Can You Sysprep More Than Three Times?

Sysprep has some limitations, like not being able to run this more than three times on the same machine. But this may be exactly what you want to do when you update a captured image with the latest patches and software and want to recapture it.

There is no limit to the number of times that you can run Sysprep, but you can only run Sysprep/generalize three times. The switch with Sysprep resets the Product Activation Code and after the third time the clock can no longer be reset. The fourth time you go to run Sysprep on the machine it will fail and you get an event log entry stating:

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

This can be really frustrating if you want to update your captured image every few months with the latest security patches, hotfixes, Java updates etc.

Our customers have pointed out this problem and asked for a way to do this. While I have not experienced this issue myself, it is of concern to some of Specops customers when they would like to recapture images. Isn’t one of the many beauties of Specops Deploy how easy it is to do just that? Of course it is. Here’s a work around from System Center-Me that solves the problem.

To summarize, make the following registry changes:


From a command prompt run:

Msdtc – uninstall <enter>
Msdtc – install <enter>

Reboot the machine.

After it comes back up you are good to go with your Sysprep or to start your Operating System Capture in Specops Deploy.

Happy Deployments!

(Last updated on October 30, 2023)


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