Not a question, just posting a solution to another CI NI Activation Issue.
My builds were stalling at "Activating NI Products" despite having verified that all my software had 305 days remaining in NI License Manager. I opened the stalled VM and found that it was popping up a minimized NI logon dialog. Turns out the software was originally registered by a coworker who left the company and his account was no longer valid. I had to open NI License Manager in the base VM, click on Activate Software, select log out in the top right corner, and log in with my account. I re-activated the software under my account and then did a reboot and saved that state. Problem solved.
Strange that the activation check is needing a user account even if the software activation is still current. Just annoying that there is no useful troubleshooting info on these topics, so I posted it here.