I have a large batch of laptops that all have identical hardware. Right now each laptop has its own backup image (ie Norton Ghost) that contains the installed OS as well as all the relevant software.
What I'd like to do is create a master base image that can be loaded onto any of the laptops but requires the product keys to be installed when the system is initially booted.
Is there a built-in way to invalidate the install to force a re-activation and/or can Windows be installed in a pre-activation state to meet the same requirement.
Currently, with updates and software install it can take 5-7 hours to create each image so anything I can do to cut down on that time will save a ton of time on deployments/re-imaging.
Note: Assume that all of the laptops are distributed geographically so leveraging a central network for deployments is not an option.