This post will be a complete how to on using Sysprep with Windows Server. The reason why I am writing this post is I have answered this question “How do I use Sysprep” that I figured a lot of people would benefit from it.
What is Sysprep?
Sysprep is a tool that Microsoft released way back to help with cloning physical machines. Because Virtual machine act very much like their Physical brethren, one would think that you could use it on virtual machines as well. You would be write! In fact I find that it’s usage in Virtual machines makes even more sense.
- Make sure you have installed a Virtualization software. Virtual PC , VM Workstation etc.
- Have all Server Media. You will need to copy some files off the server disks.
Windows 2003 Server
1.) Make sure that you install the Windows Server 2003
2.) Run all the updates you will want on the Base server. You can do this by visiting Windows Update and applying all the updates. This will most likely take a very long time.
3.) Open “My Computer” and create a folder called “Support”.
4.) Put in CD/DVD into computer or mount an ISO of the OS. (if it isn’t still there from the install)
5.) Go to the “\Support\Tools” folder on the disk. Open the support.cab file by double clicking on it.
6.) Highlight all the files and copy them to “C:\Support”.
7.) Right click “My Computer” and select properties.
8.) Click the “Advance Tab”.
9.) Click “Environment Variables” button
10.) Go to the end of the “Variable value” box and type “;c:\support”. The “;” makes sure the OS knows to make “support” a separate value.
11.) Hit “OK” , “OK’” etc till you have all the windows closed.
12.) Restart your machine to enable the path setting you just entered.
13.) Log into the server after reboot.
14.) open command prompt by clicking “STAT – RUN” then typing “CMD”.
15.) Type “sysprep” at the command prompt.
16.) A new window will open called “System Preparation Tool 2.0”. Click “Ok”.
17.) Click “Reseal”
Machine will turn off.
18.)This file can now be used on several machines. I’d make a folder where you store you’re VMS and create a folder called one called “Sysprep Image”.
19.) Turn on your machine. You will see something similar to a default install without waiting for files to be copied!
Once you click finish your machine is production ready. Best of all this machine is supported by Microsoft. If you use a program to just change the SID of the machine Microsoft will NOT support it.