How to fix VMware View Composer agent initialization state error (16)


If your running any sort of demo deployment of VMware View you may find that you receive “VMware View Composer agent initialization state error (16): Failed to activate license” when creating a pool.Composer Error 16

This error will occur during the quick prep phase as quick prep and VMware View only support KMS and not MAK activations. This can pose a problem when running a small demo environment or home lab as you will not be able to complete the quick prep process and pool creation will fail at the final hurdle.

However all is not lost! With an addition of a registry key you can skip the license check phase within quick prep and the  creation will complete. Ideally you would add this registry key to the parent vm before creating the snapshot and pool, however for the forgetful amongst us you can also add the key through group policy preferences.

Adding the key to group policy preferences also works for a pool that has already been created and has received this error which means you don’t have to trash the pool and recreate it again which is a real timesaver.

Add the key by creating a new GPO (or an existing one if appropriate) on your VMware View desktop OU , you have created a separate OU for your View desktops right?

Then navigate to “Computer Configuration\Preferences\Windows Settings\Registry”  right click and select “New\Registry Item”.


Enter the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\vmware-viewcomposer-ga and match the settings as per the screenshot below.


Then OK your way out of the GPMC.

All that is left to be done is reboot the VM’s within the pool and wait a few minutes for the quick prep to complete correctly.


Author: Dale Scriven


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