Best Practices to Create Your Reference Virtual Machines

When you create and configure virtual machines (VMs) that you intend to use as Reference VMs for images, it's important that the installation of Windows and other software is as "clean" as possible. Consider the following tips when you create and configure your VMs:

  • Do not perform in-place upgrades of Windows on the VM. Always install the version of Windows that you want to deploy directly from the ISO file. This includes upgrades from Windows 7/8.1 to 10, as well as updates to new Windows 10 Spring and Fall updates.
  • When you run Windows Update, ensure that the entire update process has completed, and then restart the VM to let any pending update configurations to finish.
  • Do not install any tools or VM additions. All additions (device drivers, etc.) should be deployed to your target devices via Platform Pack. Please see the Platform Packs section of the User's Guide for more information.
  • Avoid installing antivirus software on the VM. Antivirus software can often interfere with the capture and deployment process. Consider using an Application Pack to install your antivirus software as part of deployment. Please see the Application Packs section of the User's Guide for more information.
  • Avoid joining the Reference VM to your domain if possible. If the VM was joined to your domain, return it to a workgroup, and then restart it before proceeding with the capture of your image.
  • Do not run Sysprep before you capture your image. As part of deployment, SmartDeploy will run Sysprep for you.
  • Do not attempt to capture a physical machine or a physical-to-virtual (P2V) converted machine with SmartDeploy, as this is not supported.
  • When you are ready to shut down the VM and capture your image, open a Command Prompt, and run the following command: shutdown /s /t 0

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