Windows Server 2012 template for VMware

Some months ago, I created a Windows Server 2012 template for testing purposes and logged all of my actions to a notepad file.

I think this file may help some people with creating a clean template for Windows Server 2012 on VMware. Most of the steps can be used in a Hyper-V environment as well. If you have any comments I’m happy to hear them so I can improve the template. Have fun using it!

VM Configuration
– VMXNET3 Network Adapter
– Installing using en_windows_server_2012_x64_dvd_915478.iso
– 4 vCPU (2 sockets, 2 cores)
– 60GB HDD (Thin)
– Enable VMware Tools Time Synchronization
– Advanced Configuration Parameter 1: false
– Advanced Configuration Parameter 2: false
– Remove unused hardware (Floppy, USB etc)

BIOS Configuration
– Disable Serial Ports
– Change Boot order 1. CD 2. HDD, leave the rest default
– Disable floppy drive

OS Configuration
– Windows Server Core 2012 (No GUI)
– Language: English, Time and currency format: Dutch (Netherlands), Keyboard or input method: United States-International
– Enter license key

Install GUI for temporary configuration (Using ISO)
– Get-WindowsImage -ImagePath D:Sourcesinstall.wim
– Mkdir C:MountDir
– Dism /mount-wim /WimFile:D:Sourcesinstall.wim /Index:2 /MountDir:C:MountDir /readonly
– Install-WindowsFeature Server-Gui-Mgmt-Infra,Server-Gui-Shell -Restart -Source C:MountDirWindowsWinSXS

Install VMware Tools
– Use Guest>Install VMware Tools function and perform setup inside guest (Typical setup)
– Replace video driver by the VMware wddm_video driver
– Shutdown the VM and enable Accelerate 3D graphics
– Start the VM and verify video performance inside the vSphere Console

Windows Specific Settings
– Disable automatic updates
– Disable Windows Firewall (All profiles)
– Set Power Plan to High Performance
– Disable IE ESC for Administrators
– Verify Date/Time and Timezone
– Check for Windows Updates
– Enable Remote Desktop
– Disable VMware Update Notifications
– Enable Windows SmartScreen (Admin approval)
– Small Memory Dump

Customization Profile
– Yet to configure

Steps to perform after deploying the template
– Configure IP Settings
– Check for Windows Updates
– Configure hostname and description
– Install Roles, Features and Applications