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After Imaging get Error Dialog box with: Internal Windows Setup error loading or searching for an unattended setup file


Article ID: 238346


Updated On:


Deployment Solution


After deploying sysprep image and system boots to production a dialog box is displayed with an error: Internal Windows Setup error loading or searching for an unattended setup file



Cause: Malformed Unattend.xml file

To troubleshoot:

Since the computer is unable to boot to windows production mode boot the system back into automation

from command run: notepad.exe then file > save as  (identify the drive letter the for which windows is install on)

or from command run:


       select disk 0

       list volume ( the volume with windows installed will have an assigned letter)


cd to <windows drv>:\windows\panther directory

copy the files setupact.log and the unattend.xml file to a local system for analysis

with notepad open the setupact.log file

in this case the error was: 

2022-03-30 18:49:38, Error                        [setup.exe] UnattendSearchExplicitPath: Found unattend file at [C:\Windows\Panther\unattend.xml] but unable to deserialize it; status = 0x800705b9, hrResult = 0x0.
2022-03-30 18:49:38, Error      [0x060566] IBS    Callback_Unattend_InitEngine:Setup experienced an internal error while loading/validating unattend file [C:\Windows\Panther\unattend.xml]; hr = 0x800705b9, hrSearched = 0x800705b9, hrDeserialized = 0x80004005, hrImplicitCtx = 0x80004005, hrValidated = 0x80004005, hrResult = 0x0
2022-03-30 18:49:38, Error      [0x0600c2] IBS    Callback_Unattend_InitEngine:An error occurred while finding/loading the unattend file; hr = 0x800705b9, hrResult = 0x0
2022-03-30 18:49:38, Info       [0x0640ae] IBSLIB PublishMessage: Publishing message [Error Internal Windows Setup error loading or searching for an unattended setup file.]


The system was able to find the unattend.xml file but was unable to process the file

To troubleshoot the unattend.xml file Download: The Windows System Image Manager

Note:  The Windows System Image Manager is part of Microsoft's WAIK utility.  You can download this utility from the Microsoft website here:

Note: All that is needed is the Deployment tool kit option installed from the adksetup.exe

From search, enter: 'Windows System Image Manager' (without quotes) to locate and run the program

Once open go to file > open and open the unattend.xml file

A dialog box will display with the line number and character for possible error: a link in the dialog box for analysis will allow you to look for the possible error 

If unattend file has no errors, here are is a document from Microsoft to help with analysis:


Release: 8.x

Component: Deployment Solutions


Edit the unattend file till the Windows System Image Manager was error-free then apply the unattend file to the imaging task