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Windows 7: Activation of Windows 7 after Re-image using Acronis

18 Dec 2014   #1
davesomma

windows 7 enterprise
 
 
Activation of Windows 7 after Re-image using Acronis

Hi there all,

My situation is that I have 65 Dell M4800 Laptops, one of these laptops I use as the master laptop to build a Master image for the other 65 laptops. Every month I have to perform a system update to the master image with software and program updates that have changed. From there I then take a new master image and use Acronis to move the image to the other 64 laptops.

I have a copy of Windows 7 Enterprise with office 2010 both with an unlimited corporate licence. for both applications.

The issue I am having is that when I take a copy of the master laptop with Acronis 14.0 then restore the image to the other laptops, I have to keep activating both Windows and Office on ever laptop. My other issue is that I cant connect these laptops to the Internet either so I have to use the phone activation process.

What I am trying to find out is the following;
1. Does Windows change its activation codes for telephone activation every time for the same laptop.

2. If the activation codes are the same ever time, is there a way to have all the codes in a file that the system is able to look up and activate after the reimage.

3. If the codes do change then does anyone have a way to capture the codes and automate this process some how.

Thanks in advance
Dave


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 Dec 2014   #2
NoelDP

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 x64 Home Premium (and x86 VirtualBox VM)/Win10
 
 

The problem here is that the MAC address is unique to each machine - and carries a lot of weight in the Activation scheme.
Changing MAC address will almost always cause a request to re-activate.

To avoid this problem you should use the proper installation procedures, rather than just cloning the drive.
Windows 7 OPK
Download The Windows® Automated Installation Kit (AIK) for Windows® 7 from Official Microsoft Download Center
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Dec 2014   #3
davesomma

windows 7 enterprise
 
 

Thankyou for your reply, the only issue is that I have to keep reinstalling every Laptop then every month with the other software updates and I would then still have to reactivate the 2 Microsoft products.

However if the MAC address is what it is looking for then as long as it does not change the activation code should not change every time for the same laptops.

So in theory I should be able to note the codes down that I gain from every laptop after I have done the first telephone activation and then use the same code every month on the same Laptop.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 Dec 2014   #4
NoelDP

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 x64 Home Premium (and x86 VirtualBox VM)/Win10
 
 

Nope - the system doesn't work that way, so far as I know.

I'm a little confused as to what you are actually trying to do.
The official/best way to install ALL volume licenses is the AIK - which can be updated at need, and which will properly install almost any machine.


WHY do you feel the need to reinstall these machines every month? - it seems to me to be a massive time-waster.

Simply allow the machines to do the updates as required.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Dec 2014   #5
davesomma

windows 7 enterprise
 
 

Yeah I thought this may get a little confusing.

So my issue is that all the laptops are used as a standalone system due to security classification of them and because of the security classification they cant be connected to the internet.

However we do get monthly updates to many of the programs we have installed on the laptops. Some of these updates can take a few hours to move the data onto the laptop.

Now instead of doing the updates to every laptop we only update the master image and then the image of that laptops is copied to the other 64 laptops.

Hope this clears it up a little
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Dec 2014   #6
NoelDP

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 x64 Home Premium (and x86 VirtualBox VM)/Win10
 
 

In that case you really need to use the AIK - which will allow pre-install of all your programs etc and then creation of an image which will activate properly once booted.
I don't believe there is a way around the post-installation activation, unless you use an OEM_SLP Key/license.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Dec 2014   #7
davesomma

windows 7 enterprise
 
 

I have worked out solution to my issue.

The way to activate the laptops is to perform a one time phone activation using the normal Microsoft procedure. However for each of the laptops ensure that you copy the confirmation ID down and note it somewhere.

Then once you have the code for that single laptop the code does not change from one install to the net since none of the hardware has changed.

So I had some of my code writing guru's whip up a script that uses the command line "slmgr /apt (plus the 48 number confirmation code )" activation process.

The same can be done for Office 2010 as ell however you have to use the "ospp.vbs /actcidplus the 48 numbers f the confirmation ID)"

The only problem is having to first time activate them via the phone.

So far it has worked well on 5 laptops that we have reimaged several times just to verify the procedure.

Cheers
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Dec 2014   #8
NoelDP

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 x64 Home Premium (and x86 VirtualBox VM)/Win10
 
 

Ingenious! thanks for posting that.

I really have no idea how that fits with the 'technical' requirements of WGA - but it seems to make sense to me, at least.

This does require that you issue the necessary token to each PC as it's reformatted - but it probably adds only a few seconds to your monthly update regime.


Well done for that!

I'm still a little concerned - this is a unusual situation, and has ramifications outside the obvious.

My current problem is that I can't see an easy way to get the data I'd like to have access to without also breaching you own restrictions.

Having said that - if the results work for you, then go for it! I cannot and must not attempt to force my understanding of the licensing system into your requirements ( In other words, I'll butt out! ) I can potentially see problems ahead in 28+ day's time - but depending on the exact commands used they may be irrelevant.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Activation of Windows 7 after Re-image using Acronis




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