How to skip entering product key completely on Windows 10 mult.ed. with unattended?

Discussion in 'Windows 10' started by roman-k, Oct 4, 2015.

  1. roman-k

    roman-k MDL Novice

    Jun 1, 2015
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    Hi!
    So subject is the question: how can I skip entering product key completely?

    My iso is Windows 10 Multiple Editions (original MSDN).

    There are two times when I have to enter product key: during initial phase of setup (where it's impossible to continue without key - if no changes made to ei.cfg), or after setup (where there is a button "do it later)".

    I am able to skip the first one, but no matter what I do it asks me the key after setup. Of course I can skip it by pressing a button, but at this point the "unattended" setup becomes not so unattended: I have to use my hands to press something :)

    What I want: not to ask me to enter the key both times. Disclaimer: for testing purposes :)

    What I have tried:
    - editing ei.cfg, that helps skipping entering the key at the early stage.
    - putting <ProductKey></ProductKey> (empty value) in autounattend.xml in <settings pass="specialize">: setup results with error. According to M$ (unfortunately I can't post links): "If you specify a product key in the windowsPE configuration pass with ProductKey (Microsoft-Windows-Setup), then Windows Welcome will prompt for a product key. If you specify the ProductKey (Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup) setting during the specialize pass, then Windows Welcome will not prompt for a product key." I have multiple editions iso, so hardcoding one specific key in autounattend.xml is not an option for me. Thatswhy there is an empty value.
    - inserting key in oobe.cmd with slmgr.vbs -ipk %needed-generic-key-depending-on-edition%: setup still is asking me key at the end of install.

    And at this point I am out of ideas... Anyone help? :)
     
  2. Mavericks Choice

    Mavericks Choice MDL Addicted

    Aug 5, 2015
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    Not sure why this is happening? Windows can use a generic key in setup & on activation user must supply correct key etc.
    Leaving the product key nul in your answer file generally gets to desktop without user interaction.
     
  3. roman-k

    roman-k MDL Novice

    Jun 1, 2015
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    Thanks for reply, Mavericks Choice. Generally - with null key it was possible with Windows 7, as far as I remember. That thing with "do it later"-product_key I have noticed already with Win8-8.1 Pro.

    Anyway I have managed it myself to work and the steps are:

    - edit ei.cfg,
    - put a generic key from ANY Windows 10 edition in autounattend.xml in <settings pass="specialize">,
    - replace key in oobe.cmd with slmgr.vbs -ipk %needed-generic-key-depending-on-edition%

    Third step is necessary if installed edition do not match the key provided in autounattend.xml: for everything to be in order.
     
  4. Camino

    Camino MDL Novice

    Feb 20, 2010
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    #4 Camino, Oct 6, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2015
    @roman-k

    When you use a "generic key", is your system at the end still activated?

    I tried it by placing the generic key in the "settings pass="windowsPE" with ProductKey under "component name="Microsoft-Windows-Setup".
    It did skip the entering product key windows completely. But sadly the auto registration proces faild at the end.
     
  5. roman-k

    roman-k MDL Novice

    Jun 1, 2015
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    Frankly speaking - it doesn't matter for me. If I (or person whom I am installing OS) have/has the key - it will be entered later when needed, otherwise other actions will be automatically taken (for testing purposes). :)

    I assume you mean registration=activation. About those generic keys - I think they are all non-activative and ment just for installing the system. Yesterday one PC wasn't activated, today another one stayed activated (probably - but not a fact - because it had Win7 and was ready for upgrade, but I had to do clean install).
     
  6. Camino

    Camino MDL Novice

    Feb 20, 2010
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    I have Win7 (legal) upgraded to Win 10. Because the MS servers knows your HWID, you can without any problem, reinstall this OS as many times you like.
    There's no need to fill in the productkey value.

    Sadly I always need to manual skip the productkey, to proceed the installation.

    Life is a mystery...