black desktop and grey taskbar after reimaging the server


New Member
We have a scripted process that takes an Windows 2012 R2 image -> Deploy the server from this image -> run sysprep on the server -> shutdown the server -> Take an image(second image) of the server.

For some strange reason, the machines deployed from the second image all have black color desktop and grey taskbar. When you click on Windows icon(Start icon), none of the applications are listed and searching is not working. Its so weird. Any idea why?

The machines deployed from the first image don't have this problem. The machines have default desktop and the tool bar is blue, everything works fine.


Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
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Microsoft Certified Professional
Sysprep is only allowed to be ran a total of 2-3 times (memory is failing me as it is late). Read up on it's limitations, when I was using WDS to distribute server images I always kept a copy of the image with all installed applications etc, but BEFORE I ran sysprep to avoid issues. That way I could just make changes to it when needed, copy it to a new image file and then run sysprep before deploying the image.