It can happen, the need of re-syspreping an already syspreped machine, why ? maybe you lost your Image master. so.. you running the setup process, adding the changes you want, relocating the XML answerfile, running the sysprep with /generalize switch.. the process is running for few seconds and then the sysprep window is disappeared. well.. open the sysprep log file under \sysprep\Panther … there you will find setup error log, if the logfile contains this line :

Date Time, Error [0x0f0073] SYSPRP RunExternalDlls:Not running DLLs; either the machine is in an invalid state or we couldn’t update the recorded state, dwRet = 31

then Microsoft say… “Hey dude, bummer…, re-create the whole image“.

well… it’s not so true… this error indicates that you syspreped the machine more then 3 times, you cant do that… if the windows system was already activated by pre OEM activation you cant even re-arm the machine.. so you have 2 problems, one – can’t sysprep anymore and probably you can’t re-arm your machine (it wont let you sysprep if you cant re-arm..).

so, first check if you can re-arm by runing the slmgr.vbs /dlv and check the re-arm counter, if it set to zero.. you need to do the following :

you can also try running : slmgr.vbs –rearm, to rearm Windows.

after that, let’s come back to the sysprep process.. for syspreping already syspreped machine we have to change few keys in the registry :




After done with the registry, do the following :

  1. Start -> Run : msdtc -uninstall (wait few seconds)
  2. Start -> Run : msdtc -install (wait few seconds)
  3. Restart the machine
  4. Check the registry for the right registry keys values
  5. sysprep with the new XML answerfile.
  6. and.. Walla !
  7. Have fun.