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Windows Vista Thread, Vista Sysprep with OEM Dell Vista Ultimate Image in Technical; Hi All, We've just ordered from Dell 9 x Optiplex 755 with Windows Vista Ultimate. They are going to be ...
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    Vista Sysprep with OEM Dell Vista Ultimate Image

    Hi All,

    We've just ordered from Dell 9 x Optiplex 755 with Windows Vista Ultimate. They are going to be used in our Media Classroom.

    I've spent many hours getting the unattend.xml file working using the Windows System Image Manager and it works perfectly except for the activation.

    I'm using the Dell OEM key that I obtained from the original Dell Vista CD. As I understand this, I can install this original Dell DVD onto any other Dell PC and it'll see that it's an original Dell computer and will automatically activate Vista. That's how it's worked for our XP deployment etc.

    Only problem is that when I use the key, it keeps saying I have 15 days to activate Vista.

    Everything else works perfectly. Default profile for everyone, joined and connected to domain etc. Just this one thing. grrrrr!!!

    I'm either doing something really stupid or there is some bug.

    As anyone managed to deploy Vista OEM (Dell supplied) onto Dell computers. If so, are you able to post your .xml file. They product key should be the same as mine since it's specific for Dell computers.

    Any help greatly received. Just have 9 PC's to deploy before next Wednesday and then I'm done for the summer. If I'm lucky,I might be able to leave early on Friday!!!

    Many thanks

    Leonard

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    I wouldn't post your keys on here...

    As well as posting here you can also contact Microsoft, they provide free support for Vista SP1.

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    powdarrmonkey's Avatar
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    If it's just nine machines, it's a much better investment of time just activating them, surely?

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    Quote Originally Posted by powdarrmonkey View Post
    If it's just nine machines, it's a much better investment of time just activating them, surely?
    I would agree, but on the other hand it will be something beneficial for the feature.

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    More info and a little success.

    Since last night (and many reimages), I've discovered that is I run sysprep and from the command line and tick the generalize and out of box experience, it works ok. The downside is that I have to manually choose which country I'm in, username and password etc and, the users profile is the default one.

    So in a way it proves that the sysprep does work. Which means there is problem in my "sysprep.xml" file that I have created.

    I've now trimmed it right down so that it only sets the country codes for the keyboard. That's gotta work since its a minor thing. If it does then I'll add in the other settings to see what happens.

    I have my suspicions that it's the section where I put the Windows product key and say if I want to copy the default profile. I hope not since that profile bit is what I need.

    The bigger picture is that I don't want to install software onto each of the 9 PC's manually. It's partly as a test in readiness for a full Vista deployment and also becuase it should just work, and I really don't want to be beaten by it.

    Any further ideas welcome.... I'll let you know how I get on.

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    DMcCoy's Avatar
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    Vista Ultimate is not the way to go imo. Business or Enterprise are more useful. Ultimate doesn't have any VLK activation methods so it's a huge pain to manage beyond a few clients. You also can't buy it under any volume licensing scheme.

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    If you have Vista Ultimate, can you use your Vista Business VLK without having to pay for extra licenses? Surely you have covered it with the existing Vista Ultimate license as Microsoft see it better than Vista Business.

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    DMcCoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FN-GM View Post
    If you have Vista Ultimate, can you use your Vista Business VLK without having to pay for extra licenses? Surely you have covered it with the existing Vista Ultimate license as Microsoft see it better than Vista Business.
    I'm not sure, you'd have to check if downgrade rights were included in OEM. It may only cover going to XP Pro but I've not looked.

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    Taken from here: http://download.microsoft.com/downlo...rade_chart.doc

    Can I downgrade my OEM version of Windows Vista Business to Windows XP Professional?
    Yes. OEM downgrade rights for desktop PC operating systems apply to Windows Vista Business and Windows Vista Ultimate as stated in the License Terms. Please note, OEM downgrade versions of Windows Vista Business and Windows Vista Ultimate are limited to Windows XP Professional (including Windows XP Tablet PC Edition and Windows XP x64 Edition). End users can use the following media for their downgrade: Volume Licensing media (provided the end user has a Volume Licensing agreement), retail (FPP), or system builder hologram CD (provided the software is acquired in accordance with the Microsoft OEM System Builder License). Use of the downgraded operating system is governed by the Windows Vista Business License Terms, and the end user cannot use both the downgrade operating system and Windows Vista Business. There are no downgrade rights granted for Windows Vista Home Basic or Windows Vista Home Premium.
    Edit: Just phoned Microsoft, you can downgrade a Vista Ultimate to Vista Business using your existing VLK key at no extra cost.
    Last edited by FN-GM; 27th August 2008 at 08:46 PM.

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    The reason for using Vista Ultimate is so that we can use the Media Center facilities for recording TV and the inbuilt DVD making facilities.

    Whatever version I decide to deploy, since we're buying the PC with it preinstalled (OEM from Dell), I don't need any VLK. If I wipe the PC and stick the original OEM DVD back in the drive, it will install and never ask for a key and will activate automatically.

    If I stick the DVD into a HP PC for example, it will install but ask for the key since it won't work with the inbuilt Dell OEM key.

    So, when I sysprep, it seems to be removing the inbuild OEM key and not allowing me to use it.

    As a sideline, we currently buy all our Dell PC's with Vista Business but have downgraded to XP until we're confortable with Vista being rolled out. But I'm pretty sure I'd have the same problem with Vista business.

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