Sysprep is the Microsoft system preparation tool used by system administrators often during the automated deployment of Windows Server-based operating systems. Sysprep is most frequently used in virtualized environments to prepare a system image that will be cloned multiple times. More on Sysprep, cloning a Windows Server or Windows 10 without first running Sysprep would be problematic because Windows 10 and Windows Server include security identifiers (SIDs) that must be unique from one computer. Sysprep generalizes Windows by removing the security identifiers and other computer-specific information without having the same identity of the previous server
Benefits of Sysprep: If a user were to boot a physical computer or a virtual machine from a Sysprepped clone, Windows would walk them through the normal setup process. One of the main benefits of using Sysprep is that users can completely automate Setup by providing the Sysprep deployment with an answer file. The answer file provides answers to the questions that Windows normally asks during Setup. Using an answer file allows Setup to run in an unattended mode, installing Windows in a predetermined way. Here is a guide on how to Clone and Sysprep (generalize ) a Windows Server running on VMware Workstation".
Limitations of Sysprep
– Sysprep should only be used when creating an image that will be used in setting up new Windows installations. It should never be used to change a Windows setup that is already deployed and running because doing so will destroy the operating system.
– Sysprep can only be used up to eight times for a given Windows image. After the eighth time, the user must recreate the Windows image.
In order to stripe the server of the parent SID, SysPrep needs to be performed and Sysprep can be found in the path below.
Alternatively, press the Windows+R to open the run dialog box and type Sysprep. This will open the Sysprep Utility.
– On the Sysprep tool select Enter System Out-of-Box Experience (OOBE) and
– Select Generalize then
– Click OK
This will start the Sysprep process “Generalise phrase”
After this stage, you server will restart as shown below and will strip of your device of the parent IDs
Next, you are prompted to customize your Windows Server. See how this is done in Windows Server 2016 and Windows Server 2019.
Accept the license term as shown below
Your Server will restart and be ready for use as shown below.
I hope you found this blog post helpful. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comment session.