Computer Building, WinXP installation en masse

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jeff Kleist, Aug 18, 2002.

  1. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    Let's say I want to start a business building PCs that will all be pretty much the same hardware/software and I want to basically ghost the HDs instead of sitting around for hours installing

    The problem being the serial number that has to be unique on XP. How can I ghost AND keep the installations legal?
     
  2. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    oops Wrong area, mod please move to computers
     
  3. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    And so's I says to myself when I saw yer thread title, "No way Jeff Kleist would post in the wrong area. He's a veteran HTFer, man, no way." Thought there might be a DVD connection somehow. But I caught you makin' a boo-boo! [​IMG]
     
  4. Steve_Ch

    Steve_Ch Supporting Actor

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    Whoops, wrong answer, I thought you were talking activation, never mind [​IMG] .
     
  5. Jeff D.

    Jeff D. Supporting Actor

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    Jeff;
    I don't think there is any way to do what you suggest - ie. ghost and copy onto all the drives.
    However, there is a way to automate the install process. I don't know too much about it, but the gist is creating an 'answer file' which essentially answers all the questions Setup will ask. Thus Windows installs itself and does not require you to sit there and watch the install.
    I tried to find information and the best I could find was this page at Microsoft
    Hope that is of some help.
    /Jeff
     
  6. DanielM

    DanielM Stunt Coordinator

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    you would need a coroporate copy of "xp"
     
  7. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    yeah, you got me Jack [​IMG]
    Basically I'm trying to go into some OEM computer building on the side, and I wanted to be able to save a lot of time. The Answer file sounds like a possibility, but then I'd still need to install a bunch of other stuff [​IMG]
    I'm guessing you stil need to input the serial # manually?
     
  8. David_N

    David_N Stunt Coordinator

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    You can buy an "Open License" version of XP from Microsoft. You can specify how many installations you are going to use. Also you only have one license number and no activation ever required. We found this was the best way for our department to function as most of our computers aren't connected to the internet (and after one call to the activation center and getting that 60ish digit number to type in wasn't practical).
     
  9. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    David, the problem is that I'm building these PCs as an OEM, aka selling them to people so they would each need a seperate serial number/license
     
  10. Colin Dunn

    Colin Dunn Supporting Actor

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    Jeff - I would suggest you contact Microsoft and see if you can get an OEM licensing agreement with them.

    What most OEMs seem to do nowadays is clone an image onto the hard disk of a halfway-installed Windows XP. The end user then buys the PC, boots it up, enters a serial number, and uses the software.

    The proper/legal way to do this would be to throw in an OEM disk/certificate pack with every system you sell. The OEM license agreements allow OEMs to buy WinXP at lower prices than the retail copy, but there are a number of potential legal pitfalls for the OEM (some of which have caused big OEMs to sue Microsoft).

    An OEM contract likely would mandate that you sell ALL your systems with Windows, whether the user wants it or not. (This is the latest lawsuit-inducing controversy.) Then you could legally clone a partially-installed version of XP to the hard drives, and have the users enter the serial number and register the product when they receive their PCs. (You would include an OEM CD pack with a license certificate with each PC.)

    If you're not willing to accede to this demand, you'll probably have to sell OS-less PCs, and offer customers the option of buying XP as an extra-cost option. If you go this route, you'll need to find a wholesale source of retail-boxed XP. Then you'd have to do the answer file scripted install for users who want their OS pre-installed.
     
  11. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    Yes Colin, I intend on keeping this 100% legal. Thanks for the tips, I will look into becoming an OEM client with Microsoft, whether or not they have a minimum volume clause is another story
     
  12. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    Update. If I buy a 3pack of Windows XP they include everything I need to automate, and from what I can tell (still reading docs) ghost the installations. It just sets up a run once which has you do the serial
     
  13. Colin Dunn

    Colin Dunn Supporting Actor

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    Jeff -

    I don't know the details of how they handle it now, but I used to buy computers from a small OEM in Boulder, CO (when I lived in Colorado).

    The proprietor of the shop was not a fan of Microsoft and generally sold PCs without an OS, but he had the option of getting OEM versions of Windows and selling them with PCs. This was a small shop that proabably sold a few full systems per week, and supplemented that with revenues from programming projects and a subscription bulletin-board service (yes, this was back in the day...).

    They did not get as good of terms as big OEMs like Dell did, but they had the option of selling legally licensed copies of Windows with their PCs, and it wasn't the usual retail-box product, but rather an OEM version...
     
  14. Brian E

    Brian E Screenwriter

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    I haven't done any OEM building for quite a while, but with Win98 you made a special boot disk that basically let you load the OS & drivers along with other preinstalled software without entering the S/N. I would assume XP is similar. When you were done doing this you clicked a dialog box which put Windows into "normal" mode and would then ask for a S/N on boot up. This would allow the machines purchaser to enter the number, which MS required, probably still does, on OEM installs. You could then clone this drive and put it into your machines without having to worry about the S/N issue.

    I may be fuzzy on the details of the proceedure, but that's about what it was.
     

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