Microsoft Hyper-V, creating new VM's based on exisiting 'template' images.

Posted on 2011-02-16
Last Modified: 2012-06-27
I have just started using Hyper-V, so need some pointers guys.  I have created two VM's one based on Windows Server 2003 (X86) and the other Server 2008 (X64).  I'd like to keep them as 'templates' to create new Server OS's from, can I do that rather than setting them up from scratch every time using DVD's / ISO's etc?  Will I run into a problem with SID's etc as they will be based on these template images?  Thanks in advance.
Question by:-Juddy-
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LVL 121

Accepted Solution

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 167 total points
ID: 34905447
The machine names and SIDs will be the same. Microsoft's official solution to dealing with this problem is sysprep. Using sysprep you can both rename a machine and provide it a unique SID.

Generally a master image that is used to generate mulitple unique copies of itself works just fine. But there are certain applications that do not tolerate a machine rename.

So the answer is to sysprep.
LVL 121
ID: 34905451
The best way to do this is to use System Center Virtual Machine Manager.

Are you using this?

Expert Comment

ID: 34905456
The only way really is to create a sysprep image and deploy from ghost or WDS.
Maybe me being picky but I always prefer installing a server from scratch using the DVD - less margin for error!
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Author Comment

ID: 34905458
I am not.  Is this part of MS System Centre Manager?
LVL 121
ID: 34905471
Yes. In that case, continue as you are but don't forget to Sysprep.

Author Comment

ID: 34905483
So the best, safest way is to create a new VM every time from scratch or is Sysprep as good as doing this?

Assisted Solution

storkyIV earned 167 total points
ID: 34905485
Windows deployment services maybe another option:
LVL 42

Assisted Solution

kevinhsieh earned 166 total points
ID: 34912062
Duplicate SIDs actually isn't a problem and Microsoft has pulled NewSID. Sysprep is still "required". The except below is from a post by Mark Russinovich who knows more about the internal workings of Windows than basically anybody, including the developers.

"I realize that the news that it’s okay to have duplicate machine SIDs comes as a surprise to many, especially since changing SIDs on imaged systems has been a fundamental principle of image deployment since Windows NT’s inception. This blog post debunks the myth with facts by first describing the machine SID, explaining how Windows uses SIDs, and then showing that - with one exception - Windows never exposes a machine SID outside its computer, proving that it’s okay to have systems with the same machine SID. Note that Sysprep resets other machine-specific state that, if duplicated, can cause problems for certain applications like Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), so Microsoft's support policy will still require cloned systems to be made unique with Sysprep."

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