How to Create Windows Images

  1. Select “Reservations” from the left navigation bar
  2. Click “New Reservation
  3. Select the “Imaging Reservation” radio button at the top of the dialog
  4. From the base image pull-down menu, select a base image to start with.  Examples:
    • Windows 10 Enterprise (Stock 64 bit VM)
    • CentOS 8 base (with xRDP)
    • .. or one of the existing images you may have access to
  5. Select the Now under “When would you like to start the imaging process?”
  6. Select a duration for your reservation. It is a good idea to give yourself plenty of time; so, select something like 8 or more hours. If you run out of time, you can extend your reservation from the Current Reservations page as long as the computer you are using has not been allocated for another reservation when yours ends.
  7. Click “Create Imaging Reservation
  8. The Reservations page will refresh. If the image you have chosen is already preloaded, your wait time should be less than a minute.  If the image is not preloaded you may have to wait 5-20 minutes while the computer is being loaded.
  9. Click the Connect button on the Reservations page when it appears. The connection information will be displayed:
    • The remote VCL computer’s IP address
    • The user ID you will use.
    • A one-time password for the reservation.
  10. Login using a remote desktop client. You can either enter the connection information manually after launching the Remote Desktop Connection program or you can use a pre-configured RDP file:
    • Click the Get RDP File button
    • Save the RDP file to your computer
    • Double-click the RDP file to launch the Remote Desktop Connection program with the VCL connection information pre-configured

 After connecting to your reservation:

  1. Run Windows Update
  2. Reboots are OK.  It usually takes about 2-6 minutes for the computer to reboot before you can connect via RDP again
  3. Install your applications
    • Some suggestions/tips on loading software to the remote machine:
      • If you have access to enough AFS space, it may be easier to copy the software installation files in network filespace and access them from the remote machine through AFS (J: drive).
      • Put media on a webserver and download on the remote node.
      • Another option that has worked, is to share the CD-ROM from a local windows workstation and mount the shared CD-ROM on the remote machine.
      • Remote Desktop Connection allows access to your local workstation drives, installing with this method typically does not work (IO is not fast enough for installer). Copying the media to the remote machine and then running the installer tends to work better, though it does take a while to copy.
      • Copy the media contents through SCP. If you have a personal machine with ssh server you can use this method. This would also work for ftp.
      • Upload the file to and then download from the VCL image
    • Post install of software:
      • remove any copies of software media (needlessly takes up space in the image which increases the loading time for new reservations of the image)
      • make sure all wanted icons are in “All users” desktop.
      • Configure any application customizations
      • Customize the default user profile if desired (Windows 7, Server 2008)
      • Add shortcuts to the taskbar if desired (Windows 10)

Save the Image

When you’re done configuring the remote computer and are ready to save the image:

  1. Log off of the remote VCL computer
  2. From your own machine, return to the Reservations page on the VCL website
  3. Select More Options…->End Reservation & Create Image
  4. Select Creating New Image and then click Submit
  5. Enter an image name and description.  Something simple related to the applications you installed is fine. The image name is displayed when a user makes a reservation and can be changed later if needed.
  6. The settings under Advanced Options can be left at the defaults
  7. Confirm the image properties are correct
  8. Click Submit 

After about 20-25 minutes, you will receive an email saying your image ready for testing when the image creation process is done (occasionally, if there is a lot of software installed in the image or if the system is extremely busy, this can take as long as 90 minutes).

Grant access to use the image

Once you have tested that the image works correctly, access to use the image will need to be granted to other users. If you have the appropriate access, you can follow the instructions on granting access to new images. If you don’t have access to everything mentioned there, you will need to contact your IT support to have it done.