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Sysprep

Contents

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Course Introduction
1
Introduction
PREVIEW1m 57s
Imaging Basics
2
3
Sysprep
1m 44s
4
Snapshots
4m 53s
Session Hosts and Images
Course Conclusion
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Overview
Difficulty
Intermediate
Duration
43m
Students
90
Ratings
5/5
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Description

This course covers imaging in Azure to show you how you can build Azure Virtual Desktop session hosts as well as prepare for the AVD Specialty exam. This is going to cover a lot of information on the Windows OS, imaging tools, and how we work with images in Azure. Then we'll look at how to manage, maintain, and update those images. Finally, we'll cover how you can automate the whole process so you can scale as well as generate a new image each month or when a zero-day patch comes out, so you can stay secure.

Learning Objectives

  • Create a custom image
  • Deploy a session host with a custom image
  • Modify a session host image
  • Install language packs
  • Plan for image update and management
  • Create and use Azure Compute Gallery image
  • Automate custom images with Azure Image Builder

Intended Audience

  • Azure administrators with subject matter expertise in planning, delivering, and managing virtual desktop experiences and remote apps, for any device, on Azure
  • Anyone looking to learn more about Azure Virtual Desktop

Prerequisites

  • Windows operating system
  • Imaging a Windows OS
  • Azure Virtual Machines
  • VM snapshots
  • Azure Compute Gallery 
  • Azure Image Builder
Transcript

The problem with making an image from an existing system, comes down to unique identifiers. When a system wants to communicate with another system, there has to be a way to uniquely identify each VM so the main system knows who it's talking to. These globally unique identifiers, or GUIDs, are all over the Windows Operating System and knowing where they are and exactly how to remove them safely, so that you can create new machines from this machine as an image, is extremely complicated. Thankfully, Microsoft has given us a tool to make this very simple. And that tool is called Sysprep.

Sysprep is located on every version of Windows, in the C Windows system 32 Sysprep folder. There are some ways to edit what Sysprep does and customize it. But the only thing you need to do is set the dropdown for the out-of-box experience, check the box to generalize and then set your shutdown option. Once the process is complete, the VM will still be powered on in Azure but Windows will be shut down, and we're ready to make an image from that VM's drive with all unique identifying marks removed.

There is a limitation to how many times you can Sysprep a Windows OS. From Windows XP through Windows 7 on the client side, and Server 2003 through 2008 R2. After three times, you'd have to start over with a clean install of Windows. However, from Windows 8.1 and Server 2012 up to today, including Windows 11 and Server 2022 this limit has been raised to 1001, practically removing the limitation.

About the Author
Avatar
Dean Cefola
Principal Azure Engineer
Students
174
Courses
3

Dean Cefola is a Principal Azure Engineer at Microsoft and has worked in the IT industry for over 20 years. Dean has been supporting Azure Virtual Desktop from the beginning and is the Microsoft FastTrack Global Leader for AVD.