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Windows 7 activation and ghost images

    Question

  • Basically I have 100 pc's with no operating system. I purchased Windows 7 100 license MAK activation. I need to create an image with specific software and load it on all the pc's.

    How do I create the image and have it activated so that I do not have to activate it at every pc?

    In otherwords I want to do the same thing as we do with Windows XP which we have no problems doing this.

    Thanks in advance.

    Thursday, September 09, 2010 1:57 PM

Answers

  • Hi, Do you plan to use Microsoft solution like MDT 2010 or you will do that deployment manually ? (if you use MDT ask this question in their forum)

    Manually, the process isn't complicated.

    1. Customise Windows 7 with any software, security settings or general settings you wish. When you install from this image all the settings as well as user accounts will be installed by default.

    2. Sysprep the machine (generalize + shudown)

    3. Boot with WinPE disk or the LiteTouch boot image (if you have MDT)

    4. Use imagex to capture the volume.

    5. You will probably need to install the wim file from USB as the image will probably be to large for a DVD. You can overwrite install.wim to \sources on the windows 7 install source.

    See the guide .

    6. for the activation, create a batch file with the following command:
    cscript c :\windows \system32 \slmgr .vbs -ipk xxxx xxxx xxxx xxxx
    cscript c :\windows \system32 \slmgr .vbs -ato (to activate)

    or you can also use an unattend.xml file create with dism

    there are a lot of guides and other ways, i just gave you one.

     

    regards,

     


    www.revuedugeek.com | Déployer Windows 7
    Thursday, September 09, 2010 3:40 PM

All replies

  • Hi, Do you plan to use Microsoft solution like MDT 2010 or you will do that deployment manually ? (if you use MDT ask this question in their forum)

    Manually, the process isn't complicated.

    1. Customise Windows 7 with any software, security settings or general settings you wish. When you install from this image all the settings as well as user accounts will be installed by default.

    2. Sysprep the machine (generalize + shudown)

    3. Boot with WinPE disk or the LiteTouch boot image (if you have MDT)

    4. Use imagex to capture the volume.

    5. You will probably need to install the wim file from USB as the image will probably be to large for a DVD. You can overwrite install.wim to \sources on the windows 7 install source.

    See the guide .

    6. for the activation, create a batch file with the following command:
    cscript c :\windows \system32 \slmgr .vbs -ipk xxxx xxxx xxxx xxxx
    cscript c :\windows \system32 \slmgr .vbs -ato (to activate)

    or you can also use an unattend.xml file create with dism

    there are a lot of guides and other ways, i just gave you one.

     

    regards,

     


    www.revuedugeek.com | Déployer Windows 7
    Thursday, September 09, 2010 3:40 PM
  • Thanks for the quick resoponse. If I understand the question correctly, I would like to do it manually. The way we do it with XP loads is we sysprep and save the image to an external(portable) hard drive. Go to the pc to be imaged, boot from PE and install the image from the portable hard drive. We would like to replicate this procedure as closely as possible for Windows 7 loads.

     

    Thursday, September 09, 2010 3:54 PM
  • ok then you can follow my procedure. (install from USB drive is better, follow the guide)
    www.revuedugeek.com | Déployer Windows 7
    Thursday, September 09, 2010 4:59 PM
  • Is there a way to incorporate that batch file to acivate the OS automatically?
    Sunday, September 12, 2010 10:32 PM
  • Yes, when you create your reference image. Add the batch file somewhere then you create the unattended file to run a command. there are many way to do that (also a GPO...)

    to make it simple, i found a guide for you.


    www.revuedugeek.com | Déployer Windows 7
    Sunday, September 12, 2010 10:55 PM
  • Is there a way that I can put the install.wim file on an external HD and go to each pc and install it?

    If so, how?

    Thanks again.

    Sunday, September 12, 2010 11:38 PM
  • Yes, on external drive, on network share.... You just have to boot on WinPE then use the command imagex /apply e:\captures\custom.wim 1 c:\ /verify to install it.

    E: for your external HDD

    if you use a network share, map it before with the command: net use x: \\server\folder...

     


    www.revuedugeek.com | Déployer Windows 7
    Sunday, September 12, 2010 11:43 PM
  • Thanks for the suggestion but I am trying to install the install.wim image to a clean disk. I started from the WinPE disk I created and the external HD became the c: drive. I checked with the List Volume command and only the  (D)CD_ROM (C)ExternalHD show up.

    What can I do to prepare this disk for installation? Can we prepare it so that I can run the command that you suggested? imagex /apply e:\captures\custom.wim 1 c:\ /verify

     

    Thanks

     

    Monday, September 13, 2010 12:50 AM
  • Normally the List Volume command is supposed to show you all volumes. If you do not see your hard drive is because you didn't create a partition for it. still on WinPE disk use the diskpart utility to format and create a partition. Then you'll see it in the List Volume


    www.revuedugeek.com | Déployer Windows 7
    Monday, September 13, 2010 12:57 AM
  • Thank you for your help. It seems that there are a lot of hoops to jump through. There has to be an easier way to deploy the install.wim image to multiple desktops and so far I have not found it. Seems that Microsoft has really made it a hassle. I need to come up with a way for my techs to install the INSTALL.WIM file on multiple pc's without haveing to jump through all these hoops. I would like to just give them the WinPE disk and external HD, visit each clean(wiped HD) pc and install it using a minimal number of steps. They have been able to do this with Windows XP installs.

    Is there a better way?

     

    Monday, September 13, 2010 1:13 AM
  • Did you get a look at MDT 2010 ? or on the guide there is also the way with the USB Key, You just have to replace the install.wim with the new one.


    www.revuedugeek.com | Déployer Windows 7

    Monday, September 13, 2010 1:14 AM
  • To install from USB drive,

    1. Prepare the USB drive

    diskpart
    select disk 1 (where disk 1 is my usb)
    clean
    create partition primary
    select partition 1
    active
    format quick fs=ntfs
    assign
    exit

    2. Copy the Windows 7 sources file on the USB drive

    3. Replace the install.wim in the sources folder with the new custom.wim (rename it to install.wim)

    4. Install


    www.revuedugeek.com | Déployer Windows 7
    Monday, September 13, 2010 1:31 AM
  • 4. Install     - is this done by booting from the WinPE disk and running the imagex /apply e:\captures\custom.wim 1 c:\ /verify command?
    Monday, September 13, 2010 1:54 AM
  • no, you install directly from the usb key like a normal installation. The only difference is that your wim will be apply
    www.revuedugeek.com | Déployer Windows 7
    Monday, September 13, 2010 1:59 AM