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Understanding Product Keys in Node Templates

Updated: January 13, 2014

Applies To: Microsoft HPC Pack 2008 R2, Microsoft HPC Pack 2012, Microsoft HPC Pack 2012 R2, Windows HPC Server 2008 R2

When you create or edit a node template that includes a step to deploy an operating system image, you have the option to specify a product key to activate the operating system in the image. Depending on the type of Windows installation media that you used to create the image, that product key might be required during the bare metal deployment process of a node, or when reimaging a node. Without that product key, Windows installation can fail.

If you created the operating system image by using retail or evaluation media, bare metal deployment and reimaging of nodes will fail because Windows installation will stop at the point where a product key is required. For this reason, if you created an operating system image by using retail or evaluation media, you must always specify a product key in all node templates that include that image.

If you created the operating system image by using a different type of media (for example, Volume License media and certain types of OEM media), bare metal deployment and reimaging of nodes is possible without having to specify a product key in the node templates that include that image. In the case of operating system images that were created by using OEM media, it is strongly recommended that you contact the vendor or manufacturer that provided you with the media, to determine if a product key is required when installing Windows with that media.

ImportantImportant
If you do not know the type of installation media that you used to create an operating system image, or are unsure if a product key is required for it, test your deployment first by deploying only one node with that operating system image.

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