed enough to cause untold issues in the future. IF you decide to reinstall or have an image to restore, go on and do it. If you decide to try, here are your options as far as I see them:

    - Boot with Windows install media and select Repair your computer:

    Click image for larger version

    - Select Troubleshoot:

    Click image for larger version

    - Select Refresh your PC if you want to keep your files (#1 in screenshot below), tutorial: Refresh Windows 8
    - Select Reset your PC if you want to restore Windows as it were fresh installed (#2), tutorial: Reset Windows 8
    - Select Advanced Options is you want to try a system restore to a point before your issue started (#3), tutorial: System Restore - How to Do in Windows 8

    Click image for larger version

    Kari
    Last edited by Kari; 24 Sep 2014 at 17:15. Reason: Fixed some typos
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Irvine, CA
    Posts : 16
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64


    Hi Kari

    Found the solution to my second self created issue in Option Three here:
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    How to Start Windows 7 in Safe Mode
    Safe Mode - Windows 7 Help Forums

    Click image for larger version

    bcdedit /deletevalue {identifier} safeboot
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    For the original issue, I got an error as soon as I click ok for the System Preparation Tool:

    Sysprep was not able to validate your Windows installation. Review the log file at %WINDIR%\System32\Sysprep\Panther\setupact.log for details. After resolving the issue, us Sysprep to validate your insatllation again.
    And it still boots into Audit Mode. I think the Win 8.1 install/upgrade didn't finish and it needs to boot into OOBE mode.
    But Why it goes into audit mode instead, I have no idea. And don't worry, I'm not going to try anynmore "tricks" until I hear back from you lol.

    Copy of setupact.log: https://www.dropbox.com/s/4vev11ni2e...upact.log?dl=0
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    A Finnish ex-pat in Leipzig, Germany
    Posts : 1,452
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center


    That's my mistake, I read but did not think about that you have upgraded your original Windows 8 to 8.1. There are two Sysprep versus Upgrade rules that apply:

    1. A sysprepped Windows cannot be upgraded
    2. An upgraded Windows cannot be sysprepped

    In your case it's the rule #2 from above.

    Luckily, as so often in Windows, there's a not so official workaround for both of these rules. Do exactly as told below, nothing less or more:

    - Reboot once again, Windows enters Audit Mode
    - Let the Sysprep dialog stay open
    - Press WIN + R to open the Run dialog, type regedit and hit Enter to open Windows Registry Editor
    - In RegEdit, its left pane, browse to HKLM > SYSTEM > SETUP and delete the Upgrade key in the right pane:

    Click image for larger version

    - You get a warning, just accept it and click Yes:

    Click image for larger version

    - Check that both CleanupState and GeneralizationState in HKLM > SYSTEM > SETUP > STATUS > SYSPREPSTATUS have a hexa value 7 (seven), if not change them so that both are 7:

    Click image for larger version

    - Close the RegEdit
    - Open an elevated command prompt, give following command: slmgr /dvi
    - Close the output window by clicking OK:

    Click image for larger version

    Now you should be able to run sysprep as instructed in my first post. IF OK, Windows boots to OOBE. When OOBE asks for the product key, just click SKIP. OOBE also asks for a user, create a dummy user (your original user account is there and can't be used now. You can later delete this dummy user and log in to your normal profile).

    Ask if any issues.

    Kari
    Last edited by Kari; 25 Sep 2014 at 06:10. Reason: Some typos fixed
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Irvine, CA
    Posts : 16
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64


    Kari you're my hero!


    Resolved! That fixed it!!

    Users like you are why EightForums is the best Windows forum out there!


    Thank you very much!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    A Finnish ex-pat in Leipzig, Germany
    Posts : 1,452
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center




    Good to know you got it solved.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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