• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.

Solved Computer Keeps Booting Into SysPrep


#1
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 Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    cyberdime.net
    CPU
    i7-4770K 3.5GHz
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte H87-D3H-CF
    Memory
    8GB DDR3
    Graphics Card(s)
    GTS450
    Sound Card
    HDAUDIO
    Monitor(s) Displays
    ASUS 24"
    Screen Resolution
    1920X1080
    Hard Drives
    250GB SSD
    1TB WD Black HDD (x3)
    PSU
    Antec 1000
    Case
    NZXT White
    Browser
    Chrome

Kari

Old geek, new tricks
Team Member
VIP Member
Pro User
#2
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

      2014-09-24_21h55_13.png
  • 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:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    HP ENVY 17-1150eg
    CPU
    1.6 GHz Intel Core i7-720QM Processor
    Memory
    6 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5850 Graphics
    Sound Card
    Beats sound system with integrated subwoofer
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17" laptop display, 22" LED and 32" Full HD TV through HDMI
    Screen Resolution
    1600*900 (1), 1920*1080 (2&3)
    Hard Drives
    Internal: 2 x 500 GB SATA Hard Disk Drive 7200 rpm
    External: 2TB for backups, 3TB USB3 network drive for media
    Cooling
    As Envy runs a bit warm, I have it on a Cooler Master pad
    Keyboard
    Logitech diNovo Media Desktop Laser (bluetooth)
    Mouse
    Logitech MX1000 Laser (Bluetooth)
    Internet Speed
    50 MB VDSL
    Browser
    Maxthon 3.5.2., IE11
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender 4.3.9431.0
    Other Info
    Windows in English, additional user accounts in Finnish, German and Swedish.
#3
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 Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    cyberdime.net
    CPU
    i7-4770K 3.5GHz
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte H87-D3H-CF
    Memory
    8GB DDR3
    Graphics Card(s)
    GTS450
    Sound Card
    HDAUDIO
    Monitor(s) Displays
    ASUS 24"
    Screen Resolution
    1920X1080
    Hard Drives
    250GB SSD
    1TB WD Black HDD (x3)
    PSU
    Antec 1000
    Case
    NZXT White
    Browser
    Chrome

Kari

Old geek, new tricks
Team Member
VIP Member
Pro User
#4
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:

2014-09-24_23h34_32.png

- Select Troubleshoot:

2014-09-24_23h36_02.png

- Select Refresh your PC if you want to keep your files (#1 in screenshot below), tutorial: http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials/2293-refresh-windows-8-a.html
- Select Reset your PC if you want to restore Windows as it were fresh installed (#2), tutorial: http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials/2302-reset-windows-8-a.html
- Select Advanced Options is you want to try a system restore to a point before your issue started (#3), tutorial: http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials/4692-system-restore-how-do-windows-8-a.html

2014-09-24_23h37_19.png


Kari
 
Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    HP ENVY 17-1150eg
    CPU
    1.6 GHz Intel Core i7-720QM Processor
    Memory
    6 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5850 Graphics
    Sound Card
    Beats sound system with integrated subwoofer
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17" laptop display, 22" LED and 32" Full HD TV through HDMI
    Screen Resolution
    1600*900 (1), 1920*1080 (2&3)
    Hard Drives
    Internal: 2 x 500 GB SATA Hard Disk Drive 7200 rpm
    External: 2TB for backups, 3TB USB3 network drive for media
    Cooling
    As Envy runs a bit warm, I have it on a Cooler Master pad
    Keyboard
    Logitech diNovo Media Desktop Laser (bluetooth)
    Mouse
    Logitech MX1000 Laser (Bluetooth)
    Internet Speed
    50 MB VDSL
    Browser
    Maxthon 3.5.2., IE11
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender 4.3.9431.0
    Other Info
    Windows in English, additional user accounts in Finnish, German and Swedish.
#5
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

181152d1319759478-safe-mode-cmd-1.jpg

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/4vev11ni2e1v33a/setupact.log?dl=0
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    cyberdime.net
    CPU
    i7-4770K 3.5GHz
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte H87-D3H-CF
    Memory
    8GB DDR3
    Graphics Card(s)
    GTS450
    Sound Card
    HDAUDIO
    Monitor(s) Displays
    ASUS 24"
    Screen Resolution
    1920X1080
    Hard Drives
    250GB SSD
    1TB WD Black HDD (x3)
    PSU
    Antec 1000
    Case
    NZXT White
    Browser
    Chrome

Kari

Old geek, new tricks
Team Member
VIP Member
Pro User
#6
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:

2014-09-24_22h28_28.png

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

2014-09-24_22h30_16.png

- 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:

2014-09-24_22h32_34.png


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

2014-09-24_22h36_51.png


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:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    HP ENVY 17-1150eg
    CPU
    1.6 GHz Intel Core i7-720QM Processor
    Memory
    6 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5850 Graphics
    Sound Card
    Beats sound system with integrated subwoofer
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17" laptop display, 22" LED and 32" Full HD TV through HDMI
    Screen Resolution
    1600*900 (1), 1920*1080 (2&3)
    Hard Drives
    Internal: 2 x 500 GB SATA Hard Disk Drive 7200 rpm
    External: 2TB for backups, 3TB USB3 network drive for media
    Cooling
    As Envy runs a bit warm, I have it on a Cooler Master pad
    Keyboard
    Logitech diNovo Media Desktop Laser (bluetooth)
    Mouse
    Logitech MX1000 Laser (Bluetooth)
    Internet Speed
    50 MB VDSL
    Browser
    Maxthon 3.5.2., IE11
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender 4.3.9431.0
    Other Info
    Windows in English, additional user accounts in Finnish, German and Swedish.
#7
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 Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    cyberdime.net
    CPU
    i7-4770K 3.5GHz
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte H87-D3H-CF
    Memory
    8GB DDR3
    Graphics Card(s)
    GTS450
    Sound Card
    HDAUDIO
    Monitor(s) Displays
    ASUS 24"
    Screen Resolution
    1920X1080
    Hard Drives
    250GB SSD
    1TB WD Black HDD (x3)
    PSU
    Antec 1000
    Case
    NZXT White
    Browser
    Chrome

Kari

Old geek, new tricks
Team Member
VIP Member
Pro User
#8
:)

Good to know you got it solved.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    HP ENVY 17-1150eg
    CPU
    1.6 GHz Intel Core i7-720QM Processor
    Memory
    6 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5850 Graphics
    Sound Card
    Beats sound system with integrated subwoofer
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17" laptop display, 22" LED and 32" Full HD TV through HDMI
    Screen Resolution
    1600*900 (1), 1920*1080 (2&3)
    Hard Drives
    Internal: 2 x 500 GB SATA Hard Disk Drive 7200 rpm
    External: 2TB for backups, 3TB USB3 network drive for media
    Cooling
    As Envy runs a bit warm, I have it on a Cooler Master pad
    Keyboard
    Logitech diNovo Media Desktop Laser (bluetooth)
    Mouse
    Logitech MX1000 Laser (Bluetooth)
    Internet Speed
    50 MB VDSL
    Browser
    Maxthon 3.5.2., IE11
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender 4.3.9431.0
    Other Info
    Windows in English, additional user accounts in Finnish, German and Swedish.

memo

New Member
Posts
2
#9
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:
- Select Troubleshoot:​
- 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

Kari
OOBE sounds like it will erase all my files. Is there any way to stop it from doing that?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    windows 7
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    dell
    CPU
    intel i7
    Memory
    12 gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    ATI Radeon
    Browser
    chrome
    Antivirus
    symantec

Kari

Old geek, new tricks
Team Member
VIP Member
Pro User
#10
I do not know where you got that? OOBE, also known as Windows Welcome does not erase / remove anything.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    HP ENVY 17-1150eg
    CPU
    1.6 GHz Intel Core i7-720QM Processor
    Memory
    6 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5850 Graphics
    Sound Card
    Beats sound system with integrated subwoofer
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17" laptop display, 22" LED and 32" Full HD TV through HDMI
    Screen Resolution
    1600*900 (1), 1920*1080 (2&3)
    Hard Drives
    Internal: 2 x 500 GB SATA Hard Disk Drive 7200 rpm
    External: 2TB for backups, 3TB USB3 network drive for media
    Cooling
    As Envy runs a bit warm, I have it on a Cooler Master pad
    Keyboard
    Logitech diNovo Media Desktop Laser (bluetooth)
    Mouse
    Logitech MX1000 Laser (Bluetooth)
    Internet Speed
    50 MB VDSL
    Browser
    Maxthon 3.5.2., IE11
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender 4.3.9431.0
    Other Info
    Windows in English, additional user accounts in Finnish, German and Swedish.

memo

New Member
Posts
2
#11
I do not know where you got that? OOBE, also known as Windows Welcome does not erase / remove anything.
Because it stands for out of the box experience which sounds like a getting a new computer. Does it erase the registry and put in a new registry? What does it do?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    windows 7
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    dell
    CPU
    intel i7
    Memory
    12 gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    ATI Radeon
    Browser
    chrome
    Antivirus
    symantec

Kari

Old geek, new tricks
Team Member
VIP Member
Pro User
#12
Restarting an existing Windows installation to OOBE keeps everything intact. Users accounts, settings installed software and so on. Only changes it makes is it generates new machine GUID and requires user to create an additional admin user at Windows Welcome.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    HP ENVY 17-1150eg
    CPU
    1.6 GHz Intel Core i7-720QM Processor
    Memory
    6 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5850 Graphics
    Sound Card
    Beats sound system with integrated subwoofer
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17" laptop display, 22" LED and 32" Full HD TV through HDMI
    Screen Resolution
    1600*900 (1), 1920*1080 (2&3)
    Hard Drives
    Internal: 2 x 500 GB SATA Hard Disk Drive 7200 rpm
    External: 2TB for backups, 3TB USB3 network drive for media
    Cooling
    As Envy runs a bit warm, I have it on a Cooler Master pad
    Keyboard
    Logitech diNovo Media Desktop Laser (bluetooth)
    Mouse
    Logitech MX1000 Laser (Bluetooth)
    Internet Speed
    50 MB VDSL
    Browser
    Maxthon 3.5.2., IE11
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender 4.3.9431.0
    Other Info
    Windows in English, additional user accounts in Finnish, German and Swedish.

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)