UPDATE – 26 July 2012
I encountered this error again in a different scenario – running a Build and Capture OSD Task Sequence on Windows 8 Release Preview x64 in Configuration Manager 2012 SP1.
The build and sysprep processes went through without a hitch, but when the system rebooted into WinPE to begin the capture phase, it errored out with the “Unable to read task seqence configuration disk” message. The SMSTS.LOG was fairly unhelpful – there was just a single line which read “Failed to show task sequence progress dialog. Error code 0x8001010e“.
I jumped into the Command Window within WinPE and fired up DISKPART to take a look at the logical volumes (initially because I wanted to copy the logs off and wasn’t sure which drive letter had been assigned to the Windows partition). Interestingly, a drive letter hadn’t been allocated to the Windows partition. From a Capture perspective, that’s not going to help.
Turns out that I hadn’t modified the default partitioning in the OSD Task Sequence. By default, Configuration Manager sets up the partitions for an enterprise deployment, which means creating the System Reserved partition for BitLocker. This partition isn’t needed in a Build/Capture because it gets recreated during the deployment of the captured image.
So I stripped out the System Reserved partition and reinitiated the OSD Task Sequence, and this time it went through without a problem.
I encountered this error recently when running an SCCM OSD task sequence from a bootable USB device with the WinPE boot image.
The bootable media was generated OK, and the necessary network drivers had already been injected into the WinPE WIM. Normally this error – “Unable to read task sequence configuration disk” is a network problem: either the incorrect driver has been loaded or it hasn’t been injected properly or the wrong version was used or the WIM is corrupt….any number of potential issues.
However, before you go down the long and often painful path of troubleshooting network drivers in WinPE, make sure you didn’t do what I did which was boot the USB device from a USB 3.0 port
USB 3.0 ports are more and more common on enterprise hardware platforms and a bootable USB device will happily boot from it just the same as any other USB port. However, WinPE 3.0 has no native support for USB 3.0, so when the WinPE environment loads it suddenly loses access to the boot media. This looks and feels like a different issue, and WinPE is’t capable of telling you that this is exactly what’s happening, so you end up chasing your tail for FAR TOO LONG.
The same applies when performing installations of Windows 7 from a USB device – it will lose access to the installation source but it looks like it simply can’t find the storage controller for the disk you want to install to, not the one you want to install from. From memory, this is also an issue with Windows 8 – no native support for USB 3.0 in the version of WinPE available on the Developer Preview installation media.
Of course, you can inject USB 3.0 drivers into the WinPE image to cater for this, and some enterprises may need to, just to cover all the angles. However it’s far easier just to use a USB 2.0 device and save yourself the drama.