Guys , Im creating a new Windows XP image for the company Im now working for. Everything is going great , but when I roll the image out on to new pcs , Windows XP keeps asking me to activate it. How can I stop this for happening ?
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Are you using a Volume License?
Answered 07/21/2009 by: DeployTech
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In your Unattend.txt try

[Unattended]
AutoActivate = Yes
Answered 07/21/2009 by: DeployTech
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Have a look at ref.chm in Deploy.cab in the Support folder on your Windows XP CD.

That has all of the unattended keys, and descriptions of what they do.
Answered 07/21/2009 by: DeployTech
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DelpoyTech

This is something that does confuse me. Whats a volume licence ? I know there are differences with product keys etc
Answered 07/21/2009 by: TheFergie101
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Righto,

Volume licensing is a single key for all of the Windows Installations for the business.
When you buy PCs and you have a WIndows sticker on them with a 25 character code, those are OEM (the licenses cannot be transferred to different hardware)
When you buy a retail box for a windows OS, that is Windows Retail and the license can be transferred once (I think).

If your company has a "Select" or "Enterprise" agreement, that is similar to the Volume License where you jus thave one code.

Are you manually entering a different license for each PC, or do you have a single code to enter?
Answered 07/21/2009 by: DeployTech
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Ok , thats what I thought. The company I work for now have no pc image at all - they just boot up their Dell machines with XP on it and let the users fire away. This is bad as 1 , there is so much crap with the Dell out of the box pcs , plus I now need to be able to build pcs fast. I had used Ghost and I was able to build/roll out 50-60 pcs a day. From a tech support point of view , I could always wipe a pc back with ghost if there were lots of issues. I want to create a brand new base Windows Xp image with the lastet patches on it as a base model to start with it. I did a test build , but I used the key on the side of the pc - it activated fine , but when i imaged it to another pc , it asked me to reactivate it. In my old company , the image we used (I didnt make this image) when I build a pc , it would boot up ,install the drivers , reboot , add its self to the domain and then away you went - it didnt require to be activated. I think this was because it was build using a Windows XP select agreement disc and Volume licence. I also had used ghostwalker to rename the pc image and refresh the sid before first boot.
Answered 07/21/2009 by: TheFergie101
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Another question !

Before I start , I am better off using a Select Agreement Windows XP install disc with the volume licence ?
All I have at the moment , in the Windows XP install disc that came in the DELL PC Hardware with the OEM key posted on the side of the box ?
Answered 07/21/2009 by: TheFergie101
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VL and Select codes need different media from OEM discs.
Answered 07/21/2009 by: DeployTech
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If you're using Dells, and used the Dell CD to create the image, it shouldn't behave that way.
I do this regularly and it never asks for a key, or for activation.

How are you creating this image?
Answered 07/29/2009 by: smason
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smason is correct, or at least in my experience I've never had any issues. I've deployed over 200 machines and used the same disc to create all of my images. I think the older Dell discs gave me problems but those were from home machines (Dimension Desktops) about 6 or 8 years ago. All of our machines are Optiplex or Latitudes and they all come with the "Magic Dell Key" hard coded into the disc.

Initially I used sysprep but when I found this out I quit messing with, if Dell sends it to me with that key then there isn't too much that MS can say. Or at least they can't say much if you bought all of your machines with an OS.
Answered 07/30/2009 by: bacanter01
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With the correct key type, you don't get asked.

A question for smason and bacanter01 -

If you are deploying to a mixed environment of, say, HP and Dell, how do you feel about using the Dell Key in that scenario?
Just wondering.
Answered 07/31/2009 by: DeployTech
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If you're creating an image you want deployed across multiple systems, even if they're the same vendor, you need a volume license key. Otherwise, you're using a single OEM license for multiple systems, which I'm not entirely sure is even within the license agreement or not, which means you may have to enter each individual key per deployment you do to remain in compliance (I'm sure this is documented somewhere, don't quote me).

Also, using an OEM license you run the risk of the CD you're using not taking the key you're providing (this has happened to me...and it's annoying) so you're making your life difficult in the long run. Get your volume key/cd, create your image, and you'll never run into this scenario.
Answered 08/07/2009 by: jcarri06
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We're strictly Dell here, but if we weren't I'd definitely not use a Dell image on an HP.
The Dell OEM XP CD will only boot on a Dell computer, wont' even work in a VM on a Dell computer, as it needs to see a Dell BIOS before it'll run.
There is a key with the Dell CD but it's built-in to the install, you don't actually get a chance to enter it.
Answered 08/11/2009 by: smason
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