Windows 7 Forums
Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.

Windows 7: Legality of putting images on multiple computers

06 Nov 2013   #1
pen island

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
06 Nov 2013   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


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:
%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
pen island

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

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

 Legality of putting images on multiple computers

Thread Tools

Similar help and support threads
Thread Forum
Free Software for putting multiple video's onto a DVD
Hello Everyone I am looking for free software that enables you to put multiple video's onto a dvd. Also a tutorial would be handy. Thanks
Storing Windows Images from multiple computers
I am looking for some advice on the best way to store images, and more particularly get around the porblems I am facing with my current attempts. I have a Netgear ReadyNAS Duo RND102 which has 2 x 1TB drives in RAID1 configuration. I would like to use this to store all my system images on. This...
Backup and Restore
Multiple Disc Images ?
Can I have multiple disc images on my external HD? When I created a second disc image there was a warning if there was not enough room on the HDD that older images would be deleted. I have over 800 GB & still have plenty of room. The WindowsImageBackup folder is dated March 23, 2011. This is...
Backup and Restore
System Images from 5 computers to same external drive?
I have a seagate 2TB USB drive. Can I make system images from several different computers to the above drive? When I restore will the computer find the correct system restore file? Tully
Backup and Restore
Putting specific backgrounds on multiple users
Here's the deal. I work as IT for an university and as any other univ, we have our own domain. Now, we purchased over 80 vostro laptops for student to check out. 40 out of 80 will be able to go outside the university for a period of 72hrs. So here is my question. Since the laptops will not be...

Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 22:32.
Twitter Facebook Google+