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vSphere Lab Build Out – The Client PC Peployment and Config

In the VMware lab it’s nice to have a client OS to work from.  This client can be joined to the domain, and pointed to the lab DNS, which streamlines some of the config tasks. 

Get the Win10 ISO

This process is a little more involved, and it requires the use of the Media Creation Tool.  You can get that here:

  1. After the download completes run the tool
  2. Click Accept (after you read the full terms and conditions of course)
  3. Select “Create installation media…” and click Next
  4. Verify the options say English, Windows 10, and 64-bit
    1. If not, uncheck the box and select those options and click Next
    2. If so, click Next
  5. Select ISO file and click Next
  6. Select your download location and click Save.
The downloads might take some time to complete.

Create the Client VM

  1. In VMware Workstation press CTRL+N to open the New Virtual Machine Wizard, and make sure Typical is selected, then click Next
  2. Select the option for Installer Disc Image File, and browse to the location you downloaded the Windows 10 ISO to then click Next
  3. Enter the name for the client and select the location
  4. Use the default hard drive size of 60GB (another drive will be added later for the iSCSI target storage), and click Next
  5. Click Customize Hardware
  6. Adjust the CPU and RAM as needed for your environment (2 vCPUs 4-8GB RAM would be recommended), and change the Network Adapter from NAT to Bridged
  7. Click close, verify the box is checked for “Power on this virtual machine after creation” and click finish.

Deploy the Client OS

NOTE: While in the VM you will need to press Ctrl+Alt to release the cursor to get to your desktop
  1. While the VM is booting you might see a prompt to press a key to boot from CD.  If that happens click into the window and press a key.
  2. Select the language, and keyboard settings
  3. Click Install Now
  4. At the Activate Windows screen click “I don’t have a product key”
  5. Select Windows 10 Pro and click Next
  6. Read through all of the licenses terms, and if you accept the terms check the box to accept them and click Next
  7. Select the Custom install option
  8. By default it should already select Drive 0, which is the 60GB drive initially created.  Click next.  The OS install will start, so just let that process run.

OS Initial Config

Windows 10 has a number of steps to go through to get the OS configured before actually loading to a desktop.
  1. Select your regions and Click Yes
  2. Select your keyboard layout
  3. Skip adding the additional keyboard
  4. Wait a moment for it to progress to the account creation screen, then select “Set up for personal use” and click Next
  5. Microsoft is going to try to link to an online account, but since this is for a temporary lab PC click on “Offline account” in the bottom left.
  6. Microsoft really tries to push the online account, so again look in the bottom left corner and select “Limited experience”
  7. Enter a username and click Next
  8. Create a password and click Next
    1. The next screen will ask to confirm the password.  Reenter the password and click Next
  9. When prompted for the three security questions I just select the first three options and enter random characters.  This is lab, and if I happen to forget the password I can easily recreate the VM.  Click Next
    1. Repeat the process for the other two questions.
  10. For the privacy settings this really doesn’t matter, as it’s a lab machine that won’t exist for long.  Everything can be left enabled by default, or it can be disabled.  After applying the settings click Accept.
  11. The install will prompt to enable activity history.  Again, as a lab machine this isn’t needed, so select No.
  12. Cortana… Microsoft really wants people to enable all their stuff.  Click “Not now” to move on.
  13. Success! The post-install prompts are done.  Now wait for the configuration to complete.

Client OS config

To configure the OS there’s only three tasks that are going to be performed.  
  • Install VMware Tools
  • Configure DNS
  • Join the domain

Install VMware Tools

    1. Log into the VM using the password set previously
    2. Right click on the VM in the Library an select Install VMware Tools
    3. Navigate to the D: drive and double click it.  That should kick off the Autorun for the installer.
    4. Follow the defaults for the install.  Next > Next > Install > Finish and then click Yes when prompted for a reboot.
Configure DNS
  1. Open Powershell as admin
    1. Press the Windows key and type powershell
    2. Press Crtl+Shift+Enter to run as admin
  2. Run this command (replace the IP in red if needed):
Set-DnsClientServerAddress -InterfaceAlias Ethernet0 -ServerAddresses

Join the domain
  1. Open Powershell as admin
    1. Press the Windows key and type powershell
    2. Press Crtl+Shift+Enter to run as admin
  2. Run this command (replace the IP in red if needed), and enter the password when prompted
Add-Computer -Credential labadministrator -DomainName lab.local -Force -Restart

This completed the Client PC configuration for the lab.

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