Manually Using SYSPREP in Windows 2012 VMs and Templates

vLore Blog

Recently, on a professional services engagement, we encountered a situation, where the Customization Wizard was failing to successfully apply SYSPREP to Windows 2012 Servers.  Because our main objective and my time was focused on other areas, we could not take time to resolve the underlying the root cause, so we needed a work-around.   This led us to applying SYSPREP manually, which I had not done in a long time.  Here are the details that we applied toward using SYSPREP manually in a VM template

Our main concern is if we deploy two VMs from a template or VM that already has a SID, then an issue may occur if we try to add both new VMs to the domain.  The following error may occur when adding the second VM.


To fix this in the second VM, you can use these steps:

1 – Open RUN and enter sysprep



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Free Microsoft Official Training Resources

Microsoft Virtual Academy

Eval Center

Hands-on Labs


Office 365

MS Feeds




Free books

This is a MVA link to a number of free Microsoft Press books, but it hasn’t been updated since a year ago, kind of outdated:

I would recommend this link from Eric Ligman, updated every summer, huge number of books, there is even a PowerShell script that you can download them all at once:

This site has quite a few rich format content regarding SharePoint:

Migrate Active Directory from Windows Server 2008/R2 to 2012/R2


A book: Advanced Active Directory Infrastructure for Windows Server 2012 R2 Services

MS: Upgrade Domain Controllers to Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2012

Another book: Instant Migration from Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 to 2012 How-to

Step-By-Step: Active Directory Migration from Windows Server 2008 R2 to Windows Server 2012 R2

Dell KB: Complete guide to a migration of a Windows Server 2008 R2 domain controller to Windows Server 2012 R2

Migrate Active Directory from Windows Server 2008

Migrating Active Directory Domain Controller from Windows Server 2008 R2 to Windows Server 2012

Upgrade Active Directory from Windows Server 2008R2 to Windows server 2012R2

Migrate Active Directory 2008 to 2012 but need to keep the same ip address and server name

Migrate Windows Server 2008 DC to Windows Server 2012 R2/2016 (new server)

Some interesting posts if we look back how Windows 2008 DCs were installed and set up –

Deploying a Windows Server 2008 Forest Root Domain

Create a Virtual Active Directory Domain Controller

Running Windows Server 2008 R2 – Installing and Creating the Lab Domain Controller by Tom Shinder

Excerpt from a book: Active Directory Domain Services 2008 How-To

Different lab: Install and configure the domain controller (CONTOSO-DC)