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Sysprep Failed for Virtual Machine Error 706

    Question

  • I have had System Center Virtual Machine Manager installed on one of our networks for several months now. I have created two templates: one is Windows Server 2003 R2 and the other is Windows 2008 R2. Both templates were patches as of last month. This month I create a new VM from the 2008 R2 template and applied the latest patches to it. The idea was to create a new template with the latest patches but when I attempted to create a new template from the latest VM and it failed with the following: Error (706) Sysprep failed for virtual machine New2008. Recommended Action Try the operation again. Repeated attempts give the same results. The error message really doesn't give me any inication of what is happening to make the operation fail and there is precious little out on the Internet. I saw in one of the posts in this forum where they were talking about a rearm count but I have no idea how to check that or even whether that might be the problem. I also saw a post somewhere talking about template creations failing when you make changes to a VM created from a template and then attempt to make a template from it, but that makes no sense whatsoever so I rather doubt whether that would be the problem. Are there any sort of log files I can look at that will give me a clue as to what is happening and why this is failing? I would really hate to have to create a VM from scratch just to keep my templates patched. There has to be a better way to do this. Any help would be appreciated.
    Friday, September 17, 2010 5:34 PM

Answers

  • I would not recommend using a process that syspreps a machine over and over again each month.  I will offer a different suggestion which is leveraging the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit and VMM.  When you need to refresh or create a "Gold" reference image, use the MDT toolkit to peform a clean install followed by patching which is built into the product.  This will give you a repeatable, automated method with quality control to manage the creation process.  Going forward when you need to refresh your base image, kick off a MDT deployment within a VM then follow the blog above to make the new VHD available for deployment through a template with customization.

    Dave Guenthner [MSFT]
    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights

    Monday, September 20, 2010 3:52 PM
  • You may want to check for the errors in sysprep under <windir>/Panther directory. As Dan suggested, if you are doing this frequently, you may be hitting the rearm limit of 3, which will result in error.

    Regarding keeping the templates/VHDs/VMs in library up-to-date with necessary patches, have you heard of Offline Virtual Machine Servicing Tool? It is a tool from Microsoft, completely integrated with VMM for providing offline servicing solution. You may want to check it out here - http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc501231.aspx.

    Hope this helps,

    -Uttara

     

    Thursday, September 23, 2010 1:00 AM

All replies

  • Vern,

    I personally have not used VMM feature to sysprep the machine for you so I cannot weigh in on where to troubleshoot that process other than the standard tracing facility which is well documented.  However, I can offer my blog post which walks you through my methodology of promoting images into VMM and leveraging customization.  If you essentially start fresh with a clean reference image and follow the steps below I am confident you will be successful.

    http://blogs.technet.com/b/davguents_blog/archive/2010/07/21/scvmm-r2-deployments-with-customization-under-the-hood.aspx

    Dave Guenthner [MSFT]
    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights

     

    Friday, September 17, 2010 8:55 PM
  • I appreciate your response but sysprepping the VM was not what I was trying to do. I was attempting to create a template from a VM and Sysprep is simply a part of the process Virtual Machine Manager goes through to create a template from a virtual machine.As explained above, I have a template that I have created that has an operating system and all the latest patches installed on it. But when new patches come in, the template becomes obsolete. So what I did was create a VM from the template. That gave me a VM that had the operating system and most of the MS patches installed on it. I then applied all the latest patches to the newly created VM. After that was done, I went to VMM, highlighted the new VM, and clicked on New Template. Supposedly, VMM would then create a new template from the fully patched VM and I would replace that old template with the new one. But it fails during sysprep. I'm sure, as you state, that if I were to create a new VM from scratch and tried to create a template from that, it would work. But that is not what I want to do every time I need to apply a few new patches to a VM. That is a lot of extra work and is exactly why we try to do this sort of thing virtually with templates. It seems to me that this should work, but it doesn't.

     

     

    Monday, September 20, 2010 3:22 PM
  • I would not recommend using a process that syspreps a machine over and over again each month.  I will offer a different suggestion which is leveraging the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit and VMM.  When you need to refresh or create a "Gold" reference image, use the MDT toolkit to peform a clean install followed by patching which is built into the product.  This will give you a repeatable, automated method with quality control to manage the creation process.  Going forward when you need to refresh your base image, kick off a MDT deployment within a VM then follow the blog above to make the new VHD available for deployment through a template with customization.

    Dave Guenthner [MSFT]
    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights

    Monday, September 20, 2010 3:52 PM
  • You may want to check for the errors in sysprep under <windir>/Panther directory. As Dan suggested, if you are doing this frequently, you may be hitting the rearm limit of 3, which will result in error.

    Regarding keeping the templates/VHDs/VMs in library up-to-date with necessary patches, have you heard of Offline Virtual Machine Servicing Tool? It is a tool from Microsoft, completely integrated with VMM for providing offline servicing solution. You may want to check it out here - http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc501231.aspx.

    Hope this helps,

    -Uttara

     

    Thursday, September 23, 2010 1:00 AM