After reading John Savill’s FAQ, “What's Microsoft P2V Migration for Software Assurance?”, I called Microsoft, which said that only full, retail, licensed copies of the OS have the necessary rights to be moved to a different PC. Open or volume-license OSs don't have transfer rights. Can you please explain the licensing model necessary to be able to use Disk2VHD?
—Paul M. Abke
The best blog post I've found that covers transfer rights is "Licensing Basics: What Are Transfer Rights?", which will hopefully give you the information you need to determine whether you can transfer the licenses you have. OEM software can't be transferred to other hardware. I would stress that P2V with Disk2VHD is a last resort and shouldn't be considered part of your normal migration plan. I would reserve this option for those few machines whose Windows 7–incompatible software can't be reinstalled as part of XP Mode/MED-V due to lack of installation media or other such factors.
WSUS Code Tip
I have a suggestion that leverages the performance of the script presented by M. Samer Sawas in his article “Automate the Product Update Approval Process in WSUS”. Replace the line
$updates = $updateServer.GetUpdates()
with the following lines:
$updates = $updateServer.SearchUpdates($title)
This approach improves the performance dramatically because it doesn't ask the WSUS server for all updates but only for the updates one wants to approve.
ImageX Kudos and Question
I recently read Mark Minasi's Windows Power Tools column, "ImageX Provides Disk Imaging on a Budget," concerning the use of Windows Pre-installation Environment (Windows PE) boot disks and ImageX as an imaging tool. Those are the tools I use for image creation and deployment, and the solution works great. You can't beat the price! I have one comment and one question.
First, the comment: Mark mentions that you have to boot off the WinPE CD, then run ImageX from another source. On my CD, ImageX is present. I don't think I added it manually. But as you can add files to the source folder before creating the WinPE CD, you might want to mention to users that they can add ImageX (and other useful tools or network drivers) to the CD.
Now, the question: The one problem I have with this imaging method is that almost every time I deploy an image, the PC won't boot. There's a bootloader or boot sector problem. So, I load the Windows Vista or Windows 7 DVD and perform a repair. The system automatically detects and fixes the boot problem, and everything is fine. Is there a way to avoid this extra step?
—Rich Van Alstine
Ah... an easy one! You did a default installation of your basic Windows 7 system. Doing that puts the boot image on a separate 100MB partition without a drive letter, and ImageX isn't smart enough to go get it. Next time, in Setup, take the whole hard disk, make it a single C, then let Windows install. That will be the basis of a trouble-free, bootable system. I hope this helps, and thanks for reading!