Windows 10: SysPrep Win 10 Enterprise 2016 LTSB & Retain Activation

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  1. ChrisTech's Avatar
    Posts : 3
    Windows 10 Enterprise Build 1607
       10 May 2018 #1

    SysPrep Win 10 Enterprise 2016 LTSB & Retain Activation


    This is likely a stupid question, but asking anyway as to get a solid answer I can bring to my manager if need be.

    We are working on upgrading machines on a network, that is not routable to the outside world. They are on a 192.xxx network, but cannot see outside of the network they are on (there is no DNS on these machines). They are currently running either POSReady 2007 or Windows 7 depending on the location. We are wanting to upgrade them to Windows 10 Enterprise 2016 LTSB (1607). I'm looking for a way to sysprep them with a profile on them, along with some customization, but as an out of the box where they would generate a new SSID. (In the future we could move to SSCM for managing these devices, but are not currently.)

    I've been able to sysprep them using the audit mode to get them setup the way they should be, but each time, they loose their activation. The machines will be imaged on site or their hard drives will be replaced on site and local customization will still take place (naming the machines, changing their IP, and editing or replacing some local files). On site, they won't have access to Microsoft's Activation Servers.The machines we are using come with Windows 10 Enterprise 2016 LTSB license.

    Is there any way to retain the activation when running the SysPrep on these machines?
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  2.    10 May 2018 #2

    There's an installation file trick in which you can place a (regular or MAK) key for use during installation. Not sure if it will work to mitigate activation efforts, though. @Superfly or @Kari may know. Let's see if either or both of them will chime in.
    --Ed--
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  3.    10 May 2018 #3

    Nope, I can't see MAK activation being carried across offline.
    The unique InstallationID (which is what the Activation server uses) will change with each PC's IP and thus activation will be lost.

    MS has gone to great lengths to prevent this sort of thing (ie. sharing of licences) -- the licence store gets overwritten if it does not comply with the activation server issued hash.

    My sysprep knowledge is dangerous, so Kari will have to butt in about that, but my suggestion would be to include the MAK in the unattend but grant online access even if just temporarily.

    (PS I would have suggested restoring licencing store in a setupcomplete.cmd but we are seeing issues with that here - and we can't have that in an enterprise environment)
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    10 May 2018 #4

    Thanks @Superfly: you confirmed what I believed but didn't know for sure. There's going to have to be a temporary link-up for activation to occur, as I suspected. Seems like temporarily installing a router or hotspot with Internet access just for activation (or a licensing server if handled purely in-house) will be needed.
    Thanks again,
    --Ed--
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  5.    11 May 2018 #5

    Hi there

    surely a machine on the local network could work as a licensing server -- Ms must have some system in place for mass enterprise / volume licensing that doesn't require each individual machine to connect singly to the internet.

    I'm sure there must be some type of local Intranet in place as people will have to access corporate wide applications from some type of office servers.

    The licensing server would act as an internet gateway in any case so the other machines on the network wouldn't be able to access the net..

    I don't even begin to know how Ms licensing works but it would seem absurd if Ms hasn't got some sort of system in place for this type of scenario --they really want to get enterprise users away from W7. Personally I'm sure a word with a "Sales Reptile" from Ms could sort this out.

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6. ChrisTech's Avatar
    Posts : 3
    Windows 10 Enterprise Build 1607
    Thread Starter
       11 May 2018 #6

    jimbo45 said: View Post
    Hi there

    surely a machine on the local network could work as a licensing server -- Ms must have some system in place for mass enterprise / volume licensing that doesn't require each individual machine to connect singly to the internet.

    I'm sure there must be some type of local Intranet in place as people will have to access corporate wide applications from some type of office servers.

    The licensing server would act as an internet gateway in any case so the other machines on the network wouldn't be able to access the net..
    These are actually POS / Kitchen machines on the internal network in a restaurant environment (1,500+ units/locations with this setup). Let's just call them "internal machine" to make it simple. There is one machine in the office that has external network access. The internal machines are connected to it, but with no DNS, obviously they can't get to the outside world. Sounds like there could be a way to setup a licensing service on that machine potentially to activate the internal machines maybe. Going to look into that idea a bit more. I do know that they are wanting to keep the current network setup for the internal machines. I've just been the lucky one to investigate this upgrade and start working towards what we need to do, to accomplish it.

    I'm open to any ideas or suggestions anyone has.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  7.    11 May 2018 #7

    Have you looked into this? Activation in Disconnected Environments Using Volume Activation Management Tool 2.0

    BTW: Which licensing service are you referring to?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8. ChrisTech's Avatar
    Posts : 3
    Windows 10 Enterprise Build 1607
    Thread Starter
       11 May 2018 #8

    Superfly said: View Post
    Have you looked into this? Activation in Disconnected Environments Using Volume Activation Management Tool 2.0

    BTW: Which licensing service are you referring to?
    I was looking at using VMAT - MAK Proxy activation, but that won't work as it requires AD access which we don't use.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  9.    11 May 2018 #9

    I think the problem with your situation is... it's VL that's not in a VL environment... Ed's hotspot method will be the way I'd go... no easy way out... IMHO
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    11 May 2018 #10

    Do you even need to activate them? I know with ATM machines you don't - you just tell your MS rep how many you have.

    I don't know how POS works but perhaps the same.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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