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Sysprep and Activation Problem

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I have a sysprepped image of the retail version of XP PRO with SP3 and IE8.

I made this image on June 21 2009.

The image has been deployed on over 160 computers since June 21 but just yesterday I started getting the "This copy of Windows did not pass genuine Windows Validation and you have not yet resolved the problem....


Up until yesterday no problem; today I had three out of 25 computers get that message.

I have to put in the key code and validate before I can get to the desktop.

The other computers all get to the desktop and have the expected 30 day grace period.

Does anyone know the cause of this and how to resolve?


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I am using a MAR (Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher) Key. The installation media is a retail disc.

When I make the master image I put a key into the sysprep.inf so during setup it does not require adding the key.

During activation there is the message saying that the key entered has already been activated too many times (this is expected) and that is when the new key is entered and XP is activated.

I am suspecting that maybe SP3 has something to do with this problem because I didn't have this issue last year when I was using SP2 based images.


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