VMWare | “Unable to locate the required Sysprep files”

Yes the year is 2016! and Yes we are still converting Server 2003 onto VMware! (I know Server 2003 is dead and 13 years behind the times, but there are still some instances in our organisation that still require it for old bespoke software that can’t be easily moved to Server 2013/2016)

When converting a physical “Server 2003” machine to a virtual machine using VMware Converter this error displays:

“Warning: Unable to locate the required Sysprep files. Upload them under ‘C:\ProgramData\VMware vCentre Converter Standalone\sysprep\svr2003’ on the Converter server machine. See ‘Help’ for more details”

To resolve this I use these steps:

  1. Download “System Preparation tool for “Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 Deployment
  2. Extract the contents (Using the /x switch will prompt for extract location) | “C:\WindowsServer2003-KB926028-v2-x86-ENU.exe /x”
  3. Navigate to the “\SP2QFE\deploy.cab” file (The server you are running VMware Converter tool on) and extract the contents of deploy.cab
  4. Copy the contents of deploy.cab to “C:\ProgramData\VMware\VMware vCenter Converter Standalone\sysprep\svr2003” (This folder should be empty before the copy)

Original Sysprep folder:

Extract contents of “deploy.cab”

Copy data to Sysprep folder:

Close down the Converter process and rerun the conversion. Error will no longer display!

Ref: VMware KB1005593

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