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  • SYSPREP and Differencing Disks

    With a reference to the article about Creating Differencing Disks with Microsoft Virtual PC http://www.petri.com/virtual_creatin...disks_with.htm I have struggled with SYSPREP and the cloned Windows Server 2003 images.

    When I write protect the Base .vhd, clone the vhd and rename it, there is no problems in creating a new virtual Server 2003. But when I SYSPREP the cloned image, and starts it up, it gives the following error just before starting the Mini Setup Wizard. I have tried several workarounds, but nothing seems to work.

    I thought that any changes would be written to the new differencing disk, but this error clearly indicates, that it needs to write the changes to the base disk.

    Have I missed something, or is this a real problem.

    If anyone has a solution to this problem, I will be very glad.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Re: SYSPREP and Differencing Disks

    Hmmmmm. I never played with this process, although I am using VPC quite some time and quite a lot... But with different machines with different OSes.
    Anyway, notice that:
    - Step #5: Rename the undo disk;
    - Step #6: Disable the undo disk (without this, the undo disk would be deleted);
    - Step #8: Configure base disk to be RO;
    - Step #9: Create a new VM by using the renamed undo disk

    From your post is not clear if you followed this steps... If you did, please be more detailed about what you did and what are you trying to achieve...

    Sorin Solomon

    »»»»»
    In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.
    -
    «««««

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    • #3
      Re: SYSPREP and Differencing Disks

      Thank you for the reply.

      My issue is as follows. To save disk space in an environment with 5 Windows Server 2003 servers (1 DC, one member with Exchange 2003, 2 member servers with Exchange 2007 and one standard member server) plus one Windows Server 2008 member server and one Windows Vista, I tried to make differencing disk for the Server 2003 servers. Because they are joined in the same domain, they need to generate new SID’s and therefore sysprep is essential.

      I went through the following phases, as described in, including http://www.petri.com/virtual_creat...disks_with.htm.

      Step #5: Rename the undo disk;
      - Step #6: Disable the undo disk (without this, the undo disk would be deleted);
      - Step #8: Configure base disk to be RO;
      - Step #9: Create a new VM by using the renamed undo disk. Now we can create as many new VMs from the cloned VUD file that we renamed in step #5. You can copy that file as many times as you want and for each time you copy it you can create a VM out of it.

      And then starts the funny part. There is no problem in booting the new VM, and I can install and configure applications and properties and rename the server. But when I run the sysprep with an unattended sysprep.inf file and it reboots and starts the mini setup wizard, it gives me the error as showed in the original post. As mentioned that seems like it is trying to write to the registry of the base vhd. To test that, I cleared the RO of the base vhd, and the sysprep ran without any problem. But when I need to create 5 clone vm from the bas vhd, this is not a good solution.

      So my question is simply, how can I sysprep a vm, that is a differencing disk of a base vhd?

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      • #4
        Re: SYSPREP and Differencing Disks

        Well, as I said, never played with diff disks.
        I'll try to build a test environment and let you know... But it will take a day or two...
        So, unless someone else has an out-of-the-sleeve solution, you'll just have to wait a bit.

        Sorin Solomon

        »»»»»
        In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.
        -
        «««««

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: SYSPREP and Differencing Disks

          Thank you Sorin

          I look forward to hear if you find any workarounds.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: SYSPREP and Differencing Disks

            Strange indeed.

            Are you using VPC 2007 or VS 2005?

            If VS, can you use VMRC Plus to manage the VMs? It has a much quicker way to create differencing disks.

            Also, did you run Sysprep on the parent disk, before making the difference disks? Or are you running it directly on the difference disks?
            Cheers,

            Daniel Petri
            Microsoft Most Valuable Professional - Active Directory Directory Services
            MCSA/E, MCTS, MCITP, MCT

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