Sysprep’s generalize option cleaning the windows installation too far

Issue

This Content is from SuperUser. Question asked by Tempus Nomen

I’m trying to build a lean & clean Windows 11 WIM. Here’s my approach so far:

I would go to Audit Mode by selecting Audit Mode & reboot at C:Windowssystem32SysprepSysprep.exe. After reboot, I would select to OOBE, shutdown & generalize on the Sysprep instance that is left pre-opened. Then, I power up again on a recovery/portable Windows system (Paragon HDM or Windows installation media), interrupting the normal installed Windows boot-up, & where I can run DISM to build the WIM.

The problem is, generalize seems to have left my laptop too bare & it can’t boot up anymore. I can’t get pass “Getting ready”.


If it matters:

This is a customized Windows install in that right after when the installation files were copied & the the first restart were to happen, it was interrupted. Then C:PerfLogs, C:ProgramData, C:Temp & C:Users were moved to D: & these aforementioned directories where made junction links to their new location in D:PerfLogs, D:ProgramData, D:Temp & D:Users.



Solution

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