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“Windows Could Not Complete Installation” SysPrep Boot Loop Error | How to End the Cycle

By November 29, 2017September 16th, 2020Blog, Windows
Windows could not complete installation error message

Recently I had a customer that was trying to create an operating system image for some customized hardware. Every time they tried to run the deploy and capture process from within MDT, they would get the following error. “The computer restarted unexpectedly or encountered an unexpected error. Windows installation cannot proceed. To install Windows, click “OK” to restart the computer, and then restart the installation.” Clicking on the error would just restart the boot loop, which would boot right back to the same message.

Changing the registry key setting for setup.exe in Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Setup\Status\ChildCompletion to have a DWORD value of 3 will typically correct this issue and allow the system to properly reboot.

setup.exe location

Normally, at the message, pressing F10 would work to interrupt the error and bring up a command prompt, allowing you to get to the registry to correct the issue. In the case of this hardware, we had to use ctrl-F10. Once we had the command prompt, we were able to edit the registry to fix the boot loop and restart the system correctly.

Lucas Guth, PEI


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