Building a great Virtual Machine

March 20, 2008 at 3:43 pm in Lab, Training, Virtual machine by Kenny Buntinx [MVP]

Hi all,

This post isn’t really sms 2003 or sccm 2007 related, but all of us tend to build virtual lab environments every once in a while. After some thinking I come up with some guidelines I will try to keep myself when building Virtual Machines from now on. This is the list I came up with so far.

  • Domain Name and Passwords should be keyboard agnostic (ie: be the same on azerty/querty
    • Domain Example:
    • Password Example: Topsecret
  • The lab layout should be set as the background image, like in the screenshot
  • The lab should contain the lab credentials set with bginfo
    • The saved parameters file and the windows background should be saved to a folder called c:\bginfo
    • Create login script with saved bginfo parameters file to run as login script.




  • The machine should allow you to shutdown/ restart from the ctrl-alt-del box
  • The welcome page should be disabled
  • System restore should be disabled
  • The shutdown event tracker should be disabled
  • password complexity should be disabled
  • Changing the computer account password should be disabled.
  • Screensaver should be disabled
  • Showing icons on the desktop should be disabled (you didn’t spend all this time on building backgrounds to have them cluttered with icons)
  • All passwords should be configured to not expire
  • Vm’s should be running on the latest service pack
  • Your last login should be with the user that the people will need in the lab so that it is prefilled when pressing ctrl-alt-del
  • the c:\drive should contain a folder called buildguide and an rtf file with the steps taken to create the vm, this way you can see what preparative action has been taken to make the labs work.

So I created my lab environment in visio and saved the different visio’s as bmp’s

And set a lot of the above options using a gpo, I backupped the gpo and saved it. The gpo can be found here:

And you could obviously import it back on any domain controller using gpmc.


“Everyone is an expert at something”
Kim Oppalfens – Sms Expert for lack of any other expertise
Windows Server System MVP – SMS

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