If you try and run sysprep.exe /oobe /generalize /shutdown on a Vista reference system and get the following error message:
“System Preparation Tool has stopped working A problem caused the program to stop working correctly. Windows will close the program and notify you if a solution is available”
and the following event in your event logs:
Event ID 1000 Source: Application error Faulting application sysprep.exe
Then you’ve probably got a third-party driver issue. One case I heard of involved the SoundMax Audio Driver, which had to be uninstalled from the reference system before sysprep would work properly on the machine.
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.