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Effects of not using Guest Customization on Windows Servers

Posted on 2013-11-14
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Last Modified: 2013-11-15
I have created several servers from a VMware template, but I don't think I used the customization settings.

I'm seeing that my AV isn't being seen by the enterprise console (mcafee).

I'm seeing that servers may be listed as not being genuine, even though a KMS server is in place and the activation vbs scripts have been run against it.

These servers are in production and I want to solve this problem without having to rebuild the servers.

What are the effects and what can I do to solve them?
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Question by:svillardi
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 500 total points
ID: 39649384
If you haeen using Customization options, and selecting the Generate "New SID", then all your servers will have the same SID.

If applications, need to use the SID, and there is one application, WSUS, which uses a Registry key to check if the server is different.

also see here

http://blogs.technet.com/b/markrussinovich/archive/2009/11/03/3291024.aspx

Microsoft recommend, that your SYSPREP all CLONED Windows OS.

Did you run Sysprep on the servers?

Use Psgetsid to check if the SIDs are the same, this could be your issue

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-gb/sysinternals/bb897417.aspx

otherwise you will need to run Sysprep on the server, and personally I would not run this on a production server.
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Author Comment

by:svillardi
ID: 39649423
OK, so what are the affects of running sysprep/generalize?  What will I have to reinstall?  Can I do something with VMware using the Customizations now?  I need to fix this issue asap with as limited downtime as possible.
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Author Comment

by:svillardi
ID: 39651481
Will this work:
Shut down the current VM.
Clone it using the Customization Wizard
Rejoin the clone to the domain

What will be the effects of this?

Thank you.
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LVL 119
ID: 39651515
There will be an element of risk if you run Sysprep on these servers.

You will need to rebuild them anyway, so you have got nothing to lose, if you go ahead and Sysprep, if they still fail, you will need to rebuild.
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Author Comment

by:svillardi
ID: 39651604
I completed the clone with the customization wizard.  I saw the OOBE run, and I reset up the network card and rejoined the domain without issue.  There seems to be no ill affects although for a couple of pieces of software I did have to pull the GUID out.

How can I check if there's going to be a problem later?
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LVL 119
ID: 39651626
Test, does AV and KMS work okay?
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Author Comment

by:svillardi
ID: 39651708
KMS says Licensed and Volume activation expiration: 259200 minutes(s) (180 day(s)).

AV was already fixed by uninstalling and reinstalling.  I don't think running the sysprep on the machine will fix that.  I think it requires manual intervention.

Anything else I can check?  I used the PSGETSID to see that in fact I did have matching SIDs prior to running the clone with the customization but I do not any more.
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LVL 119
ID: 39651957
If all SIDs are different, I think you are good to go.
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