VMware image customization in progress

Recently I came across an issue with a virtual machine that was deployed from a template. After the newly created virtual machine was booted up it seemed that the generalization did not fully complete. The password was not changed and some other minor things were not as it should have been after full customization runs.

We then saw that the VM kept saying “VMware image customization in progress” on every reboot right before windows boots. If you already have configured and/or are using the VM and don’t want to start over, here’s what you can do.

Open regedit and find the key:
HKLM\SOFTWARE\VMWare,Inc.\Guest Cutomization\
or on a 64-bit system:
HKLM\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\VMWare,Inc.\Guest Cutomization\
Change the value for “CustomizationInProgress” to “0”.

Then navigate to the following key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager
Change the value for “BootExecute” to the default of “autocheck autochk *”, you should just delete the “sysprepDecryptor.exe” part and the enters after it. Be careful or your system won’t boot.

You should probably check your SID and see if it’s unique, to make sure the customization did indeed change this. Altough duplicate SID’s should be not a real problem (according to Microsoft), don’t do it on your servers!
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb897417.aspx

PS: In my case the customization failed because sysprep had already been run 3 times (template was cloned from previous deployed machine) and apparently you can only do it 3 times unless you add the special option not to rearm the licensing state (which vmware doesn’t add when customizing).

PS2: If you manually did sysprep but got stuck because with error

A fatal error occurred while trying to sysprep the machine

because of the rearm failure, try this: http://itfunk.wordpress.com/2013/01/09/resetting-rearm-count-in-windows-7/
Put the following in a bat file called c:\delwpa.bat

reg load HKLM\MY_SYSTEM “%~dp0Windows\System32\config\system”
reg delete HKLM\MY_SYSTEM\WPA /f
reg unload HKLM\MY_SYSTEM

reboot and using F8 choose repair computer, choose keyboard, type password and choose command prompt. Find your correct drive could be C or D or higher (depends on reserved partitions), and execute the BAT file. Rearm state will be wiped, after reboot you will see not genuine but you can rearm again 3 times now.

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