Q

Reader Feedback: Test lab a great way to get fundamental experience!

I was amazed after reading your January article on the virtual practice lab. This is such a great way to get that fundamental experience, plus the advantage of better knowledge retention. Experience is key! When you mention that your virtual machine could be sysprepped and additional machines added from the sysprep template, that got me curious. How did you go about sysprepping that virtual server?
If you need to learn how to use sysprep (which is basically just a Microsoft command line utility that's designed to take a "clean installation" and make usable copies onto other machines or virtual drives. There's a great discussion of how to use it on the MS Web site at: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/windows2000pro/maintain/w2kmngd/18_2kaut.asp. Be sure to read up on this utility and understand its switches and functions before you try anything too serious with it. You'll also be well-served using it in tandem with a disk imagining tool like Symantec Ghost.
This was first published in February 2004

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