Daniel Petri is a world-known IT professional, technical trainer and creator of one of the world’s largest IT knowledge bases – www.petri.com. Daniel consults to leading global Fortune 1000 companies in Microsoft IT Infrastructure and Engineering strategies.

For his contribution to the IT Pro community Daniel has received the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award for the 14th time. Daniel’s professional certifications include Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist, Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer, Microsoft Certified System Administrator and Microsoft Certified Trainer.

While working for Microsoft, Daniel serves as a Senior Premier Field Engineer (PFE) specializing in Windows Server OS and Active Directory.
Daniel now works for ObserveIT, makers of the Insider Threat Detection software, where he holds the role of Senior Solutions Architect, where he manages large deployment projects and partner and customer training programs.

In his spare time, Daniel rides a 1200cc 2015 model Ducati Multistrada 1200S bike and manages the Israeli Bikers forum.

You can contact Daniel at daniel-at-petri-dot-co-dot-il.

Activate XP with Sysprep Installations

How to use Sysprep with Windows Product Activation or Volume License Media to deploy Windows XP/2003?

If you are planning a large deployment of Windows XP or Windows Server 2003, obtain Volume License (VL) media and use Volume Licensing. Activation is not required when you use Volume License media (VL versions of Windows XP/2003) in conjunction with the VL product keys.

Microsoft Volume Licensing customers can enter their unique VL product keys into the unattended answer file. With Sysprep, you enter this key in your Sysprep.inf file under the “UserData” section by using the “ProductKey=” entry, for example:

(Where XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX is your product key)

This enables Windows XP/2003 to install successfully.

Note: If you use Volume License product keys with VL media, you are only required to enter the VL product key in the “UserData” section by using the ProductKey parameter as shown above. If you use Sysprep you need to edit the unattended answer file (Sysprep.inf).

Windows Product Activation is designed to work with drive imaging products that are available from third-party manufacturers. You can use the Sysprep utility that is included with Windows XP to reset activation up to three times. The Sysprep.exe utility is located on the Windows XP distribution CD-ROM in the Support\Tools folder in the Deploy.cab file.

After Windows XP/2003 is imaged and then deployed, Windows Product Activation initiates the activation timer, which resets the installation ID (and enables the full grace period) at first start after the installation of Windows XP/2003 is complete on the target computer. Unlike Volume Licensing, unique product keys are required for each of the target computers. However, a manual telephone call is not necessary as long as the target computers have Internet connectivity and the product keys are valid; in that case, the computer activates online automatically.

Related articles

You may also want to read:


Windows 2000 System Preparation Tool and Answer File Usage – 216937

 Quick Guide to Preinstalling Windows- 414472

Description of New Features in Sysprep for Windows XP – 282190

System Preparation Tool and Answer File Usage – 314460

How to Bypass OOBE When You Perform an Unattended Installation of Windows XP – 294801

How to Use Sysprep with Windows Product Activation or Volume License Media to Deploy Windows XP – 299840

How to use Sysprep.exe Tool to Automate Successful Deployment of Windows XP – 302577

Related Topics:

  • Windows Client OS

    Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Sign up for a Petri Account