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Windows Vista OEM Invalid Product Key And Won't Activate Or Accept Installation ID After Deployment Of Image From Server

    Question

  • I have literally given up with this and for some reason it doesn't appear to happen everytime i just can't work out what it is i'm doing to force the Product Key to stop working.

    So i have a brand new Dell laptop with an OEM Home Premium License and i am deploying a custom image of Vista Home Premium OEM using Windows Deployment Services from a server. After the image has been deployed and it gets to entering in a license key, if i enter the license key at this point and click next it says invalid license key but if i skip entering in a key and continue through the OOBE and wait for windows to load and then try and either enter in the license key or activate over the telephone using the activation ID it either comes up with the same message (Invalid Vista Key) or the automated telephone service tells me the installation ID is invalid and passes me through to someone who can't help. The laptop has internet connection all the way through installation.

    ON A SEPARATE LAPTOP WITH IDENTICAL SPEC AND O/S

    If i do not attempt to enter in the product key during installation and then click on activate windows through my computer > properties and then after being prompted to enter a key i use the one supplied (and this is different from the other computer with the locked license) it activates and is fine.

    I have been told by dell to use the slmgr commands of which all have been tried (-rearm -ipk -upk -ato) and the slui 3 command and now the only option they have is to replace the machine????

    This seems pretty over the top considering i have legitimate copies of all software and am simply trying to activate a genuine copy with a genuine license.

    Can anyone tell me if there is a way to fix this issue? Ideally someone who understands that if we are buying pre-configured laptops from one company and are simply reselling them with a custom O/S why we can't have these licenses re-activated. Is there no way to fix this or am i going to have to wait for a new Motherboard? or even a new laptop?

    Also i know a simple answer could be just to say don't activate during installation but i would at least like to understand how the licensing works internally so i can avoid future problems.

    Many Thanks in advance.

    Monday, May 11, 2009 3:16 PM

Answers

  • Hello,

     

    Before going any further, I wonder whether or not you used the sysprep /generalize command to remove all machine-specific information from the system before catching the image with ImageX utility and whether you try using the Windows Automated Installation Kit (Windows AIK) to deploy your Windows Vista system.

     

    For your information, please refer to the following article.

    Windows Vista Deployment Step-by-Step Guide

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc721929(WS.10).aspx

     

    Meanwhile, please understand that the key version of the CD that should be supplied to you from the OEM is different from the retail Setup CD from Microsoft. OEM manufacturers tweak operation system with customized features and other changes unique to their product lines. Due to this, you should continue with Dell support to solve the problem in timely manner.

     

    Again, I understand the frustration that this issue has caused and I wish that it was an issue that I could directly assist you with.

     

    Good Luck!

    Andy

    • Marked as answer by Andy Song Tuesday, May 19, 2009 10:15 AM
    Wednesday, May 13, 2009 3:16 AM

All replies

  • Hello,

     

    Before going any further, I wonder whether or not you used the sysprep /generalize command to remove all machine-specific information from the system before catching the image with ImageX utility and whether you try using the Windows Automated Installation Kit (Windows AIK) to deploy your Windows Vista system.

     

    For your information, please refer to the following article.

    Windows Vista Deployment Step-by-Step Guide

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc721929(WS.10).aspx

     

    Meanwhile, please understand that the key version of the CD that should be supplied to you from the OEM is different from the retail Setup CD from Microsoft. OEM manufacturers tweak operation system with customized features and other changes unique to their product lines. Due to this, you should continue with Dell support to solve the problem in timely manner.

     

    Again, I understand the frustration that this issue has caused and I wish that it was an issue that I could directly assist you with.

     

    Good Luck!

    Andy

    • Marked as answer by Andy Song Tuesday, May 19, 2009 10:15 AM
    Wednesday, May 13, 2009 3:16 AM
  • Not to be a problem but actually as I understand the law, both microsoft and dell are jointly and serveraly liable for your product.  Microsoft and dell need to get together and iron this out.  Maybe you should let dell license your product under their name and then probably micorsoft would not be liable for product not working ie Dell vista not microsoft vista.  Untill then this passing the buck needs to come to a sreaming halt as it is just not ethical, legal or good business practice.  Run it by your legal dept and see if I'm not correct. 
    Friday, August 07, 2009 11:56 AM