Say CHEESE Azure Win 8.1 VM

In my last few posts on Azure, I had talked about creating a virtual machine on the Microsoft Azure platform. I configured a Virtual Machine with Windows Enterprise 8.1. Then I configured the VM to use my Microsoft Account. Once my configurations were done, I decided to use this as a base image for my future trysts with Azure. This post is about how I created the image for the Windows 8.1 Enterprise machine that I had setup earlier.

An image is a .vhd file that you can use as a template to create a new virtual machine. An image is a template because it doesn’t have specific settings like a configured virtual machine, such as the computer name and user account settings.

You have two options before you create the image of the Windows 8.1 Enterprise VM.

1. Sysprep the machine using the steps mentioned here

2. Follow the steps mentioned below without performing the sysprep

The “Capture the virtual machine” dialog is available under Virtual Machines –> Instances tab in the Azure Management portal. What you will get is a straightforward looking window with three options to be filled in.


Check the box “I have run Sysprep on the virtual machine” only if you have done Step #1 mentioned above. If not, leave it unchecked. Since I had already run a sysprep on the machine, I will use this option.

Clicking on OK registers the image. If the image is created successfully, the virtual machine will be deleted. The image is now ready to be used as a template to create a virtual machine running Windows 8.1. To do this, you’ll create a custom virtual machine by using the From Gallery method and select the image you just created.

In the “Choose an Image” page, you will chose “My Images”. Select the Image which was registered (see Screenshot 2). The image name will be same as the image name provided when you created the image (see Screenshot 1).


The rest of the configuration steps are the same as explained in my previous blog post.

Keep in mind that when you create a VM using the wizard with a pre-configured custom image, the VHD gets created with a random alphanumeric name. In my case, I had a VHD named “btquhzrp.xkg201406071118490885”!


Manage Disks and Images

Capturing an Image