Setup cannot copy the file cmnicfg.xml

Setup cannot copy the file cmnicfg.xml: Typically, a user will receive this error during a Windows XP installation. The other day, a friend of mine decided to uninstall Windows Vista from his computer and reinstall Windows XP. He recently used nLite to create an unattended Windows XP Pro installation CD and proceeded to perform the install.

Toward the beginning of the installation, he received the error "Setup cannot copy the file cmnicfg.xml", If he skipped the file and continued, he would get a copy error with the following files:

  • Setup cannot copy the file ipcfg.xml
  • Setup cannot copy the file osinfo.xml
  • Setup cannot copy the file potscfg.xml
  • Setup cannot copy the file pppcfg.xml
  • Setup cannot copy the file trustmon.dll
  • Setup cannot copy the file trustmon.mof
  • Setup cannot copy the file twcli32.msi
  • Setup cannot copy the file dwil1033.dll

After having skipped the files and then continuing to the setup
phase, immediately upon starting he would get the following errors:

Fatal Error: internal setup data structures are corrupted
SAM initialization failed because of the following
error. Directory service cannot start 0xC00002e1

At first, we thought maybe he had a corrupted CD or a bad burn. However, after looking into the situation further, it appears that the fully automated or unattended install settings were causing the errors.

As it turned out, the problem was that the Automated Windows XP Installation disk was not prompting to format the partition, therefore, the installation was trying to access a directory that it did not have permission to access causing the file copy failures.

Fixing the Setup cannot copy the file cmnicfg.xml errors:

You could use a Windows XP installation CD that is not setup for Unattended Installation

Or you can do this:

  1. Download the Gparted ISO and burn it to a CD
  2. Restart your computer, booting from the Gparted CD
  3. Use Gparted to delete, create and format your partition
  4. Restart your computer from the Windows Installation disk and proceed to install Windows XP

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