Cloning Windows machines in a KMS licensing environment

What is required if you have an existing Windows Server 2008 machine (with applications, settings, etc) and you want to duplicate the machine as-is (and then change its computer name and IP addressing, but otherwise use it as a second machine)

This is in a Hyper-V environment in case it makes a difference, but this question is more about Windows licensing.

Will the 2nd server just reach out to KMS at some point to update its license, or should this be forced?
Or is copying a Windows machine not even supported by Microsoft?

What I did so far was simply shut down the machine down and "copy and paste" the entire machine as a new virtual machine, but I'm thinking that this wasn't proper and something else should have been done.


I did some research and keep finding forum posts mentioning this KB:
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/929829

Based on the article it doesn't sound hopeful that you can simply copy an existing WIndows server. The article mentions a "generalize" sysprep option but we don't want a fresh installation of Windows - we need the 2nd server to already be configured like the original server with all apps and services and configuration (or is this what generalize would do?)

I was hoping there was something that can be done on the 2nd machine now, after the fact. It is up and running but I'm concerned what will happen when it tries to update its Windows license from KMS.



Thank you
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VasAsked:
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Trent SmithCommented:
As long as you change the machine IP address and machine name it should be fine.  Disconnect the network cable in Hyper-V before you turn it back on to make the changes otherwise you will unjoin the system name from the domain.  Change the server to a workgroup and then proceed with the changes you need.
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VasAuthor Commented:
So it doesn't matter that the two machines may have the same system ID (for licensing purposes?)

Why does Microsoft make you sysprep images then if it's OK to just copy it as-is, I'm thinking there has to be more to this.
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Trent SmithCommented:
If you use the Sysprep on the machine you will be prompted for License information and other such Microsoft information when you deploy the machine.  I strongly recommend that you verify that you have the license for it before performing this task however.
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VasAuthor Commented:
Well the problem is we don't want to destroy the original machine,  We just want a 2nd machine just like it.

So you're saying, it's perfectly OK to copy/paste this Virtual Machine without any changes other than the computer name and IP address?
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Trent SmithCommented:
I have done this before when I had to duplicate a machine.  It is not the Microsoft suggested method for doing it but when you need to duplicate the EXACT configuration you can copy and paste the virtual machine.  Then make sure to remove the network connection from that machine PRIOR TO TURNING IT ON.  At this time you can take the system off the network without actually removing the computer account from the network and change the IP address and computer name.  Then connect it back to the network and it is seen as a new computer and the old system is not affected.  You do however want to verify that all network traffic that was going to the old system is still going to the old system.
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