Active Directory and computer imaging

Posted on 2014-08-06
Last Modified: 2016-05-17
I have a developer who is wiling to try a new workstation scenario with me, I'm just trying to make sure I am not setting us up for failure.  

It is evidently a PITA to get a development environment setup, and this new developer is wiling to let me try and help him set one up as a VM locally on his win7pro laptop.  The supposed advbantage being if he kills the environment we can roll back.  

After getting windows 7 and office installed and activated, joined to the domain and fully patched , I used windows backup and restore to make a system image.  This image is stored in a folder on his laptop.  If this works we may move if off there.  My question is if he goes using this machine for a few months and then says hey my VM is fubar lets reload that image we took back in the day can I expect this will work alright?  I know with AD there are certain considerations to take into account.  Does it make sense to unjoin it, image and rejoin it to avoid them?

I also have a highly available Hyper V cluster at my disposal...  I could create a VM on that for him and just do snapshots when he wants me to, I just thought we would try the local VM first.  And I thought I might still have AD issues messing with the snapshots.

Does either scenario here sound drastically unsound?
Question by:LWDud
    LVL 95

    Accepted Solution

    Yes, you are likely to have AD issues with any restore since the PC automatically keeps a secure connection and password with AD that is changed every 30 days or so.  If you restore the system after the password is changed, the computer account will have problems.  These are easily resolved by simply taking the workstation out of the domain and rejoining AFTER you reset the account in AD (right click account, click Reset) or delete it.

    (Not sure why you bothered with a backup if you're using a VM - I'd have just copied the virtual hard drive.  Same net effect with a much simpler restore).
    LVL 116

    Assisted Solution

    by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
    Images can be turned into Virtual Machines, if converted using the correct software.

    e.g. if you were to use Symantec System Recover 2013 (free trial available), to create an image, this image can be converted into a VMware Virtual Machine using VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.5.

    This VMware virtual machine can be converted to Hyper-V if required.

    see my EE Articles

    HOW TO: FAQ VMware P2V Troubleshooting

    HOW TO:  P2V, V2V for FREE - VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.5

    Author Comment

    My reasoning for taking the system image instead of copying the VHD file is space.  We created a fixed 100GB disk for the environment so he would get decent performance on the VM.  To backup that VHD is a 100GB operation.  The image was only 36gb.
    LVL 95

    Expert Comment

    by:Lee W, MVP
    When a 2 TB drive is under $100 64 GB seems really inconsequential.  But whatever works for you.

    Author Comment

    Technically it is inconsequential... Logistically, that file has to be stored and moved somewhere, I'd rather store and move that smaller image file.  This is a laptop with single drive bay so I can't just slap in a 2tb drive without taking his machine offline for a bit.  Or duplicating the drive with my hard drive duplicator which still takes his laptop offline for a bit.

    Author Closing Comment

    The performance of the VM was poor so we gave up on this initiative but your comments were all good.

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