41 Comments to How to run SysPrep on an Upgraded Operating System

  • Anthony Spiteri says:

    Right on!!

  • John says:

    Wow, works like a charm! Thanks!

  • Nikki says:

    You are an absolute star.

    I work in a school and needed to sysprep a new laptop before i could image it. It was originally a home edition windows 8 and I upgraded (using our site licence) to 8.1 pro edition. Your regedit commands worked a treat and now i can carry on with the job in hand. Thank you for posting this answer. I’m sure others will find it just as informative as I have.

  • Reed says:

    Thank you very much for finding a solution to something that should never have been a problem! None of the Microsoft related sites offered a working solution. I’m fortunate to have stumbled across yours.

  • Robert says:

    FYI- I did find another possible cause of this error. If the drive is bitlocked this error will result. Decrypt the drive to proceed.

  • stevenuwm says:

    Works for me! In addition I had to re-arm Sysprep. Also, I did not need reset the CleanupState. Thanks!

  • LARRY says:

    Worked perfectly, thanks.

  • Tim says:

    Appears to also work on Windows 10.

  • Sapan Manjhi says:

    Tried the same registry trick but not able to do sysprep, its giving the same error. Upgraded Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 Technical preview

  • Alex says:

    I’m trying to use this fix because I want to move the user folders from my SSD to my 1 TB hard drive. I get the error, but once I go into to the setupact.log, I can’t find any of those things in the registry. I need to get this figured out soon because my SSD only has 4 GB left. Please help

    • Harry Caskey says:

      What is the error message you get?

    • trlkly says:

      There’s another way I could see to do that if it’s just the User folders. Boot some other OS that can read NTFS (like a live Ubuntu CD), and then copy the User folder to the other drive. Rename the old Users folder (just in case), and then create a Symlink or Junction Point to the Users folder on the other drive.

      Though, personally, I wouldn’t move the entire Users folders. Those are used a lot, so you want them on the faster drive. What needs to be moved are all your Documents/Images/Videos, etc. You can do basically the same thing I described above, except you can actually do that from within Windows.

      In fact, I’m not entirely sure why you would try moving the entire OS to the slower drive.

  • Charles Matiella says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

    Your post has save me LOTS of time.


  • Erwin says:

    Sorry for my improving English. I have a PC running Windows 7, and after upgrade to Windows 10, at OOBE screen (before first login), I press ctrl+shift+f3 to enter Windows Audit mode, then I encounter this problem. Search on the web and find your site, but your method does not work for me. Still I cannot left Windows audit mode.

  • Micah says:


    I just did this on a Windows 7 Pro Upgrade to Windows 10 Pro.


  • Wallace says:


    Will this work if I have a windows 7 that was upgraded to windows pro? This computer only went from a windows 7 home edition to a 7 pro edition (no bit locker). I am just trying to move my hard drive from one laptop (Centrino) to another (5i). Is there going to be anything different that I should do other than what you have said in your article?

    Great work, nice bio. You shall go far!


    W V Rose

  • Xiaolin says:

    I have followed the method but still get the same error ‘Sysprep was not able to …’. Could you have a look at the error message and let me know what has gone wrong and how to proceed? Thank you!

    —- error message —-
    Error SYSPRP Package WikimediaFoundation.Wikipedia_1.1.0.37_neutral__54ggd3ev8bvz6 was installed for a user, but not provisioned for all users. This package will not function properly in the sysprep image.
    Error SYSPRP Failed to remove apps for the current user: 0x80073cf2.
    Error SYSPRP Exit code of RemoveAllApps thread was 0x3cf2.
    Error [0x0f0082] SYSPRP ActionPlatform::LaunchModule: Failure occurred while executing ‘SysprepGeneralizeValidate’ from C:\Windows\System32\AppxSysprep.dll; dwRet = 0x3cf2
    Error SYSPRP SysprepSession::Validate: Error in validating actions from C:\Windows\System32\Sysprep\ActionFiles\Generalize.xml; dwRet = 0x3cf2
    Error SYSPRP RunPlatformActions:Failed while validating SysprepSession actions; dwRet = 0x3cf2
    Error [0x0f0070] SYSPRP RunExternalDlls:An error occurred while running registry sysprep DLLs, halting sysprep execution. dwRet = 0x3cf2
    Error [0x0f00d8] SYSPRP WinMain:Hit failure while pre-validate sysprep generalize internal providers; hr = 0x80073cf2
    —- end of message —

  • Josh says:

    When you mention to remove this key (1st step), is it to delete the “upgrade” folder?

    Within that reg folder I only have :
    (Default) / REG_SZ (value not set)
    DownlevelBuildNumber / REG_SZ / 6.1.7601

    Mine is also an upgrade from win 7 to win 10.

  • eredn says:

    “Remove this KEY from the Registry:

    Remove this REG_DWORD from the Registry:

    Is there a mistake here as when you remove the key, the DWORD is also deleted.
    Unfortunately, this did not work for us.
    8.1 PRO to Win10 PRO upgrade, same error after following your steps “sysprep will not run on an upgraded OS”.

    • eredn says:

      To answer my own question

      I restored this key

      Then deleted this REG_DWORD from the Registry:

      In simple terms, I did not delete the key, only the DWORD.
      Sysprep then worked a charm.

  • Steve says:

    Will this method work on Windows 10 when you go from build 10240 to the November Update 10586?

  • herbert says:

    got the same error unable to sysprep due to a updated version of windows.
    however it was a clean install
    tried the registry stuff but no effect

  • Scot1t says:

    Sweet registry hack. But why, especially with the proliferation of SSD’s, is it so hard to move the \users files to another hard drive now? It used to be something one could just do from the user account.

  • Kris Dages says:

    For anyone saying this doesn’t work, make sure you check the ** System32\Sysprep\Panther\setupact.log ** file and see what other errors you might be getting. Turns out I had to uninstall any apps I had installed from the Windows Store. It’s unfortunate, but Microsoft requires any Modern UI apps to be sideloaded instead of automatically updated. 🙁

  • Jamie says:

    Also works on Windows 10 RTM to Windows 10 Version 1511. This saved me from a lot of cursing Microsoft. After all, I didn’t want to rebuild my entire gold image from scratch every couple of months because of their new service model. Thanks!

  • Julian Lennon Gonçalves de Souza Leite says:


  • Ben Yessayian says:

    I had some message saying I had to uninstall a Microsoft_SurfaceHub thing. This helped remove it. Then it worked!


  • Excellent post!
    Works like a charm after hours and hours of searching on the Internet.
    Thank you!

  • Mark says:

    Perfect!!! I love You!!!

  • Mike Jones says:

    I Strongly recommend this be done as Administrator. Remove all of the other accounts since apps are auto installed for them. This is the only way I got it to work.

  • Sam says:

    Thanks, it worked perfectly for my upgraded 8 to 8.1 Windows

  • quarem says:

    You are simply the best (na, na, na, naaa)

  • Faruk says:

    If you have Windows 10 or 8.x version(Metro Start Menu);

    1. Read sysprep/panther/setuperr.log
    2. You can see, “Error SYSPRP Package king.com.CandyCrushSodaSaga_1.59.300.0_x86__kgqvnymyfvs32…” or “Error SYSPRP Package twitter….”

    3. Yes, your application is a problem. You should remove this app. (You can see the app Start Menu)

  • Stefan says:

    I can´t delete Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Setup\Upgrade. I used the Administrator and other administrative accounts to delete the reg-key. I can´t set the permissions.

    The error message is: Upgrade can not be deleted. Failed to delete the key

    Can anyone help me?


  • Tomas Bloudek says:

    Yes! Works after W7pro to W7ent upgrade. You are my hero.

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