Image Preparation OS Rearm Count Exceeded

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When you’re using a Windows 7 / 8 evaluation ISO with XenDesktop 7.x you’ll probably hit upon the error “Image Preparation OS Rearm Count Exceeded“. This normally happens when you create a Machine Catalog with a Master Image which has been automatically patched as described in this blog post Automated Master Image Creation.

At first I though it was strange since the Master Image was a clean install performed by Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT). But after some thinking it makes sense.

One of the default Tasks in MDT also performs a Sysprep, even when you just capture a reference image (WIM). Next, when installing the Citrix Virtual Desktop Agent with the silent switch /MASTERIMAGE that will do another slmgr /rearm. In the end we get the error “Image Preparation OS Rearm Count Exceeded“.

One of my troubleshooting tips is to run the command slmgr /dlv to check the Remaining Windows rearm count on the Master Image.

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There’s two workarounds for this problem. The first dirty quick fix is to use VDA 5.6 SP1 during the Machine Catalog setup.

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Be aware that you will loose functionality. These are the two missing features I’ve discovered.

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The StoreFront feature has been described in this blog post Citrix Receiver 4 with Domain Pass-Through.

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The fix is quit simple, but the deployment time will be a bit longer than normal. Instead of using a reference image which has been patched with all the recent Windows Updates, you use the Vanilla wim and run Windows Update on top.

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Good news, this only happens with Windows 7 / 8 with an evaluation ISO. In production you most likely have a KMS server. Anyway now you know how to troubleshoot and bypass the error “Image Preparation OS Rearm Count Exceeded“.

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Image Preparation OS Rearm Count Exceeded

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