You need to run sysprep with the generalize option.
Resetting Windows Activation
When you install Windows with a single license product key, you have 30
days during which you must activate that installation of Windows. If you do
not activate Windows within the 30 day period and do not reset the
activation clock, Windows will enter RFM (Reduced Functionality Mode). This
mode prevents users from logging on to the computer until Windows is
activated. Note: with Windows Vista SP1(Windows Server 2008) RFM was
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
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.
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights
| >Date: Fri, 25 Apr 2008 20:06:52 +1000
| >From: sputnik <firstname.lastname@example.org>
| >User-Agent: Thunderbird 188.8.131.52 (Windows/20080213)
| >MIME-Version: 1.0
| >Subject: sysprep limitation - activation
| >Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed
| >Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
| >Message-ID: <uoI0WwrpIHA.4888@TK2MSFTNGP04.phx.gbl>
| >Newsgroups: microsoft.public.windows.vista.installation_setup
| >NNTP-Posting-Host: cust5074.vic01.dataco.com.au 184.108.40.206
| >Lines: 1
| >Path: TK2MSFTNGHUB02.phx.gbl!TK2MSFTNGP01.phx.gbl!TK2MSF TNGP04.phx.gbl
| >Xref: TK2MSFTNGHUB02.phx.gbl
| >X-Tomcat-NG: microsoft.public.windows.vista.installation_setup
| >Hello guys,
| >We are about to move to Vista and before we do that I have been trying
| >to obtain information on how the activation with KMS works with an SOE
| >imaging environment.
| >There has been some discussion about images expiring or having to be
| >recreated after a 30 days or etc. This would seem rather unusual and
| >was after the definitive answer, as this is something we definately do
| >not want to do.
| >Can anyone explain how sysprep works in Vista (in relation to my above
| >question) or if there are any options required or recommended to be
| >applied when using Symantec Ghost to dump down an image.
| >Does Symantec Ghost work in exactly the same way as with Windows XP when
| >cloning machines. Any options that need to be applied or use a
| >particular version. We currently use version 7.5.
| >Thank You.