We recently had this error happen when reimaging a Windows 7 machine.
%_SMSTSMDataPath% is chosen during OSD by finding the largest drive.
The problem is that the variable %_SMSTSMDataPath% is not re-evaluated just before the step Setup windows and ConfigMgr when it boots into Windows so it still uses the drive letter decided in Winpe.
Drive letters are determined differently in Winpe, they are arranged by size
If you are using the patch line with the variable it will fail in the following scenarios:
1. You have created a small boot partition for Windows 7 ie; for bitlocker.
In Winpe –
Boot partition is C:
Largest Partition is D: ( %_SMSTSMDataPath%)
When in Windows the Patch line is looking for D: however the largest partition is now C:
2. You have a larger second Hard drive or Partition.
In Winpe that partition is D: however in Windows it becomes E:
To fix this issue we have to know what drive the patch is on, when the operating system is installed it sets the drive letter to what ever it was when it was sysprepped so if you put the patch file in the base wim during your build and capture you can set the patch line to somewhere on C:.
In my environment I have copied the patch to C:\Windows\ccmsetup during our build and capture and use the patch line: