Upgding 50 (aprox) workstations WinXP to Win7 duplicating

I have about 43 workstation that are all using Windows XP pro SP3 and I have purchased a microsoft volume license for 50.  I am running into all kinds of road blocks that has got me way behind schedule. 10 years ago I imaged a hard drive using Ghost and something called Sysprep.  I imaged the drives using the computer and a second ribbon cable.  

Looking at the License I see there are two type of license keys. MAK & KMS.  I thought I was supposed to use KMS and used that Key to activate the first two work stations.  
I am probably going to have to change that to MAK before I do anything else.  

Also, I purchased a device made by Alterac that makes copies of the hard drives.  I have 5 different types of work stations.  3 by Dell (Optiplex GX 520, 755 and 980, HP 6000 and HP 500.  I build a workstation using one of the five types mentioned above, place a new CMOS battery, install a fresh hard drive and then install the Windows 7 Profesional 32 bit. Make sure the memory is at max for the unit (usually 4gb) I then install Adobe Reader and a few other applications and our datbase client.  When I have the machine the way it should be minus the Microsoft office (I couldnt get my boss to swing for the Volume license for MS office) so that will be installed when I place the machine at the desk.
Is there an accepted meathod for migrating workstations like this.  I think I made a mistake with the product key.  I think I should have used the MAK key and not the KMS key, but again I am stll not sure.
Anything you can do to help me get this project finished and get these workstations upgraded to Windows 7.  I had a problem getting the licenses approved, and they were finally approved and paid for last week late... now I am playing swap out the O/S before it's attacked and rendered useless by the viruses and malware heading towards us now.  
Thanks in advance for any and all help.  
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Mike TLeading EngineerCommented:
Hi John,

Yes there are plenty of videos out there. I would stick Microsoft Virtual Academy ones. I find YouTube ones hit miss.

Read/watch anything and everything by Johan Arwidmark.

I answered with some links in a previous question: http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Windows/Windows_7/Q_28171771.html

You are right about duplicating. It will be great for creating backups of specific machines, and imaging a build that is at the sysprep stage, but *not* for whole machines.
You always need to run sysprep, hail or shine.

If you want to save some hair follicles, but the Deployment Fundamentals book Volk. 1 by Johan. It walks you through everything. As Luke says, once it's working you can churn out machines as and when.

Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
You bought an Alterac hard disk duplicator for this job? !!    Seems like a bit of overkill with only 43 workstations -- especially since they're not all the same (if they're equally distributed you've only got 8 or 9 of each type of system).

Handy gadget to have, however :-)

As for your issue at hand -- my understanding is that you can switch between MAK and KMS for your licenses as you choose, as long as you stay within the total number of licenses you've purchased.     Have you already set up your KMS server?   If not, you'll likely want to switch to MAK ... it will then require the systems to contact Microsoft's activation server for activation instead of your local KMS server;  but for such a small number of licenses, this would seem the simplest approach.

Sounds like you need to do 5 builds, and then some duplication.   I'd do ONE system type first, and be sure you're comfortable with the process -- make ONE duplicate of the disk and confirm it works okay on that system type; and then you should be "off to the races".

The biggest time consumer will likely be the configuration at each individual workstation; since you have to load Office and, I presume, any other unique programs the individual users may have.    I presume there's no local data to migrate ... if so, that will also take a bit of time.
I would keep your duplicator as an ornament of historical events :)
You have Five Models, more than likely with different hardware. I have MDT/WDS, which is currently deploying an image to my "New Pc's" @23minutes per pc.

I have a "Standard Image" then just have additional tasks to deploy the software that I want with will differ on each machine, but software like Office, or adobe reader or chrome, eset, are all included in this Standard Build.

With MDT you can put your MAK key (Thats what you want too) inside the Build, you can go as far as setting your Home page for IE ect.

You should really check it out. It may take you a week if you havent used it before to set up, but it will be friend whenever you get new pcs. You can also use Windows easy transfer to back up the User profiles on XP, save to a network location, and automatically put those user profiles back onto the machine in deployment.

Good luck!
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jvanderwydenAuthor Commented:
Garycase ; Late last night (early this am) I finally completed the one model for my Dell Optiplex 755 machines.  I entered the KMS product key (I guess that was a mistake and I am going to have to figure out how to change that to MAK) However when completed, I took the hard drive from the Optiplex 755 and placed it in the Alterac duplicator in the source slot, took a new blank hard drive and placed it in one of the 3 duplicate slots and started the process.  It took about 30 minutes perhaps longer.  I put the duplicated image in the computer and it worked perfectly.  
Of course afterward I began to realize that this will not work going forward because I can't keep duplicating the computer name, etc. etc. There are items on that drive that shouldnt be dup'd,
I am wondering if a product like sys prep would work to take care of the problem.  Not sure how to proceed.
jvanderwydenAuthor Commented:
Xobia:  I am going to research this a bit, because this seems like a great way to deploy.  There are some great how to videos online.  First I had to google MDT/WDS.  So I am very behind on the deplyment techniques that have been developed in the last decade.

I will be researching most of today.  I have to get this done because I think the XP machines are getting compromised despite having my Endpoint AntiVirus up to date and Malwarebytes online as well.  Two machines just froze and seemed to loose explorer which looks like virus.
Thanks much.... I will be reporting back later today on my progress...

Again I am grateful for the expert advise ...
jvanderwydenAuthor Commented:
Mike T:
  I have machines (2 out of the six types) finished.  They are ready for me to ru sysprep I am thinking.   I have but 1 thing I need to undo.  Unfortunatly I messed up and entered the wrong product key from Microsoft's VLS website.  I should have entered the MAK and instread I have entered KMS.  I have to find out where and how to remove the KMS and install the MAK.

   Once I straighten that out I think I am ready to begin sysprep.  Do I just start SYSPREP  on the machine in quesiton and have it remove what has to be removed?  Once I complete this important step I think it's safe to start the copy process and start deploying.  
This I am sorry to say is a little more difficult than simply installing a hard drive into a work station.  I am going to have to take the OEM version of Microsoft office that was delivered with that machine all those years ago and re-install it. But I believe that is all there is to it.
Mike TLeading EngineerCommented:

yes, just sysprep each type and once shutdown you can image it. Make sure you only boot into the bootable capture environment. Note if you created a capture image with MDT that does the sysprep, reboot capture for you, so you do NOT need to run it manually.

Yes, it is more work up front, but once done you have a process and some images you can do it much quicker when (not if) next time.

jvanderwydenAuthor Commented:
Thanks Experts.  Did not mean to abandon the question at all.  I got myself ill working long hours and getting run down and got myself sick.  I am just now back in the "saddle" again.   Love the job or I would have pack in long ago.  Thanks for your assistance.  Because I was out sick I havent finished the project, however I am going to finish this I project by the end of next week.  I will let  you know how it goes, so far it's gone well.  Thanks again.
Mike TLeading EngineerCommented:
Sadly, working too hard until you are sick seems to be a common thread in IT and here on EE. Look after yourself. Those binary minions can wait!
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