I guess I am going to throw out some things about licensing with MAK keys and activating with SLMGR
First MAK keys:
Multiple Activation Keys are kind of funny. The hardest thing to wrap your head around is the amount of times you can Activate the key. In general you get to activate 4 times for every license you buy. I am sure you are saying WTF are you talking about… “I bought 100 license and got a MAK key. Are you telling me I can activate 400 licenses”? No that is not what I mean. The MAK key will let you activate a total of 400 times for the 100 licenses you bought in a year. So if you imaged 100 computers 4 times in a month and tried to activate one more computer you would get an error like “The MAK key has exceeded…” at which point you would call MS VL Services to have them reset your counter.
Good that mombo jumbo is out of the way ;-)
Issues with activating a MAK key in an image:
Lets say you made a base image with a different key than your MAK key. Created the image and deployed it. Then you have fog activate using the MAK key. It will activate however on next reboot it is not Genuine. Again WTF!! This is because When a key is already installed and you use a new key with slmgr.vbs (slmgr.vbs /ipk xxxxx-xxxxxx-xxxxxx etc) it will install and activate it if you ask it to. However it will get erased on shutdown, because the old key was never removed. So in general you need to uninstall the old key then install the new one before activation. So:
slmgr.vbs /ipk xxxxx-xxxxx…
This in a simple batch script will take care of your issue make a simple snapin!
An interesting factoid. When you install a MAK key on a machine and use a product key extraction software. The machine will have a unique key that is not the MAK key. You can activate this key as many times as you wish for that particular machine. Just found that kinda neat.
Final word of advice. If you are managing licenses on 50+ machines and have a MAK key for them…use a KMS server. super easy to install and it will never talk back to MS. It is kind of an honor system with them. You can activate however many machines you want with them and it will always activate them. Obviously there are some restrictions like the machine will have to check in once 180 days to reactivate to your kms sever and you must activate 25+ machine before the server will actually work. Again the server is super easy to setup!!
I have over 5000 windows computers to activate and license and I have a KMS server that activates all versions of Windows: Vista-10 and Server 2008 - 2012, and Office too. I just install the kms key on the client before I make the image and they auto activate the key once they finish imaging.
Sorry for the long post but thought some clarification was needed!