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Windows 8.1 - EFI - Partitions - Key Activation


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I have created a new image for Windows 8.1 using Smart Deploy. Everything works great and this image works on 3 models of Lenovo with no issues. I did this mostly as a test in the environment I'm in because Windows 8.1 is not used on the production computers.

After getting the basics down, I discovered that the machines that are EFI-aware, are not activating Windows 8.1 because the proper partitions are not installed. See this link for what those should be: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh825686.aspx

I'm not sure how to use VirtualBox to setup a Windows 8.1 image that will install on a EFI based computer/laptop that will automatically activate Windows 8.1.

Could someone provide guidance?

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The current version of SmartDeploy, 1.1.3010 doesn't support UEFI. You can change the machines into Legacy mode in the BIOS to load them. The next version of SmartDeploy, 1.1.4000, will support UEFI and should be out very soon.

When you purchase a machine with Windows preloaded on it, that is an OEM license. You can’t use OEM licenses for reimaging, so what you are supposed to do is purchase a single VL license. You then just need Microsoft to grant you activations on that VL key equal to the total number of OEM machines purchased. Which is outlined in the Microsoft reimaging guide. See FAQ #7. It's also discussed in this Microsoft blog.

We have a couple resellers that understand this arrangement, that we can put you in contact with. Or, you can ask your preferred reseller about it. Just email us at support@smartdeploy.com if you need more information.

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