Sysprep and Capture task sequence does nothing

I recently came across an issue where a basic Sysprep and Capture task sequence would do nothing (or reboot, depending on the FinishAction). Sysprep wouldn’t run and the summary page would say the operating system deployment was successful.

In this particular case, this Deployment Share had 3 task sequences with the CustomSettings.ini trying to handle it all. The original rules looked something like this:


BackupFile=#day(date) & "-" & month(date) & "-" & year(date)#.wim

Running the capture task sequence would look to start processing but would suddenly end. BDD.log and SMSTS.log had no meaningful errors.

If I then set the SkipCapture variable to NO, the wizard would appear and the values set above would show correctly. If you were to select the top option ‘Capture an image of this reference computer’ then the capture would start as expected. Sysprep would start and the machine would boot into WinPE.

In theory, setting SkipCapture back to YES would work…..but no, it failed again. If there was an error in CustomSettings.ini, it wouldn’t work with SkipCapture set to NO, it would require the location and file name manually inputting so it’s still a mystery!

After hours of testing I went back to basics and decided to use task sequence variables of which I created 3 to match what would of been in CustomSettings.ini

  • DoCapture with a value of YES
  • BackupFile with a value of #day(date) & “-” & month(date) & “-” & year(date)#.wim (this set’s the .wim files name to the date of capture although it could be anything you want)
  • ComputerBackupLocation with a value of %DeployRoot%\Captures

These were placed at the very start of the task sequence:

This enabled me to set SkipCapture to YES in the [Default] section (obviously removing the above variables in the [CaptureTS] section) and successfully run the Sysprep and Ccapture task sequence automatically.

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