QuickPrep and Microsoft Sysprep provide different approaches to customizing linked-clone desktops. QuickPrep is designed to work efficiently with View Composer. Microsoft Sysprep offers standard customization tools.

When you create linked-clone desktops, you must modify each virtual machine so that it can function as a unique computer on the network. View Manager and View Composer provide two methods for personalizing linked-clone desktops.

Comparing QuickPrep and Microsoft Sysprep compares QuickPrep with customization specifications that are created with Microsoft Sysprep.

Sysprep is supported for linked clones only on vSphere 4.1 or later software. You cannot use Sysprep to customize linked-clone deskstops on vSphere 4.0 software.

Comparing QuickPrep and Microsoft Sysprep

QuickPrep

Customization Specification (Sysprep)

Designed to work with View Composer.

For details, see Customizing Linked-Clone Desktops with QuickPrep.

Can be created with the standard Microsoft Sysprep tools.

Uses the same local computer security identifier (SID) for all linked clones in the pool.

Generates a unique local computer SID for each linked clone in the pool.

Can run additional customization scripts before linked clones are powered off and after linked clones are created, refreshed, or recomposed.

Can run an additional script when the user first logs in.

Joins the linked clone computer to the Active Directory domain.

Joins the linked-clone computer to the Active Directory domain.

The domain and administrator information in the Sysprep customization specification is not used. The virtual machine is joined to the domain using the guest customization information that you enter in View Administrator when you create the pool.

For each linked clone, adds a unique ID to the Active Directory domain account.

For each linked clone, adds a unique ID to the Active Directory domain account.

Does not generate a new SID after linked clones are refreshed. The common SID is preserved.

Generates a new SID when each linked clone is customized. Preserves the unique SIDs during a refresh operation, but not during a recompose or rebalance operation.

Does not generate a new SID after linked clones are recomposed. The common SID is preserved.

Runs again after linked clones are recomposed, generating new SIDs for the virtual machines.

For details, see Recomposing Linked Clones Customized with Sysprep.

Runs faster than Sysprep.

Can take longer than QuickPrep.

After you customize a linked-clone pool with QuickPrep or Sysprep, you cannot switch to the other customization method when you create or recompose desktops in the pool.