Do they make a volume license for Windows 8.1 Pro for bare metal systems?

I am developing several HP workstations I requested to not have any OS, yet they came with Windows 8.1 Pro OEM pre-installed. I need a separate volume license for Windows 8.1 Pro so I can custom build several images from a Windows 2012 server. The question is do they make a Windows 8.1 Pro volume image and licensing for bare metal installs. According to the official Microsoft distributor they are claiming no. I can't believe that.

If it is true how do you deploy? The eventual count is 300 workstations once our "Gold" image is built.
Robert HatcherNetwork EngineerAsked:
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Seth SimmonsSr. Systems AdministratorCommented:
volume licenses are full versions so not sure why they would tell you that
use the volume media to install the base OS, customize the way you need it, sysprep and make your image to deploy
George SimosIT Pro Consultant - IT Systems AdministratorCommented:
Volume licenses are different from the OEM ones, to be precise Volume Licenses upgrade existing OEM licenses (in both cases the license is tied on the hardware) in order to include them in an Enterprise Agreement Contract.
So in your case if you wanted to use the Enterprise Version of Windows you should ask for 300 licenses of Win 8.1 Enterprise Upgrade (from the 300 OEM ones you got), and use a single activation key for all of them, otherwise you would have to type the key of every machine during the deployment :(

(To be honest I got a bit lost with the description of your issue, if you could clarify it better it would be easier to support you).
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Seth is mistaken.

Volume Licenses REQUIRE the hardware they install on ship with an OEM copy of Windows Pro.  (The only exception is educational organizations who can have an OEM copy of Windows Home.

The media is full install media that will install cleanly OR upgrade, but it's NOT legal to install on bare metal with no pre-existing license.

For imaging, you MUST use a VL license but you can REPLACE the OEM licenses with the VL install.

Meaning, if you want 300 installs of Windows 8.1 Pro from a Volume License image, you need ONE VL license to build your image and the 300 PCs MUST come with a pro version of Windows.
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Robert HatcherNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:
Can you confirm your initial answer sir?

As stated we presently have 10 HP Workstations all which (unknowingly) have Windows 8.1 Pro installed in a fashion that asks the user for essential local and personal info to operate. Presently we also purchased a 10 user volume license of Windows 8.1 Pro which according to the documentation is an upgrade. (That is what started this Experts Exchange process).

I have almost zero experience with Windows 8.1 Pro and all the Microsoft changes involved. Apparently experience and common sense doesn't work anymore. I have read voluminous amounts of information on deployment and now so confused and found no mention of how the licensing works.

We have to build a working image which I would prefer to be (re) deployed via  2012 Member Server (part of AD DS). We are having HP build the final 300 count for the field. So I need to have the build process solid. Knowing which version of OS is critical. We need a minimum of Windows 8.1 Pro for the field. I hope this helps to explain it better.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Have you read the Reimaging Rights brief?
Quoting from the link:

Reimaging is permitted if the licenses granted to use Volume Licensing media are identical to those granted to use
the originally licensed product. Volume Licensing customers who have licensed Microsoft software products from an
OEM, through a retail source, or under an agreement other than their Microsoft Volume Licensing agreement can use
copies made from Microsoft Volume Licensing media.

Also, this has been the case for since Windows 7 was released and I'm fairly certain before.
George SimosIT Pro Consultant - IT Systems AdministratorCommented:
@Lee actually the OEM licenses are upgraded via the VL license, they are not replaced because they are tied to the hardware (as the OEM license states). Also because of this upgrade to VL those licenses are not transferrable to other PCs (this is only for Client Machines, Servers are another story).

@Hatcherb1234: Answers from Lee and me are in the correct way, Seth's answer is not clear and Licensing is not a simple thing to deal with. Also if you are not sure, you should consult Microsoft directly because things in licensing are very complicated (I'm speaking from experience in dealing with licensing schemes).
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
I concede, poor choice of words:

For imaging, you MUST use a VL license but you can REPLACE the OEM licenses with the VL install.
should have been
For imaging, you MUST use a VL license but you can REPLACE the OEM installs with the VL install.
Robert HatcherNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:
Thank You for clarifying this. After reading the Re-imaging rights I understand now that I will need a Windows 8.1 Enterprise Volume License to get the job done.  Thank You again.
George SimosIT Pro Consultant - IT Systems AdministratorCommented:
@ Lee: You got it right now! Thanks for supporting the solution!

@ Hatcherb1234: You're welcome :-)

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Robert HatcherNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:
I am a lot smarter aka knowledgable thanks to both Lee and George.
George SimosIT Pro Consultant - IT Systems AdministratorCommented:
Thanks Hatcer1234, it was great assisting you!
Robert HatcherNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:
Whew! That point's stuff ain't fun, but again thank you.
George SimosIT Pro Consultant - IT Systems AdministratorCommented:
:-) Take care!
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