This is really a catch22 Windows error caused by the fact that the proper VMWare Tools drivers are not yet installed. The Administrator tries to login to the to the Domain but the Domain resources are not yet available because they cannot be resolved. Therefore the Users Shell PERSONAL Folders, like “My Documents” are not available if folder redirection is enabled and the folders are stored on a Server.
This usually occurs when performing a Physical-to-Virutal (P2V) migration of a Windows Operating System (Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, SBS, Server 2003 or Server 2008) and the Personal Folders like “My Documents” have been redirected from the Local Drive, for example, c:\documents and settings\username\ to a Server directory like \\domain-server\profile$\username\.
The preventative solution is to reset the Personal Folders Target back to its’ default location on the Local drive PRIOR TO beginning the P2V conversion through the properties of the My Documents folder (“Reset Target” button) or if necessary, through Group Policy Objects listed below.
For Server 2003 – Group Policy Object Editor
Group Policy object\User Configuration\Windows Settings\Folder Redirection\My Documents
For Server 2008 – Group Policy Management Console
Group Policy Object Name]\User Configuration\Policies\Windows Settings\Folder Redirection
The after the fact Solutions are:
1 – You can try to create a NEW User called “Temp” using the Adminstrartor Template (with Administrative Privileges). Login on as the new “Temp” user and attempt the install of the VMWare Tools again.
2 – Changing the following Registry Key change will most likely resolve the issue as well.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Explorer/User Shell Folders
Change the PERSONAL registry key from:
\\<domain>\profiles$\<username> to %USERPROFILE%\<username>
NOTE: It is possible that you may need to search out other locations for the PERSONAL folders registry key and make the same change.
You should immediately be able to restart the VMWare Tools Installation and it should succeed and reboot the guest machine when the installation is completed.
If the above does not resolve the problem, and the VMWare Tools are already installed or failed to install completely, then if possible, attempt to un-install from Add/Remove Programs and try again. If the VMWare Tools do not appear in the Add/Remove Programs, then open up RegEdit and use the following VMWare Knowlege Base Tech Note Number 1001354 – “Unable to upgrade existing VMware Tools” to manually remove and clean up the Registry.
Unable to upgrade existing VMware Tools