Windows Server 2003 VMs Drop Out of Their Active Directory Domains After Recovery Operations with Zerto Virtual Replication

KB Number:





An administrator may be replicating a Windows Server 2003 VM to a cloud service provider?s infrastructure using Zerto Virtual Replication, with a target of an Organization vDC in vCloud Director.  If the VM being failed over is configured in its VPG with a new recovery IP configuration, and the vCloud Director instance of the CSP is vCD 5.5, the Windows Server 2003 VM will drop out of its domain upon recovery.  This article explains the cause.

Affected Versions



All ZVR Versions

vCloud Director version 5.5






This behavior is considered a vCD regression.  In vCD 5.5, when performing Guest Customization on a Windows Server 2003 VM, the OS is moved into a workgroup unless guest customization explicitly places it in a domain.  In previous vCD versions, if no domain information was given during customization, the VM?s domain membership was unaffected.

Two workarounds exist:

  • Manually join the VM to the domain following a recovery operation (failover test, failover live, move).

  • Disable vCD Guest Customization at the VPG level. This will skip re-IP process during the recovery operation and will also leave the VM in the domain. For re-IP'ing the VM, you can then use vCD's guest customization, but note that the VM's Computer Name (under the General tab in the vCD VM properties) will need updating as ZVR will not copy the original computer name when guest customization has been disabled. Following the re-IP, the VM will drop out of the domain and will need to be re-joined, but this entire flow can be performed separately from the recovery operation itself.


  • This regression only affects Windows Server 2003 VMs - other OS versions aren?t affected.

  • "vCD guest customization" is a VPG-level settings and will apply to all VMs in the VPG (not only the Windows Server 2003 VMs).

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