I have a server with Hyper-V configured, it is easy to create a new virtual machine using the management tools, but it can take some time.

I often see those hosts that say "We can have your server ready in 5 seconds". And I wonder how do they manage this? I would also like to deploy a full functional clean server in 5 seconds.

So how is this done? Is it by first installing a clean server, then take a snapshot of that for later to deploy a new server based on that snapshot?

I tried doing this, but I did not find any where to install a new virtual machine based on the snapshot.

Anyone got any thoughts to share on this?


Yes, this is done by creating a Virtual Machine Template, this is a VM that you have configured the way you want all your VM's to be and you then replicate each time you want to create a new VM. This means you don't have to go through a complete install of Windows every time you create a VM.

However, it's not as simple as just copying the machine, as you end up with issues like duplicate SIDS, machine names, IP addresses etc. This article provides a very brief overview of how to create template VM's, this article goes a bit more in depth into the whole process.


You don't need SCCM.

What you can do is:

  • Script the creation of a virtual machien
  • Start with a copy of a prepard image.


  • Install an image once
  • make a differential disc
  • On it make sysprep that does not remove drivers.

Then, on the new machine:

  • start with a copy of said disc

Creating a new machine is trivial with powershell (http://poshcode.org/571). Really takes only one second, and you just need 2 parameters: number cpu's and amount ram.

The copy starts and should be ready within - hm - a minute or so. maximum.

This is at least what I do ;) No snapshots here for that ;)

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