- Starting with Windows 365
- Getting started with Windows 365 Business
- Windows 365 Enterprise – AAD Join
- Windows 365 Enterprise – Hybrid Join
- Windows 365 Enterprise – Custom Images
Windows 365 Enterprise has a great integration with Endpoint manager. So, your configurations and app deployment should primarily come from there in my opinion. But in some cases, not everything that you need to configure can be (easily) done with Endpoint manager. Sometimes you run into an installation or configuration that is just really hard to accomplish with just Endpoint Manger. An example could be installing language pack (although this process is now included in the provisioning policies). But I’m sure there are other examples out there. This leaves you no other choice than to create your own custom image and use that image to be deployed to your users. In this blog I will walk you through the steps into creating a custom Image.
Prepare your Master Image
First step is to create a new Virtual Machine in Azure. It’s important that for your image you search and select a Windows 10/11 Cloud pc. Other important steps are that you connect your VM to a network you to which you can connect, and you want to disable any boot diagnostics or monitoring options.
Now please consider the following. When you run sysprep the machine won’t be able to start again. This means that if you want to save your master image to make some changes later on you will have to reinstall and configure all your settings again. In order to save your master image for future adjustments is best that you clone your master image VM and sysprep the clone. This way the original master image will be saved for future adjustments. If you want to save your master image vm for future use you can follow along, otherwise skip straight to the sysprep section.
Clone your VM
1 Shutdown your master image vm, until a deallocated state.
2 Create a snapshot of the disk
2a Go to your master image VM
2b Select Disks
2c Select the OS disk
2d Select Create Snapshot
2e Now most settings you can leave as default. I would set storage type to standard HHD
3 Create a new disk from the snapshot
3a Go to your newly created snapshot and select create disk
3b Here you can also leave all the defaults as is. Make sure that you select the same disk size as you original VM. By default, the size if 128 GB.
4 Create a new VM from that new disk
4a Go to the newly created disk. From this disk you can now create a new Virtual Machine
4b Use the same settings as when you created the original Virtual Machine, the only difference should be the image, which should be your created disk.
Sysprepping and capturing your image
Now your master image VM is ready to sysprep. You have created a clone, or you used the original VM the next steps are to sysprep your machine and to create an image from that machine. So, connect to your VM. Navigate to C:\Windows\System32\Sysprep and start sysprep.exe. Use the following setting:
- System Cleanup Action: Select Enter System Out-of-Box Experience (OOBE) to configure the behavior on startup
- Select Generalize
- Shutdown Options: Select Shutdown
After some time, the machine will disconnect. Wait until the machine is in a stopped state in the Azure Portal. When it’s in a stopped state you can select Capture.
On the create image screen it’s important to select No, capture only a managed image. Azure Compute Galleries are not supported. Give your image an easy to recognize name. Also, it’s easy to select Automatically delete this virtual machine after creating the image since the machine won’t be able to function after the sysprep and capture procedure.
When everything went successfully you end up with an image.
Its best to test the image by creating a new VM from this image and validate if the image works as expected.
Add image to Windows 365
After you have validated the image you can add the image to Windows 365. Go to endpoint.microsoft.com and navigate Devices > Windows 365 > Custom images and select Add.
Give your image a name and a version, select the subscription where you saved your image and select the image you created.
The image will now be uploaded to the Windows 365 services. This process can take a while to complete. After the image has been successfully uploaded you can use the image in your provisioning policy. Instead of choosing a marketplace image your select custom image and you should be able to find your newly uploaded image.
This was the final post of the Windows 365 blog series. I hope the information was useful and you were able to follow the steps.
If you mis any information, please let me know and I will try to incorporate the information into the blog series.