I clone a lot of VMs. Each one has an OS customization applied. Often, I find that the customization process succeeds in the steps I care about, but never completes. It successfully sets the computer name, sets the IP addresses, joins the domain and installs VMTools and then hangs.
In this scenario, I note the failure to complete and continue configuring the VM. However, at some later point (maybe days or weeks later), after some event (like a VMotion or a hardware reconfiguration), sysprep gets kicked off automatically, and VM customization attempts to do more work. I want to find and clean up these traces of aborted customizations so that sysprep doesn't magically run on my servers.
There are no instances of a sysprep folder in the C:\ drive. I found the article about checking HKLM:\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\BootExecute, and verified that the value there is correct on all servers.
What else might prompt sysprep to run?
I just found the KB article here: http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=207835...
It provided some possible leads, as one of the servers that experienced this problem matched the symptom below:
The guestcust.log file (located at C:\windows\temp\vmware-imc\ on the virtual machine) contains this error: Unable to set customization status in vmx.
There was also a value for the tools.deployPkg.fileName configuration parameter for the server in question, so now I'm searching all my VMs' config params to see which ones have values for tools.deployPkg.fileName. There may prove to be a correspondence here.