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Guest Customization Not Working

Posted on 2016-09-30
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Last Modified: 2016-10-02
Currently we are using vCenter 6 Update 1a with ~110 host ESXi 5.1 - 6. We deploy all Windows Vm from SYSprep'd templates. I am trying to make things more efficient and use Gust Customizations the problem I have having it that after the VM starts up, I have to re-enter in all information and none of my settings that should been there are not. For example, the Guest OS's name should be the same as the display name and it is not... but the generic random Windows name.

1) I have tried to select the option of edit customization and go through the wizard during deployment and had the same effect
2) Tried to uncheck the "Generalize SID" option but when I deploy a VM is would through an error because this was not selected yet still deploy the VM but still not setting applied.
3) Tried to deploy a VM from a non-sysprep'd image and had the same problem
4) Different OS version Windows 2008 - 2012 same problem

Now I did not upload any sysprep files to the vcenter server and believe someone before me started to play with this a while back so I am not sure if there could be a factor. Any thoughts or suggestions?
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Question by:compdigit44
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16 Comments
 
LVL 117
ID: 41824315
Are you waiting, and not touching the VM, or logging in after it's been Powered On and Deployed!

The Guest OS Customization is done, by a script, after the OS starts, after a random time interval.

Sysprep files ARE NOT required for later OS, e.g. 2008-2012, they were only required for OS before 2008.

It suggests to me you are expecting it all to be completed as soon as the VM is deployed, and this is wrong!

WAIT... and did you wait, and not touch or login?
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LVL 19

Author Comment

by:compdigit44
ID: 41824320
No I did not wait.... This is good to know.. Also I have asked this question before but there is no issue have the template sysprep'd and the customization set to generalize the OS as well correct?
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LVL 117
ID: 41824333
Sysprep is supposed to be run so it's generalized, and the SID is changed, from a CLONE as per Microsoft Guidelines.

What you need to be careful of, is you don't keep sysprepping the same CLONE.

Or, you will not be able to Sysprep. I believe the magic number is 3!

try it, and see what happens!
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LVL 19

Author Comment

by:compdigit44
ID: 41824336
I deploy another Windows 2008 test Vm using my customization and it has been sitting at the Setup Windows Screen like you would see after doing a sysprep for 10 minutes now...
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LVL 117
ID: 41824573
try using a standard OS VM not Sysprepped.

e.g. not at the setup screen, e.g. at the logon screen
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LVL 19

Author Comment

by:compdigit44
ID: 41824943
I tryied to take a VM that was sysprep'd ran through the process then converted it to a template without sysprepping it ...and had the same result

When I mean setup screen... I am referring the Windows 2008 screen that you select Language and stuff like that..

I am not understand why something where should be straight forward is being so hard
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LVL 117
ID: 41824960
Yes, I know which screen you are referring to.

So here's a tip.

Install Windows 2008 as normal, login as local Administrator, change name to suit, e.g. Windows2008Template, then Apply all updates from Microsoft.

Make any minor changes suitable for your environment, NTP etc any other settings you use for your builds...

Shutdown VM, and then select Convert to template.

Then Deploy using Custom OS....
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LVL 19

Author Comment

by:compdigit44
ID: 41825004
Are you say built a new VM from scratch then covert it to a template and try again?
0
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LVL 117
ID: 41825015
Yes, Shouldn't take you too long, an install takes 7 mins, largest time is updates!

But DO NOT sysprep it.
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LVL 19

Author Comment

by:compdigit44
ID: 41825406
I will be building a new shortly but have post my finding from the existing VM I deploy. As you see the from screen shot VMware is running the script to customize the OS but yet when the actually VM complete online you have to enter in all of the information. I have also attached the Gust Customization log file
ScreenShot1.png
guestcust.log
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LVL 117
ID: 41825421
Okay, so the script is running this is good. It shows the information is being written to the VM, so it can run the unattended installation.

But if it's not accepting or accepting the script...

as this is 6.0, I would get this escalated to VMware Support, and they will probably tell you to update to the latest version of vCenter Server.

Lots of clients have moved away from Guest OS Customizations and deployment of templates, because every time VMware changed a vCenter Server version it broke!

We actually use MDT to deploy servers, it's faster, more granular, and you can include IIS and other options at build time, and plug in Security Updates from WSUS into MDT...and deployment from PXE is fast.
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LVL 19

Author Comment

by:compdigit44
ID: 41825437
Very interesting so my friend to you use Gust OS Customizations or MDT as  your main go to? I have never used MDT to server deployments? Do you still deploy a Vm from a template
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LVL 117

Accepted Solution

by:
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 500 total points
ID: 41825466
On occasions we do use Deploy from template, BUT for Clients/Customers - End Users to configure themselves, e.g. change the name of machine, add updates, add to domain.

BUT MDT gives far greater control for documentation, and control, and is available to end users, to select what they want, and we have control of the Builds available for different users, clients, departments etc

It really depends, how you are provisioning VMs, and who for, and who does it.

Admins or End Users, e.g. self service portal.

and how the request comes in to service desk to deliver the service/VM, and which Department is responsible for the service provision.
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LVL 19

Author Comment

by:compdigit44
ID: 41825495
Thanks... we at  not using any self- service portals and all Vm are deployment by junior staff members..

I am trying to look at VMware site for any know issues with vCenter 6 update 1a and guest customizations..

BTW... when is 2A coming out?
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LVL 117
ID: 41825513
latest is vCenter Server 6.0.0 Update 2. Build 3634793 - 15 March 2016

I'm afraid under NDA, so cannot tell you anything that is no already in the public domain.
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LVL 19

Author Comment

by:compdigit44
ID: 41825530
Thanks.... I was trying to hold out for 2A..;o)

I have opened a case with VMware support to see if the can shed any further light on this
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