vCloud Director VM Customization joining domain fail

Joining VMs to the domain is a part of vCloud Director VMs customization process. While configuring the guest customization screen for your VMs in vCloud Director to join the domain is a straight forward & easy process, there seems to be many situations where VMs just fail to join the domain as a part of the Windows VM customization process. The below list will help you try to pin point the problem and fix it as quickly as possible.

vCD Guest Customization joining Domain

vCD Guest Customization joining Domain

– First of all make sure to use DHCP for your IP assignment rather than Static IP Pool, as DHCP is a requirement for the vCloud Director Customization to be able to join VMs to the domain. This is pointed out in the following KB:, while I agree it could have been nice if it was stated a bit more clearly.

This seems to be the most missed issue with getting VMs to join the domain using the vCloud Director Customization, the reason it does not work with Static IP Pool, is that Sysprep reset the IP of the machine before joining the domain which has forced VMware to get the customization script to inject the IP of the Static IP pool after the joining the domain step is being completed by the Sysprep. You get the picture, if you are using static IP Pool there will be no IP assigned to the VM till after the joining to domain attempt is completed, which will fail in this case as no IP was yet assigned to the machine. If you can not have DHCP for any reason, you can follow my following article to use a small script to automate the VMs joining the domain rather than the built in customization script: vCloud Director joining VMs to Active Directory without DHCP

– Check to ensure that you can join the VM manually to Active Directory to test connectivity & make sure that you can join the VMs to the domain before re-attempting the customization script.

– Try to enter the user name in the following format Further, make sure you entered the password correctly.

– Make sure you have not run out of times that you can re-arm a window system. Many versions of Windows will only allow you to sysprep the same machine up to 3 times, & after that it will fail with a re-arm error.

– Below is all the log files that can come handy while diagnosing Sysprep issues & in turn vCloud Director customization tool:

  • 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 (found in C:\Windows\debug)
  • comsetup.log – Contains installation information about Optional Component Manager and COM+ components

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