Windows 8 Sysprep Issues - Fatal Error

Altough it's been a while that Windows 8 is out on the market, I never had to play around with the Windows 8 images and syspreps as I had to with Windows 7. I decided to prepare me a nice updated image of Windows 8 in a vm and sysprep it and use it as template for my lab environment. The plan is simple...
Until I hit the sysprep "fatal error".

There is a lot of different kind of informaiton regarding that error on the internet and from what I can understand, it looks like it's a "case by case" issue. But in my "case" the there is nothing special and I was still getting that error. Now, just to give you an idea of what I am doing;

I use the "Evaluation ISO of Windows 8.1" downloaded from Microsoft. I am using "VMWare Workstation 10" to build my "ovf" template. The only operations I am doing in the guest OS is to update the OS and install basic applications (7zip, notepad++, etc..)

After a couple of "hit & try" methods, I finally found the right combination of settings for a guaranteed sysprep.

  1. Rename or delete the "Panther" folder under C:\Windows\System32\Sysprep. This folder will be re-created automatically once the sysprep starts to run. (To be honest, I am not even sure this step is really necessary but I rather not take any chances as I've already lost enough time with this image :))
  2. Open Registrey Editor & Set GeneralizationState to 7 under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Setup\Status\SysprepStatus\
  3. Set SkipRearm to 1 Under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\SoftwareProtectionPlatform\
  4. Most importantly, delete all Windows 8 Store applications with poweshell. Installed and provisioned.
Get-AppxPackage | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxProvisionedPackage -Online | Remove-AppxProvisionedPackage -Online

Run sysprep


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