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We have ordered 70 dell laptops directly from dell. We are wondering if we can take the existing OEM install of windows on one of the laptops, add some files and then deploy that image to the rest of the laptops.

We are trying to avoid making an image from the ground up. I would imagine since we have purchased 70 laptops that the same install would work on all 70 - I am not sure though.

I have imaged three laptops with this image and attached them all onto the domain with no problems. They are also all activated. Updates ran fine as well. We are using this to duplicate drives

Will this method work or is there potential for problems in the future?

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I've not dealt with this much, but as long as all the laptops are the same model, there shouldn't be an issue. I've read that for image creation you need to re-arm the files, I'm thinking those files might not exist on the OEM image. I can't see why it shouldn't work though. – Melikoth Mar 20 '12 at 18:25
What are you using to image? imagex? Ghost? Another 3rd party program? – francisswest Mar 20 '12 at 19:54
Are you getting a Win7 site license? Does each laptop have a unique Win7 product key? – sawdust Mar 20 '12 at 20:10
We are using this… – lolkjmz Mar 20 '12 at 21:28

You should have a volume license and use volume license media.

"Re-imaging rights are a benefit granted to Microsoft Volume Licensing customers. Volume Licensing customers may re-image any software they have legal licenses for (including Microsoft OEM Software) using Volume Licensing media."

"Volume Licensing media must be used for re-imaging (OEM media may not be used)."

Google OEMSoftwareLicensingRulesandRestrictions.pdf , (I can't copy a clean link from Google)

If this matters, push the install on login. If not, then activation is the only hurdle. I don't have an answer there, it keeps changing. I've done it before and had to phone Microsoft to reactivate. Every service pack seems to be a little different.

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