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vSphere Cloning Windows 7 Guest Customisation vSphere 5

Posted on 2012-04-05
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Last Modified: 2012-05-09
I am trying to clone a windows 7 VM and configure the guest using a script specified in the guest specification manager. I am trying to set the name of the computer to be the same as the VM (works fine) and add the computer to our internal network domain. I have filled in the domain Administrator username and password [and I have set the username to be Administrator @XXXX.com (fully qualified domain Name) and the domain login to be <user>@domain_FQDN].
Once the cloning processes completes,  I turn on the network adapter and start the VM and then windows goes through a setup process (windows shows Setup is Applying System Settings) at the end of which I am logged into the system automatically (presumably this uses the Administrator account details that i supplied in the Guest Specification manager script) . I can see that the computer name has been changed to match the VM, but the domain hasn't been changed, its still on the default workgroup WORKGROUP.  I can go in and add the computer manually to the domain but of course this is what I am trying to avoid. Any ideas what I am doing wrong or where I could start looking? I dont see any errors in the C:/windows/TEMP/vmware-imc/guestcust file. The vSphere logs dont show up anything either.

For a start, should the first restart post cloning be connected to the network or not?
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Question by:johnwryan
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LVL 118
ID: 37810277
Have you made sure that you are specifify the domain credentials correctly, with an account that has access, to join the computer to the domain.

there is no need to specify Admin username and password to login automatically, unless you have a requirement to do so.
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by:johnwryan
ID: 37810393
Hi, the Account I am using is the domain Administration account. I can go in manually after the cloning process is complete and manually add the VM to the domain. I am supplying the domain administration account in the format Administrator@XXX.com i.e. the fully qualified name. I will remove that auto login.
Is there any place that I can see some sort of log that would tell me what is going wrong?
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LVL 118
ID: 37810598
guest customization log, should provide information.

use <domainname>\username format
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Author Comment

by:johnwryan
ID: 37810778
ok I did change to <domain>\Administrator. Performed a clone. Started the VM up, was able to login with localhost Administrator and I could see that the Computer name was an automatically generated Computer Name. I rebooted and Windows setup went through a customisation process. When that was complete I could not login with either <Domain>\Administrator or with the local Administrator account, in other words the VM was useless to me as there was no way of logging in. (and of course I cant get to see the customisation file). Should I be connecting to the network at the first reboot after cloning or should I be waiting until the second or does it matter?
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LVL 118
ID: 37812512
You need to wait for the process to complete.

When the Server Boots, it will execute a schedule task script, and run the process to change VM name, and then join domain.
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Accepted Solution

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johnwryan earned 0 total points
ID: 37831525
I have resolved this issue. The process had completed alright. I found a log file in C:/windows/Debug called NetSetup. This file seems to log all the attempts made connecting to the Domain etc. In this file, you can see that it was failing to join the domain because of the domain name and/or login credentials. In the case of the domain name I was using the fully qualified domain name. For anyone looking at this sort of problem in the future, I suggest the following 2 links -

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/sa/mdt/thread/6b634900-78d6-418d-86c6-c369a01e373e

http://communities.vmware.com/thread/230610 - This  gives a good overview I think of the process that is gone through under the hood by vSphere when it is performing the guest customization

I notice that in a number of places including a vmware KB article that its stated that the FQDN should be used for the  account used to add the computer to the domain for Windows 2008 but also tits states that this applies to Windows 7 . I found this not to be the case for me but then perhaps this has something to do with the network setup. In our case I was connecting a Windows 7 computer to a windows 2003 domain.

Thanks for your assistance.
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