7 June 2017

"Windows could not finish configuring the system"-->SOLVED

A trick I stumbled over while working my summer student job.

If you just want the solution and not my drawn out explanation of what I was doing that triggered it, scroll down to the bottom :) For the rest of you:

I was extremely fortunate this summer to land a student position with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. As an IT Support Analyst, I have performed a number of tasks and I’m learning a lot of practical tricks that you just don’t get the chance to run into as a student. It’s been awesome.

The reason for this post, however, is not to espouse the fact that I’m a lucky bastard and jobs are great.

One of the myriad tasks I am performing currently is imaging a crapload of laptops. The CFIA uses a Lite Touch method; wherein the boot sequence is started by a technician who has access to deployment servers on the domain. They then select the image from a share and let technology do the rest.

It’s pretty damn fast if you’re physically where the servers are; but the reason it works is because as long as you’re part of the domain, you can image your client’s laptops all day long; physical location doesn’t truly weigh into it, save for speeding up the process.

This week though, I ran into a really annoying problem.

First off, this fix is guaranteed to work on HP’s 650 G2s. It might work on other laptops but I can’t say for certain because I have yet to experience the problem on any other platform.

So, the problem. After selecting the necessary image, and letting the laptop chug away on its docking station, I came back to it to find an error message. The screen displayed “Setup is Starting Services” but a dialogue box over top states, “Windows could not finish configuring the system. To retry configuration, restart system.”

It was unexpected but I figured what the hey, restarting is easy enough.

This time I paid attention to my problem for the nonce and after seeing the screen say, “Windows is Updating RegKeys” I got the same error message.

I shook my head and restarted the imaging process; being located where the deployment servers are is truly a godsend.

A brief period of time later lo and behold same damn error.

Time to Google this little bastard. Which surprisingly, didn’t actually help. There are a crap tonne of posts and blogs on this error and I tried all of the top comments.

Zip, nada, nothin’ doin’.

I asked for help from the rest of the Analysts and they suggested a number of ideas, none of which worked either.

I spent hours hunched over the damn thing until in my frustration I turned it off by holding in the power button. Windows 7 didn’t like that so I got the option to Safe Boot, you know the menu, and I just clicked it for shits and grins.

Same error popped; I’d figured that’d be too damn easy a solution.

I went for a late lunch, but when I came back, the damn laptop was cheerily logging into the local administrator account and running the scripts it was supposed to. Five minutes later I had a perfectly imaged asset.


Seriously, that’s the fix.

Force the computer to Safe Boot, then normal boot, and the asset’s good to go.

If you don’t want to power cycle the device, you can press Shift+f10 to open the cmd line and enter the following text:
bcdedit /set {default} safeboot minimal

Once you reboot and get to the error message, press Shift+f10 again and type:
bcdedit /deletevalue {default} safemode

I was so happy to get on with the rest of my day; hope this helps out some of you!