SP3 and avoiding activation in an unattended install

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jfcarbel
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Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:08 am

SP3 and avoiding activation in an unattended install

Post by jfcarbel » Mon Jul 06, 2009 2:37 pm

I want to create a master system builder disc to use to install XP unattended that will install all the post SP3 fixes, etc. Then when done I can enter the key and do activation. So one disc can still be used unattended without a specific key being hardcoded or on a floppy.

It seems that with SP3 that it is no longer a requirement to enter a key or to do activation and that these can be done after installation is completed.

Per SP3 notes:
New features in Service Pack 3:

Installing without requiring a product key during setup for retail and OEM versions

Slipstreamed retail and OEM versions of Windows XP with SP3 can be installed and run with full functionality for 30 days without

a product key, after which time the user will be prompted to enter a valid key and activate the installation. Volume license key

(VLK) versions still require entering a product key before beginning installation
So, 2 questions.

1. How do I create an unattended so that it bypasses asking for the key and activation. Do I just enter in a temp bogus key or is there some winnt.sif setting to skip this and activation?

2. Can this be done with a SP2 that has been slipstream to SP3 or does the key and activation bypass require a new SP3 OEM or retail CD?

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avexmode
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Post by avexmode » Mon Jul 06, 2009 8:50 pm

nLite

jfcarbel
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Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:08 am

Post by jfcarbel » Mon Jul 06, 2009 11:49 pm

I have used nLite and the created unattended discs before but these were for VLK or retail in which it would still prompt for the key.

Is there a way using SP3 to bypass all that without entering a key, since it seems SP3 now allows for installs without registration or activation or maybe what they mean to say is an unsuccessful registration.

So not sure hpw I would do this in nLite and seeing if anyone got this working unattended and without activation needed until XP nags after install.

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redxii
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Post by redxii » Tue Jul 07, 2009 1:09 am

The bogus keys setup uses when the user chooses not to enter a key is in a file called pid.inf in the i386 directory.

Nothing regarding activation has changed, you still need to activate with a proper key within 30 days, and as always the activation nag is after setup. If you attempt to activate with the bogus key it will ask you enter a new key.

jfcarbel
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Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:08 am

Post by jfcarbel » Tue Jul 07, 2009 3:30 am

Thanks! That was what I was looking for.

Odd the CD I have from Dell labeled "Operating System Reinstallation CD Xp Home Edition SP2" does not have that pid.inf file all I see in there is PIDGEN.DLL

I did notice that the winnt.sif file had a ProductKey value set in it though, not sure if this is the trial key or the actual one for this machine.

Now on an XP Retail CD I see the pid.key file and I assume I can use any one of the keys in nLite and it will install without prompting.

One question, when the user wants to enter the license key that they purchased, where is that done? Or are they reminded after install via dialogs to enter a correct key.

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redxii
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Post by redxii » Tue Jul 07, 2009 3:37 am

Try to activate and it will ask you for a new key. You could possibly look into sysprep: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/libr ... 57073.aspx

jfcarbel
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Post by jfcarbel » Tue Jul 07, 2009 3:53 am

I am going to try this on my XP Pro Retail that I have. I entered the key from the PID.inf into winnt.sif. I assume that I should have AutoActivate-No in the winnt.sif as well.

I am wondering I should just avoid using this Dell CD for Home. I want to create a generic OEM install disc from it. I know that I could remove all the stuff from $OEM$ to avoid it SLP pre-activate based on BIOS but not sure what extras are in here that are DELL specific that also need to be removed.

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