sysprep VM, convert to template and now cant log in…

What am I missing here. I have a VM I built out to be used as a template for a department in work. I installed Windows, ran updates, installed software that needed to be installed, and all of this done under a new local account I had created called Template. Once I was happy with the VM, I ran sysprep /oobe /generalize and shut down. I converted the VM into a template and just deployed a VM from it. And to my surprise I am seeing only an option for Administrator to log in and I cant seem to switch users. Is there something I dont get about sysprep that it removes local accounts?

I had read an article that talked about the pro’s of sysprepping a VM before converting to template, but I’m thinking I did something wrong here.


edit: posted this in r/sysadmin as well just in case

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  1. here is my comment. Don’t sysprep. Use vmware’s customization specifications, which can do the SID walk, join machine to domain, setup IP, etc..

    that way whenever you need/want to patch your template, you aren’t going through the “welcome to windows” BS everytime. just boot, patch, shutdown, convert to template. and deploy, when you get to the page, choose the “customize guest os” checkbox, and choose your customization specification template.

  2. Are you sure you ran `%WINDIR%system32sysprepsysprep.exe /generalize /shutdown /oobe` ?

    Because getting locked at a login screen with the only option to log in as Administrator can happen when you are still in audit mode but the system sleeps or screen locks. You can try restarting the machine.

  3. Did you ever specify the password with an unattend.xml?

    Stolen reply from spiceworks below –

    Create the sysprep files, copy both files sysprep_oobe.bat and unattend.xml to the computers C:WindowsSystem32sysprep directory

    The installation requires you to create a local administrator password during setup, You might want to run sysprep () in audit mode first.

    Enable local admin account and set password (the Domain/user account will get deleted)

    FYI: The local administrator account will get disabled once you run sysprep again.

    sysprep – audit

    remove ALL local user accounts



    Run the sysprep_oobe.bat file when you are ready to sysprep the system for imaging. C:WindowsSystem32sysprepsysprep /generalize /oobe /shutdown /unattend:C:WindowsSystem32sysprepunattend.xml

    The install should inform you the Administrator account is disabled and ask you if you would like to enable it, at that point it will ask you to create a password.

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