If you ever work with Operating System Deployment (OSD) in Microsoft’s System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM / ConfigMgr) 2007, you might build a task sequence that only performs an OS image capture (as opposed to an OS build & capture). You might think — logically — that you only need a single task sequence step to perform this action: a “Capture Operating System Image” step. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. If you attempt to run a task sequence like this, you’ll probably receive a 0x80070490 error code, which means “element not found.”
What that error really means is that the image capture task sequence step is unable to locate an operating system — on a local fixed disk drive — that has been installed and prepped for capture. You might initially think that this implies that you have a problem with your operating system install, so you might be apt to waste time troubleshooting your OS build sequence.
Before you do that, consider the following: the image capture task sequence item looks at an OSD variable called OSDTargetSystemRoot, which tells the task sequence engine where the to-be-capture OS is. Typically, on a single-disk system, it’ll be mounted on c:. When you run a capture-only task sequence, however, this variable is not set, because the “Prepare OS” step in a build & capture sequence sets this variable prior to the capture.
In order to resolve this matter, all you need to do is add an additional task sequence item of type “Set Task Sequence Variable” to the beginning of your capture-only sequence. Within this task sequence item, set the variable name to “OSDTargetSystemRoot” (leave off the quotes) and set the variable’s value to the location of your new Windows installation, such as "c:\windows" (leave off the quotes).
If you incorrectly specify the path to your Windows installation, you will receive error 0x80070003, which means "The system cannot find the path specified" from the capture image task sequence step.