• Creator
  • #2197752

    Windows Geniune Advantage


    by joe11701 ·

    I am responsible to deploy workstations at my company. A question came up in a meeting about our images and WGA.
    I set up an image using an OEM version of WINXP/SP2. as a result the product key is the same on all the pc’s i’ve imaged. how does WGA react to this? does it take enough info about the pc to make it unique, or does the product key trump all?

    We are working toward a volume licensed image that will be SYSPREP’ed and imaged so further rollouts should be ok, i hope.

    I’m not sure where to find the information i need to make a call on this.

    thanks in advance.

    Joe Ambrose

All Answers

  • Author
    • #3021029


      by joe11701 ·

      In reply to Windows Geniune Advantage


    • #3021012

      WGA will throw a fit…

      by cmiller5400 ·

      In reply to Windows Geniune Advantage

      WGA will complain to high heaven because of the duplicate keys. I’d expect a visit from Redmond…… :O :p

      I’d wait until you have your volume license key if possible, or see this link from MSFT –>

      • #3021007

        i don’t see the complaint

        by joe11701 ·

        In reply to WGA will throw a fit…

        Everything appears ok, i don’t see even a hint of complaint about duplicate keys.

        I have a volume license version of WINXP/SP2 (and SP3)

        how would i go about removing the duplication of the keys? Besides reimaging that is….

        • #3021001


          by cmiller5400 ·

          In reply to i don’t see the complaint

          Did you use the OEM license key?

          If you used the volume license key you are fine as it doesn’t require activation.

        • #3020823

          OEM key…

          by joe11701 ·

          In reply to Well…

          that’s the problem. i used an OEM copy of WINXP to base the image on.

        • #3020802

          Very tricky area…

          by cmiller5400 ·

          In reply to OEM key…

          I’d call Microsoft on this one. Better to have the answer from the Horses mouth than the Horses (well you know what 😀 ).

          If my memory serves me correctly, I don’t think that the EULA allows you to image the OEM system for distributions to other PC’s. I could be wrong though…

        • #3020997

          Imaging would be faster

          by ic-it ·

          In reply to i don’t see the complaint

          but you could run a repair, then get the updates.

          You are definately in violation with the same OEM key on multiple machines

    • #3020992

      if want to remove it

      by sultan1984 ·

      In reply to Windows Geniune Advantage

      if u want to remove wagatray
      just go to system32 fimles and find wagtray and change the name and restart ur pc then its will not apparent again

      • #3020966

        That won’t help if audited

        by ic-it ·

        In reply to if want to remove it

        There would still be the issue of fines.

      • #3020822

        we need to stay in compliance…..

        by joe11701 ·

        In reply to if want to remove it

        this will come to bite in the you-know-where
        i need to find out 1) can we replace the OEM key with a volume key. or…

        reimage every pc…. (oh yeah!)

        • #3020791

          reimage (faster) or repair

          by ic-it ·

          In reply to we need to stay in compliance…..

          The VLK will not work different type of license.
          One of my techs did this years ago – resulting in 134 system needing a reimage.
          Disjoin one cleanup any system specific files (i.e. SMS, Altiris, Counterspy, EPOL, etc). Repair, update from WSUS, sysprep, and then pull/push the image.

        • #3020759

          reimage ???

          by joe11701 ·

          In reply to reimage (faster) or repair

          So your saying we should bite the bullet and reimage every pc we have…. ?


          I’m going to have to get LANDesk up and running first. at least i’ll be able to push the image down from a local server in each of the offices…..

          this is gonna hurt!!!!

        • #3020757

          If it is the same image – Edited

          by ic-it ·

          In reply to reimage ???

          You only need to do it to one and capture that, then push to the other machines again.

          At least that sounds how you got the OEM onto multiple machines. 😉

          I did misunderstand a bit – missed the part that you did that each time you deployed images. In that case I would look at Oh Smegs latest entry. His is a very practical solution and fairly quick. -Magic Jelly Bean

        • #3030682

          Not good news here

          by oh smeg ·

          In reply to we need to stay in compliance…..

          If you have used a OEM License you need to use OEM Product Keys as you can not change between the different versions of Licenses.

          You can however use something like Key Finder to change the product Keys on the Different Workstations so that you comply with M$’s Licensing Agreement.

          Here I’m assuming that all your systems came with OEM Licenses new and you are just using the same Image for all. This is considered by M$ as Piracy even if you have COA’s on every Case. It’s expensive particularly if this is a business and M$ Legal Loves to hit places like this for stealing from them. M$ have their own Products like this to change Product Keys but keyfinder is much easier.

          As for moving to a Volume License they have a different series of Product Keys and you can not change a OEM to a Volume License Product Key without creating a new Image and re imaging every computer in the Office. This is because Volume License Product has different Code in it’s Base to OEM or Retail product. Of course you’ll need to remember Office Products here as well as Windows Product as they are treated as Different Products and if caught that will be 2 Different Counts of Piracy. If there are any other M$ Products used by this place that will just add to the list as well when they come knocking on your door.

          This really should have been thought about before starting this though if you just use the one image and change the Product Key to match the COA on the case there is no problem.

          OH and BTW WGA will pick this up and send a report directly to M$ and their Legal Department will eventually catch up with you and Audit the company.

          First Offense when caught starts at a $250,000 settlement and listing the Companies Principles and their Home Address in the M$ Enforcement Alert. But this goes on for at least 12 Months before M$ will agree to settle so the company has a large legal bill to settle as well.

          Of course if it’s not the first offense M$ are not so nice to deal with. 😉


    • #3030659

      You can…

      by mamies ·

      In reply to Windows Geniune Advantage

      You can sysprep an OEM image and just not stick the licence keys into it. This way it will ask you to put the licence key into the computer when you load the image. You will still get a validation failure message on first boot but if you select it and let it validate after you have activated it should be ok.

      This will only work as long as you have valid product keys.

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