Test lab setup

Post TechNet test lab: Part 3 (Creating the VM templates)

Post TechNet test lab: Part 3  (Creating the VM templates)

I wanted to create servers and clients with the least effort, I didn’t want to have to spend hours setting up my lab to test one setting. So I decided to use differencing disks. To create my parent disk I used the 2012R2 preview ISO available from the Microsoft evaluation site. The steps to actually create this are below

  1. Create a new VM (definitely a Gen2 if you are installing 2012 or 2012R2 on a R2 hyper-v machine), doesn’t matter too much about spec

  2. Specify your iso as the contents of the Cd drive and set it to boot from CD in the vm bios

  3. Start the vm

  4. Run through the setup, enter the admin password etc

  5. Once on the desktop, configure windows as little or as much as you would like remember this will be the base for all your machines anything you install will be on all of them. I added the PowerShell ISE as I use this on all my servers while testing, might be worth adding windows backup if you intend on testing DPM.

  6. run sysprep.exe from C:WindowsSystem32\Sysprep with the below options


  1. Once the VM is shutdown, copy your vhd/vhdx file to a folder on your host that will be your “template repository”, I use E:\templates.Also, set it to be read-only just in case

  2. Delete the VM and remove the associated files from your host.

and you done !

Post 1: Post TechNet test lab

Post 2: Hyper-V Host Configuration

Post 3 Creating the VM templates

Post 4 PS Script to deploy VMs

Post 5 Configure deployed VMs General

Post 6 PS Script to install and configure AD

Post 7 Antivirus

Post 8 SSDs, ISCSI and a new layout