today my boss came in and asked me, if my community i rave about every day, may know a hint for our "rollout" problem.
First let me say, that we are searching for an absolutely *LEGAL* solution!
We (our company) develop digital radiography apps and sell them to hospitals and doctor offices.
When we get an order, we normally have to ship a full system with many pc's. One server that runs under linux, and many workstations with Windows XP. On this Windows boxes we have to set up a lot of preferences (networking and other stuff) and install some client applications. Most of that "installing" is the same all the time, for all Windows-PCs we rollout. All the Windows-PCs are equally in hardware of course too.
So we, everytime we updated something (hard or software), install one "Master PC" with all settings and applications we need, and then make a diskimage from it.
On rollout time we then only write the diskimage to the new PC harddisks we need for this order, without, or at least with only very little, fiddling with installing and setup preferences.
OF COURSE WE SELL AND SHIP A SEPERATE LEGAL COPY OF WINDOWS WITH EVERY PC WE INSTALL THIS WAY!
Then, after installing the new PC this way, we expectedly have to activate the windows copy. So we enter the Serialnumber of the Windows-Copy we plan to ship with this pc and activate it.
That works fine and results in a fast rollout of many pc's.
But, that only works exactly 4 times for this diskimage. Then reactivation stops. We then have to set up manually a new master pc with another and new windows copy, take the diskimage again and then have the opportunity to rollout 4 pcs again. To be continued
Now my question:
Is there a way to prevent this "stopping after 4 activations", so we can rollout unlimited pcs with one master disk image and different licenses (serial numbers) of Windows XP? Installing only a pre-installed empty Windows is not an option, as we want to have our application and our needed preferences installed and setup ready "out of the diskimage box".
AGAIN TO BE CLEAR AND TO BE SURE THERE ARE NO MISUNDERSTANDINGS!
What we do is absolutely legal, as we purchase and ship with every new PC a seperate full paied version of Windows with its own license and serial number. The only thing what we do is, use one license to set up the master for the disk image, that we then copy to many pc's and activate this seperate installations with the respective serialnumber that is designated for this (and only for this) one pc. We dont look for a illegal, pirated solution. We only wanna know if we can do sth. legal to prevent the "4 activation restriction with one image".
Any hint appreciated! Help me to proof my boss that my community where i chat the whole day is worth to be online while working time.
CU and TIA