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Windows 7: Ghosting OEM Machines - possible?


17 Nov 2011   #1

windows 7 64-bit
 
 
Ghosting OEM Machines - possible?

Hi all,
I have used ghost before to image XP PCs over the network, but have yet to try either Windows 7 or an OEM OS (xp was an enterprise license). My Qs:
  • Is it legit to ghost OEM PCs? I have 60+ new PCs, with OEM Windows 7. I was thinking that I could take one PC, set it up the software etc then push the image. I would then change the license key to the one on the box. Is this correct?
  • If all the systems are the same, do I need to sysprep?
  • I have heard horror stories of syspreping Windows 7 - if I need to do a sysprep, does anyone have a good guide?
Any help/advice greatly appreciated,
Rob


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Nov 2011   #2
Microsoft MVP

 

This seems to work well: SysPrep to move HD to another computer

Imaging or cloning directlyl would need to be to the exact hardware since Windows 7 cannot be counted on to start on new hardware without SysPrepping or utilizing a feature like Acronis Universal Restore or a Paragon Adaptive Restore CD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Nov 2011   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
This seems to work well: SysPrep to move HD to another computer.
As much as I trust this method, it has served me well, I would not use it on corporate environment. I would rather choose the ImaxeX / WIM route (ImageX and WIM Image Format)

Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


17 Nov 2011   #4

windows 7 64-bit
 
 

Thanks for the prompt replies:

To be clear, all of the PCs are exactly the same - so no hardware issues.

In the past, I've done XP imaging by doing a sysprep, then pushing the image out with Ghost. But that was with an enterprise version of XP with a Volume License Key. In the end, all the PCs had the same key.

Where I'm having trouble is with the OEM key. If I sysprep one of the OEM boxes, and push out the image - I assume I am supposed to use the OEM key on the side of the box? Also, each of these already shows up as "activated" when I go into system properties. Will the ghosted PCs have trouble activating again?

I want to be sure before I start testing the images.

Thanks,
Rob
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Nov 2011   #5
Microsoft MVP

 

You can try an image on some of the boxes to see if it works. If you're prompted for reactivation insert the Key from COA sticker which came with machine if applicable.

Otherwise you can change out the Key at Computer>Properties proactively to reset the SID which should be different if not the hardware.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Nov 2011   #6

windows 7 64-bit
 
 

I was looking at this article: Windows 7 Installation - Transfer to a New Computer

Could it be the switching hardware that is causing the OEM activation issue?

Rob
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Nov 2011   #7
Microsoft MVP

 

Yes. You want the Product Key from each target machine entered at Computer>Properties activation link anyway. Otherwise it is using another machine's key and will be deactivated soon enough.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Nov 2011   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

ME/XP/Vista/Win7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Kari View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
This seems to work well: SysPrep to move HD to another computer.
As much as I trust this method, it has served me well, I would not use it on corporate environment. I would rather choose the ImaxeX / WIM route (ImageX and WIM Image Format)

Kari
+1

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by sternfan2011 View Post
Is it legit to ghost OEM PCs? I have 60+ new PCs, with OEM Windows 7. I was thinking that I could take one PC, set it up the software etc then push the image. I would then change the license key to the one on the box. Is this correct?

No need to remove the factory OEM-SLP activation method Product Key,
if all the systems are the same.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by sternfan2011 View Post
If all the systems are the same, do I need to sysprep?
No need to use SYSPREP, if all the systems are the same.

information   Information
We always assume you have made your Recovery Disks using the OEM manufacturer's Recovery Media Creator app the first day you had your new PC.
& made the Startup Repair CD.
startup repair disc-create


Did you make the OEM manufacturer's Recovery Disks?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Ghosting OEM Machines - possible?




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