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Sysprep, maintain activation and product key RRS feed

  • السؤال

  • I've done a fair amount of searching and reading and cannot find a solution to what I'm attempting to do here. I'm an OEM and have a image that I've deployed to a customer machine. I go into audit mode on that machine to finalize any customizations that I want. I want to enter the product key and activate Windows 7 prior to delivering. Then I run sysprep to prepare the machine for delivery. I do not want the end user to have to enter a product key or activate Windows when they obtain this machine.

    The problem is that I've tried mulitiple methods and neither do what I want.

    Method #1:  

    sysprep /oobe /shutdown

    Customer has to re-enter the product key, and as long as it matches, Windows 7 remains activated. This would be fine except I do not want them to have to enter the product key. So I try the next method...

    Method #2:

    sysprep /oobe /shutdown /unattend:unattend.xml

    The unattend.xlm contains my product key, so the customer should not have to enter it? Apparently not, during the oobe, customer is still prompted for product key. I then read about using the generalize option. So I try the next method...

    Method #3:

    sysprep /generalize /oobe /shutdown /unattend:unattend.xml

    When using the generalize option, it appears the the oobe successfully uses the product key thats embedded in the unattend.xml. But the problem is that using the generalize option resets the activation, forcing the customer to now activate Windows 7.

    Again, I need a method that maintains activation, and does not ask for a product key during the OOBE. Please Help!


    04/رجب/1432 03:28 م

الإجابات

  • You need to use the "SkipRearm" option during your Sysprep process. This will avoid the reseting the activation Clock. It can be set in your unattended answer file.

    Resetting Windows Activation

    When you install Windows with a single license product key, you have 30 days during which you must activate that installation of Windows.

    There is no limit to the number of times that the Sysprep command can run on a computer. However, the clock for Windows Product Activation begins its countdown the first time Windows starts. You can use the sysprep /generalize command to reset Windows Product Activation a maximum of three times. After the third time that you run the sysprep /generalize command, the clock can no longer be reset.

    When you run the sysprep /generalize command, the activation clock will automatically reset. You can bypass resetting the activation clock by using the SkipRearm setting in the Microsoft-Windows-Security-SPP component. This enables you to run the Sysprep command multiple times without resetting the activation clock. For more information about this setting, see the Unattended Windows Setup Reference (Unattend.chm).

     

    Look at the following links for further information.

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff716063(WS.10).aspx

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd744512(WS.10).aspx


    Kubilay Elmas MCITP (Enterprise Desktop Administrator Windows 7)
    • تم وضع علامة كإجابة بواسطة ian.ball 04/رجب/1432 05:19 م
    04/رجب/1432 04:59 م
  • You're very close. What you need to do is make sure your machine is activated prior to sysprep. Then using Windows SIM add the key Microsoft-Windows-Security-SPP\SkipRearm to the Generalize phase and set the value to 1 for your unattend.xml file. Once you have this key set, you can use the same script you have in your Method #3, but the SkipRearm key will prevent the activation from being reset.
    • تم وضع علامة كإجابة بواسطة ian.ball 04/رجب/1432 05:19 م
    04/رجب/1432 04:50 م

جميع الردود

  • What type of key and where in the answer file are you placing the key?

     

    Thanks

    Sean


    MCTS: Windows 7
    04/رجب/1432 04:20 م
  • Its an OEM for system builders key. The answer file is getting placed directly on the HDD in C:\Windows\System32\OOBE\

    It appears to read it correctly only when I use the generalize option (which i don't want because that seems to be resetting activation).

     

    Correction: answer file is in C:\Windows\System32\sysprep\

    04/رجب/1432 04:27 م
  • You're very close. What you need to do is make sure your machine is activated prior to sysprep. Then using Windows SIM add the key Microsoft-Windows-Security-SPP\SkipRearm to the Generalize phase and set the value to 1 for your unattend.xml file. Once you have this key set, you can use the same script you have in your Method #3, but the SkipRearm key will prevent the activation from being reset.
    • تم وضع علامة كإجابة بواسطة ian.ball 04/رجب/1432 05:19 م
    04/رجب/1432 04:50 م
  • You need to use the "SkipRearm" option during your Sysprep process. This will avoid the reseting the activation Clock. It can be set in your unattended answer file.

    Resetting Windows Activation

    When you install Windows with a single license product key, you have 30 days during which you must activate that installation of Windows.

    There is no limit to the number of times that the Sysprep command can run on a computer. However, the clock for Windows Product Activation begins its countdown the first time Windows starts. You can use the sysprep /generalize command to reset Windows Product Activation a maximum of three times. After the third time that you run the sysprep /generalize command, the clock can no longer be reset.

    When you run the sysprep /generalize command, the activation clock will automatically reset. You can bypass resetting the activation clock by using the SkipRearm setting in the Microsoft-Windows-Security-SPP component. This enables you to run the Sysprep command multiple times without resetting the activation clock. For more information about this setting, see the Unattended Windows Setup Reference (Unattend.chm).

     

    Look at the following links for further information.

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff716063(WS.10).aspx

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd744512(WS.10).aspx


    Kubilay Elmas MCITP (Enterprise Desktop Administrator Windows 7)
    • تم وضع علامة كإجابة بواسطة ian.ball 04/رجب/1432 05:19 م
    04/رجب/1432 04:59 م
  • I've done a fair amount of searching and reading and cannot find a solution to what I'm attempting to do here. I'm an OEM and have a image that I've deployed to a customer machine. I go into audit mode on that machine to finalize any customizations that I want. I want to enter the product key and activate Windows 7 prior to delivering. Then I run sysprep to prepare the machine for delivery. I do not want the end user to have to enter a product key or activate Windows when they obtain this machine.

    The problem is that I've tried mulitiple methods and neither do what I want.

    Method #1:  

    sysprep /oobe /shutdown

    Customer has to re-enter the product key, and as long as it matches, Windows 7 remains activated. This would be fine except I do not want them to have to enter the product key. So I try the next method...

    Method #2:

    sysprep /oobe /shutdown /unattend:unattend.xml

    The unattend.xlm contains my product key, so the customer should not have to enter it? Apparently not, during the oobe, customer is still prompted for product key. I then read about using the generalize option. So I try the next method...

    Method #3:

    sysprep /generalize /oobe /shutdown /unattend:unattend.xml

    When using the generalize option, it appears the oobe successfully uses the product key that's embedded in the unattend.xml. But the problem is that using the generalize option resets the activation, forcing the customer to now activate Windows 7.

    Again, I need a method that maintains activation, and does not ask for a product key during the OOBE. Please Help!


    I'm attempting to replicate your feat, with activated Win 7 Pro 64 OEM. I created an unattend.xml with embedded product key, and skiprearm 1 command following the info in this thread, but after I reboot from running the sysprep command from your Method 3, I get an error "Windows could not finish configuring the system. To attempt to resume configuration, restart the computer. 

    Any help would be appreciated. 

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
    <unattend xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:unattend">
        <settings pass="generalize">
            <component name="Microsoft-Windows-Security-SPP" processorArchitecture="amd64" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
                <SkipRearm>1</SkipRearm>
            </component>
            <component name="Microsoft-Windows-PnpSysprep" processorArchitecture="amd64" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
                <DoNotCleanUpNonPresentDevices>true</DoNotCleanUpNonPresentDevices>
                <PersistAllDeviceInstalls>true</PersistAllDeviceInstalls>
            </component>
        </settings>
        <settings pass="specialize">
            <component name="Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup" processorArchitecture="amd64" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
                <ProductKey>XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX</ProductKey>
            </component>
        </settings>
    </unattend>
    

    Thanks

    Daniel

    18/شعبان/1434 09:26 م
  • OEM Keys are placed in the WindowsPE pass, the Specialize pass is used for MAK (Multiple Activation Keys).

    Try placing it in the WindowsPE pass.

    <settings pass="windowsPE">
            <component name="Microsoft-Windows-Setup" processorArchitecture="amd64" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
                <UserData>
                    <ProductKey>
                        <Key>XXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX</Key>
                        <WillShowUI>OnError</WillShowUI>
                    </ProductKey>
                    <AcceptEula>true</AcceptEula>
                </UserData>
            </component>
        </settings>
    


    MCTS: Windows 7

    MCITP: Windows 7 Enterprise Administration

    MCSA: Windows 7

    • تم الاقتراح كإجابة بواسطة Daniel.Sharp 22/شعبان/1434 08:04 م
    18/شعبان/1434 10:18 م
  • I tried WindowsPE first, and then something I read led me to the specialize pass. I'll revert to WindowsPE pass as you suggest and have another go.  Thanks for the suggestion.
    22/شعبان/1434 03:22 م
  • It appears to be working now.  My unattend.xml has the key in both the WindowsPE and the Specialize pass (on accident). Now that it's working and retained the Activation I'll test next with removing the specialize portion. 

    Thanks again, you were a big help. 


    22/شعبان/1434 08:04 م
  • There is no limit to the number of times that the Sysprep command can run on a computer.

    According to the following, there is a limit to using the SkipRearm function with Sysprep:

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh824938.aspx

    It can only be used eight times for Windows 8 and after that a new image will have to be made.

    I think that's okay as I think Windows 7 was limited to a smaller number of SkipRearm activations.

    17/ربيع الأول/1435 03:23 ص
  • I've done a fair amount of searching and reading and cannot find a solution to what I'm attempting to do. I have a computer image. I go into audit mode on that machine to finalize any customizations that I need. I want to enter the product key and activate Windows 7 prior to delivering. 

    I then run Sysprep to prepare the machine for delivery. I do not want the end user to have to enter a product key or activate Windows 7 when they obtain this machine. I want the end user to get the computer with all the updates and programs installed with Windows activated.

    When you run the sysprep /generalize command, the activation clock will automatically reset. However, you are supposed to be able to bypass this setting by adding the Microsoft-Windows-Security-SPP component to your answer file. You then set the SkipRearm setting to 1. This enables Sysprep to run without resetting the activation clock or having to enter the product key doing setup.I have set the setting to 1 in my answer file.

    I do all the customizations I need. I then enter the product key and activate Windows 7. I run sysprep. Once I start the computer and go through the OOBE setup (like a new customer) it still asks me for a product key.

    Does anyone have any additional ideas or tips on how to keep the Windows Product Key activated so the customer doesn’t need to enter the product key doing setup?

    Thanks for your input. 


    • تم التحرير بواسطة iusewindows 18/ربيع الأول/1436 10:47 م
    18/ربيع الأول/1436 10:45 م
  • You need to look into running sysprep with a unattend switch and a unattend answer file with the product key in it.  This should solve your problem.

    Thanks
    Sean


    MCTS: Windows 7

    MCITP: Windows 7 Enterprise Administration

    MCSA: Windows 7

    25/ربيع الأول/1436 08:04 م