The Life of Josh

Computer Engineer, Security Consultant, and Tech Nerd.



Sysprep problem solved!

So a couple of days ago I posted asking if anyone knew of problems with Sysprep and Windows XP. I finally found the problem so I figured I would post this to help other System Engineers that might be stuck. The reason Windows would not boot past loading the initial quasi-DOS drivers was because of the HAL being wrong. At first I was stuck at Mup.sys. (seen in safe mode) Then I added some more drivers to my presys image and I got a little farther. Now it was loading agp440.sys on my laptops, but it was still not getting to Windows. Once I changed my build machine from the “Uniprocessor ACPI” HAL to the “Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) PC” HAL everything was fine. You would think these two HALs are the same right? Well they aparently are not. Now my image works on laptops as well as desktops. This was one very tough problem to solve. Hopefully my posting will help others that have the same troubles.



Using Sysprep with Windows XP in a big company.

I use Sysprep with my Windows 2000 images at work. I have everything going pretty well. Now they want me to make a Windows XP image because everyone needs XP. I personally think XP is just a consumer bloated version of 2000, and would like not to have an XP image, but I have no say in the matter. So I’ve been working at making my image. I’ve run in to a problem however. I make my image just fine on a Dell GX 260 workstation. I run Sysprep and reseal the machine. I use Ghost to image the machine up and then image an IBM ThinkPad T23 and a T40 laptop. These laptops have very different guts. Both laptops refuse to boot in to the mini-setup wizard, and even safe mode doesn’t work. I look at the screen in safe mode, and at first it was hanging at Mup.sys loading. Well then I got smart and got the latest INF installer from Intel. I ran it on my Dell source machine, and extracted the whole thing, and put all the XP stuff in my drivers folder that is in my OEMDrivers path. Now it goes past Mup.sys, but it hangs right before it would go in to Windows. Seems like video isn’t kicking in. I tried a logged boot, but it doesn’t seem to commit the log to disk prior to hanging. I’m at my wits end. I wonder if anyone has gone through similar troubles and could comment?


Microsoft Pulls Plug for Support on NT4

According to and, Microsoft has apparently announced that as of the end of June, support for the now aging NT4 OS will be pulled. NT4 Server users have until the end of 2004 for support. Windows 98 users will be the next on the list for axed support too. Of course, Microsoft will still provide its knowledge base, but we wont see any more patches, etc. developed for the OS. After 7 years, it’s kind of sad to see NT4 go.


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