I have a lab of virtual (Windows 7 Ultimate) machines and want to create a Windows image using MDT 2013 / DISM.

When I use the DISM capture-image on the reference machine and DISM apply-image on the 'new' virtual machine all works fine, except that the newly imaged machine has had activation reset.

If I used Ghost / Acronis / Reflect etc. to create and deploy an image - and then booted the new machine - it would be an identical replica of the reference PC - i.e. no activation needed.

So, is it actually possible to stop DISM from resetting activation?

I am asking because I have loads of 'test' machines that get rebuilt - some frequently and some not, and have no access to the KMS server. (Separate LAN)

1 Answer 1


My recommendation would be to install a MAK key as part of the installation sequence if these machines are not able to connect to your KMS server.

  • Hi, thanks for the tip - but keys are not the issue - I'm trying to discover what process DISM performs that resets activation: it obviously does something other than just copy the 'bits' of data. Activation is the easiest to notice - but I'm also wondering what other changes it makes in addition, fyi.
    – Tim
    Mar 12, 2015 at 15:13

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