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MVP, please re: Vista Activation, SysPrep in testing environment

microsoft.public.windows.vista.installation setup






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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 05-31-2007
Fletcher James
 

Posts: n/a
MVP, please re: Vista Activation, SysPrep in testing environment
This was originally posted 5/26, and got no response.

We work with a lot of virtual machines in a product testing environment --
up to now, only Win2K and XP. We have always Sysprep'ed our configurations,
and used a Sysprep.inf setting to supply our MSDN Volume License key. If we
need to make a new version of a config (e.g. to generate a new image with
the lastest patches), we boot from a copy of the prior image, which
activates and gives us a unique machine ID. We then install the patches,
and re-run Sysprep -mini -quit -reseal. We have not had any problem making
an indefinite number of generations.

However, in reading the Vista documentation, I became concerned that this
may no longer be the case. The documentation says that "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."

Which is it? Will it refuse to reset the activation, and leave me unable to
create a new generation, or will it only refuse to reset the clock (meaning
that the resulting machine needs to be activated immediately before it can
be used)??

If the latter, and if the unattend.xml supplies a product key, and if the
machine has internet access, will that solve the problem, by activating the
new machine before I even get a logon prompt?

--
Fletcher James
President
Levit & James, Inc.

(703)771-1549
MailTo:fjames@levitjames.com
http://www.levitjames.com



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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 05-31-2007
JRB Associates
 

Posts: n/a
Re: MVP, please re: Vista Activation, SysPrep in testing environment
Fletcher,

Sysprep in Vista is limited to three resets of the timer, this is not new.
What you can do; maybe not what is wanted, but what is possible; is to
create the original image and generalize it, thus preserving it for future
updates. Then use this image as the basis for future updates. After each
update, and another generalize step, the second timer reset will occur, but
that is not a problem. This will allow using the image essentially
indefinitely. It would be convenient if there were no limit of three, but
that is the reality which we have.

John Baker


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Old 05-31-2007
Fletcher James
 

Posts: n/a
Re: MVP, please re: Vista Activation, SysPrep in testing environment
I was intending to image the system before generalizing, and applying the
updates to the still-activated image. However, there are certain
circumstances in which we will take a machine from the child generation and
decide that we have to generalize that as well. For example, we could wish
to maintain pre- and post- service pack base machines, for testing
compatibility of our apps. Yes, we could go back to a copy of the original
image, to make the changes, but then we would have two originals with the
same SID, etc, unless we add a number of new steps, some of which might
result in invalidation the prior activation.

The second part of my question related to what happens if we <do> run out of
the 3 generations: does the system refuse to boot at all, or does it simply
require activation? In the latter case, if we've supplied a product key in
unattend.xml, will that make the re-activation automatic, or will we need to
do something manually?

--
Fletcher James
President
Levit & James, Inc.

(703)771-1549
MailTo:fjames@levitjames.com
http://www.levitjames.com

"JRB Associates" <info@jrb-assoc.com> wrote in message
news:uhkHSx6oHHA.3512@TK2MSFTNGP06.phx.gbl...
> Fletcher,
>
> Sysprep in Vista is limited to three resets of the timer, this is not new.
> What you can do; maybe not what is wanted, but what is possible; is to
> create the original image and generalize it, thus preserving it for future
> updates. Then use this image as the basis for future updates. After each
> update, and another generalize step, the second timer reset will occur,
> but that is not a problem. This will allow using the image essentially
> indefinitely. It would be convenient if there were no limit of three, but
> that is the reality which we have.
>
> John Baker
>
>



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