Windows 10: Windows 10 Image - Customize in Audit Mode with Sysprep
Office 365 Admin page still not displaying in IE11 and after Sysprep
Further to my previous posts on this issue I've done some further tests.
Firstly, this is how the Office 365 Admin Preview page should look in IE11:
...ands this is how it looks after Sysprepping:
No page body or left toolbar.
Despite Kari's assurance that there's no connection between this and SysPrepping, I've been able to reproduce this issue many times on different VMs - each time the page is fine before SysPrep and fails to display afterwards, so I decided to do a new basic VM build without any customisations, installations or updates - just a plain simple basic VM to see if I could narrow the problem down. Here's the Checkpoint history in Hyper-V:
The new 'BasicVM' is as simple as I could make it so I could eliminate (or otherwise) my customisations as a possible cause. I accepted all defaults except for specifying a New Virtual Switch as this is needed.
I then added a couple of VHDX drives, again because they're needed. My existing answer file includes folder redirection, so a second (D) drive is needed. The third drive is a temporary drive needed to save the later Macrium image for deployment, should it get that far.
I then installed the OS from my MS Action Pack ISO (Windows 10 Pro x64 v1511), rebooted to Audit Mode, initialised the VHDs (assigning drive letters D and E), activated the network and installed the required WADK component (SIM).
I then started SIM and loaded the Answer File I'd used on the last VM build (where problem was showing after SysPrep). The SIM seems to pick up either the catalog file (.clg) and/or the WIM file (install.wim) as no catalog gets made (so no beer at this point, Kari ). The file verification showed no errors, so I took a Checkpoint and started an elevated command window to do SysPrep.
After SysPrep ran, I completed OOBE boot and logged on as my user account (created during SysPrep) and started IE11 (no mods as none were made, so I get the default MSN and Welcome pages). I then log in to my Office 365 Admin Preview and the problem's there.
At this point I know it's none of my Audit Mode installs or settings that are causing the problem, so it must be either the SysPrep procedure itself or it's something to do with the Answer file (or the way it's being applied).
By reverting to the point just before running SysPrep I'm able to run it again without the '/unattend...' switch so it's just a plain basic VM being SysPrepped without any folder redirection or user accounts specified in the Answer File.
This time OOBE boot stops at the account creation stage and I enter my details to create a local account.
After logging on, I start IE, go to the Office 365 login and the Admin page displays fine.
At this point it's clear it's not SysPrep itself and it's likely there's something wrong with either my answer file or the way I'm using it.
I revert to the point where I've just installed WADK to do an new, really simple answer file exactly as shown in this tutorial.
Starting from scratch with the SIM I follow exactly the stages as per the tutorial, browsing to the install.wim file, waiting whilst a new catalog is made (still no beer as I'm at work) and adding just the 'CopyProfile=true' and a couple of the OEM fields so it's as simple and close to the tutorial as possible.
I then did the validation and got exactly the same 'warning' lines as shown in the tutorial. I then saved the answer file and ran SysPrep with all the suggested switches as shown.
SysPrep completed fine, but the VM didn't shut down because I'd used the '/quit' switch as shown in the tutorial screenshot rather than the '/shutdown' one quoted in the code line, so all's as it should be.
After restarting, completing OOBE and logging on as my user account, however, the problem's still there when I log in to Office 365.
This shows that it's none of my customisations, installations or settings changes that are causing this and when SysPrep is used with even the simplest answer file it seems to cause this issue. ...unless there's still something wrong that I'm missing.
The only difference I could see was when comparing my Answerfile.xml viewed in IE to that in the tutorial. It's not exactly the same, but all the key elements referred to in the tutorial appear to be correct and I'm wondering if the difference is because I'm on v1511 and the tutorial was done with an earlier version of Windows. Unfortunately, I'm out of my depth here so I'm hoping someone can verify this or spot the error in my Answer File:
I do hope somebody can help with this as I've spent months trying to get this right and it's driving me crazy!
Finnish but not finished
As I mentioned before, I have experienced exactly the same issue (not always, though) on machines with clean install, too, no sysprep. Internet Explorer simply occasionally refuses to show this one specific webpage, new O365 Admin Center Preview. On machines it is not shown first time when tried, it will never be shown. On machines it is shown first time when I try it after installation, it will be always shown.
All other sections of O365 work, it's just this one that wont:
It works with every other browser. Old Old Admin Center interface works without issues even in Internet Explorer, too.
In your case as this one single webpage not showing in IE is driving you crazy I wholeheartedly recommended you decide what is more important to you:
- Forget your customizations, use normal clean install method in order to be able to use that one single page with IE
-- OR --
- Finish your image customizations, deploy and use O365 Admin Center Preview with Edge or any third party browser
That's about your options now.
I do not know what causes this. As my tweet quoted in an earlier post about this "issue" of yours shows I have contacted Microsoft already back in 2014 about this. I have no explanations, nor any ideas about why this happens.
I add a warning now and end conversation about this topic from my part, not commenting any further posts about topic in question. I think I have made it clear enough that:
- I don't know what is causing this
- O365 Admin / Sharepoint Admin pages in IE have had Issues for a long time, from first builds in 2014
- I have contacted MS about this, got no explanation, workaround or such
- To find out why one single webpage is not working in Microsoft's legacy browser when it works perfectly in Microsoft Edge and all third party browsers is not very high on my priorities list
The image customization method told in this tutorial might cause Internet Explorer rendering and showing one specific webpage wrong or not at all (Office 365 Business / Enterprise Admin Center Preview).
If and when you absolutely must use Internet Explorer to access this one specific webpage, I wholeheartedly recommend you not to do any customizations in Audit Mode and most importantly not sysprep Windows 10.
BTW, I use Edge for O365 admin tasks.
P.S. The old Admin Center URL: https://portal.office.com/Admin/Defa...nDashboardPage
It works in IE, too. Every time.
Last edited by Kari; 03 Aug 2016 at 16:19.
I was having the same problem and have discovered the resolution.
The problem is the CopyProfile setting in the unattended XML file.
To test: in your VM, create a new Windows 10 installation. Then, open Internet Explorer. Sysprep without CopyProfile. The site correctly works.
Then, go back to the Windows 10 installation before Sysprep. Sysprep with CopyProfile. The site does not work now.
This is not the only site CopyProfile causes problems with. BOX.COM is another site I've had issues with. Before its redesign, CNN.COM had problems when using CopyProfile, too.
My advice would be to not use CopyProfile. It's a relic from Windows 7 and Microsoft obviously isn't testing it, anymore.
Thanks for your reply, Kari. I can appreciate that it's annoying when it's not an important issue for you and I realise I may have to consider abandoning customisation altogether, but before I do I'd just like to make sure we're clear what's being said here.
I did hear you when you said you'd seen this issue on machines that hadn't been SysPrepped. I also heard your assertion that it's pretty much random in your experience. However, what I'm seeing is a pattern that's 100% consistent: all machines without SysPrep are okay and all machines after 'SysPrep using Answer File' are broken. So you're saying that even though the behaviour I'm seeing is 100% consistent, it's just because I am looking at a small sample of installations? ...and that if I look at enough installations, sooner or later I'll see one that's showing this problem without having been SysPrepped? This is important because I haven't seen this problem on any machine that hasn't been SysPrepped. I'm not saying it isn't so, I'm just saying I haven't seen it. I don't have your expertise or breadth of experience, but I have upgraded a dozen or so machines to Windows 10 recently - lots of different hardware of all ages - and none have shown this issue.
The reason I've focussed so much attention on this is because I do have to use IE11 - not because it's a great browser, but because I use RoboForm extensively throughout my business day and IE11 is the only browser with which it integrates properly. ...and I'm happy to use another browser to access my O365 Admin, too, but that's not the point.
What concerns me is that the issue I'm seeing is indicative of a deeper problem that will cause more issues. Having had the earlier problem with both IE11 and Edge being seriously damaged after deploying a test customised image, I'm wary of carrying on when I've seen an issue in IE that's present at such an early stage, especially as it appears to be related to the very process of customisation itself ...and a very specific part of it at that.
However, the benefits of customisation are not easy to dismiss - user folder redirection alone has yielded many benefits over the years so it's not a decision to be taken lightly, but if you're saying that you're confident that this really a random issue that affects only this one page in one browser and that you've seen nothing to suggest it's a deeper issue, then I really don't have to worry too much. ...or, it's a risk worth taking, anyway.
One other unrelated point to consider, though, if you're seriously considering giving up on customisation (as I am) is the convenience of Windows 10's 'Reset' feature. This is very polished now and makes the repair of a 'normal' Windows 10 installation very easy with everything left where is was, but it only seems to work on bog-standard installations. Even OEM installations on laptops can require the right medium sometimes (I've just received one from Dell for my XPS13) and the procedure simply can't run with 'upgraded from Win7/8' installs. Whilst this may work with some customisations, the redirection of user folders needs to be reversed in order for this procedure and, I believe, certain major 'upgrade' updates, to work. The procedure to do this has been well documented in Kari's Windows 7 customisation tutorial, but the point is that the convenience of the quick repair is lost with user folder redirection.
Sorry to take up so much space with this one issue, but I do believe it's significant and worth the attention.
Thanks for your input on this, SmileyPK.
It's significant that you've found it's using the 'CopyProfile=true' element of SysPrep in the Answer file because without this, none of the changes made whilst logged on as the built-in admin account in Audit mode will get copied to the default user profile and this is probably the biggest time saver in this whole process.
I'm not sure about your 'relic' comment, but I do know that it's the single most important element in the whole process - without 'CopyProfile=true' we're really left with just user folder redirection, local account creation and a few OEM labels as customisation options (at least as far as the scope of this tutorial is concerned).
Finnish but not finished
I really disagree with this. The relic is not a component in answer file, the relic is Internet Explorer.
Before the new OneDrive UWP app was released a month or two ago I had to use 5 browsers on daily basis only because I use 5 of my OneDrive accounts so often that I wanted to have a fast unrestricted no credentials asked access to them all the time. As you can only stay signed in to one MS account and one Azure AD account in one browser, installing additional browsers always belongs to my clean install and deployment images.
New OD app makes this now unnecessary but having used the 5 browser system so long I have now for my own amusement noticed that I had apparently without noticing it got used to use specific websites or services with a specific browser. Some are understandable, like watching my IPTV subscription service from my native Finland on PC I use Chrome because that allows me to cast the stream to Chromecast, or O365 Admin stuff with Edge and so on.
Short: I see nothing wrong nor inconvenient in using multiple browsers, each for what they are best for.
I agree that this one scenario, reset Windows 10 keeping your files still requires extra work if done when Users folder is relocated. However, that's the only customization requiring extra effort with reset.
I expect MS to address this, too in the future as they now very recently addressed a similar issue: As you know in Windows 7 it was possible to relocate not only the Users folder but the ProgramData folder, too. Until only two or three Windows Insider builds ago, if upgrading from Windows 7 with both Users and ProgramData relocated, upgrade failed and you had to manually move ProgramData back to C:, then upgrade (relocated Users folder in upgrade has not been an issue since version 1511 build 10586).
Now when Windows 10 upgrade finds relocated Users and ProgramData folders, it automatically moves the ProgramData folder to C: because its relocation is no longer supported in 10, leaving Users relocated where it is and performs the upgrade.
For me this shows that MS is still interested in making servicing customized installations possible and easy.
Thanks again, Kari, for your continued involvement in this issue.
I can fully understand your need for multiple browsers and my IT consultant has, for some time, stressed the need to have more than one browser (with some regret that it should be necessary). I've now taken this on board an include the installation of Chrome as a second browser in my Default User app installs. But I'm only a part-time apprentice geek - the rest of the time - I have to do some 'real work' and this is why I use RoboForm. It saves me so much work filling in repeat information in forms I use many times a day (booking collections from carriers, for example, where a consignee's details can be saved the used again and again), so a broken IE simply isn't an option. If it's just the one page, then I can accept this and use another browser as a workaround - I'm just worried that this is the tiny tip of a very big iceberg.
I'll likely go ahead and chance it, but it was really my second paragraph I was hoping for some feedback on. Obviously you can't give any guarantees, but given what I'm seeing here I hope you can forgive my asking you to confirm the you've seen this fault on machines that have been otherwise well-behaved.
Windows 10 Pro Build 1607 // broken Search // MS Apps
Hey everybody, me and my college are trying to create a custom Windows 10 Pro Image for our company. We've done this quite well with Windows 7 using the audit mode creating a default user profile. With Windows 10 we've started with build 1511 and had issues with Windows search and the not working startmenu from the beginning. Few days ago we startet testing with bild 1607. Here the startmenu seems to work correct during Audit mode and after sysprep ... but ... the Windows search stops working till we enter the Audit mode and its broken after sysprep and after Domain join. A second Thing that worked better for us in the earlier build was killing the preinstalled MS Apps and 3rd Party Apps. We've used PS Scripte to deinstall - or block These apps - but after Sysprep the Icons are back without any function.
My first attempts to build a 10 image have been pretty good for the most part. I used the commands in a PostRun.bat file as suggested in this post. One thing that is not working correctly is the Cortana Search. I can type in the textbox but it doesn't find what I'm searching for in my signed in profile. If I move the item from my profile Documents folder and put it in the Administrator's Documents folder, then it finds it. So it seems that Cortana Search is searching in the profile that was copied by Sysprep. Is this what you are seeing Rockasatwork?
Tolqua, officially CopyProfile is supported, but people have had issues with it ever since Windows 10 was released. It's one issue after another.
I just don't think Microsoft is testing it these days. If they were testing it, I would recommend it. But it's just not tested much in Windows 10.
My advice would be to make the specific edits you need to the Default profile (either by putting files or by editing NTUSER.DAT). This is what CopyProfile is already doing; it's just that CopyProfile copies almost EVERYTHING, which is where the issues come from. Making the specific edits is basically a more surgical version of CopyProfile so that all the bad edits don't come along, too.
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