Have you run into an issue sysprepping in your virtual or Citrix environment using Vista, Windows 7 or Server 2008 including R2? Are you getting “Fatal Errors”? Are you frustrated with the lack of Microsoft knowledge on how to fix the problem? Or perhaps Microsoft’s lack of commitment to fixing the problem? Well, look no further.
I’ve run into the same problem recently with my Server 2008 R2 x64 Standard image. Over the last couple of years, I’ve updated it to include VMware Tools updates as well as various Microsoft updates. Well, one thing I didn’t know what that Microsoft was keeping track of the “rearming” process. They only give you three (unless you’re aware of it and can disable it early).
I first ran slmgr.vbs /dlv. Within a few seconds I could clearly see that I had no rearms left. Then I searched high and low and tried all the responses from Microsoft employees on the various Microsoft boards as well as some others. No dice.
Then I was able to piece together a couple of articles and share them here. Putting both together in the proper order SOLVED my issue. First, credit is due to these two people/webpages:
- Tim at Microsoft – It’s the second entry down and his handle is “butim”. Here’s the link: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/winserversetup/thread/93944526-84e7-4740-a978-15f8c3d56096
Note: You will need the code from his post
- Leonard from the OLEGM blog. Here’s the link: http://blog.lib.umn.edu/leonard/perl/2011/07/sysprep-your-windows-os-for-more-than-3-times.html
OK, now that credits are out of the way, here’s the solution that FINALLY worked for me:
- I had indeed run out of “rearms” and slmgr.vbs /dlv showed 0 for the count.
- First, I created the “skiprearm.xml” that was a recommended approach in one of the other articles. It didn’t work. But hold on, because you’ll still need it later on. That article can be found here: click here and you should copy and paste the code and store it where they want.
- Next, and this is the MONEYchange….you must check/edit 3 registry keys:
- HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\SoftwareProtectionPlatform\SkipRearm:1
- Next, Start -> Run : msdtc -uninstall (wait few seconds)
- Start -> Run : msdtc -install (wait few seconds)
- Restart the machine
- Check the registry for the right registry keys values sysprep with the new XML answerfile
- Run the following command from a command prompt:
- sysprep /generalize /oobe /shutdown /unattend:c:\Windows\skiprearm.xml
It should now work for you. And it makes sense because were changing anything Microsoft may have done by skipping rearm, changing the generalization state, then reinstalling MSDTC.
Please let me know if this works for you.