Capturing a Windows Image
This document outlines the steps required to perform a successful Windows image capture. These steps must be followed exactly.
• DO NOT USE the ‘Administrator’ user ID when completing the steps below. In addition to the best practices
security policy concern with using this ID, it is used by the Cloud during capture and instance provisioning.
Using the ‘Administrator’ ID may cause image captures to fail and/or child provisioning from captured images
• DO NOT USE the ‘Guest’ user ID when completing the steps below. Our standard best practice windows cloud
images have this ID disabled by default. If this ID is used for the image request, the image will not be
• Capture is currently not supported to work when Windows is setup as a Domain Controller
• As part of the Cloud instance provisioning and image capture processes, the D: drive letter needs to be
associated with the virtual CDRom device. Do not remap the D: drive or create a new drive that uses the D:
drive letter. Doing so will cause unexpected results including possible failure of image capture and or
problems with access of child instances created from that image .
1: Access the instance using Remote Desktop Protocol – RDP. Login using the username and password supplied when
the instance was created as shown below:
2: Reboot the instance from the Window’s Start menu within the running instance. Do not use the IBM SmartCloud
Enterprise portal to reboot the instance at this time.
Note: For 2003 to reboot your instance: Start-> Shutdown, Window pops up, from drop down select Restart.
For 2008 R1 to reboot your instance Start-> “Right Arrow button”-> Restart
3: Disable, remove or execute the appropriate actions on all the pop-up windows that show up during the OS start up on the instance. These pop-up windows can be seen when a user accesses the instance after a reboot.
Examples include McAfee/Norton subscription or Old Virus
definition popups, IBM ITCS104 popups, Microsoft Windows Update popups. For
example: If Windows Updates is asking you to install updates, and then proceed
to install them and/or disable them.
If McAfee/Norton subscription or Old Virus definitions popup; execute subscription dialog, update your old virus definitions, or disable the services.
- If you want to disable services you can do: Start->Run->services.msc. You may see a New Window appear called ‘User Account Control’; click the ‘Continue’ button. A new Window will appear called ‘Services’. Highlight theservices causing the popups, for example: “Windows Update”. Right mouse click and select ‘Properties’. A new Window will appear like below:
Change the ‘Startup type:’ to Disabled. Click the ‘Stop’ button. Click the ‘Log On’ tab and then click the ‘Disable’ button. Then click the ‘Ok’ button. Repeat above for all other services causing popups you wish to disable.
4: To verify no additional pop-ups, reboot the instance from the Windows Start menu (not the IBM Smart Cloud Enterprise portal). Please follow steps 2 and 3 again.
5: (For Windows 2008 R1 and R2 Only) Sync Time and Activate Windows – Please note this step is extremely important, failure to synchronize the time before the activation step will cause the activation step to fail.
The following steps are done only once per instance before the first capture (all child instances you provision will require these be done again if you plan to capture those children).
a. To synchronize your OS time, right mouse click on the Windows Taskbar and select Properties.
b. New Window will appear called ‘Taskbar and Start Menu Properties’, select the ‘Notification Area’ tab and check ‘Clock’ so that it will appear on the taskbar right corner. Click OK button.
c. On the taskbar, right mouse click over the Time and select ‘Adjust Date/Time’
d. A new window will appear called ‘Date and Time’, select the ‘Internet Time’ tab and click ‘Change settings…’ button. You may see a new window appear called ‘User Account Control’; click the ‘Continue’ button. Another New Window will appear called ‘Internet Time Settings’, click ‘Update now’ button until you get a message that reads: ‘The clock was successfully synchronized with…’ It is very important to validate that this message appears. If it does not synchronize the first time, try again with this server or another one in the list.
e. Once the clock has been synced, Click START-> find the Command Prompt Icon, right mouse click over it and select ‘Run as administrator’.
f. You may see a new window appear called ‘User Account Control’; click the ‘Continue’ button. Once the prompt comes up type ‘slmgr –ato’ (‘slmgr /ato’ may alternately be used) then hit Enter. One or two new windows will show up letting you know that a Windows Script Host is running and telling you the Product Activation is successful as shown below. Note: make sure you read the messages; you may need to click OK in the first box to get to the second box. If the server does not activate successfully, the capture will fail and child instances will not be accessible. If the server fails to activate, try going back to the time synchronization (step 5) and try again.
6: Run AUTOLOG.bat
NOTE: AUTOLOG.bat sets the registry to autologin on boot. This batch file needs to be run immediately before shutdown and capture of the image. If the image is brought back up before the capture it needs to be run again before the shutdown and capture. If it is not run before the final shutdown and capture, the image capture will fail.
a. Double click the file “AUTOLOG.BAT” icon present on the Windows desktop of the instance. If this file is executed for the first time, the password of the Administrator’s account is prompted for two times.
Note: When the instance is created, the password for the Administrator is the same password as the user you chose during initial creation. For all subsequent executions, the password of the Administrator’s account is asked only once.
b. Enter the same password again as shown below (remember it will only ask you twice the first time you are running AUTOLOG.bat on this instance).
7. Verify that the settings from running Autlog.bat are correct by examining the Windows registry:
A. Start - > run - > regedit. You may see a New Window appear called ‘User Account Control’; click the ‘Continue’ button.
B. Once the new window opens traverse the tree HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE - > SOFTWARE->Microsoft>WindowsNT->CurrentVersion->Winlogon
B. The value of AutoAdminLogon should be set to “1”
C. The value of DefaultPassword should be set to Administrator account’s password
8: Shutdown the instance within the instance as shown below with Windows 2008 R2.
For 2003 to shut down your instance: Start-> Shutdown, Window pops up, from drop down select shut down. For 2008 R1 to shut down your instance: Start-> “Right Arrow button”-> Shut down.
9: Once the instance is shutdown you can proceed to capture your instance using the Cloud Portal or API.
Please remember, if you do not capture the instance at this time and you reboot your instance from the control panel or API, you will need to rerun steps 6 thru 9. If you do not rerun these steps your capture will fail.
Q1: How long should the user expect this to take? Capture can take approximately 40 mins.
Q2: What steps should be taken if the capture fails? Please post to the support forum your issue:
Cheers, Rosalind Abraham