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

Tip: If you can’t wait and need the old iso you can get it from MSDN. Thanks to Zvensch, for the tip.

/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.

3 Comments

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

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