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Understanding laptop imaging

I need to create an image of a fully configured Windows 7 64bit laptop.  By fully configured I mean it has Windows, MS Office 2010 and several other licensed applications on it like AutoCAD, SnagIT, SKetchUP, BLuebeamPDF, just to name a few.

I understand there are utilities in the Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK) called ImageX and Windows PE that will allow me to create and image.

What I don't understand is, how are licensed applications handled in an imaging process?  In other words, if a computer image is a snapshot copy of a hard drive that is then placed on another hard drive as a copy, what about application licensing?  I can't seem to get a solid answer to this on the internet.

I understand that there is what is called 'generalizing' the image, which means the SID and the computer name are not copied so that they can be created as new and not duplicate...but what about licensing?   Help...
Windows 7Laptops NotebooksStorage Hardware

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8/22/2022 - Mon

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> what about application licensing?

That depends on each application. Some publishers allow more than one installation per product key... but if they don't, then cloning the installation onto another machine would typically be a license violation. i.e. illegal.
David Johnson, CD

The easiest and the best method is to use the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit.
What you do is either script everything from a base installation and then add packages (install the software).  When it is finished you then either use group policy or more scripts to get the machine into the way you want it (change registry items, apply local policies, etc)

If you do it this way whenever there is an update to a product you just replace the installer file.. and maybe push out the update to the older computers that applies the update.

This way you don't spend half your life creating new images (remember you can only rearm 3 times) every-time a package gets updated.  you just modify your application script for any new parameters.

As for the software licensing it all depends upon what sort of license you have.. individual keys, enterprise license (one master key), or you are licensed for x # of copies.

There are some big caveats here that you must understand.. Microsoft OEM software is not licensed for imaging.. you have to have a volume licensing agreement and the golden image must be made from VL media, but this allows the use of vamt and KMS activation of the operating system and office.

Deploying Windows 7 from A-Z (Microsoft Document)

Microsoft Virtual Academy - Deploying Windows 7

To say it simple - they will become all trial and ask for new activation.
Your help has saved me hundreds of hours of internet surfing.

Easy to follow- thanks