Windows 10 1803: winpeshl.ini file is present, but no commands were successfully launched

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Yesterday I started a new Windows 10 1803 project with a customer. They want to start deploying Windows 10 1803 to new machines and also start upgrade existing Windows 10 clients to 1803.
To upgrade existing clients, I’ve created a Task Sequence template that I’ve been using at many different customers in previous projects (including 1803).
But yesterday I got the following error displayed in a Command Prompt during the deployment:

winpeshl.ini file is present, but no commands were successfully launched. This could be caused by incorrect formatting or an invalid executable name. Please consult the documentation for more information.

New (bare metal) deployment works as expected.

After some spending some time digging into to this issue and asking for ideas from other OSD experts (Johan Arwidmark and Michael Niehaus), I’ve come to the conclusion that the current release of the Windows 10 1803 ISO most likely is broken if you want do an in-place upgrade. New deployments works as expected.
I have tested the upgrade using 2 different versions of the 1803 ISO:

  • SW_DVD5_Win_Pro_Ent_Edu_N_10_1803_64BIT_Danish_-2_MLF_X21-79647
  • SW_DVD9_Win_Pro_Ent_Edu_N_10_1803_64BIT_Danish_-3_MLF_X21-82164

When using the “79647” build everything works as expected, but if I use the “82164” build, it fails. Unfortunately, it’s the version that is currently available the that fails.

Check this thread for more information: https://www.reddit.com/r/SCCM/comments/8nnx1q/win10_1703_to_1803_ts_upgrade_winpeshlini_error/

Conclusion

  1. If you bump into this problem, try to use an older version of the ISO (until it gets fixed).
  2. If you don’t have a copy of the old ISO the best option is to open a support ticket with Microsoft.
  3. Always keep a backup of you old Windows 10 ISO’s.

Happy upgrading… 🙂

Update 1: Microsoft has now confirmed the issue and has promised a fix.

Update 2: Microsoft has now released an updated version of the ISO. SW_DVD9_Win_Pro_Ent_Edu_N_10_1803_64BIT_English_-4_MLF_X21-87129 is now available form the Volume Licensing Service Center.

/Enjoy

+Ronni Pedersen

About Author

My name is Ronni Pedersen and I'm currently working as a Cloud Solution Architect at EG A/S in Denmark. My primary focus is Enterprise Client Management solutions, based on technologies like AzureAD, Intune, EMS and System Center Configuration Manager. I'm is also a Microsoft Certified Trainer and Microsoft MVP in Enterprise Mobility.

17 Comments

  1. Just for those who are curious…

    Inside the 79647 ISO:

    (for booting from CD\ISO)
    ISO > Sources > boot.wim > sources

    (In-Place upgrade\Windows recovery\Startup repair after install)
    ISO > Sources > install.wim > Windows > System32 > Recovery > WinRE.wim > sources

    The “sources” directory has the recenv.exe file which kick starts the recovery environment (Install for win10\startup repair)

    Inside the 82164 ISO

    (for booting from CD\ISO)
    ISO > Sources > boot.wim > sources
    The sources directory is there as expected (You can boot and install from CD\ISO)

    BUT

    ISO > Sources > install.wim > Windows > System32 > Recovery > WinRE.wim > Sources

    is missing. So when WinRE starts up (during in place upgrade\recovery\startup repair), it will pop up this error as the winpeshl.ini file references “%systemdrive%\sources\recenv.exe” which is missing from the WinRE.wim

    If you are friendly with DISM, you can mount the 82164 ISO and copy

    ISO > Sources > boot.wim > sources

    to

    ISO > Sources > install.wim > Windows > System32 > Recovery > WinRE.wim > sources

    Commit the winre wim, then commit the install wim. You should be good to go. I’m updating SCCM with the “new” install.wim now and will be testing later today to verify everything is good.

  2. Thank you! I have been searching for ages and finally found someone who explained the issue properly.

  3. leighana coe on

    Would love to hear when this is fixed as well, I just started working with the ISO for in place upgrade via sccm and I am glad to have found this article.

      • Thnaks for your reply roni. when i restarted after closing the cmd window i receive blue screen error saying critical service failed. for every restart it lops to the same error. Even if i run recenve.exe nothing happens.

  4. I had never thought about what the numbers at the end meant. After suffering the problem as noted above, now I can much better understand the differences in my ISOs. Thanks!

  5. Pingback: Windows 10 1803 インストールエラー ([0x80070002]winpeshl.ini) | さるすべり

  6. Is there a way to fix this issue without fresh install with fixed ISO provided by Microsoft? All of the items in Advanced Startup giving winpeshl.ini error.

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