VMware Guest Customization error

I decided to finally build a 2008 R2 VM template today.

I took my time with it and customized it exactly how I wanted it to look. I then Converted it into to a Template.  From there I decided to build my customization and deploy it.  I built my customization and deployed a new VM.

Great right?  Wrong!

Here’s the error I got after reboot and the customization began:

The key here was the phrase “Pass [specialize]” and  “[Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup].”

Now I know that the Specialize Pass occurs when and image is being deployed.

That means when the Template is deployed and the customization is being applied to the deployment it’s actually applying a customized ‘Specialize’ pass sysprep file. This brings us to our next section of the error  [Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup]. There is a list of components that can be passed during the Shell Setup portion of the Specialize pass on the sysprep file.

In short all items in your customization have to match the VM your deploying.  For instance if you turn a Server 2008 R2 DataCenter VM into a template you need to make sure that you are putting a Datacenter edition Key into your Customization file.  Learn from my mistakes! 🙂

Have a good one,



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