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O/S Deployment Thread, Imaging and Windows VLK in Technical; To be honest when it comes to MS Licensing there may well be a bit of documentation that contradicts this ...
  1. #16

    sparkeh's Avatar
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    To be honest when it comes to MS Licensing there may well be a bit of documentation that contradicts this

    Quote Originally Posted by Batman View Post
    But anyway... judging by the bit you quoted, it does look like you can do it now... although it might not be that helpful in this instance, what he's trying to do is kind of the opposite!
    Agreed, but my main point was that you can't use an OEM installation to image across your network as the OP appears to be doing.

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    rocknrollstar (27th May 2009)

  3. #17
    rocknrollstar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Batman View Post
    This is to stop people doing what you just did and using the same key on several machines So the reason you can't activate the last one is that the system is (finally!) doing its job.
    The strange thing is that there were a few machines that were imaged and successfully activated after this problem machine didn't activate, so it appears that it hasn't run out of times to be activated!

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    Quote Originally Posted by sparkeh View Post
    Agreed, but my main point was that you can't use an OEM installation to image across your network as the OP appears to be doing.
    Oh dear- don't want to get screwed by MS, we are honestly trying to do everything by the book. I orginally thought we had a VLK, as all the machines supplied by Centreprise had the same key (identified using software utility). Turns out now that it's an OEM key, but the supplier must have used this as an image or at the very least reused the same key in the machines they supplied to us.

    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:

    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).
    Cheers for any ideas!

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    Quote Originally Posted by rocknrollstar View Post
    Oh dear- don't want to get screwed by MS, we are honestly trying to do everything by the book. I orginally thought we had a VLK, as all the machines supplied by Centreprise had the same key (identified using software utility). Turns out now that it's an OEM key, but the supplier must have used this as an image or at the very least reused the same key in the machines they supplied to us.
    They probably use some sort of pre-activated keys for their OEM version of the OS. I'm pretty sure I've seen that many times with Toshiba laptops and desktops, as we work very closely with them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rocknrollstar View Post
    Oh dear- don't want to get screwed by MS, we are honestly trying to do everything by the book. I orginally thought we had a VLK, as all the machines supplied by Centreprise had the same key (identified using software utility). Turns out now that it's an OEM key, but the supplier must have used this as an image or at the very least reused the same key in the machines they supplied to us.
    Interesting legal question then:

    *IF* Microsoft came after you for blood, who would be held responsible? The supplier of the machines (as they seem to have used an OEM key and imaged that) or you as the machines are in your possession?

  7. #21

    maniac's Avatar
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    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.

    Mike.
    Last edited by maniac; 4th June 2009 at 07:44 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by maniac View Post
    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.
    That's interesting Mike. I must admit that I have reinstalled several laptops using a standard XP Pro OEM disk as I wanted to get rid of the bloatware that laptop providers always seem to add. So far, I've been able to use the key from the sticker from the case.

    Quote Originally Posted by maniac View Post
    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.
    I'm not in an Educational establishment though I do provide IT support to a company and am facing the situation of having to source several new PCs for them. I was wondering about getting a VLK but didn't know how to go about it. You said that buying a small number of XP licences would qualify you for a VLK - what number of licences are you thinking about? What's the cost a the VLK?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ignatius View Post
    I'm not in an Educational establishment though I do provide IT support to a company and am facing the situation of having to source several new PCs for them. I was wondering about getting a VLK but didn't know how to go about it. You said that buying a small number of XP licences would qualify you for a VLK - what number of licences are you thinking about? What's the cost a the VLK?
    You have to buy 5 licences to get a volume license agreement, although some suppliers will let you get round this by buying one or two licenses and some CALs for a couple of quid to make up the numbers.

    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)

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    Ignatius (5th June 2009)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Batman View Post
    You have to buy 5 licences to get a volume license agreement, although some suppliers will let you get round this by buying one or two licenses and some CALs for a couple of quid to make up the numbers.

    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)
    Thanks Batman - I was going to PM you for recommendations. I still have to go through a lot of paperwork of my predecessor to find out where he got the kit.

    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!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ignatius View Post
    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!
    Good innit

    I've been similarly impressed!

  13. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by maniac View Post
    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.

    Mike.
    Just a slight clarification on the main point here. If you re-image a machine that as an OEM licence (and sticker attached) with your Volume License Upgrade media than you can use the VLK without having to purchase more licenses - the OEM licences will cover it's use.

    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!

  14. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    Clear? As mud! That's M$ licensing for you!
    Bang on!

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    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.

    Clear? As mud! That's M$ licensing for you!
    It's almost as if they make it very complicated on purpose, almost expecting someone to make a mistake (I'm sure that many have done so quite innocently) and then come down on them like a ton of bricks.

    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?

  16. #29

    sparkeh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ignatius View Post
    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?
    Advantage is that VLK has reimaging rights whereas OEM does not.
    Remember that you do not have to buy a VLK for each machine you want to reimage, I think there is a minium number you have to buy (is it 5?) but then you are golden for reimaging all 20.
    Last edited by sparkeh; 5th June 2009 at 08:53 PM.

  17. #30

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    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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