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Troubleshooting guest operating system customization issues using VMware vCloud Director (1026317)

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This article guides you through the process of troubleshooting guest operating system issues.


Customization in VMware vCloud Director is done in the same way as in vCenter Server, except that the customization packages are retrieved from the vCloud Cell. Troubleshooting is done from the vSphere layer by examining the virtual machine logs and configuration, the deploy tools package logs, and the guest customization logs.
To troubleshoot issues with guest customization:
  1. Ensure that the virtual machines you are trying to customize contain VMware Tools of at least version 7299. This version and above has specific features for enabling guest customization. If you are using an earlier version, you may see the error:

    Internal Server Error
    The virtual machine <VM Name> does not have VMware tools installed or has un-supported older version

    To check your version of VMware tools from the vmware.log file, run the command:

    # grep toolsVersion vmware.log
    Jul 14 08:44:47.148: vmx| DISKUTIL: scsi0:0 : toolsVersion = 8194

    The Windows Sysprep deployment package is missing files for certain version of Windows. Contact your vCloud administrator. The following VMs cannot be started “<VM Name>” 

    To resolve this issue, see Creating Microsoft Sysprep packages on VMware Cloud Director cells (1026313).  

  2. Check the Windows file C:\WINDOWS\TEMP\vmware-imc\toolsDeployPkg.txt or the Linux file: /var/log/vmware-imc/toolsDeployPkg.txt to see:
    • If there were any problems with the extraction and deployment of the customization package onto the guest operating system 
    • The folder to which the customization packages were deployed (for example, C:\WINDOWS\TEMP\vmw2.tmp)

  3. Check the file C:\WINDOWS\TEMP\customize-guest.log to see all of the customization steps. This file has details of the customization properties, so if a particular virtual machine does not pick up a field correctly, you can verify what was passed to the virtual machine from this file.

    Note: You can also see modifications to the virtual machines network with the 
    netsh command. To display all of the adapters in the computer with their current IP addresses to determine the correct adapter name, run the command:

    netsh interface ip show config

  4. On Linux and Unix hosts, the customize guest logs go directly to /var/log/messages. Run this command to get logging information related to the customization:

    grep "customize-guest" /var/log/messages  

  5. Use the Sysprep logs to troubleshoot customization issues.  The location for these logs vary based on the Windows distribution.

    The various Sysprep log files and their contents are:
    • setupact.log – Contains a list of actions, in chronological order, that occurred during the graphical installation phase, such as file copies and registry changes. The OS also stores setup error log entries in this file.
    • setupapi.log – Contains entries written by Windows each time the .inf file is executed and the corresponding errors, if any. 
    • setuperr.log – Contains a list of errors that occurred during installation and their severity. This log file should be 0 bytes in size if no errors occurred during installation.
    • netsetup.log – Contains information about workgroup and domain membership
    • comsetup.log – Contains installation information about Optional Component Manager and COM+ components

      Note: Search for these files in the Windows file system.

Additional Information

For a list of supported operating systems, see Guest Operating System Support in the vCloud Director User Guide.


vcloud-director-guest-customization  vcloud-director-guest-customization-fails  guest-os-compatibility

See Also

Update History

05/17/2012 - Added 1.5.x to product versions.

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.


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