I have rebuilt my Hyper-V server at the office and decided to try out Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) to manage my virtual machines on that host.
One of the things I find useful is having a template for Windows Server 2008 Enterprise Edition. Through the licensing arrangement of Enterprise, you can have up to 4 virtual instances per license. Having to deploy each copy manually doesn’t sound like a treat to me. So I decided to create a template and I built a virtual machine that I wanted to use as my base image.
After creating my virtual machine, I then created the virtual machine template from the existing virtual machine. Once this was done, I was almost ready to deploy my virtual machine from the template.
But before I could do that, I needed an answer file. To create an answer file, you will need to install the Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK ). I copied the install.wim file to my local machine from the DVD media so that I could generate a catalogue. A quick internet search turned up several sample unattend.xml files which I used as a basis to form my unattend.xml file. Once I was complete, I saved the unattend.xml file and then imported it into my library shared folder. On the properties of the template in the OS configuration tab, under the scripts area, there is a spot to add an answer file. I added my unattend.xml file and away I went.
When the system started to customize the image I hit a snag. When I connected to the VM, I was shown an error message. That message was:
“Windows could not parse or process the unattend answer file for pass [specialize]. The settings specified in the answer file cannot be applied. The error was detected while processing settings for component [Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup].”
After a quick search on the internet, I discovered what the problem was. For the product key, you need to use a KMS key and not a MAK key. At least if you are using Volume Licensing media you need to use KMS. I made that change to the key and I am now off to the races. My templates are deploying as they are supposed to.