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How to Customize the Operating System of a Virtual Machine

Updated: April 29, 2011

Applies To: Virtual Machine Manager 2008, Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2, Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 SP1

Guest operating system profiles are used to import standard settings for customizing the guest operating system into a virtual machine template. Use the following procedures whether you are creating or modifying a guest operating system profile or a template.

To customize the settings on a guest operating system profile, open the Guest Operating System page on the Guest OS tab of a guest operating system profile.


Guest Operating System Setting Action

Identity Information

Computer name. If you want Virtual Machine Manager to randomly generate a computer name for virtual machines created by using this profile, accept the default value, an asterisk (*).

If you want to type a specific computer name, each virtual machine created by using this profile will have the same name; choose this option only if the virtual machines are not connected to any network or not connected to the same network.

If you want to type a partial name (for example, the prefix TestSrvr-), each virtual machine created by using this profile must initially not be connected to the same network. Later, when you specify a complete name for each computer (such as TstSrvr-01, TestSrvr-02, and so on) you can connect these virtual machines to the same network.

Admin Password

Specify the password of the local Administrator account that will be used for the virtual machine.

When a self-service user creates a virtual machine and specifies Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, or Windows Vista for the operating system of the virtual machine, the name of the default Administrator account is automatically set to AdminUser and is not configurable. After the virtual machine is created, you can log on to the virtual machine and change the name of the default Administrator account to something other than AdminUser.

Product Key

Type a valid key (or a valid Volume Licensing key) in Product Key. To require users to provide their own product key when they create a virtual machine, leave the field blank.

To provide the product key through a Sysprep answer file, use the Answer File setting under Scripts to specify a Sysprep answer file that contains the appropriate product key. Then select the Product key provided by answer file check box under Product Key. When a virtual machine is created from the template, the product key will be imported from the Sysprep answer file.

If you will provide a product key for the virtual machines created with the template, to enhance security during virtual machine creation, it is recommended that you provide the product key through an answer file instead of adding the product key directly to the template configuration.

Time Zone

Select the appropriate option from the Time Zone drop-down list box.

Operating System

Specify the operating system of the virtual machine.

Domain / Workgroup

  • Workgroup. Select this option if you want virtual machines created by using this profile to be joined to a workgroup. Type a new name for the workgroup.

  • Domain. Select this option if you want virtual machines created by using this profile to be in a domain. Specify values under Domain account for the following fields:

    • Domain user. Type the name (in the format Domain\Username) for a user account that has permission to join virtual machines to this domain.

    • Password. Type the password for that domain user.

      For increased security during the automation of mini-Setup, enter a user account with limited privileges. The account must be able to add the computer to a domain.

    • Confirm. Retype the password.

Answer file

You can attach a Sysprep answer file (for Windows XP, Windows Server 2000, or Windows Server 2003) or an Unattend.xml file (for Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008) to the guest operating system profile. The answer file script must be stored on a library share.

If you want to attach an answer file script to this guest operating system profile, specify a value for the Sysprep script field.

To select an answer file, click Browse to open the Select answer file dialog box, and then select the file.

Answer files are filtered according to the operating system. For Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008, only unattend.xml files are shown. For pre-Vista operating systems, only the .inf files are shown.

[GUIRunOnce] Commands

If you want to specify one or more commands to run the first time a user logs on to a virtual machine, type a command that you want to add in the Command to add field, and then click Add. This action adds the command to the [GuiRunOnce] section of the SysPrep file.

The [GUIRunOnce] section contains a list of commands (separated by commas) that run the first time a user logs on to a virtual machine after Setup runs. Repeat this step if you want to add additional commands.

See Also