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Here's the situation: We've ordered a few new identical laptops at work. All came with the Windows 7 Professional OEM install.

Is it possible to do an initial install of our specific local apps ( volume-licensed Office 2007, for example ) to one of the laptops, remove extraneous bits of software, and then create an image from this newly-configured machine in order to copy over to the other laptops (and the laptops that we'll be ordering after that, as well).

I know how to do this with XP, but using our volume license--- I'm just wondering what's the best-practice or most appropriate course of action going forward now that it looks like we're shifting to Windows 7 finally.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

I'm thinking this is what you're looking for: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/ee530017.aspx

I have sysprep deployed images to multiple machines with single user licenses before. It should just ask for the license key, and as long as the feature set and licenses are the same it shouldn't matter which particular one you use.

If the OEM has "magic" activation, this could be a problem, but if they are identical the way the typically achieve the magic is writing strings to the end of the BIOS. Shouldn't result in code purple if they are identical hardware and manufacturer though.

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I would make a backup image just in case though. –  hbdgaf Oct 30 '10 at 14:46
    
Well, it's been a few years since I was at that job, but according to my former coworkers, the Win7 desktops are humming along after I used your link. Marking as the answer, somewhat belatedly. –  Bill B May 11 '13 at 13:30
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