Activate Windows 7

We have many Win7 workstations that were originally imaged from an sysprep image using a MS Volume license.  Since all of are workstations were purchased with WIN7 and have the OEM license keys, we did not renew our Volume licenses.  Now after imaging a workstation it this image, we are unable to activate it using the old MS Volume license and if we try to reenter the OEM license key from the sticker on the stations, we get an invalid key.
Does any one have a solution on how we can activate windows on these stations.  I would hate to have to create new images and reimage several thousand computers at our 16 campuses in order to activate Windows.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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William MillerIT SpecialistCommented:
Unfortunately, you'll likely need to renew your VLs. Even if you didn't need to, you would need to contact Microsoft directly here to inquire about the key error you receive with the OEM.

That link takes you the to automated assistant and will connect you with the proper team to handle the issue. They may be able to point you to phone activation for those keys as well, but this would be done individually per machine. Which, on the sheer volume you mentioned, probably won't be worth the headache or labor time.
☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
Have you exhausted the number of licenses you original bought as VL or simply cancelled your VL?

Activation keys are matched to the type of installation so OEM keys will activate an OEM install but not a VL install.  It sounds like your image is based on the VL.  You're correct that if all your machines had OEM licensing issued to you you don't need VL's for them but in order to do that you need to use Reimaging Rights and those require you to hold at least one paid VL so if you've surrendered the VL license and it's no longer valid you'll either have to reimage everything back to OEM (which is technically a breach of OEM licensing) or re purchase a VL for the minimum number you can and use your Reimaging Rights to increase the number of machines it applies to.

Rules on Reimaging and Windows 7 here:

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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
It depends on what kind of VL license you had.  If you had a perpetual license, you shouldn't need to re-purchase/renew.  Unfortunately, VL keys by default only come with a certain amount of activations, depsite the policy that they can be used for imaging.  You'll need to contact Microsoft to get this fixed if you have a valid perpetual license.
ajwellmanAuthor Commented:
Thanks for all your help on this.  We will just renew our volume licenses even though we have valid OEM licenses for all our computers.  It is much easier to just bite the bullet and continue using the volume licenses and to be able to manage them with VAMT.

Thanks again for the suggestions

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