Ghost User Error and Username and Password Prompt Shown During Boot to Production
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Ghost User Error and Username and Password Prompt Shown During Boot to Production


Article ID: 163067


Updated On:


Deployment Solution


After deploying a sysprep'd image, the client machine will boot out of automation and into production.  This will generally prompt an Out of Box Experience (OOBE) to start depending on what options are used in the Microsoft Unattend file. During this time a ghost user message is displayed that must be clicked on. From there an additional prompt will be displayed asking for a username and password for the ghost user. This will basically cause the client machine to halt at this point unless there is an Adminstrative account activated (from unattend or otherwise) and a person at the client that is physically able to click on the error messages.  Also it should be noted that even though the capture machine has no ghost account this issue can still occur because ghost creates a temporary one during the deploy and then we have issues during the Microsoft mini-setup because of the simple password.

In the panther file we see the following error:

2016-03-18 14:37:44, Error [Shell Unattend] UserAccounts:
NetUserSetInfo(2) failed for 'GhostUser' (0x800708c5) [gle=0x000003e5]

During boot to production a prompt for a ghost username and password is shown.


The cause of this issue is generally a Group Policy (GPO) on the domain that requires a certain strength password to logon to the domain.  Because the default credentials for the ghost user account are:

user: ghostuser
pass: simple


The best current work around for this is to have the customer disable the group policy that requires the complex password.  Development is currently working on support for complex passwords. This can also be tested to determine if the issue is indeed complex passwords.