rocknrollstar (27th May 2009)
Interestingly, I am pretty sure these machines didn't need to go through the activation process manually. Wouldn't that point to it being an VLK? However it does say OEM in according to:
Cheers for any ideas!I believe that you can tell whether your XP installation is VLK or OEM if you right click on My Computer and select Properties.
Then go on General Tab, and under “Registered to:” you can see a product ID (divided into 4 seperated groups of characters).
On an OEM installation, the 2nd group of characters is always OEM whereas on a VLK and maybe Retail as well, you will see numbers (such as 623).
I've been infomed, from a big software distributor who are an MS gold partner, that providing there is an OEM sticker on the system case, you can use any product key you like to install the OS with, it doesn't necessarily have to match the license key on the case as long as the installed OS is the same as the one licensed by the sticker.
I only found this out after enquiring if we were to buy just a small number of XP licenses, and thus qualifying for a VLK could I use this VLK on other machines not covered by the agreement, providing they have an OEM sticker on the case. The agent went away and enquired, and came back to me stating that it was perfectly acceptable to do this. Unfortunitely I can't find the e-mail, despite just spending a good 15 mins searching my inbox, but I will make the same enquiry again and see if the response is the same.
This makes sense because if you do a system restore using the Dell supplied media on a Dell computer for instance it installs windows using the same product key for every machine - but this product key only works on Dell machines, try installing it on another manufactures machine and it doesn't work. This product key behaves like a VLK and requires no activation, and there's no option to enter the product key on the actual system case at any point in the setup process - it's entirely automated. The same thing applies to a set of HP laptops we have, product key is pre-programmed into the restore CD.
Last edited by maniac; 4th June 2009 at 08:44 PM.
I wouldn't bother if I were you unless you're going to buy a lot of volume licenses. Volume's definitely the cheapest way to get Office, so it might well be worth it. Who's your favourite supplier? Talk to them, see what they can do.
If you're after some recommendations for suppliers I'd say ProBrand, Ramesys or Kelway (in that order)
Ignatius (5th June 2009)
OT - I'm amazed just how active this forum is. I am a member of many others and this provides many more messages. I visit daily and there are probably 5 or 6 pages of new posts to trawl through I'm not complaining as I just know I'm going to come up with some questions soon!
What you can't do is enter a VLK inplace of a OEM license key (the one on the sticker) when using the OEM media to restore a machine.
AFAIK there are three sets of license keys M$ use - Volume, OEM and FPP (Full Product). These license keys are tied to thier respective media. You can use an OEM license key with any OEM media - but you can not use the FPP or VLK keys with the OEM media.
Under the terms of the Volume License agreements you can re-image any machine with the Volume Media without buying any additional volume license if the machine is covered by an equal or newer OEM license to the volume license you want to install.
Thus if the machine as a Vista OEM license you can install 95/98/2000/XP/Vista volume media, but not Windows 7. Windows 7 would require the purchase of an additonal volume license for Windows 7, unless the machine is supplied with Window 7 OEM.
Clear? As mud! That's M$ licensing for you!
Since posting initially, I've been reveiwing various articles and VLK threads, and something bothers me:
If I purchase 20 PCs with XP Pro OEM, each has a unique key on the sticker. According to your comment, if I want to re-image all the PCs, I can do so using XP VLK media and the volume key. I would have paid for two licences - an OEM and a VLK so what's the advantage of having the VLK media and volume key? As far as I know, the VLK doesn't need to be activated but I would have to run newsid on the PCs after they had been reimaged. I realise that I couldn't mix OEM key and VLK media or OEM media and VL key.
What am I missing?
Last edited by sparkeh; 5th June 2009 at 09:53 PM.
The advantage is you can use one image for all your machines that will not need reactivating.
If you sysprep a OEM copy of windows it will need an OEM license key and it will need reactivating. Being OEM it can only be reactivated once and M$ will start asking questions when you try and reactivate the 4th or 5th machine based on that image.
So you base you hard drive images on the Volume Media and VLK, but use the OEM licenses and all is ok AFAIK.
Also, you should be running newsid. sysprep should be taking care of that for you.
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