Interesting, no mention on there that you can only Sysprep a vista install 3 times. This is to prevent people exploiting the 30 Day grace period, and also means if you update your images at a later date then you need to allways keep 2 images. Syspreped and not.
Now that IS interesting! Is there any official MS information on it?
There should be, It was at the "Everything you wanted to know about Vista imaging but were afraid to ask" Seminar at M$ HQ in reading that i was told this... So it must be documented somewhere.
There must be somebody else here who attended the same talk?
I'm trying to find the presenters Blog for you now.
Lies and shenanigans. I shall quote from the How Sysprep Works article on Technet.
So you might think what you heard at the Seminar was correct. However the next paragraph then explains:There is no limit to the number of times Sysprep can run on a computer. However, the clock for Windows Product Activation begins its countdown the first time Windows starts. You can use the sysprep /generalize command to reset Windows Product Activation a maximum of three times. After the third time you run the sysprep /generalize command, the clock can no longer be reset.
If you go read the Unattended Windows Setup Reference and look up this key you'll find the following information:When you run the sysprep /generalize command, the activation clock will automatically reset. You can bypass resetting the activation clock by using the SkipRearm setting in the Microsoft-Windows-Security-Licensing-SLC component. This enables you to run Sysprep multiple times without resetting the activation clock. For more information about this setting, see the Unattended Windows Setup Reference.
Thus with the combination of:0 - Specifies that the computer will be rearmed, restoring the computer to the original, out-of-box state. All activation-related licensing and registry data is removed or reset, and any grace period timers are also reset. This is the default value.
1 - Specifies that the computer will not be rearmed and the computer will not be restored to its original, out-of-box state. All activation-related licensing and registry data will remain and will not be reset. Similarly, any grace period timers will not be reset.
(info on slmgr.vbs can be found here)Code:slmgr.vbs -rearm
and the SkipRearm registry key you can prolong the activation period indefinitely.
Geoff, I too have allready read that same document during my search on the web to find some information to back up what was presented by James O'Neil at the M$ seminar... Now i'm just plain confused by what we were told.
Ive found James O'neils blog here http://blogs.technet.com/jamesone/ar...nt-slides.aspx
But it contains next to nothing, so i have emailed him with...
During the "Everything you want to know about Vista imaging but were afraid to ask" road show you mentioned that it was only possible to Sysprep a Vista installation a maximum of three times, I don’t seem to be able to find any other information on the Microsoft website or your own blogs to clarify this. Could you just point me in the right direction please? "
Watch this space i guess.
I've just had the reply from James at Microsoft:
"Turns out to be easier to find than I thought.
There’s a reference here
Just search for “3 times” "
That doesn't help.
But now we are forewarned :P
Info about sysprep and rearming:
A client can be returned to its initial activation state for the current license by using the slmgr.vbs script with the -rearm option. This option resets the computer’s activation timer and reinitializes some activation parameters, including a KMS client’s unique machine ID (also known as client machine ID, or CMID). The number of times this can be repeated is limited and depends on how many times sysprep /generalize is run to create the distribution media. The maximum number of rearms possible is three. Note that rearm requires administrator privilege. However, an Administrator can enable use by ordinary users by creating the following registry entry: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\
CurrentVersion\SL\UserOperations (REG_DWORD) to 1.
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