Cloning Windows 10 1909 VM's - Failing Post Customization

I am having an issue with Windows 10 1909 Enterprise  and cloning the VM from a template. First I create a golden image, apply updates, install applications, power it off, and then clone the VM to a template. Using VMware vSphere 6.5  U3, after a few attempts cloning a VM from the template, the clones work perfectly i.e. the Windows host name is renamed to the VM name, and the VM is joined to AD. Then all of the sudden after a few clones, this no longer works. I am using vSphere customization file which has all the settings and as described it works fine until a few attempts. I do not have Office installed. I have ran the rearm one time to troubleshoot but still have issues. Wondering what I am doing wrong here or if the licensing it the issue? The VMware Customization Settings is accurate and I have deleted this and recreated it multiple times.

I have ran the slmgr /dlv on the VM's that are successful vs the non successful. I can only suspect this is why I am experiencing failures? The results are as follows. We are using KMS so the results output below.

Successful Clone:

Remaining Windows rearm count: 1000

Remaining SKU rearm count: 1000

Unsuccessful Cone:

Remaining Windows rearm count: 1001

Remaining SKU rearm count: 1001

Can anyone tell me that the difference between 1000 and 1001 indicate? Could this be the culprit of my issues?

0 Kudos
1 Reply
VMware Employee
VMware Employee


Remaining rearm count is no. attempts left to reset evaluation period/licensing status and activation state of the machine. It is basically no. of times you can rearm the license when it is unactivated. If licensing is the problem you will see error "Failed to activate the software license error 16" in desktop pool summary page after customization times out.

I would suggest to create below key on master image and recompose the pool, it will customize the machines skipping license activation and isolate the problem:

  1. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\vmware-viewcomposer-ga
  2. Navigate to the SkipLicenseActivation registry value. The default value is 0.
  3. Set the value to 1.
  4. If you don't find above registry value in above reg location, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\ControlSet001\Services\vmware-viewcomposer-ga and set skiplicenseactivation value to 1.
  5. Take a new snapshot and recompose the pool.

> If customizing still fails, check below logs to find where it is failing.

View composer logs : C:\windows\temp\xxxx.composer-agent-ga-new.log

Sysprep logs location: VMware Knowledge Base 

Domain join logs: %systemdrive%\windows\debug\netsetup.log & netlogon.log

0 Kudos