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I'm running an experiment that requires me to create 100 instances of Windows XP w/SP3 and saving each VM instance off to a hard drive.

I have to annotate the time that the VM load starts (starting my timer when I see the "Setup is preparing...") until the load ends when I see the final desktop after VM loads its drivers. I also have to annotate the host start and stop time.

Is there any way this process can be automated? Each load runs me about 16:00 minutes and gets real tiresome after a time. Exact timing is not necessary, eyeballing as described above is sufficient for my testing needs.

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You should take a look at the VIX API. It has COM bindings so you could use PowerShell or VBScript.

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