SysPrep usage with Vista when creating virtual machines

At my presentation last night, one of the questions I received from some of the members of the .NET Developers Network user group was whether you could use the SysPrep tool under Windows Vista.  This is essential if you want to create a single Vista virtual machine image, from which you create 'clones' to support multiple virtual machines running concurrently on the same network.

I googled the following post on the train back to London,, so this morning I tried out SysPrep on a Vista Business VHD running under Virtual PC 2007.  It appears to work, and for those who want to see the results, here are the screenshots showing how SysPrep fully resets the system ready for reuse ...

Step 1 - run SysPrep

Step 1

Step 2 - Select option to 'generalize'

Step 2

Step 3 - SysPrep goes to work before rebooting

Step 3

Step 4 - During reboot

Step 4

Step 5 - More configuration ....

Step 5

Step 6 - ... then we get the user options

Step 6

Step 7 - Entering the product key (and turn off activation as I'm only testing!)

Step 7

Step 8 - Reaccept the license agreement

Step 8

Step 9 - Entering a new user (in addition to any already created previously)

Step 9

Step 10 - This really is the out of box experience ...

Step 10

Step 11 - Network selection

Step 11

Step 12 - And we're done (phew!)

Step 12

Step 13 - ... OK, nearly done ....

Step 13

Step 14 - The login screen with original login prior to SysPrep and new login we created on reboot

Step 14

Print | posted on Friday, October 17, 2008 11:07 AM

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