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Sysprep imaging and license key help needed

By Tech_Lady ·
I'm fairly new at using Sysprep, but we gotten several new Dell desktops that need to be deployed on our network (& several that will be moved within the agency) and I've been playing with setting up the first one and using sysprep to prepare the PC, then image it using Clonezilla. I've had success, but have run into a snag with the licensing. The PCs were preloaded with retail Windows XP Pro licenses (each with its own license key on a COA sticker). After restoring the image on a second machine, its key code (from the sticker) wouldn't work. I had to start up the 3rd PC and use a key finding utility to get the key code from the PC (which I'm guessing is OEM volume license key). This key works and allows the setup, but now I'm getting a SysPrep tool popup that says "Your grace period limit has been reached and will not be reset." I looked online and it appears this has to do with running sysprep too many times on one PC and activation. Does anyone know if there is a way to sysprep, then image a new preinstalled Dell pc, then use its actual license key when restoring the image? Sorry if this is confusing... I'm confused myself.

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Same models?

by CharlieSpencer In reply to Sysprep imaging and licen ...

Are all the computers involved the same model?

When you run Sysprep, select only the 'Use Mini-Setup' checkbox and click the Reseal button.

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So far all same models purchased at same time

by Tech_Lady In reply to Same models?

But I had hoped to be able to use the image on some of our older Dells to move to a new location. They are different models. On the last image I created, I used Sysprep mini-setup after I ran the wizard to create a sysprep.inf answer file, leaving out the license key so it prompts during setup. I basically followed steps I found at http://www.answersthatwork.com/Download_Area/ATW_Library/WinXP_Professional/WinXP__3-Setup-How_to_SYSPREP_a_Windows_XP_PC_setup.pdf that worked well. The first time I ran sysprep I didn't have any mouse & keyboard (usb) after restoring the image - following the instructions above fixed that problem. I don't mind feeding in the OEM key if it will continue to work and doesn't violate any licensing, but I was confused by the popup. Thanks for the reply.

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Licensing

by CharlieSpencer In reply to So far all same models p ...

Using the vendor key is legal, and is your only option if you don't have any other license agreement.

I've seen it take up to 30 seconds for a system to acknowledge a USB mouse and keyboard after imaging.

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oem vendor key

by Tech_Lady In reply to Licensing

Thanks for the reply. Will it be OK legally to use the OEM vender license key that was on the PC used to create the image on each PC I restore this image to, even if the OEM key that was on the target PC may have been different? Since I'm using this on some older Dells, I want to be sure I'm in compliance. Thanks.

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Hopefully some one else with respond.

by CharlieSpencer In reply to oem vendor key

Obviously you're good to go if you enter the key that's attached to each system. I'm not sure what MS's legal department says about using one key on all systems that have individual licenses. I'm also not sure about the practical impact of doing this in terms of activation or updates.

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