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Running sysprep on a VHD without booting to it?

Posted on 2011-02-15
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Good afternoon,

I have taken a VHD of a Windows XP laptop, which I am hoping to add to our Hyper-V cluster. However, when creating the VHD, I forgot to sysprep the laptop first. As a result, unsurprisingly the VHD bluescreens and restarts when I try to mount it using the Virtual PC facility on Windows 7 to test it.

My question is this - is it possible to run sysprep on a VHD file which I cannot boot to? I realise that I could just create the VHD again, but I would like to find out if it's possible to run sysprep on the VHD.

Thanks in advance.
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Question by:Titonhw
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Expert Comment

by:anil_kumar137
ID: 34904043
Hi, Sysprep doesn't care about the underlying technology. It will work on physical or virtual hardware.
Please find the link which could help you...

http://www.windowsnetworking.com/articles_tutorials/Creating-Sysprep-Image-Library-Virtual-PC.html
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Author Comment

by:Titonhw
ID: 34914473
Thank you for your response. I think you may be misunderstanding what I am asking.

I cannot boot the virtual machine. When I start the VHD file, the virtual machine blue screens and restarts itself. I need to be able to sysprep the VHD file without starting the VHD file. Is this possible?

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Expert Comment

by:anil_kumar137
ID: 34917096
I am really not sure of that hope it will not work if the machine is not switched on, its almost like like a HDD. Anyhow i will have a search on it.
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by:anil_kumar137
ID: 34917251
Forgot to mention Sysprep can only run on the machine which is live, which will make the machine for the imaging.
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Author Comment

by:Titonhw
ID: 34926280
Thank you for your time anyway. I will leave this question open and hope that someone else can shed some light on it.
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by:James Haywood
ID: 34962141
It shouldn't matter too much if you have sysprepped or not. How did you create the VHD?
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Author Comment

by:Titonhw
ID: 34962522
A roundabout way really. I used the VMWare VCentre Converter tool to create a VMX file from it, and then converted that to a VHD using a tool called VMDKConvert.

I think the image has been created successfully, otherwise presumably it woudn't boot at all. I'm just not sure how to get around this bluescreen.

So sysprepping the laptop before creating the VMX file would make no difference?
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Accepted Solution

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James Haywood earned 150 total points
ID: 34962733
Sysprepping an XP machine only removes machine specific information, it the hypervisor that deals with the hardware side. I've done quite a few XP/2003 machines to a vhd file directly and not had a problem.

I think you probably need to create a vhd directly from the laptop using something like disk2vhd
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Author Comment

by:Titonhw
ID: 35067960
Thanks hhaywood000, I'll give that a go instead.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Titonhw
ID: 35322563
I believe that the method I was using to create the VHD was at fault. I didn't get a solution to repairing the VHD that I had created, hence the B grade, but I did use Disk2VHD instead which worked perfectly. Many thanks to those who offered their suggestions.
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