ThinApp Factory workpool deployment fails with “OS Installation Failed”

ThinApp Factory is an awesome tool for automating ThinApp packaging. Customers love it! Unfortuanetly with the current builds of ThinApp Factory (0.30, 0.31 and 0.32) there is a little bug when it comes to deploying workpools in combination with a localized version of vCenter.

When trying to deploy a new workpool, no matter if it is based on an existing VM or a newly deployed VM using an ISO, the deployment fails and the workpool virtual machines are deleted immediately. As an error message you may see “OS Installation failed”.

After some digging in the ThinApp Factory logs I found that there are some communication issues between the appliance and vCenter. When ThinApp Factory talks to the vCenter, vCenter sends back localized strings. In my case vCenter sends back the term “Geräte”, which is the german word for device. As this is a non ASCII character the appliance can’t interpret this answer and the deployment process fails. I also saw this issue with a french-localized vCenter instance.

To solve this problem you have to force vCenter to load english language files. The following knowledge base article discribes how this is done: How to change the language of vSphere email alerts

Another cause why the deployment could fail, especially when Windows XP is used, are missing Sysprep files on the vCenter server. Please see the following article on how to deploy Sysprep files to your vCenter: Sysprep file locations and versions

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