using vSphere Client to clone Windows terminal Server joined to the domain ?

People,

I’m going to deploy multiple Windows Server 2008 R2 Terminal Server (RDSH) VMs (around 50 server) on VMware environment, it runs Microsoft Office 2010 professional, so in this case after I have built them and then join them to my AD Domain, Can I just clone it from the vSphere Client to multiple different name ?
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Senior IT System EngineerIT ProfessionalAsked:
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Will SzymkowskiSenior Solution ArchitectCommented:
@SagiDoc
If it is connected to the domain you can still clone it,

This is absolutely 100% false. You should not be cloning machines that have already been added to the domain and then deploying them with a different name. This will create duplicate Sid's on the network. This becomes an issues when machines are trying to get group policies, trust relationships break etc. 100% not recommended to clone machines while they are on the domain.

The proper way would be using the Microsoft Sysprep Utility using the /generalize switch. See below link for details.
https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh824938.aspx

Will.
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Brett DanneyIT ArchitectCommented:
You can clone it. There will be less steps involved in cloning it before you join it to the domain. Better still would be to deploy each server from a template.
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Senior IT System EngineerIT ProfessionalAuthor Commented:
ok, what about if the server is already running and joined to the domain ?

can I still clone it and then how do I sys prep it ?
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Brett DanneyIT ArchitectCommented:
If it is connected to the domain you can still clone it, keep in mind that you will have to have the NIC disconnected on the cloned server if you have it powered on. At this point remove it from the domain and rename it. Then connect the NIC and add it back to the domain. Proceed with sys preping the cloned server.
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Senior IT System EngineerIT ProfessionalAuthor Commented:
Sagi,

Do i need to do anything else on the Terminal Server console to tell that this host is a new host from a cloned server ?
I waswondering about the uniqueness of the server after the cloning.
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Senior IT System EngineerIT ProfessionalAuthor Commented:
or do I have to do anything on the Terminal Server manager to make sure that the cloned VM is unique ?
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Aaron TomoskySD-WAN SimplifiedCommented:
+1 for Will

I basically follow these to setup my template:
http://notesfrommwhite.net/2014/07/20/how-to-build-a-windows-2012-r2-vmware-template/
http://willcode4foodblog.wordpress.com/2013/03/20/creating-a-server-2012-golden-image-with-sysprep-and-vmware-workstation/
http://willcode4foodblog.wordpress.com/2013/03/22/creating-a-server-2012-golden-image-with-sysprep-and-vmware-workstation-part-2-of-2/

###Then I add BGInfo
shell:startup will give you the startup folder for that user
this is the all users startup folder
C:\Program Data\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup
make a shortcut to bginfo and copy it here
then modify the command to:
C:\utils\BGInfo\Bginfo.exe /timer:0 /nolicprompt /silent

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make your unattend.xml
c:\windows\system32\sysprep\unattend.xml 
(you might have to make this on the desktop and copy to the right place)

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Make sure you use the CopyProfile secion
<settings pass="specialize">
    <component name="Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup" processorArchitecture="amd64" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
        <ProductKey>XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX</ProductKey>
        <CopyProfile>true</CopyProfile>
    </component>
</settings>

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then finally run sysprep
win+x admin cmd prompt
c:\windows\system32\sysprep\sysprep.exe /generalize /oobe /shutdown /unattend:C:\Windows\System32\Sysprep\unattend.xml

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Once it's shutdown, create a template from this vm.  When you create a vm from the template, it will prompt you for an admin password on startup. Rename the computer, reboot, THEN join the domain.
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Senior IT System EngineerIT ProfessionalAuthor Commented:
THanks Aaron,

it seems that the command "dism /online /cleanup-image /StartComponentCleanup /ResetBase" is only available on Server 2012 R2 not 2008 R2.
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Aaron TomoskySD-WAN SimplifiedCommented:
Sorry, All my links are for 2012 and there are some differences as you have found. The important part is to make a template BEFORE joining the machine to the domain and running sysprep. I actually don't even use that dism command or the DefProf tool, I just included that link for some of the other stuff it talks about.
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Senior IT System EngineerIT ProfessionalAuthor Commented:
Thanks !
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Senior IT System EngineerIT ProfessionalAuthor Commented:
So if the server / VM is already joined to the domain, can I still make it as the source or master to be cloned ?
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Aaron TomoskySD-WAN SimplifiedCommented:
I would disjoin it first
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