Windows – Setting up multiple Windows 10 PCs using a single image

disk-cloningdisk-imagewindows 10

I have 12 brand new computers that I am configuring for a client. Instead of setting them all up one at a time I want to configure one PC, create an image and mount that image across the rest of my PCs. I have done this successfully for all the PCs but now I am wondering if this is going to cause problems. Here are the concerns I have.

  1. Will this cause all of the PCs to use the same Windows 10 Product Key which will violate the licensing agreement?
  2. Under "Device Specifications" in the "About" section of "System Settings", the "Device ID" and "Product ID" are now identical across all 12 PCs. What are those two values used for? Will this cause problems having 12 PCs on the same network with these two values duplicated?

In an attempt to work around this issues, I decided to test a disc Clone rather than just using my backup image. So I reset one of the PCs back to the factory original settings and cloned the disc from my "model" machine. After performing the clone I can confirm the same experience was seen. The Device ID and Product ID was now again duplicated on the destination machine.

I am using Acronis True Image 2019 for image and cloning, and the new PCs are Lenovo P330s.

Best Answer

Yes, there would be a licensing issue with a clone. You should use Microsoft's System Preparation (Sysprep) tool before making the image. "Sysprep prepares an installation of Microsoft Windows for duplication, auditing, and customer delivery... Sysprep is in the following folder: %windir%\system32\sysprep.

In addition to removing the licensing key, Sysprep also cleans out old network info, Error Logs, shell settings, etc.