How do I Generalize a Server 2016 STD Server VM?


I have a clean Server 2016 STD with Desktop Experience (GUI) VM running on Hyper-V (2016).

I want to generalize the VM in order to use it for cloning / distribution (so that I don't have to install the next VM's from scratch).

On Server 2012 one could run sysprep / generalize if I am not mistaken, what is the way to do this on a Server 2016 OS? I guess that it is now done in Powershell, I do recall that it was quite straight forward when I recently studied and wrote my MCSE, but for the life of me I cannot remember how to do it now that I have to physically do it...

Thanks for any assistance.

Reinhard RensburgInfrastructure ManagerAsked:
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Reinhard RensburgInfrastructure ManagerAuthor Commented:

I actually found the answer by playing around..

One browse to c:\windows\system32\sysprep\ and double-click the sysprep.exe from the GUI, a Window comes up and there one can tick the "OOBE" option (Out of Box Experience) which will generalize teh Server.


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Cliff GaliherCommented:
OOBE does *not* generalize the image.  Sysprep really hasn't changed.  /generalize is still need to do the full generalize of the image.  OOBE (which can also be done from the command line with the /oobe flag, and has also been around for a long time...not new to 2016) *only* triggers the final setup again.  The specialize pass will not rerun and your images will not properly clone because they will have duplicate SIDs, which is what generalize addresses.
Reinhard RensburgInfrastructure ManagerAuthor Commented:
Hi Cliff,

Thanks for your comment.

I might have left out a bit of info. in my answer/explanation.

When one runs the sysprep from the Windows GUI the Window that comes up gives a tick box option named "Generalize" which I did check in order to address the duplicate SID issue.

I did a test now, if I run sysprep /generalize from the command prompt on that Server (like you suggest) then it comes up with the exact same Window where one can tick the "Generalize" box, and above it is the "OOBE" and "Enter System Audit Mode" dropdown option.

I've attached a screen shot, the quality is not too great as it's via an integrated remote console connection to an HP Server.

Cliff GaliherCommented:
Which is fine. Just want to reiterate that this hasn't changed though. 2016 can be run without the GUI if you pass all needed flags. And sysprep in older versions of windows has long had that same GUI. This isn't new in 2016.
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