Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Legal cloning question

  1. #1


    Posts : 1
    Windows 8

    Legal cloning question


    I purchased 21 new Toshiba Satellite PCs for a local school. I have set up two of the PCs the way the school wants them and each one took a while. I'd like to clone one of them to the oher PCs but I am concerned about how Microsoft will deal with cloned PCs. Each PC has a legal Windows 8 key and I have purchased 21 copies of Microsoft Office. Can anyone tell me if I will run into problems cloning the remining 19 PCs. Thank you for your help.

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  2. #2


    Camarillo, Ca.
    Posts : 59
    All Versions Of Windows


    You will not run into issues. If you have the keys the worst case scenario is you will be prompted for a key. Microsoft generally only cares that you own licenses for each machine. Your only possible issue is that if these are being used in a Windows AD domain cloning the machines each will have the same SID.
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  3. #3


    Quote Originally Posted by earlwhitney View Post
    I purchased 21 new Toshiba Satellite PCs for a local school. I have set up two of the PCs the way the school wants them and each one took a while. I'd like to clone one of them to the oher PCs but I am concerned about how Microsoft will deal with cloned PCs. Each PC has a legal Windows 8 key and I have purchased 21 copies of Microsoft Office. Can anyone tell me if I will run into problems cloning the remining 19 PCs. Thank you for your help.
    Here is a problem with Windows 7 I ran into. I could not enter a new key for an OEM Windows 7 install that I cloned. I cloned from one setup system and then tried to enter the activation key from the sticker on the laptops and I couldn't enter the code. The option was greyed out.

    After researching why the option was not available I found out that the license does not allow for cloning of OEM systems even though each system came with a licensed Windows 7 OEM installed. They all worked but I found out that the cloning was a violation of the license.

    Not sure if Win 8 has this same restriction but Win 7 required full versions (and some other version also qualified) to clone systems and re-enter license codes. It's a crappy restriction IMO as doing this with a new batch of laptops saves a lot of time.

    Strangely enough, it was 21 laptops that I also cloned.
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  4. #4


    You don't clone a drive you use the ADK to create an image, this image will not be activated and no SID will be attributed.

    Download Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) for Windows® 8 from Official Microsoft Download Center
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  5. #5


    Camarillo, Ca.
    Posts : 59
    All Versions Of Windows


    All the ADK really does is allow you to create an answer file that works for Win8 when you sysprep it, which returns it to OOBE and reset the SID. Not everyone however wants to run through that process especially if you customize the desktops to have a specific look. Sysprepping wipes out all desktop customizations.

    What part of Iowa Phillip? I Grew up in Des Moines.
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  6. #6


    Hafnarfjörður IS
    Posts : 4,376
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10


    Hi there
    slightly OT but with 21 equivalent PC's for a school it *Might* be worth contacting Ms for cheaper bulk licensing options.

    21 PC's sounds to me a reasonable number to get volume licensing -- and once you start wanting things like EXCEL I'm sure this would be MUCH MUCH cheaper.

    Not attempting to Hi-jack the thread - but in most countries Schools like everything else are coming under budget constraints - and ways of saving money IMO are always worth considering.

    Speak to an Ms "Pre-Sales" rep(tile)!! --it won't cost you anything and you might get a decent discount (plus a Free Lunch too !!).

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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