Cloning Server Core 2012 using VMware Workstation

Pretty straightforward, but it’s not obvious whether cloning the machine will also sysprep. It does not. So after cloning the machine, don’t forget to sysprep it.

  1. Ensure the VM is powered off.
  2. Right click the VM > Manage > Clone.
  3. The cloning wizard is launched. Go ahead with it. I chose the full clone option.
  4. After cloning power up the machine. At this point it is identical to the original so it’s best the original is kept powered off to avoid any conflicts.
  5. Login to the machine, go to C:\Windows\System32 run sysprep.exe. Keep the default system cleanup action but click Generalize so the SIDs etc are recreated. I selected to reboot under Shutdown Options.
  6. That’s pretty much it. Upon reboot you are given the option of logging in with the local accounts; upon logging in you have to change the password.
  7. Now set the IP, name, etc as usual. Enjoy!

These instructions apply to all versions of Windows. Server Core 2012 is just what I used it with.