Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Sysprep - Generalize - SID

I create millions and billions of Virtual Machines - ok, maybe not that many but it feels like it. Everytime I have copied the physical files (VHD/VMC) a number of things must be done if I want to join those virtual machines to my domain(s) - most importantly: the machines SID (Security ID) must be re-generated to be unique and the computer must be renamed of course.

So, heres the thing. Back in the good old days you had to find the Windows CD, find and extract the Deploy.CAB file to you hard drive and then execute the SYSPREP.EXE tool. But, with Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 the SYSPREP file(s) can be found below:

%WINDIR%\System32\Sysprep - ready "out of the box", just waiting for you to go for it!

And this is the important thing (and the reason why I started this blog): If you want to create a new SID, remember to CHECK the "Generalize" checkbox - or else you have to go all over again...

During the following reboot a new SID is automatically generated - and you will have to type in your Product/License Key, provide a new Computer Name, select an Administrator Password etc.

You may have known this already - personally I didn't because I tend to use the wonderful Sysinternal NewSID tool for this purpose in most cases (it's much faster)... However, that tool is not officially supported for Windows Server 2008 (or even Vista) at this time - but hopefully it will be soon?