New here and need some help/advice/suggestions

Discussion in 'Windows 8' started by NotARobotOverlord, Dec 3, 2013.

  1. NotARobotOverlord

    NotARobotOverlord MDL Novice

    Dec 3, 2013
    Hello everyone!

    I've been lurking around here for a few weeks now as this site is honestly the most helpful in figuring out some mumbo-jumbo.

    This is what I've got working on at the moment: custom images of Windows 8.1 Pro VL and Core Single Language. After lots of trial and error, crying, moaning, screaming and cursing, I was finally able to get most of what I am going after, mainly the CopyProfile setting in an unattend.xml file; although for some odd reason the OEM Core version's Start Screen layout sticks perfectly while Pro VL does not, except for one time. Anyways, I am now encountering issues with deployment with the Core SKU.

    I'm doing all this in a VM with VMWare Workstation. During the process, I used KMSPico to activate Office 2013 and inadvertently Windows itself, which I figured might cause an issue with activation on the target system. Well, that ended up doing what I thought it was going to do. In Pro this is fine, but Core is not fine with that. What happened was when I was trying to deploy that custom .wim file, Windows Setup threw up an error that "The product key entered does not match any of the Windows images available for installation."

    Luckily, I had a snapshot saved in that VM before I installed KMSPico, but I had to spend several hours redoing everything past that. The new .wim file works to the point where Windows Setup doesn't give me the license key error not finding a corresponding Windows image but now it goes through the normal setup process except at the inputting the license key. I put in the same one I used to install it (the generic install key) but no go. No key works. Shucks.

    I also tried using the cmd prompt in the install iso by hitting shift F10 and doing it manually with DISM. Restarted, but it boots back to the Windows Setup disk. Maybe I didn't apply the MBR settings correctly?

    I'm thinking I need to redo the answer file for the Core SKU as I've read that sysprep might be ripping out the keys to install Windows which affects the Core SKU and not Pro VL, so if you don't specify a valid key with the unattend file, sysprep might screw with that. I don't know for sure though, which is why I come to you guys as I'm pretty sure someone here has knowledge about this.

    Also, does anyone have suggestions for getting Windows 8.1 Pro VL's Start Screen layout to stick with an unattend file and sysprep? Seriously, I'm at the point of insanity as I've been attempting this for more than 16 times now and only got it to work ONCE! But I needed to redo that image either way as that was just an experiment to see if the new answer file would work, which it did, but isn't working anymore even though the conditions are the same. :wallbash:

    Thanks! This was a mouthful but hopefully it makes sense!