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Old 08-23-2010, 12:10 AM
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Default Changing Vista retail disc to an OEM?

Hey guys I'm in need of a little help or a point in the right direction.

I have a customer with a Vaio laptop that was severely corrupted. After wasting quite a bit of time on it, I decided to nuke and pave. It's a few years old anyway and could use a refresh. This computer does not have a recovery image on the drive and the customer does not have his physical OS disc.

I'm a Technet subscriber and figured no problem, I'll just d/l the ISO, change it to an OEM version and nLite a new image. This is the first time I've tried doing that with anything newer than XP and well....there's no setup.ini file to edit.

I Googled around and found a few guides but I'm not so confident in the sources. Has anyone successfully done this and if so, could you point me to a reliable online guide or sum up the process here?

While researching I did discover that nLite won't work with Vista but I have already d/l and installed vLite.

Any help would be appreciated!

Thanks,
Kevin
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Old 08-23-2010, 12:13 AM
myPCTechs myPCTechs is offline
 
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What brand OEM is it? Dell, HP, etc. If I remember correctly, each OEM install now since Vista has their own product key allotment and you must have the correct OEM install to match the key. We tried installing a Dell OEM to an HP one time, for example, and the key failed.

The easiest way for us to handle this problem in the past was to download the correct OEM, or in some cases locate a tech who had a copy.
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Old 08-23-2010, 12:24 AM
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It's a Sony Vaio. I grabbed the key off the machine using a portable app and it did not match what was on the COA on the bottom of the laptop.

I just ran across this and I'm wondering if this will work??? The article seems to talk only about Windows 7.

Kevin
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Old 08-23-2010, 01:10 AM
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I'm definitely interested in what you find. Keep us updated!
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Old 08-23-2010, 01:27 AM
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I haven't used these guys, but I almost did:

http://www.restoredisks.com/default.aspx

I was able to order the restore disk directly from Sony.
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Old 08-23-2010, 03:54 AM
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You're over-thinking it. Retail Vista discs are able to use both retail and OEM keys. So nothing at all has to be changed. I've never tried an upgrade key, so I dunno about that though.

On TechNet, I believe the image is just listed out as Windows Vista with SP2 (the iso is Vista Ultimate retail). Just get that in x86 and x64 flavors, and you're good to install with any version's key, OEM and retail both.

EDIT:

Oh, just saw you linked to my previous post... item 2 mentions the same thing I just said about Vista Ultimate retail being able to install any version, OEM or retail.

ALSO:

The product key on the COA is what you want to use. Most of the time, the key in the system will not match the COA because the drives are mass-imaged at the factory. Therefore, the key you grab from the originally-shipped OS has (I'd guess) a 5% chance of actually activating.

Last edited by ajc196; 08-23-2010 at 04:05 AM.
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Old 08-23-2010, 05:24 AM
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All Vista dvds have all the versions even if it says Home Premium you can still install Ultimate from it. And it will install and activate with any key, I use my MAPS Vista dvd to do reinstalls using the COA on the computer. You just have to pick 32-bit or 64-bit retail COAs will activate with both, but OEM's won't.
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Old 08-23-2010, 09:02 AM
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I dont have to reinstall many vista machines from scratch (most times I can recover the restore parition), but i recently had some trouble putting vista back on a couple of toshiba notebooks (L300) using a retail Vista Home Premium disk. In both cases it would not accept the key on the COA.

Is it only the ultimate disks that work with all keys?
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Old 08-23-2010, 09:09 AM
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Quote:
just d/l the ISO, change it to an OEM version and nLite a new image. This is the first time I've tried doing that with anything newer than XP and well....there's no setup.ini file to edit.
nLite doesn't work with Vista, so you will have to download vLite instead. Bear in mind it only supports slipstreaming of SP1 and not SP2.

Note to self-read all of post before replying...doh!!!

Last edited by TLE; 08-23-2010 at 09:11 AM. Reason: He know's it already.
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Old 08-23-2010, 12:02 PM
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Thanks for the input guys but it seems like a few techs have different opinions or experiences.

I have tried Vista x64 Home Premium and Ultimate discs and used the COA on the bottom of the laptop. It accepts the key during setup but once the install is complete it will not activate.

So am I understanding correctly that using a retail Vista x64 Ultimate ISO should work?

For those mentioning the fact that you can use a Vista ISO to install any version of the OS, I understand that and yes, it does indeed work. That much I was aware. The issue is the flavor of the ISO i.e. Retail vs. OEM and what key it will accept.

Thanks again,
Kevin
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