Cloned PC's and Windows GUIDS How to change Unique Identifier


Little bit of an issue here. We use Symantec Ghost to clone PC's in our environment. One of our vendors just released new software for us to use and somehow when you register the software with their server. It's rejecting the PC's saying the system has already been registered.
They tell us that their server is registering the PC's by there Unique Identifier that Microsoft provides. Since we used a image from another PC. The cloned PC's has the same Unique Identifier as the original PC that was cloned. My question is: Is there a way to change this Unique Identifier that Microsoft provides so we can get our PC's registered without having to clean wipe each PC and start from scratch. If there is a way please provider step by step instructions.
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There are tools like NewSID, but first, you should ask the manufacturer what exactly their software checks.
Joseph DalyCommented:
You should be using sysprep in order to generate a new SID on the pcs. In order to do this sysprep should be the last thing you run before you shut down the pc to pull the image. If you run sysprep and the system is started for any reason it will not have a unique id.

Also newsid is no longer supported by Microsoft.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Newsid is no longer available.  It sounds like your images were not created properly using sysprep.  I would strongly encourage you to reevaluate how you plan your deployments and ALWAYS try to stick to supported methods.  Shortcuts are great - until they're not - like this.
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rraymond1130Author Commented:
The manufacturer is doing this to keep you from cloning their software onto another PC. A security measure I take it.

Joseph, I have 15 PC's I will need to change. These are active systems with software installed on them and they are joined to a domain. I would need a way to do this without disrupting the system. Would Newsid be able to do this?
rraymond1130Author Commented:
Well, this is how the company was doing their images before I started here. They never had a problem until now.. I just continued with what worked.. Now I see I have to change the way we are doing things..
Let the manufacturer tell you what his program is looking at - in detail. Before, we cannot say if sysprep or newsid would do any good, why speculate?
rraymond1130Author Commented:
This is from the vendor: The Microsoft GUID/SID is what I believe is the issue. And Lee W. we were using Symantec Ghost not some made up shortcut...
"You cannot use sysprep to change SIDs on computers with applications installed" says
The author (of the article AND of NewSID, same person!) also says "The reason that I began considering NewSID for retirement is that, although people generally reported success with it on Windows Vista, I hadn’t fully tested it myself and I got occasional reports that some Windows component would fail after NewSID was used" - very specific information, isn't it? He also says "Windows never exposes a machine SID outside its computer, proving that it’s okay to have systems with the same machine SID".

So you see, sysprep wouldn't be needed but for some special cases like yours. Since the manufacturer does not advise you to do anything, you can only try NewSID on a test clone and see what it makes/breaks.
Adam LeinssServer SpecialistCommented:
Don't run NewSID on Windows 7: it will corrupt the OS.  I've tried it, it does not work.  Try this: cscript c:\windows\system32\slmgr.vbs –rearm.  That sets a unique CMID.

Sysprep /generalize may or may not cause one here is going to be able to predict the results until you try it.
rraymond1130Author Commented:
Adam is this something that can be run at the command prompt? if,so will it cause any problems with the PC's being in a domain?
Adam LeinssServer SpecialistCommented:
The first command can be run from the command prompt and will not affect domain membership.   It can even be run remotely with psexec.

Sysprepping the system will kick it off the domain.
And installed applications might no longer run.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:

The shortcut was not syspreping. ALL IMAGING, to remain in a supported state, MUST be syspreped, whether you over pay and use third party deployment mechanisms or you use the included free one from Microsoft.  And Symantec is horrible but irrelevant; if the person before you read the documentation, I'm fairly certain it would have said you had to sysprep for deployment.  And if it failed to, I'll just add that to the long list of Symantec Failings.

Syspreping after deployment is also NOT SUPPORTED.  The only way I can see that you can put these systems back in a supported state where you can have a legitimate argument against Microsoft or the third party vendor is to reimage using a properly built and sealed image - that has been syspreped.  Otherwise, you can spend hours trying to figure a way around things... and MAYBE get it working... for now... until your next problem.  MIGHT you find a quick and easy "shortcut" now... sure... the problem is your asking how to do something that people who do things appropriately (and I'm not saying YOU - you already stated the guy before you) never face.  I'm saying cut your losses and get things deployed properly. PITA?  Sure.  EXTENSIVE work?  Probably.  But at the end of the day, you'll have corrected a MAJOR flaw.

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rraymond1130Author Commented:
Well, that's why I'm in the process of sysprepping a clean machine just in case I have no other choice but re-image. I will try Adam's solution on one of my test systems. otherwise I will have a long week next week.
rraymond1130Author Commented:
Lee, your right in your perspective on this. Adam I tested your solution and ran into some errors. I needed to get this done by the end of the week. I only have 15 PC's to do. I ran a sysprep on a test system that I installed all the programs I needed. I created a flash drive with the wim image. I'm half way through re-installing the systems and now I'm able to register the systems with our vendor. Thanks for all the feedback but I had to go with the safest way possible. Don't need a another chunk of my backside taken by unknown methods.
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