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Windows Test

Microsoft provides a free copy of windows that is intended for testing IE11 and Microsoft Edge Legacy. The licence is valid for 90 days, and they recommend setting a snapshot when you first install the virtual machine which you can roll back to later. This makes it a perfect testing environment for free.

This guide provides instructions on how to set it up with ESXi and download file/registry monitoring tools.


Install and set initial snapshot:

  • Download the VMware file from Microsoft to your local machine
  • Extract the downloaded zip file
  • In ESXi:
    • Create/Register VM:
      • Deploy a virtual machine from an OVF or OVA file
      • Name the VM Windows Test
      • Upload the extracted .VMDK and .OVF files
      • Specify the desired Target Datastore
      • Accept the License Agreement
      • Deselect Power on automatically
      • Confirm settings and Finish
    • Wait for the files to upload
    • Go to Virtual Machines on the sidebar and click on the current VM
    • Actions > Edit Settings:
      • CPU:
        • CPU: 2
        • Cores per Socket: 2
        • Enable Expose hardware assisted virtualization to the guest OS
      • Memory: 4GB
    • Edit notes to contain the password:Passw0rd!
    • Take snapshot called Reset Licence
    • Assign static IP:
      • Power on the VM, then shut it down again to generate a MAC address
      • Give the VM a static IP address from your router using the generated MAC address (found under Hardware Configuration > Network adapter 1) and desired hostname
    • Snapshots > Restore snapshot

Setup for each restore

  • Open ESXi
  • Sidebar > Virtual Machines > This VM
  • Snapshots > Restore snapshot
  • Power on the VM and open the web console
  • Wait for VMware Tools to ask to restart and either click Yes or let it restart automatically
  • Log in, entering Passw0rd! as the password
  • Open Windows Update and wait for windows to finish updating
  • Restart and log in again
  • Optionally, download file and registry monitoring tools:
      • Options:
        • Deselect Capture Read Events
        • Advanced Options:
          • Don't Capture files that match: C:\Windows\WinSxS\*
          • Don't Capture the selected processes: MsMpEng.exe,svchost.exe
    • Then just run them anytime to monitor changes, such as when installing a program
  • The licence will last 90 days from now


  • Download a new VMware file from Microsoft
  • Delete old snapshot
  • Replace the old one?
  • Take snapshot called Reset Licence
  • Windows Update?
esxi/windows_test.txt · Last modified: 2020/06/01 17:16 by derek