Troubleshooting Vista Installs

by Mitch Tulloch [Published on 29 April 2008 / Last Updated on 29 April 2008]

How to troubleshoot Vista installs using Setup logs.

If you had problems installing Vista on a system, you can troubleshoot by checking the various log files Vista creates during Setup. Here’s a quick summary of each Setup log including its location and function:
  • $windows.~bt\sources\panther – used during the Windows PE phase
  • $windows.~bt\sources\rollback – same as above except a fatal error occurred and Setup rolled back
  • %WINDIR%\panther – location of Setup logs once your disk has been configured
  • %WINDIR%\system32\sysprep\panther – location of Sysprep logs
  • %WINDIR%\inf\setupapi*.log – PnP device installation log

For more information on deploying Vista, see my series of articles on WindowsNetworking.com starting with http://www.windowsnetworking.com/articles_tutorials/Deploying-Vista-Understanding-Windows-AIK.html.

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Mitch Tulloch was lead author for the Windows Vista Resource Kit from Microsoft Press, which is the book for IT pros who want to deploy, maintain and support Windows Vista in mid- and large-sized network environments. Mitch was also the author of Introducing Windows Server 2008 and technical project lead for the Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 Resource Kit, both books also from Microsoft Press. For more information on these and other books by Mitch, see www.mtit.com.

The Author — Mitch Tulloch

Mitch Tulloch is a widely recognized expert on Windows administration, networking, and security. He has been repeatedly awarded Most Valuable Professional (MVP) status by Microsoft for his outstanding contributions in supporting users who deploy and use Microsoft platforms, products and solutions. Mitch has published over two hundred articles on different IT websites and magazines, and he has written or contributed to almost two dozen books and is lead author for the Windows 7 Resource Kit from Microsoft Press. For more information, see www.mtit.com .

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