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Is there any way to be able to automate the cloning of Windows XP VMWare Machines that are part of an Active Directory domain?
The machines are part of a testing infrastructure. They should have the identical software installed and they should also be able to run simultaneously on the same network + domain.
If I just copy the "master" image and change the VM's MAC, I'll probably still have problems with AD.
Using a sysprep'ed image would lead to problems with the automation, since I'd have to get on the domain again.
This might be a problem without a solution, but maybe I'm just missing something.


p.s. using the free vmware server at the moment

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

you could use sysprep to have it join the domain after reboot (start here for references) however if this is something you want to do on a regular basis you're far better off investing some time in setting up Remote Installation Services. If at all possible, windows deployment services from 2008 (which is a successor to RIS) is event easier to set up and get running.

The relevent sysprep section is below:

;Specify whether to join a domain or workgroup
; JoinWorkgroup=MyWorkGroup
;Specify the OU which will contain the computer account.
;This must already exist.
MachineObjectOU="OU=WinXP, DC=MyDomain, DC=com"
;Specify account information which will be
;used to join the computer to the domain

Alternatively you could do this via a script after sysprep completes

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sadly, the developer team I work for is not responsible for the domain -> no domain admin account :( As I said, there might not be a real solution to that problem. But since your info might be pretty valueable, I'll mark it as correct :) – rb2k Dec 3 '09 at 20:36

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