Activation of OEM after sysprep and product-key change


J

Juras

Hi,

I have 20 identical PCs with OEM Windows XP preinstalled and then I want to
install some other software (and updates, settings) to one of them. That one
is now activated and is an etalon. Now I want to deploy that installation to
the others 19 PCs. (with ghost or anything else). I know that I have to use
sysprep to change the OEM product-key and of course the SID.

And the question is: It is possible (in any official way) to change the
product-key a to preserve the original activation? Because these computers
are not connected to the internet, so I have to use a phone to activate this
comps. (and it is quite a horror)

Thanks for any suggestion,

Juras G.
 
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M

Mike Kolitz

There is no way I know of the preserve the activation state after changing
the product key in Mini Setup.

You may want to investigate Volume Licensing / Software Assurance for those
20 workstations. This will give you access to a Volume License cd/key pair
for Windows XP, with which you activate the key, but not the individual
installations.
While it's not exactly a cheap solution, it's probably worth checking out.

http://www.microsoft.com/licensing

--
Mike Kolitz MCSE 2000
MS-MVP - Windows Setup and Deployment

Remember to check Windows Update often,
and apply the patches marked as Critical!
http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com

Protect your PC!
http://www.microsoft.com/security/protect
 
D

Dean Colpitts

Actually, there is infact a way to do it, or atleast with IBM and
HP/Compaq units. Here is how.

For IBM machines, before the unit is ever turned on to run through the
original, out of the box setup from the factory, ghost the unit to an
image. If you poke around in that image with Ghost Explorer, you will
usually find either an unattend.txt or sysprep.inf, which has the OEM
activated product key in it. You will note this product key will be
different than the one on the COA label. This will be the product key
you will need to use when you create your new sysprep.inf. If you
can't find the unattend.txt or sysprep.inf, then you will need to do a
product recovery. Just before Windows starts the GUI setup after the
recovery, ghost the drive to an image, and you can find the product
key in either the sysprep.inf or unattend.txt in either c:\sysprep or
c:\i386. There are also other options for finding the key on these
machines, such as mounting the recovery partition, unzipping the .imz
files with pkzip (you will need to edit the recover.exe to obtain the
password for the zip files) and within here, you will find the
sysprep.inf or unattend.txt that contains the pre-activated product
key.

For HP/Compaq machines, I always grab the recovery CD that comes with
the machines, and recover even BRAND NEW machines. If you've ever
recovered one of them machines, you will note that Windows is already
activated on them. The secret to this is the product key. Finding
the correct product key on the recovery cd can be a chore at times
though. For the D5xx series (aswell as the EP/EN series), the correct
product key is usually found in any of the sysprep.inf or unattend.txt
files on the recovery cd (you need use Windows search to find these as
they are generally buried within subfolders). For the new DC5xxx
series, the correct product key is not listed in these files (even
though these files are on the cd and have a product key in them), but
rather in a file called oobeinfo.ini on the product cd (not the
recovery cd) - I only discovered this fact this very morning.

Last, but not least, when I create my sysprep images, I always make a
pre-sysprep ghost image before I actually run the sysprep command -
this way, if I do have the wrong product key, I can also roll back to
my pre-sysprep image to edit my sysprep.inf and try again.

dcc
 
D

Dean Colpitts

Actually, Mike, there is infact a way to do it, or atleast with IBM
and HP/Compaq units. Here is how.

For IBM machines, before the unit is ever turned on to run through the
original, out of the box setup from the factory, ghost the unit to an
image. If you poke around in that image with Ghost Explorer, you will
usually find either an unattend.txt or sysprep.inf, which has the OEM
activated product key in it. You will note this product key will be
different than the one on the COA label. This will be the product key
you will need to use when you create your new sysprep.inf. If you
can't find the unattend.txt or sysprep.inf, then you will need to do a
product recovery. Just before Windows starts the GUI setup after the
recovery, ghost the drive to an image, and you can find the product
key in either the sysprep.inf or unattend.txt in either c:\sysprep or
c:\i386. There are also other options for finding the key on these
machines, such as mounting the recovery partition, unzipping the .imz
files with pkzip (you will need to edit the recover.exe to obtain the
password for the zip files) and within here, you will find the
sysprep.inf or unattend.txt that contains the pre-activated product
key.

For HP/Compaq machines, I always grab the recovery CD that comes with
the machines, and recover even BRAND NEW machines. If you've ever
recovered one of them machines, you will note that Windows is already
activated on them. The secret to this is the product key. Finding
the correct product key on the recovery cd can be a chore at times
though. For the D5xx series (aswell as the EP/EN series), the correct
product key is usually found in any of the sysprep.inf or unattend.txt
files on the recovery cd (you need use Windows search to find these as
they are generally buried within subfolders). For the new DC5xxx
series, the correct product key is not listed in these files (even
though these files are on the cd and have a product key in them), but
rather in a file called oobeinfo.ini on the product cd (not the
recovery cd) - I only discovered this fact this very morning.

Last, but not least, when I create my sysprep images, I always make a
pre-sysprep ghost image before I actually run the sysprep command -
this way, if I do have the wrong product key, I can also roll back to
my pre-sysprep image to edit my sysprep.inf and try again.

dcc
 
D

Darrell Gorter[MSFT]

Hello Juras,
The bigger issue is using sysprep with OEM installed media. That is not
supported.
828287 Unsupported Sysprep scenarios
http://support.microsoft.com/?id=828287

Thanks,
Darrell Gorter[MSFT]

This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights
--------------------
 
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Unsupported does not mean does-not-work.
We have always replaced the default user profile with a customized user profile before sysprepping a machine. That is also listed as unsupported in that same article.

John
 
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