ImageX Windows 2008 with vCenter Server

With xCAT I used the imagex capabilities to clone a machine (virtual machine) with vCenter on it and now I’m installing that captured image to another virtual machine.  One reason I do it this way as opposed to creating a VM Template is that now I’m able to deploy to physical and virtual servers.  In addition I can deploy to KVM VMs and VMware VMs.

Anyway, when I restarted the cloned disk, I couldn’t start vCenter Server on it. This is something that I assume happens with all windows images that you run sysprep on regardless or not whether its xCAT induced.

There were a lot of error messages as I trolled through the logs and I searched on all of them:

“Windows could not start the VMware VirtualCenter Server on Local Computer.  For more information, review the System Event Log.”

“the system cannot find the path specified. c:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL.1\MSSQL\DATA\master.mdf” (odd to me, since the file did actually exist!)

“could not start the SQL Server (SQLEXP_VIM) on Local Computer”

I tried all these google terms with little success:

“Virtual Center will not start after reboot”

Finally, I found this post: that finally made sense to me, so I gave it a shot.  Here’s exactly what needs to be done:

Step 1

Log into Windows Server 2008 machine and go to ‘Services’

Step 2

Right click on ‘SQL Server (SQLEXP_VIM)’  and click on Properties

Step 3

Under ‘Log On’ check the Local System account and also check ‘Allow service to interact with desktop’

Step 4

Start the ‘SQL Server (SQLEXP_VIM)’ service.  It should start up without errors.

Step 5

Do the same procedure (Steps 2-4) to the ‘VMware VirtualCenter Server’ service.  This should now start up and you should be able to connect to Virtual Center.

Well, that wasted about 4 hours of my time, but its nice to have a happy ending.

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