Ran into an interesting problem when imaging a Dell D510 and placing that image onto a Dell D630. It appears the Dell OEM version of Windows XP doesn’t like hard drive cloning. When you would attempt to run msoobe /a, the space where installation ID was supposed to be was completely blank. Attempts to change the OOBETimer value among other things was unsuccessful.
The solution? Run sysprep. Somehow, sysprep has the magic to fix activation woes. After sysprep ran (we did the reseal option), we logged in and the installation ID was now being generated.
Did I ever mention what a pain in the neck Windows activation is? Oh yeah, only about a million times!
– Soli Deo Gloria