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Clone/Recover a gold image, eg in a DR situation?


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I was just curious if there is a way to apply an image to a VM without installing any PPK items or running sysprep ... thinking in terms of resurrecting a gold/master/source VM using Smart Deploy & a WIM, in case of accidental loss of VM data & backups. Perhaps a weird scenario, but like I said, I was curious.

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Hi Martin,

Using SmartDeploy media, you can apply an image to a VM or a physical machine without any Platform Pack. To do so, you would simply not include any Platform Packs in the same folder alongside the image. You'll be warned in Deploy Wizard that no Platform Pack has been found, but you can click Yes to proceed nonetheless.

Capture Wizard will always run Sysprep when it captures the image (this is a necessary step for capturing an image to be applied onto another device). Sysprep is also executed on the target device, as a component of Windows setup.

This process does not spoil your virtual machine in any way; you can fire up that same VM right after capture, install additional Windows Updates (for instance), then shut it down and recapture it.

I mention all of that by way of background. Your specific scenario - using a SmartDeploy-captured WIM to recreate your virtual reference machine - is not a recommended backup solution, but there's no theoretical reason why it wouldn't work, except perhaps that you would use up a rearm when you apply the image, so there would be a limited number of times that this could be done. And of course, with multiple Sysprep runs involved, it's possible that a resulting deployment might fail, and our first recommendation at that point (based on this history) would be to rebuild your reference VM from scratch. So our best recommendation, if you're concerned about backups (a fine thing to be concerned about!) is to back up your VM to a safe location, perhaps multiple locations, so that you'll always be able to spin it back up and capture it.

Please let us know if you have any other questions.

SmartDeploy Support Team


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Thx for the detailed response, interesting stuff.

I agree and certainly would not depend on this method as a means of backup (for that I'd use Veeam or similar) ... I was just curious what options might be available in a perfect-storm / comedy-of-errors disaster situation where the VM & backups of it vanished for whatever reason. Probably will never happen but still nice to know, in the back of my head.

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