Sysprep/OOBE experience in Windows 8 Server

I recently fired up a couple of Windows 8 Server Hyper-V VMs to do some testing, and used a dynamically-expanding parent VHD with a couple of differencing disks to do so.

The process was pretty much exactly that of any other Windows operating system:

  1. Install the operating system
  2. Patch/install stuff according to taste and requirements
  3. Run Sysprep with the “Generalise” and “Shutdown” options
  4. Detach the VHD from the VM
  5. Mark the VHD as read-only
  6. Create the new VM and create a differencing disk pointing to the parent
  7. Fire up the new VM

The OOBE experience was very familiar to previous versions of Windows, except now with that Metro flavouring we’re all going to be getting used to 🙂

Here are some screenshots to prove that the whole experiment wasn’t faked by Microsoft in cahoots with NASA:


Enter the product key - or not, given that this is pre-beta


Obviously someone at Microsoft has a sense of humour when it comes to writing EULAs


Regional settings are kept from the sysprepped install


The administrator password is wiped,and you can show it for verification

The whole process was quick and robust and the two new servers were up and running in no time.  So far, loving Windows 8 Server 🙂

1 comment to Sysprep/OOBE experience in Windows 8 Server

  • I genuinely hope Microsoft continue to innovate with Windows. We all know they took their eye off the ball with Vista (or maybe XP was still good enough) – but anyway, keeping up with (and continuing to challenge) Google and Apple is ultimately good for customers.

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