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Sysprep file locations and versions (1005593)

Symptoms

  • When attempting to customize the deployment of a virtual machine, the radio buttons are disabled (grayed out).
  • When a virtual machine is deployed from a template, the SID is always the same, despite the fact that you chose the option to generate a new SID during template deployment and guest operating system customization.
  • When attempting to create a new virtual machine from a template in vCenter Server,you see the error:

    Warning: Windows customization resources were not found on this server

  • In the guestcust.log file, you see the error:
     
    deploy doesn't contain known sysprep files

  • When you ignore the errors, the virtual machine deployment does not get customized

Purpose

This issue may occur if Microsoft's Sysprep files are not found on the vCenter Server host, are not the correct version, or are not in the location they are expected.
 
This article provides information on the process of determining the correct version of Sysprep to use and the correct locations for these files.

Resolution

Microsoft has a different version of Sysprep for each release and service pack of Windows. You must use the version of Sysprep specific to the operating system you are deploying.The differences are not immediately visible in the packaging and documentation of the service packs, so it is necessary to manually investigate.
 
The contents of the Sysprep deploy.cab file must be extracted to the Sysprep Directory on the vCenter Server host.
If the file downloaded from the Microsoft Web Site is a .cab file, t
he Installing the Microsoft Sysprep Tools in the Virtual Machine Administration guide details how to install the Sysprep Tools.
 
If the file downloaded from the Microsoft Web Site is a .exe file, these additional steps must be executed to extract the files from the .exe:
  1. Open a Windows command prompt. For more information, see Opening a command or shell prompt (1003892).
  2. Change to the directory where the .exe file is saved.
  3. Enter the name of the .exe file with the /x switch to extract the files. For example:

    WindowsServer2003-KB926028-v2-x86-ENU.exe /x

     
  4. When prompted, choose a directory for the extracted files.
  5. Browse the directory and double-click the deploy.cab file.

    Note: In some cases, the deploy.cab file may be located within one of the subfolders created in Step 3.

  6. Select and copy all the files to the Sysprep Directory and insert them into the correct folder. For example, if you are using Windows 2003, insert the files to the Windows 2003 folder found located at directory_path\svr2003.
When the contents of the of the Sysprep deploy.cab file have been extracted to the Sysprep Directory on vCenter Server:
  1. Log in to the vCenter Server as an Administrator.
  2. Click Start > Programs > Accessories > Windows Explorer.
  3. Navigate to the Sysprep Directory as listed in the table below.
  4. Right-click on the Sysprep .exe file and choose Properties.
  5. Click the Version tab. Record the number at the top next to File Version:.
The table below lists the Sysprep version for the Windows versions that are supported for Image Customization. Compare the Sysprep version number with the Windows version for which it is intended:

Notes:
  • If vCenter Server is installed on Windows Server 2008 and above, directory_path is %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\VMware\VMware VirtualCenter\Sysprep which generally translates to C:\ProgramData\VMware\VMware VirtualCenter\Sysprep by default.

    Note: C:\ProgramData may be a hidden folder.

  • If vCenter Server is installed on any other Windows operating system, directory_path is %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Application Data\VMware\VMware VirtualCenter\Sysprep\ which generally translates to C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\VMware\VMware VirtualCenter\Sysprep\ by default.
  • To check the SID of a server deployed from a template, you can use the PsGetSid. For more information, see http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb897417 

    Note: The preceding link was correct as of July 18, 2013. If you find the link is broken, provide feedback and a VMware employee will update the link.
 
Windows Version Sysprep Directory Sysprep Version
Windows 2000 Server SP4 with Update Rollup 1
The updated Deployment Tools are available in the Support\Tools\Deploy.cab file on the Windows 2000 SP4 CD-ROM
directory_path\2k 5.0.2195.2104
Windows XP Pro SP2
Download at
directory_path\xp 5.1.2600.2180
Windows 2003 Server SP1
Download at
directory_path\svr2003
5.2.3790.1830
(srv03_sp1_rtm.050324-1447)
Windows 2003 Server SP2
Download at
directory_path\svr2003
5.2.3790.3959
(srv03_sp2_rtm.070216-1710)
Windows 2003 Server R2
Download at
directory_path\svr2003
5.2.3790.3959
(srv03_sp2_rtm.070216-1710)
Windows 2003 x64
Download at
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=8287
directory_path\svr2003-64
5.2.3790.3959
(srv03_sp2_rtm.070216-1710)
Windows XP x64
Download at
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=8287
directory_path\xp-64
5.2.3790.3959
(srv03_sp2_rtm.070216-1710)
Windows XP Pro SP3
Download at
directory_path\xp 5.1.2600.5512
Windows Vista
System Preparation tools are built into the Windows Vista operating system and do not have to be downloaded.
Not Applicable Not Applicable
Windows Server 2008
System Preparation tools are built into the Windows Server 2008 operating system and do not have to be downloaded.
Not Applicable Not Applicable
Windows Server 2008 R2
System Preparation tools are built into the Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system and do not have to be downloaded.
Not Applicable Not Applicable
Windows 7
System Preparation tools are built into the Windows 7 operating system and do not have to be downloaded.
Not Applicable Not Applicable
Windows 8
System Preparation tools are built into the Windows 8 operating system and do not have to be downloaded.
Not Applicable Not Applicable
Windows Server 2012
System Preparation tools are built into the Windows Server 2012 operating system and do not have to be downloaded.
Not Applicable Not Applicable
vCenter Server Virtual Appliance 5.x /etc/vmware-vpx/sysprep/ Not Applicable

Additional Information

For Translated versions of this article, see:
 
 
 
For additional information, see:

Tags

vcenter-sysprep-version-location

See Also

Update History

08/23/2010 - Updated the download link for Windows 2003 Server R2. 09/15/2010 - Added link to VMware VirtualCenter Templates Usage and Best Practices. 02/24/2011 - Modified to apply to version 4.x. 10/17/2011 - Added vSphere 5.0 in new row under solution

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