XP Volume Licensing

Posted on 2005-05-17
Last Modified: 2006-11-18

I was wondering if anyone could help me out with some info on Windows XP volume licensing. I'm intending to set up a network of approximately 15 machines. I need XP on each and was wondering if it is cheaper to get a volume license of some sort or just buy individual OEM versions when I purchase the hardware? I really have no experience of licensing issues like this so any help would be appreciated.
Also when it comes to setup of the machines will it be possible to cretae a ghost image to save customising each one and save lots of time?
Question by:petez5
    LVL 57

    Expert Comment

    by:Pete Long
    Using Ghost to Image a Windows PC

    NB This applies to Windows95/98/ME/2000 & XP
    IMPORTANT: Make sure you are licensed to produce imaged copies of your version of windows.
    If you are imaging windows XP be aware that you will need to ACTIVATE each client UNLESS
    you build the source machine from a "Volume Licenced" copy of XP
    see for details.

    1. Set the Master PC\Laptop up from its manufacturers rescue disks or the copy of windows that you wish to use. unistall any applications you wont use (like Messenger using )
    2. Ensure that you apply all the latest service packs for your version of windows. Go to to see if you need to install anything.
    3. Install and configure all the applications you would like on the image, and remember applications need service-packing too for MS Office updates go to and run the office update wizard. Don’t forget things like Adobe Acrobat reader and WinZip (This is a licensed product so ensure you have the rights to do this)
    4. If you have not serviced packed you internet explorer (in step 2) do this now. aslo consider installing the latest version of JAVA
    5. If you use a proxy server and/or wish to have ALL the imaged PC’s preconfigured to use this do the following, Open a MMC Console (Start - Run - MMC - [ENTER]) Add the group policy snap in. Configure the home page as http://yourhomepage then configure the proxy as Your Proxy IP address (Look in User Configuration\Windows Settings\Internet Explorer Maint)
    6. To display a Login message on every machine Go to the following registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon   and in the following keys paste in this text...

    LegalNoticeCaption <Title of the Message> LegalNoticeText <Text of the Message>

    7. If you use Host Files on your network copy them to the following locations

    Win9x/ME c:\windows
    WinNT/2k c:\winnt\system32\drivers\etc
    winXP c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc

    8. If you use Novell Install and configure the Novell Client (WARNING – If using Zenworks for desktops and automatic workstation input consider NOT putting the Novell Client on your Image)
    9. If you wish you can copy the windows setup files to the hard drive – though this will obviously make the image a LOT larger. if you do copy the I386 directory from the CD to c:\I386, and change this Registry key to c:\I386
    10. Defragment the hard drive then empty the recycle bin. (Unless you want to clone your rubbish: 0)
    11. Now if you meet any of the following criteria go to step 18.

    You are imaging Windows 95/98/ME
    You are imaging Windows 2000 or Windows XP that will NOT be on a network (i.e., it’s a standalone or your home PC)

    12. If you reading this bit your imaging a windows 2000 or XP machine and you rolling you image out onto a network, proceed to step 13.
    13. Download the latest version of sysprep for your operating system

    Windows 2000 version 1.1
    Windows XP version 2.0 (it’s in the deployment cab)

    14. You now need to create a directory called c:\sysprep and do the following

    Windows 2000
    Extract the file you downloaded to the c:\sysprep directory.
    Look on the windows 2000 CD for the following d:\support\tools and there should be a file there called “”, Extract this to your C: \ sysprep directory.
    Copy all the files from C: \sysprep\tools\ to the C: \ sysprep folder click YES when you are asked to overwrite the originals.

    Windows XP
    Extract the file you downloaded earlier to the C: \sysprep directory.

    15. In your sysprep directory you will now have a program called setupmgr double click it to run it, answer all the questions and it will create another file that will hold the answers to all the questions windows usually asks you when you install it. REMEMBER to tell it you ate IMAGING or it won’t work.
    16. Close all your open windows and click Start > Run > c:\sysprep\sysprep.exe -pnp The machine will then give you a warning message and close down, DON’T power it back up unless you want to test it (note if you do and your windows 2000 you’ll have to carry out all from step 13 again)
    17. Before cloning your Hard Drive, ensure you have another hard drive (That Big enough to hold the image fitted to the machine being ghosted. (You cannot ghost to the same Hard Drive!) – NEWER versions of ghost can) this procedure was tested with v6.5 and v7.0
    18. Arm yourself with a boot disk from (Ensure it had RAMDRIVE on it and it works!) And a copy of Ghost.exe from Symantec
    19. Boot with your boot disk
    20. Type ghost then return. (This will create one big image if you want to split the image up, to fit on CDROM’s type “ghost.exe -split=600 –auto”)
    21. At the welcome screen press enter to clear the message.
    22. Using the Cursor Keys select Local, Disk, To Image then return.
    23. At the select local source press enter
    24. At the file name to copy to screen, Use the Tab Keys to navigate to the image location your second Hard Drive.
    25. Press Tab to navigate to the filename box and give the image a name (i.e. image01)
    26. Keep pressing the Tab Key till Save is highlighted then press return.
    27. At the Compress Image screen Tab to "High" Then press return.
    28. At the proceed screen Tab to "Yes" then press return.
    29. When it is completed it should say, "Dump completed successfully"
    30. If you’re deploying from CDROM you can now burn the image “portions” to CDROM. Ensure the first disk is bootable and has a copy of ghost on it to restore the image to a new computer.


    How To Create A Bootable Ghost Rescue CD Tutorial
    LVL 57

    Accepted Solution

    To avoid the activation, you have indeed to use an installation medium that doesn't require activation ...
    To quote from the first link:
    "Volume Licensing (VL) media?often referred to as select media?do not require activation. As a result, VL customers (Enterprise, Select, Campus, School, and Open) will probably not find much applicable information in this article. Setup does require entry of an organization's unique product key, which is generally provided in an answer file. Note: In the past, VL customers often used retail and VL media interchangeably. Windows XP no longer permits this: retail media must now be installed using retail product keys, while VL media must be installed using VL product keys. The ProductID (PID), discussed below, can be used to determine whether the correct media is installed on a machine."

    Deploying Windows XP Using Windows Product Activation

    How to Use Sysprep with Windows Product Activation or Volume License Media to Deploy Windows XP

    Description of Microsoft Product Activation

    HOW TO: Use Sysprep.exe Tool to Automate Successful Deployment of Windows XP

    Automatic Logon Does Not Work if the Local Administrator Password Is Encrypted in the Answer File

    Windows XP Service Pack 1 Volume License Product Key Encryption
    LVL 21

    Assisted Solution

    by:JBlond ist a good start to get some information.

    Volume licensing has some advantages but that does not mean that you need it for 15 machines. If you don't need support from Microsoft directly, OEM version are probably cheaper, but that depends on many things. If your company has its main office somewhere in the european union ask especially for funding of your investments.

    The mail adress for these questions is:

    And yes, you can create an image after customizing a machine and deploy this image to every machine.
    (;en-us;302577&sd=tech )

    You can use Sysprep even if you have only OEM versions. After you deployed an image and sysprep's mini-setup starts, then you'll be asked for the product key.


    Write Comment

    Please enter a first name

    Please enter a last name

    We will never share this with anyone.

    Featured Post

    What Security Threats Are You Missing?

    Enhance your security with threat intelligence from the web. Get trending threat insights on hackers, exploits, and suspicious IP addresses delivered to your inbox with our free Cyber Daily.

    We have adopted the strategy to use Computers in Student Labs as the bulletin boards. The same target can be achieved by using a Login Notice feature in Group policy but it’s not as attractive as graphical wallpapers with message which grabs the att…
    Today, still in the boom of Apple, PC's and products, nearly 50% of the computer users use Windows as graphical operating systems. If you are among those users who love windows, but are grappling to keep the system's hard drive optimized, then you s…
    In this seventh video of the Xpdf series, we discuss and demonstrate the PDFfonts utility, which lists all the fonts used in a PDF file. It does this via a command line interface, making it suitable for use in programs, scripts, batch files — any pl…
    In this tutorial you'll learn about bandwidth monitoring with flows and packet sniffing with our network monitoring solution PRTG Network Monitor ( If you're interested in additional methods for monitoring bandwidt…

    737 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    18 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now