TheKid7
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

SYSPREP a Windows Clone VM Without Rebuilding the VM

Is there a way to successfully SYSPREP a Windows Server 2012 R2 64 bit VM Clone without rebuilding the VM.

I did not know that you need to SYSPREP a Window Installation and then make a Template before cloning.  I just made a VM and then cloned it eight (8) times.  A lot of software has already been installed and configured on all of these VM's.  I was trying to Activate the Windows Installations using a KMS Server but was unable to.  I then found out that the cause was Windows not having different ID's.

Thank in Advance.


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13 Replies
BenLiebowitz
Expert
Expert

You can use the VMware StandAlone Converter.  Choose CONFIGURE MACHINE, enter your VC credentials, Find the VM and select it (must be powered off), choose CUSTOMIZE GUEST PREFERENCES FOR THE VIRTUAL MACHINE, then enter the info for the computer name, etc. 

customization.png

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TheKid7
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Enthusiast

Thank you.

On the Configuration Options, do I want the default options also checked along with the option for Customize Guest Preferences.........?

So basically, I will need to re-enter the following information?:

1.  Computer Name, Owner Name, Organization.

2.  Windows License:  What do I need to do here since I will be getting the License form a KMS Server?

3.  Time Zone:  Select the correct time zone.  What about Daylight Savings Time?

4.  Network Interface:  I only see NIC1, VM Network.  Does the Converter modify the Adapter Type?  I am using a different adapter type (VMXNET3) than the VMware default.  Will this Configuration Change modify the VMXNET3 setting?  Since I am not using DHCP: Select Customize and enter the IP Address Information, Subnet Mask, Default Gateway, etc.

5.  WorkGroup/Domain:  Enter this information.

Are there any other special tips on performing the above?

As an alternative to the above, would it be 'Dangerous' to run SYSPREP and restart?  Would doing this mess with my existing software installations/configurations?

Thanks in Advance.

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BenLiebowitz
Expert
Expert

You need to click CUSTOMIZE GUEST PREFERENCES FOR VIRTUAL MACHINE and you'll get the screenshot I gave.  All the fields marked with the red X are required.

On the flip side, you COULD power one VM on at a time and run sysprep yourself.  That's your call and depends on how comfortable you are with Sysprep.

Ben Liebowitz, VCP vExpert 2015, 2016, & 2017 If you found my post helpful, please mark it as helpful or answered to award points.
TheKid7
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Enthusiast

I am 'stuck' on the Windows License section.  My company has unlimited CAL Server Licensing.  What do I select since I plan to use a KMS Server for the Windows Activation?  The "Include server license information" is already checked and cannot be un-checked.

Thank you.


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BenLiebowitz
Expert
Expert

You can get the keys for using kms here:

Appendix A: KMS Client Setup Keys

Ben Liebowitz, VCP vExpert 2015, 2016, & 2017 If you found my post helpful, please mark it as helpful or answered to award points.
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TheKid7
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Enthusiast

Using the KMS Key, does that mean that I don't need to be concerned with the Server license mode options?

Also, what is the best/safest way to get the KMS Key entered?:

1.  Restore a Veeam Image to the state before the Configuration Change and then do the Configuration Change again with the KMS Key?

2.  Run the Configuration Change again with the KMS Key on the already Changed VM?

Thank you.

Also, is there a way to extend the 180 Day Windows Server Trial period.  I don't think that I will need an extension, but I am getting up-tight.  The Date of the Windows Folder is August 22, 2014.

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BenLiebowitz
Expert
Expert

No, you should still pay attention to the licensing mode.  The keys in that article just says this server is allowed to receive it's license from a KMS server.

As for how to add the key, if you're using the VMware converter to sysprep, there is a field to put the new key. 

Ben Liebowitz, VCP vExpert 2015, 2016, & 2017 If you found my post helpful, please mark it as helpful or answered to award points.
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HawkieMan
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

http://www.ntweekly.com/?p=2891

Follow that guide to restart sysprep

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TheKid7
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I ran VMware Standalone Converter and made the Configuration Changes on five (5) of the seven (7) VM's.  The Key Management Server automatically Activated Windows on those five (5) VM's and one (1) of the two (2) remaining VM's.  Software Installations were damaged on these five (5) VM's.  I am arranging for the person who originally Installed and Configured this Software to come back and do it again.  The remaining VM will most likely have Software issues, so I plan to wait until just before the person arrives to run VMware Standalone Converter on that VM.

Common software installations such as Adobe Reader apparently were not damaged by the configuration change.


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BenLiebowitz
Expert
Expert

Sorry to hear you ran into issues.  Some applications do not behave correctly after running sysprep.  Applications like Microsoft SQL Server typically have to be reinstalled.

Ben Liebowitz, VCP vExpert 2015, 2016, & 2017 If you found my post helpful, please mark it as helpful or answered to award points.
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JPM300
Commander
Commander

You could just run sysprep on the 2012 systems.  It doesn't take very long

This is a link for 8.1 but its the same for Server 2012

http://www.smattie.com/2013/12/16/how-to-sysprep-with-windows-8-1/

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TheKid7
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I have been advised by the Software Vendor that they will not provide Technical Support for the software unless I install their software on a Windows Clean Install.

What is the proper procedure for making a VMware  Windows ServerTemplate that can be properly Cloned such that their will be no Windows Activation issues when using a KMS Server for Activation?

I assume that you run SysPrep right after the Windows Installation.  Is this correct?

Thank you.

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TheKid7
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I decided to do things the difficult way.  I plan to delete and re-create all eight VM's.  I will individually install Windows, install software, make configuration changes, etc.  I will not make/use any Templates or Clone any VM's.


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