sullivanindy
Contributor
Contributor

2008 R2 Guest Customization Catch 22

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Kind of Catch 22..

VMWare 3.5u5 VC 2.5u5

Windows 2008R2 Guest

I like what the VMWare guest customizations have to offer and they work

great like naming the the Computer after the Virtual Machine name. This

I can not do with a custom unattend.xml.

However I would like to setup the default profile with some

customizations and now the old "copy the profile to the default user

profile" is not supported:

The supported method is to create create a custom unattend.xml with the

copyprofile option set to true then

c:\windows\system32\sysprep\sysprep.exe /generalize /oobe

/unattend:path to unattend.xml .. That works great, after a reboot and

a mini setup the customized profile is there.

But supplying a custom sysprep file to the guest customization wizard only gives you that, the custom sysprep file abilities.

Is there a way to have the best of both worlds?

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maishsk
Expert
Expert

Maybe you could get the best of both worlds.

Run the sysprep once with the custom unattend.xml

Which will transfer all the settings to the default profile.

run the VM again and you will get a clean VM with the default profile set as you require.

Now you can deploy the VM with the sysprep values.

Please note that you only have a maximum of 3 times to run sysprep unless you use the Rearm switch

You now how a customized VM with the default profile.
Maish

Virtualization Architect & Systems Administrator

Maish Saidel-Keesing • @maishsk • http://technodrone.blogspot.com • VMTN Moderator • vExpert • Co-author of VMware vSphere Design

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maishsk
Expert
Expert

Maybe you could get the best of both worlds.

Run the sysprep once with the custom unattend.xml

Which will transfer all the settings to the default profile.

run the VM again and you will get a clean VM with the default profile set as you require.

Now you can deploy the VM with the sysprep values.

Please note that you only have a maximum of 3 times to run sysprep unless you use the Rearm switch

You now how a customized VM with the default profile.
Maish

Virtualization Architect & Systems Administrator

Maish Saidel-Keesing • @maishsk • http://technodrone.blogspot.com • VMTN Moderator • vExpert • Co-author of VMware vSphere Design
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RParker
Immortal
Immortal

Microsoft has one of the best tools for this, WDS, Windows Deployment Services. You can deploy a Windows OS from one place, and customize it. That can also be an option.

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sullivanindy
Contributor
Contributor

Maishk,

You are correct.. I think I was misunderstanding the sysprep coyprofile process... So to capture the process for others...

  • Install 2008 R2

  • Login as administrator and add VMtools and your base setting tweakes etc.

    • Pretty good list here:

  • Set Profile Tweaks, Note that not all prfile adjustments will keep like.. IE settings etc, but GPO would be best for those things anyway..

  • Clean everything up defrag etc..

  • Create unattend.xml with waik.. utilizing copyprofile=true setting ie. my file here.

    • <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
      <unattend xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:unattend">
      <settings pass="specialize">
      <component name="Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup" processorArchitecture="amd64" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
      <RegisteredOrganization>Organization</RegisteredOrganization>
      <RegisteredOwner>User</RegisteredOwner>
      <CopyProfile>true</CopyProfile>
      </component>
      </settings>
      <cpi:offlineImage cpi:source="wim:f:/sources/install.wim#Windows Server 2008 R2 SERVERSTANDARD" xmlns:cpi="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:cpi" />
      </unattend>

    • Place unattend.xml file in c:\windows\system32\sysprep\ folder

    • Change Directory to: c:\windows\system32\sysprep and run sysprep /generalize /oobe /shutdown /unattend:unattend.xml

    • After Machine shuts down .. power back up and finish mini setup chaning admin password etc..

  • Shut machine back down.

  • For our environment ESX 3.5 u5 and VC 2.5u5 ... had to change Guest OS type to Windows 2008 64bit (non R2) to enable the ability to add guest cutomization...

  • Clone vm to template.

  • At this point i could create VM from template and choose my guest customization for name, domain join, IP etc..

Thanks,

M-

http://www.itwalkthough.com

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DSeaman
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

You might want to check out my blog, which covers the scenario you described. I wanted a customized default profile while using the vCenter customization specifications to deploy new VMs from a template.

http://derek858.blogspot.com/2011/02/vmware-guest-customization-for-server.html

Derek Seaman
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