View Composer error due to failure Windows activation

I’ve been playing around with VMware View in my lab environment testing different scenarios with the View Composer. Today I noticed that a deployment with linked clones failed with the following error:

View Composer agent initialization state error (16): Failed to activate the software license (waited 0 seconds)

When I looked into the log files I noticed that during the linked clone deployment the View Composer tried to activate the Windows 7 software. This lab environment doesn’t have a internet connection so Windows was unable to activate. Normally you would setup a KMS server for Linked Clones but this is a little bit overkill for my lab.

Searching the internet I found the following kb article form VMware saying that they have a workaround for the issue, but you have to contact VMware technical support to get the solution. Searching a little bit further I found the solution. You have to adjust to registry keys telling the View Composer not to activate Windows during a deployment.

You can find the key’s at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetServicesvmware-viewcomposer-ga

There you find to key’s

  • AllowActivateMAKLicense
  • SkipLicenseActivation

Default both set to 0. Adjust the value to 1 and your done.

Note: This isn’t supported by VMware or Microsoft and only should be used in a lab environment.

About Michael
Michael Wilmsen is a experienced VMware Architect with more than 20 years in the IT industry. Main focus is VMware vSphere, Horizon View and Hyper Converged with a deep interest into performance and architecture. Michael is VCDX 210 certified, has been rewarded with the vExpert title from 2011, Nutanix Tech Champion and a Nutanix Platform Professional.

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