Setting up sysprep for use with VMware in Windows Server 2003
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Setting up sysprep for use with VMware in Windows Server 2003


Article ID: 310302


Updated On:


VMware vCenter Server VMware vSphere ESXi


This article provides information on setting up the sysprep files for use with VMware in Windows Server 2003.


When deploying a virtual machine through a vCenter Server running on Windows Server 2003, the customization option is not available.


VMware vCenter Server 4.0.x
VMware ESX 4.1.x
VMware ESX Server 3.5.x
VMware ESX 4.0.x
VMware vCenter Server 4.1.x


This issue occurs when the subfolders within the %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\VMware\VMware VirtualCenter\sysprep folder do not have the appropriate sysprep files for the version of Windows you are trying to deploy. The default directory for the sysprep files is %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\VMware\VMware VirtualCenter\sysprep.

For Windows Server 2003 the default directory_path is %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Application Data\VMware\VMware VirtualCenter\Sysprep\ which generally translates to C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\VMware\VMware VirtualCenter\Sysprep\

  1. Click Start > All Programs > Accessories > Windows Explorer.
  2. Click Organize > Folder > Search Options.
  3. Click the View tab.
  4. Select the Show hidden files and folders option and click OK.

The ProgramData folder has subfolders for each of your Windows operating system. You must extract and unzip the from all the Windows installation DVD's SUPPORT\TOOLS folder and place the files in the appropriate folder within the %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Application Data\VMware\VMware VirtualCenter\Sysprep\ folder.

Within a Windows Server 2003 64-bit operating system, the \SUPPORT\TOOLS\ file of the installation media has these files:

  • deploy.chm
  • factory.exe
  • readme.txt
  • ref.chm
  • setupd.exe
  • setupmgr.exe
  • sysprep.exe
  • wininf_guide.doc

The subfolders within the %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Application Data\VMware\VMware VirtualCenter\Sysprep\ folder are:

  • 2k
  • svr2003
  • svr2003-64
  • xp
  • xp-64

If the machine to be deployed has a 64-bit version of Windows Server 2003, you must place the sysprep files (contents of within the %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Application Data\VMware\VMware VirtualCenter\Sysprep\srv2003-64 folder.

Additional Information

Sysprep file locations and versions
在 Windows Server 2003 中设置 sysprep 以供 VMware 使用
Windows Server 2003 の Vmware で使用するために sysprep を設定する