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I'm pushing out a Windows 7 Image I sysprepped and created an answer file for. I added the Product Key under windowsPE using component Windows-Setup_neutral->UserData->ProductKey. It is MAK activation key, volume license. When the new system boots up the first time, I go to activate the product Key but it gives me an error: windows activation error code 0x8007232B

When I go and 'Change Product Key' in the new system and manually type in the same key, then activate it works fine. It would be nice to have this work so it will automatically activate in the 3 day period (so I don't have to activate each machine manually).

Here's my unattend xml file, is there something I'm missing?

 <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?> 
- <unattend xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:unattend">
- <settings pass="windowsPE">
- <component name="Microsoft-Windows-International-Core-WinPE" processorArchitecture="x86" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="" xmlns:xsi="">
- <SetupUILanguage>
- <component name="Microsoft-Windows-Setup" processorArchitecture="x86" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="" xmlns:xsi="">
- <WindowsDeploymentServices>
- <Login>
- <Credentials>
- <UserData>
- <ProductKey>
  <Key>**Confirmed key is correct**</Key> 
- <settings pass="specialize">
- <component name="Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup" processorArchitecture="x86" publicKeyToken="31bf3dddd856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="" xmlns:xsi="">
  <RegisteredOwner /> 
  <TimeZone>Central Standard Time</TimeZone> 
- <settings pass="auditSystem">
- <component name="Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup" processorArchitecture="x86" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="" xmlns:xsi="">
- <AutoLogon>
- <Password>
  <cpi:offlineImage cpi:source="wim:w:/win7prosp1cd/sources/install.wim#Windows 7 PROFESSIONAL" xmlns:cpi="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:cpi" /> 
share|improve this question
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I might be wrong but it seems to me that the windowsPE pass isn't read after sysprep (ie during first boot "out of the box-style"), only specialize is.

Add the Windows-Shell-Setup component to the specialize pass and set the product key.

If you want automatic activation to be done, then you could try running a SynchronizedCommand in the specialize pass which would do :

cscript slmgr.vbs /ipk <productkey> /atoi

or simply

cscript slmgr.vbs /atoi

if the correct key is already installed via the specialize pass.

share|improve this answer
So I would need to put the product key under Windows-Shell-Setup -> ProductKey in specialize? Above the RegisteredOrganization Setting? – drpcken Mar 4 '11 at 18:10
Yes it should work, I just used WAIK to verify that this component can be added to specialize. – Renik Mar 4 '11 at 18:28
Thank you but I'm still confused (sorry). I'm creating a UnattendFile.xml file AND an OOBEunattend.xml file (per this site… it doens't mention the product key). Which file do I put the product key in? I know from memory the key is suppose to be entered during the OOBE right? – drpcken Mar 4 '11 at 21:20
at least in the OOBEunattend.xml file. But you could put it in both ;-) – Renik Mar 4 '11 at 22:56
Got it! You were right, I moved it from my Unattend to my OOBEunattend and it works great! THank you! – drpcken Mar 4 '11 at 23:02

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