Not able to deploy Windows 7 from vSphere Template successfully – damnit!

Some time ago I had an issue where I needed to provide access to my boss into my lab.  No big deal – just entitle him to a View pool.  But it did not work. It ended up stuck forever in customizing when viewed from the View Admin.  So of course that means test it outside View.  So I deployed from the same View template and while the VM deployed, the customization did not run.  What do I mean by that?  The rename of the VM did not happen, nor did it join the domain.  So here is my story on this.

  • I checked that the VM could join the domain after it was deployed.  I made sure to use the same account and password as the customization spec did.  That worked.
  • I made sure the VM was not joined to the domain in the template.  Rookie mistake, but still checked and it wasn’t.
  • Someone suggest I check out this KB article and it was a great suggestion.  This is the one about using username@domain instead of the old standard of domain\user.  But didn’t help – although I did stumble on this a while back.
  • I found this one that is similar but I don’t have the network communication issues.
  • I find another one that is similar but it doesn’t help.
  • In the past I can find clues in the customization specification log (guestcust.log in c:\windows\temp\vmware-imc).  But not this time.  It sort of looks OK.

guestcustlog

  • At this point I get a little paranoid so I deploy a Win2K12 VM from template and it works perfect.
  • So now I try deploying a VM from Win7 template and use the Win2K12 custom spec.  Still no go.
  • So now I am confused.  So I break down and use Support Assistant to start a support call with VMware.  I provide them easily through that great tool the screenshot above, all that I tried, and all of the vCenter and ESXi logs as well as the whole vmware-imc folder in the deployed VMs .
  • I get a pretty smart guy, who in fact has helped me before, which is very cool.  And it doesn’t take him long to read my stuff.  Then give me the news that it is my Win7 image.  Of course I am massively skeptical.  But I have worked with this guy before, so I build a new simple Win7 VM.  I use the View custom spec, and the Win2K12 one, and guess what.  The VM gets renamed and joined to the domain in both cases.

So now I can manually deploy a Win7 VM from template without issue.  So I try in View and it works great there too.  If it happens again – I sure hope not – the VMware GSS guy suggested I check this and this – along with the other stuff I did.

Not sure if this might help someone, but I hope it does and saves time and frustration too!

Update:

  • 8/9/16 – had this issue on Windows 10.  Above didn’t help, nor did this article. I list it here in case it helps someone else.  In case you have credential issues this might help – but it didn’t help me. Here is an article that talks about a symptom I have – where each reboot of the Win10 machine you see the “vmware image customization in progress” message. It talks of how to stop that message from displaying but nothing about how to get the customization to take!

Michael

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