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Windows 7: Image Deployment of Windows 7

20 May 2011   #1

Windows 7 Professional 32/64 bit
Image Deployment of Windows 7

I have a licensing question regarding the deployement of Windows 7.

We are currently purchasing notebooks that have an OEM key for Windows 7 Pro and have been configuring each by hand which can get really annoying. I want to create an image of Windows 7 and use it for deployement however I'm not too sure about the licensing involved.

First off, you cannot image an OEM version and you need an open license version, correct?

Do I need to purchase a VLK license for each notebook that I want to image to? Or can I just purchase 1 open license and image that to multiple computers since the OEM key is in fact for Windows 7 Professional?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 May 2011   #2


I believe you're going to need to look into VLK if you're intending on using the same key & installation across multiple machines. You "may" be able to get away with buying one 7Pro and then inserting the individual OEM key that is on the individual laptop stickers, however I'm not sure on that one so don't quote me there. I'm sure someone else here does know this answer though so sit tight, some one else will surely be able to answer this.

Aside from the licensing issues, once you get the version of Windows that you'll be installing legally with a licensed key, you should look into windows sysprep. It will cut your distribution time down incredibly using this method rather than setting up each machine individually from scratch.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 May 2011   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64

If the notebooks come with an oem key already - then you have already paid for a license for each machine.

No sense in paying again.

You should be able to create an image using sysprep including the drivers and install it to all the notebooks.

Probably easiest to do a clean install of Starter edition from regular install dvd - install drivers and any other setup stuff - no need to put a key in at this stage - sysprep it - then put that image on all the machines.

You would need to put each product key in individually - shouldn't be a big deal if you only have a couple of dozen .

I don't do this for a living - just working on logic.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

20 May 2011   #4

Windows 7 Professional 32/64 bit

Well, the company I work for has 150-200 computers throughout the country and they are growing VERY quickly. This means that it's not enough computers for imaging to be nessisary however right now is a big annnoyance.

If I image the OEM installation, what I'm afraid of is that Microsoft will see 100+ computers using Windows update with the same OEM key and it will look suspicious.

I believe the biggest question is whether you are able to enter a Windows 7 Pro OEM key into a copy of Windows that was installed using a VLK edition. I don't mind entering a product key into each notebook since it's much easier then uninstalling all the rubbish that comes with the OEM version, upgrading to SP1, adding the comptuer to the domain, installing office,.....

Thanks for the idea. I will check try it out and let you know how it goes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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