I recently ran into an issue were a capture wim image created from a windows 8.1 (x64) and Server 2012 R2 install.wim imaged repeatedly failed on boot with the error:
Windows failed to start. A recent hardware or software change might be the cause. to fix the problem:
- Insert your windows installation disc and restart your computer.
- Choose your language settings, and then click “Next.”
- Click “Repair your computer.”
if you do not have this disc, contact your system administrator or computer manufacturer for assistance.
Info: The application or operating system couldn’t be loaded because a required filed is missing or contains errors.
I was able to solve this issue be mounting the wim with imagex, changing nothing, and then unmounting the wim using the /commit argument.
Follow these steps (assuming your file is located c:\capture.wim and your mount directory is c:\mount)
imagex /mountrw c:\capture.wim 1 c:\mount
imagex /unmount /commit c:\mount
Once the image was committed, I opened the WDS console, selected the current Capture image, and selected “Replace Image…”. I then pointed to the c:\capture.wim file previously edited.
I then rebooted the client, and tried the capture image again, this time it worked without issue. I’m not sure what mounting and unmounting the image did, but i suspect perhaps it validates or changes certain files during the mounting and unmounting that are required for the image to be bootable.