I’ve been racking my brains over this one for the past couple of days so I thought I’d chalk up my findings here in the hope of saving the headache for somebody else.
I came across this very unexpected error message when my VM rebooted right after the Apply Operating System action while running a task sequence to install a custom Windows 10 image with an answer file:
(I was too busy troubleshooting the problem and didn’t think of taking a screenshot until it was too late. I had to Google the error message to find this image for the purposes of this post.)
Long story short, the clue to resolving this lies in the setuperr.log file in the C:\Windows\Panther\UnattendGC directory. Since I was using a VM I simply attached the .vhdx disk using Disk Management and browsed to this directory to take a look. This is what the contents of the setuperr.log looked like in my case:
[Shell Unattend] ProductKey: ‘XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX’ installation failed (0xc004f050)
I ended up having to remove the entire <ProductKey></ProductKey> entry from the unattend.xml answer file to resolve this problem. Simply removing the product key within the opening and closing brackets didn’t cut it. I had to remove the entire line from the answer file and add the product key to the task sequence instead (in the Apply Windows Settings step).
[windeploy.exe] Failure occured during online installation. Online installation cannot complete at this time.; hr = 0x80004005
The resolution to this one is plain weird. If you have a space in the value within the <RegisteredOrganization> </RegisteredOrganization> and <RegisteredOwner></RegisteredOwner> entries in the unattend.xml file Setup will stop in its tracks when attempting to apply the answer file after the Apply Operating System action. I ended up having to remove “Me, Myself and IT” and settling with “EMENEYE” instead.
[windeploy.exe] Setup.exe failed, returning exit code [0x1f]
This one must’ve been related to one of the above error messages since after having made the above changes to the answer file I had no other problems.
Your mileage may vary but this is the process I went through to resolving this problem. I hope someone somewhere finds this useful.