In my last post, I walked through how I got my “Golden Image” ready for Sysprep by updating through Windows Updates, and also went through and customized the system to my preferences, including adding BGInfo and getting my icons in place.
Now before we begin, there’s one last thing we want to do before we Sysprep this system…
“I just spent a good amount of time customizing my environment, and if I Sysprep the system…won’t it wipe out the profile settings?”
By default, yes it would. But we can add a couple items to an XML file and make sure all those settings stay with the image after being Sysprepped…
So according to TechNet, there is a setting called CopyProfile that can be overridden from it’s default (false) by using a special XML tag in the unattend file.
If you want these settings to be copied to default the easiest way is to be logged on as THE “Administrator” account. Once logged in, make your customizations, then proceed.
Hrmmm…lets use this simple “Autoattend.xml” file below as our test. You can add many other options, but we’re doing only a little bit since we wanna keep the code short and get to the point:
Placing the Autounattend.xml file
Take the code above (and of course put in your own key and other settings as you would wish) and place it in the same directory as the sysprep executable: C:\Windows\System32\Sysprep (shown below):
Once I had my unattend.xml file in place, I opened up an administrative command prompt via the Server 2012 shortcut key Win+X. This opens up little “Power User” menu that you can easily access some common tools for the everyday Systems Administrator (shown below):
Then I ran the fateful command, held my breath, and prayed:
DID IT WORK!??!?!?
So now the test. I just flat straight up copied that sumbitch to another location on a different drive.
Now I wanna be able to keep track of these VMs as I clone them, so I’m gonna edit the settings of my freshly copied clone in VMWare Workstation to “DEVSQL12” (shown below):
Next, when I powered it up, I was asked if this was moved or copied, and I selected “I copied it” (shown below):
This is a good sign, it’s asking me for a new admin password…
VOILA! My new server ready to roll and freshly updated and customized!!!
Now you can copy this Golden Template off into new folders, fire it up, and you have a new, updated server ready for config!!! That’s it! This was just a quick tutorial. Hopefully it helps set the stage for you to get familiar with Windows Server 2012, while at the same time guides you in finding your way around quickly to set up some of the features and custom settings you want with minimal headache.
Till next time!!