Knowledge Base

The VMware Knowledge Base provides support solutions, error messages and troubleshooting guides
Search the VMware Knowledge Base (KB)   View by Article ID

Joining a cloned virtual machine running vCenter Server to the original virtual machine fails with a licensing error in status.txt (1010643)


  • If you clone a virtual machine that is running vCenter Server, and then attempt to join the cloned virtual machine to the original in Linked Mode, the operation fails.
  • The following error message appears in status.txt:

    Operation "Create replica instance VMwareVCMSDS" failed: : Action: Prepare for Join
    Action: Retrieving license key to determine
    linked mode capability
    Problem: Instance GUID is improperly specified: "null"

  •  The vCenter Server's vpxd logs contain entries similar to:

    [2010-04-16 09:16:17 SEVERE] Operation "Create replica instance VMwareVCMSDS" failed: : Action: Prepare for Join Action: Retrieve remote VC instance Guid Problem: Remote instance Guid Retrieval failed: "instance GUID for remote vCenter Server is same as the GUID for this vCenter Server. If this machine is a clone of the remote server, please reinstall vCenter Server on this machine."


This issue occurs because the GUID associated with vCenter Server is the same on both the cloned and original virtual machine.
To resolve this problem, generate a new GUID for vCenter Server on the cloned virtual machine:
  1. Uninstall vCenter Server on the cloned virtual machine.
  2. Check that the Microsoft sysprep utility was run after the virtual machine was cloned. If sysprep was not run, run it. 

    Note: You can check the sysprep log in %WINDIR%\system32\sysprep\panther\setupact.log to determine whether sysprep was run.

  3. Delete the instance.cfg file in the vCenter Server configuration directory. For a default installation, this directory is C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\VMware\VMware VirtualCenter\.
  4. Reinstall vCenter Server on the cloned virtual machine.
  5. Retry join operation.

Request a Product Feature

To request a new product feature or to provide feedback on a VMware product, please visit the Request a Product Feature page.


  • 5 Ratings

Did this article help you?
This article resolved my issue.
This article did not resolve my issue.
This article helped but additional information was required to resolve my issue.
What can we do to improve this information? (4000 or fewer characters)
  • 5 Ratings