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The image is based on a system with Windows 7 Professional 64-bit OEM. The workstations that the images will be installed on are very critical and as a result will have NO internet access to avoid viruses, malware etc.

When creating the image, Windows 7 will not be activated initially. Windows will be activated, using its OEM key, after the image has been installed on the workstation. Since there is no internet, activation will be done by calling Microsoft each time. The image will have all its drivers/updates manually installed and auto-updating will be disabled.

Some questions:

  • Is there a way to have the main image activated and ready to go, so that we don't have to activate after installing on a workstation each time? (Avoids the headache of calling Microsoft each time)
  • After initial activation, will Windows 7 ever ask to be reactivated at a later time (for example: X months later)?
  • Are there any other annoyances that might come up, if Windows cannot reach the internet?
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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Activation is required for all installations of the machine. You could technically create a disk image after you activate the first time and recover to that if you must reinstall.

The only time that windows will ask to activate is if you make significant hardware changed. It generally doesn't ask for activation again.

Windows will work fine without a connection to the internet. You might not be able to do online troubleshooting, time synchronization, or updates. Everything else should work just fine.

If you have a large number of machines that will be isolated, you might think about purchasing a volume license for this environment. Volume licenses generally don't need to be activated to the internet.

Hope this helps

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+1. There's no legal way to preactivate your OEM images - you can slipstream in the license keys and have it auto-activate on deployment but that obviously requires net access. There ARE ways of doing this with Enterprise volume licensing, I believe. –  Shinrai Apr 29 '11 at 16:07
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