Windows 7 Golden Image for Horizon

Hi All,

Today we will discuss about how to Create Windows 7 Golden Image for Horizon View Environment.

Horizon View 7.5 blog series: “Horizon View 7.5

Previous blog post: “Add View Licence, Event Database and vCenter Server

There are multiple steps involved in Windows 7 Golden Image creation:-

  1. Create VM in vCenter
  2. Install the Windows 7 guest OS
  3. Install VMware Tools
  4. Optimize the OS
  5. Clone to template for future use
  6. Install Apps
  7. Install View Agent
  8. Clean up Image
  9. Snapshot / Template    

Lets start..

Create VM in vCenter

Before creating golden image/base image you should find computing requirements for each desktop. Customize this requirements according to your VDI environment design.

Required hardware/software for new Virtual Machine deployment:-

  • CPU: 2 vCPU
  • Memory: 2 GB
  • Network Card: VMXNET3
  • HDD: 60 GB

Open a browser and log in to the vSphere Web Client for the vCenter
vc04.vgyan.local, right click on selected esxi host and click “New Virtual Machine“.

Provide virtual machine name: “Windows 7 Golden Image” and select location for new virtual machine.

Click Next.

Select Gust OS Family: Windows

Select Gust OS Version: Microsoft Windows 7 (64-bit)

Click Next.

Enable Force BIOS setup from Customize hardware tab.

Click Next.

Verify all the details and click on “Finish

Install the Windows 7 guest OS

Once newly created VM boots up, from BIOS screen select Main tab”Change Legacy Diskette A: It should be Disabled state

From  Advanced tab, Disable all I/O ports under I/O Device Configuration.

Save configuration and exit from bios. Click Yes.

Proceed with Windows 7 OS installation, I am putting here only important screenshots.

Click Next.

Provide User Name and Computer Name, Click Next.

Proceed with default Windows 7 OS installation.

Windows 7 OS installation completed.

Install VMware Tools

Proceed with VMware tools installation on newly created Virtual Machine.

Right click on VM > Guest OS > Install VMware Tools..

Once VMware tools installation completed, reboot virtual machine and proceed with installation.

Optimize the OS

Make sure you are activating windows licence, normally there will be KMS servers for windows licencing in production environments.

If you are not using IPv6 make sure you are disabling it and IPv4 should be in DHCP.

Click OK.

Clone to Template for Future Use

I created one Virtual Machine template “Windows 7 Image” for future use it will help us to avoid multiple Windows 7 OS installation, make sure you are running sysprep after deploying VM from this template.

VMware OS Optimization Tool

The VMware OS Optimization Tool helps optimize Windows 7/8/2008/2012/10 systems for use with VMware Horizon View environments. The optimization tool includes customizable templates to enable or disable Windows system services and features, per VMware recommendations and best practices, across multiple systems. Since most Windows system services are enabled by default, the optimization tool can be used to easily disable unnecessary services and features to improve performance.

You can perform the following actions using the VMware OS Optimization Tool:

  • Local Analyze/Optimize
  • Remote Analyze
  • Optimization History and Rollback
  • Managing Templates

You can download VMware OS Optimization tool from here..

I have downloaded and opened OS Optimization tool on newly deployed windows 7 VM, from Analyze tab we can verify system information.

Select VMware\Windows 7 as Template,after Analyze we can find recommended Optimizations and Description.

Click on “Optimize”

From Optimize tab, verify Optimization Result and close OS Optimization tool.

Install Apps

You can install required software’s, I just installed “Google Chrome”.

After OS installation, change windows 7 power options from control panel. Changes required on,

  • Turn off display: Never
  • Put the computer to sleep: Never
  • Turn off hard disk after : 120 min

Click OK.

VMware Horizon Agent Installation

We need to install View Agent on virtual machines that are managed by vCenter Server so that View Connection Server can communicate with them. Install View Agent on all virtual machines that you use as templates for automated desktop pools, parents for linked-clone desktop pools, and desktop sources in manual desktop pools.

VMware View agent download is available for both 32 bit and 64 bit version. Based on your operating system, you can download the view agent.

I downloaded VMware-viewagent-x86_64-7.5.0-8584427 software from VMware software downloads.

Open VMware-viewagent-x86_64-7.5.0-8584427  and run as administrator.

Click Next.

Accept EULA and click Next.

I selected IPv4 as network protocol, click Next.

This base image I am going to use for Linked-Clone desktop pool, for Linked-Clone technology we need to select VMware Horizon View Composer and select other required custom setup.

Note:- VMware Horizon Instant Clone should be disabled.

Click Next.

Verify and click Install.

Once the installation completed, click Finish.

After Horizon Agent installation, reboot virtual machine.

Click Yes for reboot.

Clean up Image

After reboot, Clear logs from Event Viewer.

Before shut down, release DHCP IP from Windows 7 base image.

Open cmd and use ipconfig /release command for releasing IP configuration.

Verify all required configuration, and shut down windows 7 base image VM.

Snapshot / Template

We are going to use this base Image for Linked-Clone technology, for that take one snapshot from powered off Virtual machine.

Right click on Windows 7 Golden Image VM > Snapshot > Take Snapshot.

Provide Snapshot Name and Description.

Name: Snapshot 01

Description: Agent Composer Linked clone, Software Google chrome.

Click OK.

Note:- Snapshot Description is  very much impotent to understand what are the software’s/configurations are installed, in production environments have multiple snapshots on same base machine. Description will help us to manage better.

Verify Snapshot 01 from snapshot manager console. Click Done.

So we successfully Created Windows 7 Base Image.

That’s all guys.. will discuss more on Horizon View 7.5 in upcoming post, Horizon View components installation and configuration, various Desktop pool creations, Application publishing etc… stay tuned.. 🙂

Next blog post will be “Create Dedicated Desktop Pool with Linked-Clone

I hope you enjoyed reading this post. Feel free to share this to others if it is worth sharing!!!

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Written by Sujith Surendran

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