Using Sysprep on Windows PCs running Media Player 11

In a word, don’t. When the master PC comes back up after sysprepping, it will crash in MSOOBE and refuse to complete setup. It then reboots, and repeats the whole schmozzle. There is no way out of this except to follow the steps set out below. This is caused by an incompatibility between MSOOBE and Windows Media Player 11.

The MSKB lists a number of steps that can undo the effects of running SysPrep. In my case, just the first step, copying a temporary System registry hive into the Config folder, let me restart Windows enough to get to the Control Panel’s Add/Remove Programs option and uninstall WMP11. While you’re at it, uninstall WMP11 Media Runtime as well. Then go back to Recovery Console, rename the temporary System file to something else, and rename the original hive file back to System. Restart your PC, and Windows should start up properly and run the msoobe wizard as it normally does after a sysprep.

The next step is to install WMP10. If it refuses to install, make sure WMP11 Media Runtime is uninstalled. Then try installing WMP10 again. Once you have got it installed, Sysprep again and this time, everything should be just fine.

UPDATE: I’ve now discovered how to stop this from happening. To work around this problem, use Mini Setup instead of MSOOBE when Sysprepping your reference PC. There is a box you can check when you run SysPrep that sets this option. Running Mini Setup should be done in conjunction with a Sysprep.inf file to minimise the number of options you have to enter in the wizard when it runs.