STOP: 0x0000005D when booting Windows PE

I was booting a new VMWare Virtual Machine with Windows PE through Altiris for initial deployment but Windows PE halted with a BSOD:

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0x0000005D means UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR (defined in bugcodes.h) so I expected there was a x86 vs x64 problem.

The VM was configured for a 32 bit OS:

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The Altiris Job was configured to use Auto Select:

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But instead of the x86 version of Windows PE, Altiris attempts to boot the x64 version and this explains the BSOD: VMWare prevents the CPU from going to x64 mode and thus Windows has no choice but to halt.

Workaround is to change the Automation pre-boot environment in Altiris to x86:

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Note that it’s no problem to deploy an x64 OS using the x86 version of Windows PE so I don’t see any real problems with this workaround.

Was once an enthusiastic PepperByte employee but is now working elsewhere. His blogs are still valuable to us and we hope to you too.