Product Activation Fails on Syspreped and Cloned OEM Windows XP Build
Posted on 2006-06-27
We recently decided to replace 3 of our PC's and to give the old ones away to staff, so to erase any possible confidential company data from the hard drives and to give the users a nice clean build I re-installed Windows XP Pro using the Dell Re-installation CD (the correct disk for the PC) on one of them, spent > 3 hours getting it all setup and working including WinXP SP2 and all available updates and service packs (including Genuine Advantage) etc etc, ran Sysprep and cloned the hard disk to the other 2 using Ghost.
PROBLEM; All 3 of these PC's now have a permanent warning in the bottom right of the desktop saying that Windows must be activated - but it won't activate because it says 'Incorrect Product Key'.
These PC's have genuine OEM licenses stuck to them and I have tried putting the correct product key for each PC into the Windows Activation 'Incorrect Product Key' page, but no joy, they still won't activate.
Does anyone have any experience with this problem / able to tell me what the options are for resolving it (I really don't want to have to rebuild each one individually).