How to reseal the WinXp Home edition back to original and auto provide the WIndows Key during the system boot up

Posted on 2006-05-04
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
Hi there,
I am currently try to seal the WinXP Home edition back to original, i can do this with systrep.exe, but i have a problem that on automatically provide the CD key to the Windows after system first time boot up and run thru OOBE. Anybody try this before? I need to provide the Windows CD key automatically for Windows Home edition during its first boot up after we reseal it with Sysyprep untility.

Thank you
Question by:AlexKhaw
    LVL 16

    Assisted Solution

    If I am not wrong the Cd Key is provided during installation
    and not after the setup (or not during the OOBE)

    I'd use the follwing command If you have activated XP home.

    sysprep -activated -reseal

    That would tell XP home that the system is already activated
    and prepare for fast time ou of the box experience.

    Or if not activated just

    sysprep -reseal

    for more on sysprep check the following link
    LVL 2

    Expert Comment

    To provide the CD Key you need to look at a Utility called setupmgr. This is contained in the support folder on the Windows system disk. Extract the files in the and there are several different tools. Setupmgr has the ability to create an answer file for Windows Unattended Installation, a Sysprep Install or a Remote Installation Services installation. You need the Unattended Installation and then select fully automated. You need to read the instructions on placing the answer file in the sysprep directory so that after syspreping the answer file is used as windows starts up.

    let me know if you need any more help.
    LVL 2

    Expert Comment

    i dont think you can. if you look in the link above sysprep.inf does not support putting the product key in there. reseal will reset the product key. i also think that it is against microsofts eula to automatically have the key entered when shipping to the customer.
    LVL 2

    Accepted Solution

    I have been using sysperp to reseal the operating system and then use setupmgr to provide the CD Key as the machine first starts up and it works just fine. Studlyed is not correct in stating sysperp.inf does not support putting in the product key.

    The following is a snippet of a sysperp.inf file that has been generated by Setupmgr.exe (doctored to remove personal Data)

        OrgName="Your Company Name"

    Instead of editing this file by hand, Setupmgr handles the whole thing in a couple of minutes letting you select and input you settings from a GUI.

    The following article is helpful as it shows the options when running setupmgr.exe  

    This one uses the setupmgr to create a complete unattended install from CD which is more than you need. Stop after creating a file called sysperp.inf Save the output of setupmgr to c:\sysprep\sysprep.inf Reseal the machine and when windows starts it uses the c:\sysprep\sysprep.inf file to finish the setup and deletes the whole directory c:\sysprep when finished. You can repeat the reseal and restart providing you create the c:\sysprep directory with sysprep.inf in it again as many times as you like to get it working just right.

    If you hand edit the sysprep.inf file and remove any of the data after being generated by setupmgr, windows stops and requests it of you on restart.

    I use this with ComputerName=PC03 removing PC03 so it prompts me for the machine number which is labelled on the front of the machine. Explore the capabilities of Microsoft's utility Setupmgr and you should fine flexibility to meet your needs.

     I have a select licence for XP and don't need to change the CD Key. I use Ghost to run out the image created after Sysprep has sealed the machine, with the C:\sysprep\sysprep.inf ready and all I have to do is insert the appropiate machine number to setup say 30 machines. The restart after sysprep generates new SIDS as part of the setup so it behaves with Active Directory.

    Let me know if you need any more help.


    Author Comment

    Thanks for your valuable inputs. I had tried it all and pjwallis;s suggestion is work fine for my situation. Again thank you very much for the sharing.

    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.

    Introduction How to create multiboot configuration with XP\Vista and Windows 7 on it? And most important question - how to do this correctly so not to have any kind of nightmares we get when system gets screwed? First of all one should realize t…
    Introduction Often we come across situations wherein our batch files would be needing to reboot Windows for a variety of reasons. A few of them would be like: (1) Setup files have been updated whose changes can take effect only after a reboot …
    This video is in connection to the article "The case of a missing mobile phone (". It will help one to understand clearly the steps to track a lost android phone.
    Here's a very brief overview of the methods PRTG Network Monitor ( offers for monitoring bandwidth, to help you decide which methods you´d like to investigate in more detail.  The methods are covered in more detail in o…

    760 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

    15 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now