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Hi Guys,

We're currently receiving laptops from our supplier and I'm wanting to create an image.

So, I wiped the drive and started from scratch. Our supplier does not provide a Windows product key as we're told it's embedded in the BIOS.

However, Windows is now prompting for a product key and activation?
It seems a little suspicious. I've tried trawling the internet.. and have come up empty handed.

Is there something I'm missing or not doing right? I've ran some product key finders and it does show a 'Windows (BIOS OEM Key)' but.. this doesn't seem to work?

Thanks in advanced..

Edited Dec 16, 2016 at 6:02 UTC

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8 Replies

· · ·
dbeato
Mace
OP
dbeato

What is the Windows Embedded version you have? Who is your supplier?For Windows 10 you get a digital key either by manufacturer (OEM) BIOS , via upgraded computer and or key from Microsoft.

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/10749/windows-product-key

Did you reinstall with the OEM media? Also for imaging OEM devices you need at least one volume license to do this.

0
· · ·
Squawks
Tabasco
OP
Squawks

It's Windows 7 Professional (I've now modified topic title).

Our supplier, hasn't provided any product key at all.
I reinstalled using a Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-Bit disc.

We sysprep the machines, then image (removing any product key).

If the license is embedded, it should automatically reactivate (even If It didn't we would enter the product key) and from my understanding, this would be within licensing agreements.. Correct me if I'm wrong?

0
· · ·
toby wells
Ghost Chili
OP
toby wells

No you are outside of licensing rights. OEM has no imaging rights

You can only use the OEM Media to install or re-install. A vanilla Windows install wont activate using the hardware embedded key, only the version supplied

So you need a volume license, just 1 x copy will do. So if you have 50 laptops with Windows 7 Pro OEM supplied you buy 1 x Windows 10 Pro  Volume License (comes with downgrade rights) and use the key from that to install the 50 copies you are licensed for

2
· · ·
samsmith16
Poblano
OP
samsmith16

There is no key anymore for OEM Windows.
OEM Windows does have some limited imaging rights. The rights are that you need a disc from the OEM and you can only use that disc on the same model of computer. Your OEM should have provided or should be providing on request the proper media.
If you cannot get media from your supplier and you need a quick fix then you can purchase one upgrade or win ent license through VL and use the VL media. You should be allowed to do this as you have stated all the laptops are Windows Professional OEM.
(res page 3 & 4, https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/licensing/learn-more/brief-reimaging-rights.aspx)

Text
OEM-Specific Information
Reimaging is the copying of software onto multiple devices from one standard image. Organizations that want to
recover their systems by using OEM media or OEM custom images may only do so as follows: OEM media may be
used to individually recover an image to a device using recovery media provided by the OEM. The OEM recovery
media (1) should match the product version that was originally preinstalled on the system, (2) may only be used to
image devices that came with it, and (3) may not be modified prior to recovering an image to a device.
 Using OEM Media to Reimage: You may use OEM media (including custom OEM images) to reimage devices,
but only those that were originally imaged with such media.
 Downgrading and Reimaging: The EULA that came with your OEM version of Windows may include the right to
use a prior version of the software. For example, instead of using the Windows 8.1 Pro software, you may use one
of the following earlier versions: Windows 7 Professional or Windows Vista Business. If the earlier version includes
different components, any terms for those components in the agreement that come with the earlier version apply
to your use of such components. Neither the manufacturer or installer, nor Microsoft, is obligated to supply
earlier versions to you. You must obtain the earlier version separately. Note: The right to use a prior version of
the software must be in accordance with all other reimaging terms.
Text
OEM Yes, you may use an OEM recovery image on devices shipped by that OEM provided that the device is appropriately licensed.

FPP (Retail) No, you are allowed to use FPP media only on the device licensed with the FPP license.

Volume Licensing Yes, you may use Volume Licensing media to reimage any device properly licensed to run
what it is being reimaged with.
Text
Using Volume Licensing Media to Reimage. Volume Licensing Windows Desktop operating system media may
be used to reimage devices as long as all devices being reimaged are licensed for the edition and version of
Windows being reimaged onto them. (Note: Each device being reimaged does not need to be licensed under
Volume Licensing as long as they are properly licensed for the edition and version being reimaged onto them.)
 
2
· · ·
Chris (Microsoft)
Ghost Chili
OP
Chris (Microsoft)

Brand Representative for Microsoft

Squawks wrote:

It's Windows 7 Professional (I've now modified topic title).

Our supplier, hasn't provided any product key at all.
I reinstalled using a Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-Bit disc.

We sysprep the machines, then image (removing any product key).

If the license is embedded, it should automatically reactivate (even If It didn't we would enter the product key) and from my understanding, this would be within licensing agreements.. Correct me if I'm wrong?

The devices are coming with Windows 7 Pro OEM license.  You can use Volume Licensing media in place of OEM media (aka. reimaging rights) as mentioned above.  I have a how-to on this here: Reimaging rights for Windows 10.
1
· · ·
ianmacdonald3
Datil
OP
ianmacdonald3

Windows 7 OEM installs from any one manufacturer all have the same license key, and it isn't the one that used to be on COAs anyway. Along with that you need a signature in the BIOS, which should be there, and a certificate in the OEM folder of the install DVD. With these three things present, no activation is needed.

The license key can be obtained by way of utilities like ProduKey, but obviously only if you still have an original install.

Your other option is to try a Windows 10 Anniversary Edition .iso download from Microsoft. Most new computers will activate online that way because they are already licensed for 10. Or, do you not want to use Windows 10?

Note that Windows 8 is rather different.

0
· · ·
Squawks
Tabasco
OP
Squawks

Hi Guys,

So do I need to purchase a Volume License in addition to OEM Licensing or does it replace it?

Does the volume license cover as many machines so long as they have OEM licensing? So I could install it on 100, 200 machines that have OEM licenses?

0
· · ·
dbeato
Mace
OP
dbeato

If you are going to use OEM INstall media for that device you do not need Volume Licensing but you cannot image the computers. 

If you are using Volume Licensing (At least one) You can reimage many workstation as long as those computers have OEM licensing and you know the key. The best bet is to use OEM install media and make sure Windows 7 is the license that came with the computer instead of Windows 8.1 or Windows 10. 

If you do not know the OEM license then Volume License will be the best solution for you.

0
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