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I need to setup several Hyper-V VMs, all with the same base OS configuration. This is for a web site testing lab, so I'll need to start with Windows XP and then each one will have a different version of IE (6-8). I may need to do the same for other OSes as well.

It would be nice to install the base OS I need, then clone it and selectively apply the software installations I want. Is there any easy way to do this?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

It's actually quite easy.

First of all, make sure the template VM is not joined to any domain; then, run Sysprep on it:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/302577/en-us
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd744263(v=ws.10).aspx

After Sysprep, shut down the template VM and store its virtual hard disk (the .VHD file) in a safe place; then, create as many new VMs as you need, and for each one of them, instead of creating a new empty VHD, make a copy of the original VHD and attach it to the new VM. Start up the VM, configure its basic settings (name, IP address, etc.), and you're done.

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