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MDT - sysprep practices and Windows genuine notifications during deployment

    Question

  • This question has to do with the infamous 3 sysprep limitation (Windows activation rearm) and maintaining a master image.

    I have set my answer file during the capture process to perform a skiprearm.

    <SkipRearm>1</SkipRearm>

    This has been working quite well as I can update my image without burning a sysprep. (SLMGR.vbs /dlv still shows 3 even after capture)

    During deployment using MDT 2012 SP1 I have my task sequence installing my custom .wim with the answer file set to:

    <SkipRearm>0</SkipRearm> (Default)

    The issue I'm having is that during the task sequence the techs are seeing a:

    This copy of Windows is not genuine - and all the associated prompts that go with it (black screen etc)

    Now, my task sequence is fully automated and once it gets the device joined to the domain, it activates against KMS and the error ceases to happen.  The device works without issue once the deployment is fully completed.

    What I would like is for the error to never display during the deployment process.  Its almost as if during the deployment Windows is coming out without doing a rearm and I'm not sure why.

    I would appreciate any advice on how to keep utilizing the SkipRearm 1 (for captures) and SkipRearm 0 for deployments but get the actual deployment to come out with a 3 day grace period so that an error does not occur.

    After reading on this problem quite a bit I'm aware of the following suggestions:

    • Don't mess with SkipRearm and rebuild the master from scratch every time
    • Utilize a VM with snapshot feature on the master image so that you don't have to mess with SkipRearm

    These aren't usable solutions for me at this moment in time.

    In the end, what I would like to accomplish is keeping the master image at a point where I can tinker with it and recapture it without burning a SysPrep/Activation count.  I'd then like to be able to deploy it without seeing the Windows is not genuine message.

    Again, my current method is working OK.  Deployments are running great and MDT is a pretty slick tool.  Updating the image is working great as well.  I'd just like to figure out a way to get this error to not occur during the deployment process without completely redoing my current processes.

    Much thanks for any suggestions,


    • Edited by JakeWM Tuesday, October 29, 2013 2:19 AM edit to add clarification
    Tuesday, October 29, 2013 2:16 AM

All replies

  • so you are having a gold image which you made and then deploy whenever you need to make a change to it and capture that?

    if i interpret that correct why is it not possible to make your "gold image" from scratch each time?

    once automated making a new "golden image" should be very easy.

    as for your question i'm not sure if what you are asking is possible but you might try to put a slmgr /rearm command somewhere in the state restore part of your deployment so that it has that 30 days grace period before it gets added to your domain.

    Tuesday, October 29, 2013 8:25 AM
  • Correct, I am deploying the gold image - making changes - and then capturing it back.

    The primary reason I am unable to generate the image from scratch each time is I have been unsuccessful in making certain user specific changes in an automated fashion.

    Examples: Taskbar customizations, start menu customizations, screen saver customizations, theme customizations to impact all users.

    Currently I am using copyprofile to great effect which allows these types of customizations to persist.  A "from scratch" approach would necessitate changing these settings on the golden image manually each time, which I'd like to avoid.

    Additionally, I have Office 2007 and all current applicable Windows and Office updates included in the golden image.  I'm aware of the ability to automate the installation of office 2007 into the image as well as getting the WSUS server to deploy updates during the task sequence.  However, in the interest of deployment time, I like having these included in the golden image.  I would also not want to recreate these two factors each time I want to adjust the golden image.

    I like your suggestion of including a slmgr /rearm during the initial stages of the deployment.  I will test this today and report results.  Thanks for the suggestion.

    Tuesday, October 29, 2013 12:50 PM
  • Adding:

    cscript.exe %windir%\system32\slmgr.vbs /rearm

    To the early portion of the task sequence has resolved this error from occurring during the deployment process.

    I tested it on both 32-bit and 64-bit deployments, and it is working on both.

    Wednesday, October 30, 2013 3:45 AM