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Windows 2000 ghosting - changing product keys

Posted on 2003-03-12
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Last Modified: 2010-08-05
Good Morning All,
    Is there a way for me to change the product key on a 2k workstation already in place? I would like to create a ghost image and distribute it since it has all software and settings I need. I used sysprep on the initial ghosting so all workstations get this when they start for the first time.
    Before I do a lot more, I'll need to get this figured out.

Thanks for the help all!!

E
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Question by:ev89pimp
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7 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:oBdA
ID: 8126312
That's part of the sysprep.inf file:

[UserData]
    FullName="Some Name"
    OrgName="Some Organisation"
    ProductID=XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX

Check out "unattend.doc" in \Support\tools\deploy.cab of your W2k CD for a full listing of possible entries.
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by:ev89pimp
ID: 8128499
Can u have sysprep prompt the user for a product key? Basically, I would need this if I plan on installing the image with sysprep.inf file from a CD.
If I prompt, I wouldn't need to modify the sysprep.inf file each time.

Do you know how to do this?

Thanks!

E
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by:ev89pimp
ID: 8128952
No dice,
   I modified the sysprep.inf file with the ProductID key, but after I ran sysprep and rebooted. When I ran through the sysprep prompts and logged in, I checked the product key, and behold, I was still using the original key.
   Basically, I downgraded a user from a windows XP installation to Win2k, but the only version of Win2k on CD I had was the MSDN version. I want to change the key to the Windows XP key since I want to use it in downgraded form.

Any ideas out there?

thx@!
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oBdA earned 1050 total points
ID: 8130489
If I remember correctly, the MSDN version has a "burnt in" key; you don't have to enter it during installation, that's why the mini-setup doesn't change it, and that's why the mini-setup didn't ask you for a key when you didn't have the ProductID entry in sysprep.inf.
Anyway, the product key is not the important part. The important part is the number of valid licenses you have. But beware: not all XP licenses are downgradeable.
Check out http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/ for details.
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by:ev89pimp
ID: 8130675
So in other words, I'll be picking up Windows XP OEM licenses. The chart indicates that I can downgrade to Win2k Pro licensing for each windows XP license.

So I don't need to change the product ID on each Pc? I just need to have as many COAs as computers I have Win2k installed on?


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by:oBdA
ID: 8135915
To answer that with a really straight, legally proof "yes", I'd need to be a MS License specialist, which I'm not; so I can't tell you if that applies to all configurations. But if you're, for example, using Open License, all you get is one single (burnt-in) key (W2k/XP), so you don't even have the chance to change it (which would be a hell job to do for a big roll out anyway). Logic tells you that that should apply to other license programs as well, but as we all now, logic doesn't necessarily apply to laws and especially not to software licenses.
If the link above doesn't provide a satisfactory answer, you can always call MS, they'll be glad to help you out.
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Author Comment

by:ev89pimp
ID: 8238678
The burnt-in key was indeed the problem causing the inability to modify the product key through the sysprep.inf file.

Thanks!

Elvis
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