I recently implemented a Windows 7 deployment strategy for a client (which I will eventually post up a guide for!) to help them create a standardized image across all workstations, and to speed along the XP -> 7 migration. One of the first barriers I ran into, in this particular case, is that during my unattended installations the specialize pass would fail without a licence key specified. This was a problem, as my client did not have a volume license key, and instead had been using the OEM licenses included with the machines from Dell. The goal was to have the key be activated manually as part of the pre-deployment/inventory tasks once the image had been laid down.

To do this, I made use of the default keys found on the installation media in the “sources/product.ini” file. After plugging the default key into the unattended installation script, the installation happily completed and the correct OEM key could be plugged in manually after the fact.

That said, here are the default keys for versions of Windows 7, for easy reference:


Keep in mind, these are not valid license keys, and you will still need to provide a real key in order to continue to use your Windows 7 installation!