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Windows 7: Legality of putting images on multiple computers

06 Nov 2013   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Legality of putting images on multiple computers

Is it illegal to put an image of one computer (running Windows 7, no commercial software installed) onto another computer?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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06 Nov 2013   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 8.1 Pro Preview with Media Center
 
 

Deploying the same Windows image to multiple computers is not illegal nor against Windows End User License Agreement (EULA) or any other license agreements, as long as the image is prepared without a product key. This is very clear: one PC, one Windows, one product key.

To deploy (just a fancy word meaning to install the same image on multiple computers) an image of an existing Windows system should be done by removing (uninstalling) the product key before creating the image. This is easiest done by using the Windows System Preparation Tool sysprep with a /generalize switch:
Code:
%windir%\system32\sysprep\sysprep.exe /oobe /generalize /shutdown
and then capturing the image and deploying it to other computers. Generalizing the image with sysprep also makes it hardware independent to make it easier to install the same Windows image on different hardware.

When these computers are then booted first time, they will ask for a product key. Each Windows PC needs its own product key. Notice that also the computer containing the original Windows setup which was sysprepped needs to reactivated with valid product key when first time booted after the sysprep operation.

Some tutorials:Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Nov 2013   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote:
Each Windows PC needs its own product key
So I need to buy a product key for each machine?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


06 Nov 2013   #4

64-bit Windows 8.1 Pro
 
 

Yes, as Kari said, one key for each machine ...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Legality of putting images on multiple computers





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