(For Unattended Sysprep, read this)
When using VMware Workstation in testing, sometimes you need to have your environments prepared quickly. In those cases, it is completely annoying to have to install a new machine all over again. To solve this problem, we can consider some options:
- Cloning a machine: The problem with it is that a machine is cloned with its IP number and the SID, unique identifies for every machine. Thus, when you have cloned some machines and have them in a network, you may have problems, specially if you are working with Active Directory Domains, because 2 or more machines are recognized as if they were just one machine.
- Copying a machine: The same problem than cloning.
- Sysprep: In my opinion, this is the best option to have environments ready to deploy. Basically, Sysprep prepares the machine to be deployed in other hardware. For example, lets say I have a Windows XP machine. It is a clean environment and I'll need it in the future. What I can do is make a Sysprep and then compress the virtual machine files. Every time I need a new Windows XP machine, I just extract the files to another folder prepared for a new virtual machine and start the VM (virtual machine). What I'm going to see is a new machine deploying, and in a couple of minutes I'll have a new machine. I can do this every time I need it.
- Execute Sysprep.exe