Windows 2008 – Windows System Image Manager Error

I’m working on adding Windows 2008 to my lab and the first step of this for me anyway is making templates. The whole sysprep process in Vista and Windows 2008 has been completely re-engineered so I’m learning on the go here. Turns out you need to load the Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK) on a machine and then run the Windows System Image Manager to build the new XML based unattend files. Given this is an 800MB install (versus like 800K for the old setupmgr.exe) I decided to load it on my VMWare host machine which is Windows 2003 x64 R2. My first 2008 VM template is an x86 build.

I was getting the error dialog and stack trace below every time I tried to catalog the install.wim for my x86 Windows 2008 DVD:

System.Reflection.TargetParameterCountException: Parameter count mismatch.
at System.Windows.Forms.Control.MarshaledInvoke(Control caller, Delegate method, Object[] args, Boolean synchronous)
at System.Windows.Forms.Control.Invoke(Delegate method, Object[] args)
at Microsoft.ComponentStudio.Common.ErrorReporting.ShowErrorConfirmation(Form owner, String message, Exception ex, String caption, MessageBoxButtons buttons, MessageBoxDefaultButton defaultButton, String servicingPath)
at Microsoft.ComponentStudio.CatalogGenerator.CreateCat(ProgressDialog pd, Object o)
at Microsoft.ComponentStudio.Controls.ProgressDialog.ThreadProc()
at System.Threading.ExecutionContext.Run(ExecutionContext executionContext, ContextCallback callback, Object state)
at System.Threading.ThreadHelper.ThreadStart()

I did some Googling and discovered that if you load the WAIK on an x64 machine, you can only catalog x64 Windows images. So, I loaded the WAIK on my x86 machine and it worked. I also learnt that this problem is documented in the readme which I of course elected not to read from the get-go. The readme file is available at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=051091e8-51ea-4d2c-96b3-dc9863edebd9. Per the readme the follow permutations are supported:

  • x86 Image Manager
    Can create catalogs for x86, x64, and Itanium-based Windows images.
  • x64 Image Manager
    Can create catalogs only for x64 Windows images.
  • Itanium-based Image Manager
    Can create catalogs only for Itanium-based Windows images.
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