10 Oct 2011

My VMware vSphere Windows Server 2008 R2 Template

Creating the Template VM

Create a new VM, set the OS as Windows Server 2008 R2 64-bit
CPU - 1
Disk Type - LSI Logic SAS
Disk Size - 40GB - System
Disk Size - 10GB - Apps

Once completed, remove the Floppy Disk before switching on.
Select the tick box to easily access the VM's BIOS settings when next powered on.

Power on the VM

Configure the BIOS

VM > Edit Settings > Options > Advanced > Boot Options > Force BIOS Setup > The next time the virtual machine boots, force entry into the BIOS setup screen.

Main > Legacy Diskette A

Advanced > I/O Device Configuration

Install VMware Tools

Install VMware Tools from VM > Guest > Install/Upgrade VMware Tools

Choose Custom Install > VMware Device Drivers > and select 'This feature will not be available' for the following drivers;

  • Thin Print
  • Shared Folders
  • Audio Drivers

Change Device driver to cure the jerky mouse

Device Manager > Display Adapters > Standard VGA Graphics Adapter

Right Click > Update Driver software > Browse my computer for driver software > Path:
C:\Program Files\Common Files\VMware\Drivers\Video

The display driver should be detected as a VMware SVGA II and Reboot

Right click on Desktop > Screen Resolution > Advanced Settings > Troubleshooting > Properties > set 'Hardware Acceleration' to Full

Disable Hibernation

Open a Command Prompt by typing POWERCFG -H OFF

Change the Power Profile

Control Panel > Power Options > Change Power Plan to 'High Performance'

Enable Remote Desktop

Right click 'My Computer' > Properties > Remote Settings > Remote tab and select 'Allow connections from computers running any version of Remote Desktop (less secure)'

Change Performance Options

Right click 'My Computer' > Properties >Advanced System Settings > Advanced tab > Performance settings and select 'Adjust for best performance'.

Set Screen saver to Blank

Control Panel > Display > Change Screen saver > Select 'Blank' from the drop down

Set Sounds to None

Control Panel  > Sounds > Sound Tab and select 'No Sounds' from Sound Scheme drop down

Change Notification Area settings

Right click Taskbar > 'Properties' > Taskbar tab and Notification area > Customize

Disable Windows Firewall

  Control Panel > Windows Firewall > Turn Windows Firewall on or off

Configure SNMP

Go to Server Manager and select 'Features'  > Add Feature > SNMP

Sysprep Preparation

Place a file named 'SetupComplete.cmd' in C:\Windows\Setup and include the line
bcdedit /timeout 8

This will be automatically invoked after sysprep stage and change the OS selection time to 8 seconds upon start-up once the template has been deployed.

Finally place the unattend.xml into the C:\Windows\System32\Sysprep folder before initiating the sysprep process with the following command from a command prompt;

cd c:\windows\system32\sysprep\
sysprep /generalize /oobe /shutdown /unattend:unattend.xml
The resulting machine can then be shutdown and converted to a template in vCenter.