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Windows Server 2008 - retain firewall settings after sysprep

Posted on 2011-03-01
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Greetings experts -

I'm deploying Windows Server 2008 x86 and x64 (not R2) in our virtual environment via sysprepped template.  On the master VM I enabled firewall exceptions for "Remote Desktop Connection" and "File and Printer Sharing" so folks can immediately ping and then RDP to the deployed VM without having to log into the console first.

Unfortunately sysprep seems to reset the firewall to defaults, disabling both of these exceptions in the deployed VM.

Is there some way to tell sysprep to not do this?  By local group policy, the registry, etc.?

Thanks in advance, as always.
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Question by:annexit
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After doing some research and testing I figured this one out on my own.  I'll post it here for others.

Moderator - this can be closed out.

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Windows Server 2008 (not R2) Firewall Settings via GPEDIT.MSC

These settings are retained after sysprepping the machine.

Click Run, type "gpedit.msc"

Navigate to Computer Configuration > Windows Settings > Security Settings > Windows Firewall with Advanced Security

Go to Windows Firewall with Advanced Security - Local Group Policy Object > Inbound Rules

To enable RDP, which keeps after sysprepping:
      Right-click on "Inbound Rules" and select "New Rule"
      Select "Predefined", then "Remote Desktop" from the drop-down
      Keep pressing Next, "Allow the Connection", press Finish

To enable File and Printer Sharing, which keeps after sysprepping:
      Right-click on "Inbound Rules" and select "New Rule"
      Select "Predefined", then "File and Printer Sharing" from the drop-down
      Keep pressing Next, "Allow the Connection", press Finish

Exit gpedit

Reboot
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