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Vista imaging with Ghost not incrementing KMS authorization count

Posted on 2008-10-13
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Last Modified: 2010-04-21
I use Symantec's Ghost Solution Suite for image capture and distribution.  The product has worked well with XP, but time has come to move to Vista.  Image creation, distribution, and use of Ghost to rename the destination machines then join them to my domain works very well.  My problem is, we have a KMS Service and intend for Vista clients to use it for authorization.  Indeed, fresh installs of Vista find the service without trouble and (looking at the KMS event log on the hosting server) I see authorization requests.  The count of machines for authorization simultaneously increments.  Oddly, this isn't the case for a Ghost deployed image.  I see the same requests in the event log, but my machine count doesn't increment and the machine doesn't authorize (cScript C:\windows\system32\slmgr.vbs /dlv).  The source machine authorizes, but it's children do not.  I'm betting this has something to do with the machine's SID, but I use Ghost Walker to change that at machine distribution.  I don't currently use Sysprep, which may be my fatal flaw.  Can someone tell me if I'm missing something in Ghost, if there's something I can do to get KMS to authorize the Ghosted machines, or if there's a better way for me to image and deploy with Ghost?  From the amount of time I've spent researching ImageX, I don't know the product will work in my situation.  I've avoided Sysprep for now because of the (literally) generalization it applies to machines.  I like to configure them to the finest detail then replicate exactly -- Sysprep seems to take some of that away.  Thanks!  I know this is a massive question with a number of layers.
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Question by:stmadsen
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Rob Williams earned 500 total points
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I would agree the problem is likely SID related. I have always used Sysprep, but that is just a personal preference. When you run Ghost Walker  are any errors reports via pop-ups, logs, or in the event viewer? I have heard of issues where it  sometimes cannot recognize the drive due to OEM utility partitions, such as Dell's 39MB partition, or drive encryption software such as Vista's Bit-Locker.

Perhaps to rule out Vista as the culprit, try running Sysprep on one machine after the Ghost image is installed just to see if your KMS server recognizes it.
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by:stmadsen
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Thanks for the help and suggestions.  I wasn't aware of the problems with Ghost Walker.  That's probably my culprit -- I use Dell computers and retain the utility partition just in case.  I'm now Syspreping before I pull images with Ghost, but no longer running Ghost Walker, and my problem is solved.  Thanks again!
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by:Rob Williams
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Glad you were able to resolve. Thanks stmadsen.
Cheers !
--Rob
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