Creating a windows server 2008 R2 template in vmware

This is mainly a short how-to for myself, after learning a few lessons.

  1. Create a virtual machine in VMware with a max 40 GB disk. It’s easy to increase the size of a disk in VMware, but a real pain in the ass to shrink a disk. All other hardware (CPU, RAM, network+++) is easy to reconfigure as needed.
  2. Install Windows Server 2008 R2 on the machine.
  3. Install all updates for windows via windows update.
  4. Run sysprep (with “generalize” marked) and power off the machine
  5. Use vSphere to create a template from the powered down machine.

Creating a template from a machine without sysprep just been run will create problems in your domain with IP conflict and name conflict, as you’ll have two machines with the same IP and Name. The machines SID will also be the same, so changing the name and IP on one machine will not make all the problems go away. I’ve learned this the hard way.