Use the Guest Customization wizard to save Windows guest operating system settings in a specification that you can apply when cloning virtual machines or deploying from templates.

Note:

The default administrator password is not preserved for Windows Server 2008 after customization. During customization, the Windows Sysprep utility deletes and recreates the administrator account on Windows Server 2008. You must reset the administrator password when the virtual machine starts the first time after customization.

Prerequisites

Ensure that all requirements for customization are met. See Guest Operating System Customization Requirements.

Procedure

  1. Select Menu > Policies and Profiles, and under Policies and Profiles, click VM Customization Specifications.
  2. Click the Create a new specification icon.

    The New VM Guest Customization Spec wizard opens.

  3. On the Name and target OS page, enter a name and description for the customization specification and select Windows as a target guest OS.
  4. (Optional) Select the Generate a new security identity (SID) option and click Next.

    A Windows Security ID (SID) is used in some Windows operating systems to uniquely identify systems and users. If you do not select this option, the new virtual machine has the same SID as the virtual machine or template from which it was cloned or deployed.

    Duplicate SIDs do not cause problems when the computers are part of a domain and only domain user accounts are used. However, if the computers are part of a Workgroup or local user accounts are used, duplicate SIDs can compromise file access controls. For more information, see the documentation for your Microsoft Windows operating system.

  5. On the Registration information page, type the virtual machine owner’s name and organization and click Next.
  6. On the Computer Name page, enter a computer name for the guest operating system.

    The operating system uses this name to identify itself on the network. On Linux systems, it is called the host name.

    Option

    Action

    Enter a name

    1. Type a name.

      The name can contain alphanumeric characters and the hyphen (-) character. It cannot contain periods (.) or blank spaces and cannot be made up of digits only. Names are not case-sensitive.

    2. To ensure that the name is unique, select the Append a numeric value check box. This action appends a hyphen followed by a numeric value to the virtual machine name. The name is truncated if it exceeds 63 characters when combined with the numeric value.

    Use the virtual machine name

    The computer name that vCenter Server creates is identical to the name of the virtual machine on which the guest operating system is running. If the name exceeds 63 characters, it is truncated.

    Enter a name in the Clone/Deploy wizard

    You are prompted to enter a name after the cloning or deployment is complete.

    Generate a name using the custom application configured with vCenter Server

    Enter a parameter that can be passed to the custom application.

  7. On the Windows license page, provide licensing information for the Windows operating system and click Next.

    Option

    Action

    For nonserver operating systems

    Type the Windows product key for the new guest operating system.

    For server operating systems

    1. Type the Windows product key for the new guest operating system.

    2. Select Include Server License Information.

    3. Select either Per seat or Per server.

    4. If you select Per server, enter the maximum number of simultaneous connections for the server to accept.

  8. On the Administrator password page, configure the administrator password for the virtual machine and click Next.
    1. Type a password for the administrator account and confirm the password by typing it again.
      Note:

      You can change the administrator password only if the administrator password on the source Windows virtual machine is blank. If the source Windows virtual machine or template already has a password, the administrator password does not change.

    2. (Optional) Select the Automatically logon as Administrator check box to log users in to the guest operating system as Administrator, and select the number of times to log in automatically.
  9. On the Time Zone page, select the time zone for the virtual machine and click Next.
  10. (Optional) On the Commands to run once page, specify commands to run the first time a user logs in to the guest operating system and click Next.

    See the Microsoft Sysprep documentation for information about RunOnce commands.

  11. On the Network page, select the type of network settings to apply to the guest operating system.

    Option

    Action

    Standard settings

    Select Use standard network settings and click Next.

    vCenter Server configures all network interfaces from a DHCP server using default settings.

    Custom settings

    1. Select Manually select custom settings.

    2. For each network interface in the virtual machine, click Edit.

    The Edit Network dialog box opens.

  12. Click IPv4 and specify IPv4-related settings and subnet and gateway details.
    • Select Use DHCP to obtain an IP address automatically if you want to use DHCP.

    • Select Prompt the user for an address when the specification is used if you want vCenter Serve to prompt you to enter an IP address. You can enter either an IPv4 or an IPv6 address.

    • Select Use custom settings to enter the IPv4 address setting manually.

  13. Click IPv6 to configure the virtual machine to use IPv6 network.
    • Select Do not use IPv6 if you do not want to use IPv6.

    • Select the Use DHCP to obtain an IP address automatically option if you want to use DHCP.

    • Select Prompt the user for an address when the specification is used if you want vCenter Serve to prompt you to enter an IP address. You can enter either an IPv4 or an IPv6 address.

    • Select Use the following IPv6 addresses to choose an IPv6 address from the list. You can also add IPv6 addresses manually.

    Gateway is enabled by default, except when you choose Do not use IPv6

  14. Click DNS and specify DNS server address details.
  15. Click WINS and specify primary and secondary WINS information.
  16. On the Workgroup or domain page, select how the virtual machine will participate in the network and click Next.

    Option

    Action

    Workgroup

    Type a workgroup name. For example, MSHOME.

    Windows Server Domain

    1. Type the domain name.

    2. Type the user name and password for a user account that has permission to add a computer to the specified domain.

  17. On the Ready to complete page, review the details and click Finish to save your changes.

Results

The customization specification that you created is listed in the Customization Specification Manager. You can use the specification to customize virtual machine guest operating systems.