When using VMware Workstation to clone a Windows 8.1 image, do I need to run SysPrep? If so, where do I get that program?
When using VMware Workstation to clone a Windows 8.1 image, do I need to run SysPrep?
It really depends on what you are going to do with the clone. Are you using this clone just to have a backup? probably not. Are you using this to clone multiple workstations that are going on a domain? Might be a good idea. Are you using this test specific applications for one time use? probably not worth the trouble. Without knowing why you are creating clones, it's hard to answer if you need to or not.
If so, where do I get that program?
If you do decide you need to run Sysprep, you will find that it is already built into windows 8.1 and is normally found in the c:\windows\system32\sysprep folder.
For more information on the various options related to running Sysprep, please visit the Sysprep Overview section on TechNet which provides a good deal of information on how to actually use the Sysprep tool.
Another consideration is found at the very bottom of Mark Russinovich’s blog post that you linked: Microsoft Support requires cloned systems to have had Sysprep used.
You can use an Answer File with settings like CopyProfile (to preserve the Administrator profile as a default profile), PersistAllDeviceInstalls (to prevent drivers from being removed during generalization), and SkipRearm (to prevent licensing and activation information from being reset) if there are things which you need to prevent from being altered by Sysprep.