I have the same problem/question.
Can anybody help? Know that in VI Client you can make templates. But I have not access to that.
I know of two options both are directly from Microsoft. I personally use NewSID as it does not require you to reverify the installation with the WGA servers.
There is also Sysprep, which I think is the only "supported" option from MS.
Both refer to XP but work fine on all versions of 2003 as well, that I have tested, including x64 and R2.
I have a VM that I call Canned2003. I zip this guy up so that I do not accidently start customizing my templated VM.
The second Tuesday of every month, I unzip, patch and re-zip. I keep NewSid on the desktop of this template.
I unzip to a new path. Rename the directory and I rename the machine in the .vmx (though you can do this through the UI too).
I boot the newly extracted machine. Run NewSid from the desktop to rename the machine. Reboot then join my domain.
OK - I normally use Sysprep when I use templates via VI on my work. But doing the zip must actually be the same as VI is doing when creating af template.
Thank you very much.