Test Lab: Base Configuration – Hydration Kit: Custom Default settings


When using the Test Lab:Base Configuration Hydration Kit, you may want to use your own custom domain and server names. After all, it’s your testlab and you might spend a considerable amount of time working there. It makes sense to personalise it. The wizard is designed to allow customisation but this can become cumbersome if you rebuild your own custom labs repeatedly(like me). Here’s my method of customising the defaults in the Hydration kit.

After you’ve built the media folder using the Build-Kit.ps1 script you can edit the customsettings.ini file to change the defaults. If you’re not familiar with MDT, this is the configuration file that stores the default settings. By default the Hydration Kit stores the media customsettings.ini in the C:\TestLab_BaseConfigMedia\Content\Deploy\Control\ folder


Use notepad to make the changes to the server names, domain and IP Scopes if desired. Remember to be consistent with your changes or your deployment will fail. Below is an example of a modified file.


Now you can run the create media script to create your customised media file. This command will create a new media file from the default folder with the name CON-TestLabConfig.iso.

.\Create-Media.ps1 -ISOImageName CON-TestLabBaseConfig.iso


Follow the project here on Codeplex for updates.

About Andrew Barnes

A Scripting and Deployment Specialist.
This entry was posted in Deployment, MDT 2012, Testlab and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Test Lab: Base Configuration – Hydration Kit: Custom Default settings

  1. Gianluigi says:

    Hi Andrew, could you please clarify where to put the OS files in your Hydration Kit?
    This is an important step that you have not explained in the documentation available on CodePlex.
    Do I need to import the OS (Win8, Win2012 and so on…) in MDT 2012 via Deployment Workbench or do I need to extract them somewhere in C:\TestlabDS?
    Thanks a lot in advance for your attention!

    P.S. Your blog is great!


  2. Gianluigi says:

    That’s really cool! Thanks Andrew!


  3. saqib khan says:

    can i use this name for my own lab in pakistan


  4. seanclipsham says:

    Hello Andrew,

    when I executed Build-Kit.ps1, I got this output:

    PS C:\Program Files\CompletePgms\HydrationPgm2012\Build>

    Method invocation failed because [System.Char] does not contain a method named ‘Substring’.
    At C:\Program Files\CompletePgms\HydrationPgm2012\Build\Modules\TestLab.psm1:141 char:9
    $MDTDrive = ((Get-MDTPersistentDrive | Sort name).name[-1]).Substring(2) …
    CategoryInfo : InvalidOperation: (:) [], RuntimeException
    FullyQualifiedErrorId : MethodNotFound
    Directory: C:\TestLab_BaseConfigMedia\Content
    Mode LastWriteTime Length Name

    I saw your update in the discussions:

    In Build-Kit.ps1 the following line needs to change to respect passed Media parameter:

    Copy-KitScripts -Name $DS -MDTMediaPath C:\TestLab_BaseConfigMedia

    Copy-KitScripts -Name $DS -MDTMediaPath $MediaPath

    I deleted the folder TestLab_BaseConfigMedia and also the folder TestlabDS . I tried two things. I then replaced the TestLab_BaseConfigMedia folder with a new empty one with the same name. I got the same message as above. I then did this again, but also added a new empty TestlabDS folder. Same result again. What do I need to do differently?

    I know that giving answers to people does not help them learn, but if you could at least give me a direction, I would appreciate it. I’m hoping to setup labs to work towards my MCSA. I am just tired of building them over and over, so I am hoping that the hydration method will help with that.



  5. seanclipsham says:

    I am very much looking forward to it. I tried to setup the 2008 r2, but could never figure it out. i am trying to setup labs to work on my MCSA. I have looked at VMware and Hyper V and from what I am reading, they may be more complicated than using Virtual Box. I would be happy to run server 2012 with no updates just so I can get started on my labs. So, if I use server 2012, what steps am I missing in making the scripts work? Pleasen 🙂


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