The View Composer service requires a parent virtual machine from which you generate a base image for creating and managing linked-clone desktops.

Verify that you prepared a virtual machine to use for deploying View desktops. See Creating Virtual Machines for View Desktop Deployment.

A parent virtual machine that you use for View Composer must either belong to the same Active Directory domain as the domain that the linked-clone desktops will join or be a member of the local WORKGROUP.


To use features that are supported in View Manager 4.5 or later, such as redirecting disposable data to a separate disk and customizing linked-clone desktops with Sysprep, you must deploy the desktops from a parent virtual machine on which View Agent 4.5 or later is installed.

You cannot use View Composer to deploy desktops that run Windows Vista Ultimate Edition or Windows XP Professional SP1.

Verify that the virtual machine was not converted from a View Composer linked clone. A virtual machine that is converted from a linked clone has the clone's internal disk and state information. A parent virtual machine cannot have state information.

If the parent virtual machine runs Windows XP, and your Active Directory runs on Windows Server 2008, apply an update patch on the Windows XP virtual machine. See the Microsoft Support Article 944043 at the following location:

If you do not install the Windows Server 2008 read-only domain controller (RODC) compatibility pack for Windows XP, linked clones that are deployed from this parent virtual machine fail to join the domain.

When you install View Agent on the parent virtual machine, select the View Composer Agent option. See Install View Agent on a Virtual Machine.

To update View Agent in a large environment, you can use standard Windows update mechanisms such as Altiris, SMS, LanDesk, BMC, or other systems management software. You can also use the recompose operation to update View Agent.


Do not change the log on account for the VMware View Composer Guest Agent Server service in a parent virtual machine. By default, this is the Local System account. If you change this account, the linked clones created from the parent do not start.

To deploy desktops that run Windows 7 or Windows Vista, configure a volume license key and activate the parent virtual machine's operating system with volume activation. See Activating Windows 7 and Windows Vista on Linked-Clone Desktops.

If the parent virtual machine runs Windows 7, verify that you followed the best practices for optimizing the operating system. See Optimizing Windows 7 for Linked-Clone Desktops.

Remove the DHCP lease on the parent virtual machine to avoid copying a leased IP address to the linked clones in the pool.


On the parent virtual machine, open a command prompt.


Type the ipconfig /release command.

Verify that the system disk contains a single volume.

You cannot deploy linked clones from a parent virtual machine that contains more than one volume. The View Composer service does not support multiple disk partitions. Multiple virtual disks are supported.

Disable the hibernation option to reduce the size of linked-clone OS disks that are created from the parent virtual machine.

In vSphere Client, disable the vApp Options setting on the parent virtual machine.

You can deploy a linked-clone pool from the parent virtual machine.

Use vSphere Client to take a snapshot of the parent virtual machine in its powered-down state. This snapshot is used as the baseline configuration for the first set of linked-clone desktops that are anchored to the parent virtual machine.


Before you take a snapshot, completely shut down the parent virtual machine by using the Shut Down command in the guest operating system.