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Windows XP Volume and OEM Licensing

By Starscream ·
Hi,

hopefully someone can help me with this.

I am the IT Technician in 5 schools and I am going to implement server/client networks using he current peer 2 peer networked computers. I have 30 XP Pro computers all with OEM license as they were bought with XP pro on less than a year ago. However I would like to be able to image these computers with cloning software such as symantec ghost. I know this is all fine and dandy with Volume Licensed computers but what step can I do to allow cloning with OEM computers where each computer has its own activation key? Can I activate one copy of windows and then clone it activated to all other computers, or can I get a VLM copy of XP Pro and use the key from that on all computers? All the computers have their own Certificate of authenticity so would it be ok to use one key through out and use the activation reset crack on them all? Last thing I want to do is to enter the CD Key manually on all computers and future computers.

Thanks

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by coucha In reply to Windows XP Volume and OEM ...

You should be able to do this using sysprep. See Microsoft KB Article #302577.

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;302577

Hope that helps!

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by Starscream In reply to

Thanks for the reply but I would be using Sysprep anyway, forgot to add that, my query was about how can I not enter a new CD key for every computer during mini setup and if I use a retail/oem XP Pro CD I dont want to have to activate each machine, also if I use a cd key for 1 of the 30 computers on all computers they arent all going to activate. So basically can sysprep prepare an already activated computer and clone that so that it doesnt need activating on any other clients it is installed on? And, if that would work, can I legally use 1 cd key on all computers even though they all have individual COA's with unique product keys?

Thanks

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by coucha In reply to Windows XP Volume and OEM ...

At the bottom of the article I gave you it says: "You can use the following optional parameters with the Sysprep command in Windows XP: ? -activated - Do not reset the grace period for Windows product activation. Use this parameter only if you have activated the Windows installation in the factory.

Important The product key that you use to activate the Windows installation must match the product key that is located on the COA sticker that is attached to that particular computer.

That tells me, you still have to activate it somehow, but if you all ready have activated it, you should be ok.

Sorry if I cannot be any more specific to answering that.

Good luck!

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by coucha In reply to Windows XP Volume and OEM ...

After reading a little more on this, you must manually activate an OEM computer with the CD key provided on the computer. The only way around it is by purchasing a volume license.

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by Starscream In reply to

Thanks, thats what I feared - do you know much about volume licensing and is there a certain number of activations allowed per volume license so you buy so many and only use them? Or does it not need to be activated at all? If so could I perhaps arrange something with Microsoft to have all the OEM licenses changed to Volume licenses for this sort of set up, do you think they would be understanding or tell me where to go? ha ha.

Also I do have 2 volume licensed versions of XP Pro addtitional tot he 30 OEM versions, do you think it would be within licensing laws to use the volume key for the cloned images and sysprep? As we do technically have an individual license for each machine. Or do you think that an OEM licensed computer MUST be activated with the OEM key?

Nothing is ever straight forward is it?

I'll award you the points once the thread is finished so others can see it for future reference if they have similar problems. Thanks for helping :)

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by coucha In reply to

http://www.mcse.ms/message1575194.html and http://www.mcse.ms/message1575195.html

Above are links to a forum question and answer regarding a similar situation, which is what i found for this post. The website is www.mcse.ms and you can find many more answers to technical questions as well. You may want to post your question there, although I think you will find that you cannot do what you would like to do, because of the OEM status of the 30 computers.

Hope that helps and good luck!

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by wlbowers In reply to Windows XP Volume and OEM ...

You need a corporate copy of XP Pro.

Contact Microsoft they will fix you right up.

http://www.microsoft.com/education/default.mspx


Lee

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Sysprep will do what you want with an OEM license

by metaz39 In reply to Windows XP Volume and OEM ...

There is a way to use sysprep with the OEM license key so you will not need to activate it again. I have done it on several refresh projects. Sorry my mind is numb but there is a string and Microsoft even gives you a key to use for OEM's so there is no need to re purchase keys or activate them again after re iimaging.

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Another way to do this...

by Hendrijazz In reply to Sysprep will do what you ...

Hi,
I have the same situation, have 22 OEM PCs that need to setup. So how can we make 1 image then restore to all PC with their own OEM key without breaching COA?
What I did is activated 1 OEM key, then install all the necessary softwares and settings. Before we create the image, search for wpa.bak and wpa.dbl in \WINDOWS\System32 folder. Remove those wpa files from the folder then create the image.
What it does is remove the "activated" information so you need to "activate" the OEM license.
Once yuou restart the Master PC or restore the image onto other OEM PC, it will says that you need to activate the key. If you lucky, you'll get 30 days grace period.
Go to Start-All Programs-Accessories-System Tools-Activate Window. Select to activate by Phone which allows you to change the key as many times as you want.
Some rules applies: same mobo is very important with imaging. Test on 1 PC that the image accept others OEM key. Sometime it depends on the "generation" of the CD and the key. If the CD generation and the key generation are different, then you won't be able to change the key. Obvious example: Volume License CD won't accept OEM key, vice versa.

Hope this helps....
Good luck!

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by dac65 In reply to Windows XP Volume and OEM ...

oem versions will not allow genuine windows authentication if you install os other then oem - ms uses bios string and oem prod key to verify the liscence for that unit. Don't know if there is a solution

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