New clean vista install
Hard drive MBR went and have replaced drive. Obtained recovery discs from the manufacturer and cannot complete install getting the message “Windows could not parse or process the unattend answer file for pass [specialize]. The settings specified in the answer file cannot be applied. The error was detected while processing settings for component [Microsoft-Windows-Deployment]" Manufacturer sent second set of disks suggesting first defective. Install attempt produced same results. What is solution? Manufacturer suggesting hardware problem (unit out of warranty)
It would be very unlikely for the MBR to just 'go'. It is totally replaceable as its software anyway with the vista boot disc. Usually you can boot and do the auto repair and you will be back in.
What is more likely is that you could have RAM or HDD issues. Get the ultimate boot CD and run the memtestx86 and seatools for dos tests and run them through. See if you have errors and report back. :)
It is either that or you have an OEM pc which is expecting a special 'tattoo' (such as packard bells). These machines require some user setup if the hard drive is ever formatted to ensure the recorvery discs will output the correct drivers.
Do you have a more 'universal' copy of Vista which you can install from instead of using recovery disks? If you can slap on a standard copy without issues then its the recovery disks causing the problem.
Yes , I tried the Vista recovery program and repair failed I did all the hard drive tests you describe before and based on the results and talking to other people concluded the HDD was bad so I replaced with same manufacturer and model although it has more storage capacity. The OEM ‘tattoo’ thing is interesting as I was suspecting something like this. I noticed in my research that a similar message to the one in my first post occurs for IT people who are trying to deploy Windows 7 on a network except the component named is [Microsoft-Windows-Shell Set Up].
I am sure it’s the recovery disks not communicating with whatever is preinstalled by the manufacturer that is the problem but I don’t know what a universal vista is I searched around. From what I understand a retail Vista will not work with my license number because mine was issued to the manufacturer and will not authenticate to a retail one.
The guide below may help if you already have a Vista DVD which was customized by the manufacturer of your computer. See the "OEM Re-Installation Disc" section for more details.