Each year, I find myself installing Windows 7 dozens of times, on both brand new PCs and before passing on a used PC from one user to the next. I'm sure a LOT of network administrators are in the same boat.
Windows Updates take a LONG time and it would save so much time being able to create an image that's up to date with all Windows Updates and deploy it using Windows Deployment Services (WDS).
Having installed a Dell OEM image onto a VM, updated it, snapshotted it, ran sysprep generalize, captured an image to WDS and deployed that image to a physical Dell OptiPlex box, I had issues activating the OEM key from the COA sticker online and had to phone up for a manual activation... which went through fine, but was a painful process of listening to an automated system and punching in loads of numbers.
- Was this just a fluke? Should this scenario normally work without the need to phone up for a manual activation?
- Can OEM media be used for imaging, or do I have to use Volume License media? And if using Volume License media, do I need to enter the OEM key found on the COA sticker?
- Moving forwards, with OEMs like Dell embedding keys into the UEFI BIOS on new PCs, does this make the process any easier?