imaging / cloning windows 7 prof Oem on sata hd for 15 workstation

Mattia Minervini
Mattia Minervini used Ask the Experts™
my problem is imaging a windows 7 prof installation to clone it over 15 workstation.
Pc are fujitsu siemens with sata controller on mainboard.
I don't want to install software 15 times, but i know there are two different problems:
1) using a software that could "see" the sata controller and the sata hd
2) let every pc with right oem windows 7 product key
I'm looking for a software (maybe acronis) better if free (but also not) to recognize sata controller, make image of first pc, cloning on 2nd to 15nt pc changing the product key with that on the case sticker.
Please help with a solution, i 've just used a cd with BartPe + acronis true image (perfect cause of on another workstation it works well, seeing also my usb disk) but now it goes in BSOD screen and i can't go on!
In 2010, this is sure a common problem and sure there' s a solution!
Thanks, ask me for details!!
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Hello ,
Why do you not use the Default tool provided by Windows 7 .
It still use ImageX tool which could capture your PC and deploy it to another PC . it keep the original SATA Drivers from your reference PC .
The imageX capture your PC as a *.WIM file which you could use with an unattend file .
The unattend file let your put your Product key at the beginning  installation but could automated for other part of installation .
Microsoft has a process called slipstreaming that allows you to do this.  You can take the original image and install drivers and patches.  Then use their Sysprep tool to perform the final configuration with keys.


For Vinamilk:
how can i use it? On 1st pc, I made an image of system with tool of windows 7 (backup and restore, choosing "backup entire system")
Then i've tried to copy this image on another pc (folder of about 19gb) , but starting 2nd pc with system recovery cd and pointing to this 19 gb folder doesn't work.....

For RGRodgers:
i don't want to use slipstreaming or nlite...cause of i need an image not only with drivers and patches, but with software, printers, add-ons of my company.
I have to prepare a complete pc, then make an image.
I don't know if slipstreaming could be this

Thanks for ur advice men
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Easy cheesy - just image the disk and then go into System Properties and change the Key. Could not be easier.

All of these are free and work great:


x semper....
1) these boot from cd, pre-os? right?

2) these find all hd on all sata controller? is there one where i can specify the sata driver if it doesn't work?

3) in windows 7, after image, i can simply change product key going in system properties?sure?
1) Yes
2) Yes and Yes
3) Absolutely Yes


in this list, which sw has all the features i need,please?
I can't understand from descriptions, did u use someone?
is not so importante speed, cause i have only 15 pc.
My problem is sata / sas controller.
If it has the right driver, and if no, if i can add specific driver to the bootcd (during the boot with f6 , just like bart pe or remaking the iso file)
Thanks again people

What controller do you have? You should have not problems with using this:


I 've got it with acronis true image plug in in BartPe!
problem was with modality AHCI of integrated controller sata.
Putting it in COMPATIBLE MODE instead of AHCI mode solve the problem!

Acronis is the solution i've just used for another pc, for me is the best choice
but list of freeware products is really interesting!

I cannot do it cause of mine are OEM license! there's no button "change product key"!
And now?
Do the following:

Start Button > Right Click - Computer > Select Properties > Scroll to bottom of the window > Select Link for 'Change Product Key'


Windows Key + Pause/Break Key > Scroll to bottom of the window > Select Link for 'Change Product Key'


this is no valid for oem installation!!
Why are you trying to clone OEM installations? You need to use the OPK with OEM installs.


perfect...all times lost
so, for Oem pc i cannot clone, but i have to use OPK.
I'm downloading OPK for windows 7, but in which  way i have to use it?
15 pc, everyone has his recovery dvd and his sticker with product key.
[Only a question, OEM product key is coded in hardware with new version of WINDOWS7?]
I have to open another question?
There is a Windows Key Changer from Microsoft you could try. Only issue is getting it, you could call MS Support and see if they will hook you up. If no and you don't know how to use OPK then you'll want to open a question to get that explanation. You will be able to get most of the work done, clone, then finish off each one. Won't take much longer really.
People often build computers and purchase the OEM version of the OS in order to save a few dollars. Typically, this is causes little issue if the OS is simply installed one to one at a time. However, these OEM versions really aren't meant for that type of install. They are meant for production environments.

Computers, which are built by large manufactures that come with Windows Pre-Installed, come with two (2) Product Keys:

A. OEM  SLP: This key comes pre-installed in Windows, when it comes from the  Factory. This key is geared to work with the special instructions found  only on that Manufacturer's computer hardware. So when Windows was  installed using the OEM SLP key (at the factory) windows looks at the  motherboard and sees the special instructions and Self-Activates.  (that's why you did not need to Activate your computer after you brought  it home)
B.  COA SLP: This is the Product key that you see on the sticker on  the side (or bottom) of your computer. It is a valid product key, but  should only be used in limited situations (sush as if the OEM SLP key  stops self-activating for whatever reason). The key must be activated by  Phone. (Note: All manufacturers that use the OEM SLP system are  required by contract to include a Certificate of Authenticity (COA)  sticker, that has a COA SLP key, on the computer)

So what you have here is really a need to sort out how to use the OPK for OEM production. I'll certainly watch for the Windows 7 OPK question and jump in to help you if you want to wrap this one up and move on.


Thanks for these news ,Semper...

I don't understand, so with OEM SLP hardware

I'm not an OEM vendor, or a sytem builder. I cannot use OPK for windows 7 in an afternoon...
It needs a windows 7 tecnich pc to be installed, and a lot of skills i haven't
It'a 1,5 gb file, and i think should be too complex for me

I would only to automate this 15 pc, but is impossible to do something clearly and faslty!
After a week trying to do an image, i discover this is not helpful.

If i'll find a way to update the OEM product key, well...
Other, i'll do 15 pc one by one.

In all honesty, I wouldn't mess with it my friend. Win 7 installs don't go anything like XP or others. It is VERY simple AND fast. Really shouldn't take much time just toss'em each up one at a time. It may be the easiest and fastest thing for you at this point and with your skill set to just get them done and deploy.

If you're going to have them in a domain, you may consider doing the installs then simply getting the software to install on its own with GPO. Of course you could do them on there own too. If you have a bunch of monitors you can set a bunch up all at once, no need for all this to take more than a day or two.

Very sorry the question went this way, not all answers are the ones we want. Please let me know if I can assist in any additional way.

i made this:
- my pc are OEM SLP,it is sure
- clone pc1 with acronis, without sysprep
- load this image on pc2 with acronis
-start pc 2 (seems identical to pc 1 , but mac address is different, under system/properties activation seems to be ok and i cannot find the button "change product key")
- rename pc 2
- starting dos prompt in run as admin, type slmgr /ipk <COA product key of pc2>
- receive message "product key changed"
-now under sytem/properties there is the link "activation must be completed in 3 days" + "active now" + "change product key" (sorry for translation)
- clicking active now, it says that product key is right only for telephone activation (not for internet activation , maybe cause i have no plugged a lan cable)
- making telephone activation is ok, now under sytem/properties there is the link "system is activated"+  "change product key"
- I hope COA product key was enough as backup of OEM SLP.

Sure this is not the best procedure, now i'm joining pc1 and pc2 on my domain.
I hope no problem, then i'll go on with other 13 pc

Stay tuned...


how said, not the best step by step guide.
it works for my 15 pc, but my advice is use right tool.
thanks for semper info about product key

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