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Windows 7 product key issues


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Whenever I deploy my image to a pc, I have to go into the computer properties and re-enter the Windows product key before the OS can activate. I have tried entering the product key during the deployment wizard, and also via an answer file, but the result has always been the same. Is there some trick to this that I am missing?

I am deploying Windows 7 Enterprise, x64, with a volume MAK key.

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When entering the product key during deployment the key is passed off to sysprep to process. Assuming that the version of Windows you are deploying matches the version of Windows your key is intended for you shouldn't have a problem. To check the SKU of Windows you can run "slmgr.vbs -dlv" from an administrative command prompt on your virtual reference machine. This command will return all the licensing information from the OS, you will want to ensure the Channel is Volume. If this all looks good our support team could have a look at the Setupact.log from C:\ Windows\Panther to see why sysprep isn't processing your key or you could try installing the product key via a task created from the Deploy Wizard. If you want to create a Task you can follow the steps below.

  1. Boot a target device to the SmartDeploy boot environment
  2. Select Deploy an image
  3. Select Advanced, and then the Tasks tab
  4. Select Add to create a new task
  5. Change the Command to "cmd.exe /c C:\Windows\System32\slmgr.vbs -ipk xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx" where the x's are your product key
  6. Change the Phase to First boot as system or First logon to desktop
  7. If you want to automatically activate the machine you can create another task in the same phase to run "cmd.exe /c C:\Windows\System32\slmgr.vbs -ato"
  8. Continue your deployment as normal
  9. If you would like to automate this process in the future you can Export an answer file on the Summary page of the Deploy Wizard

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