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"An Error Has Been Encountered That Prevents Setup from Continuing" Error Message When Sysprep Mini Wizard Runs

Support for Windows XP has ended

Microsoft ended support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014. This change has affected your software updates and security options. Learn what this means for you and how to stay protected.

This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
When the System Preparation tool (Sysprep.exe) Mini-Setup Wizard runs you may receive the following error message:
Fatal Error: An error has been encountered that prevents Setup from continuing.

Windows is unable to start because the registry could not be updated. To address this problem, please contact your computer manufacturer. Windows must now Shut Down.

Press OK to view the Setup log file.
This problem may occur if Sysprep cannot decrypt the keys that are located in the following folders:
  • %systemroot%\System32\Microsoft\Protect\S-1-5-18
  • %systemroot%\System32\Microsoft\Protect\S-1-5-18\User
This problem may also occur if you run Sysprep on Windows XP and use the -nosidgen switch.
To resolve this problem, rebuild the image and make sure that the image is built from a new install of Windows XP. If you experience this problem after you run -nosidgen, build the image from Windows XP Service Pack 1. Windows XP Service Pack 1 contains an update that addresses this specific issue.
The folders that are listed in the "Cause" section of this article are used by the Data Protection API (DPAPI) and can be used by applications and services. These folders contain files such as:
  • 77e66294-f7e2-452b-b980-fe2e17489208
  • Preferred
Note The actual GUID will vary on your system.

In a new install, these folders will typically contain only a single key, or they may not contain any keys. Keys are recreated every 90 days. They are also recreated if DPAPI cannot decrypt the preferred master keys. If you have more than one key in these folders, you are not running a new install of your operating system, or your operating system has had modifications that caused multiple keys to be created. For additional information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
302577 HOW TO: Use Sysprep.exe Tool to Automate Successful Deployment of Windows XP
sysprep mini wizard and minisetup

Article ID: 818171 - Last Review: 12/08/2015 02:28:25 - Revision: 1.3

Microsoft Windows XP Professional, Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition

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