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How to Build a Windows 2012 VMware Template

Written by on . Posted in How to

Install Microsoft Windows 2012 server in your ESXi environment according your companies Standard Installation Procedure (SIP) and configure it to your own needs. Because Windows 8 and Windows server 2012 are pretty the same there are overlaps in this article. It came to my attention that more people on the internet blogged about it with the same results. I guess there is only one way to do this.

Note: The below pictures shown comes from a Windows server 2008 installation. These two overlap each other in many areas.

    1. Disable virtual machine logging.(Every time a Virtual Machine powered on it logs information to the data store hosting it's VMDK files)
      • On the Virtual Machine Edit Settings pane go to the Options tab and in the General section uncheck the Enable logging check box.
    2. Edit BIOS settings.
      • Next step is to go to the Boot Options section, and check the option to Force BIOS Setup going into the BIOS on next boot.
      • Click OK and reboot or bootup your system.
      • Once your system is rebooted and you'r in the BIOS go to Advanced and I/O Device Configuration
      • In this menu Disable the Serial and Parallel ports.
    3. Install Microsoft Windows 2012 server in your ESXi environment. I am not going to tell how. This should be easy! This document comes from the VMware website and I can only highly recommend to download it - Windows 7 and Windows 8 Optimization Guide for Horizon View Virtual Desktops

      • There are some services and tuning issues which you do or don't need to install because they using unnecessary resources!
    4. - Disable QoS Packet Scheduler
      - Disable TCP/IP v6
      - Disable Indexing
      - Set screen saver to none
      - Sound Off and Sound scheme to No Sounds
      - Taskbar; Check “Use small icons”
      - Go to Internet Explorer properties and set the home page to "About:blank".
      - Adjust Visual Effects to best performance
      - Clear C:\Users\Administrator\AppData\Local\Temp folder
      - Go to the cmd prompt and type powercfg.exe -h off to disable hibernation. (This also deletes the hiberfile.sys from c:\)
      - Power Options (from Control Panel) Change option to High Performance (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2207548)
      - Configure SNMP
      - Defragment the C drive

- There are undoubtedly more options to think about

    1. This link shows how to create an answer file for Windows Server 2012 Virtual Machine Deployment http://www.ms4u.info/2012/12/create-answer-file-for-windows-server.html
    2. This link shows how to customize an answer file http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff699038.aspx


Note: There are some KB and other VMware related articles you need to read before installing Windows server 2012 on a vSphere environment


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