HPC Pack 2008 Community Tech Preview Build:Bare metal compute node deployment stops at the ‘provide windows product key’ step

    General discussion


    Bare metal compute node deployment stops at the ‘provide windows product key’ step and requires manual intervention. This happens despite having provided the product key at the template creation time.

    A bug in the CTP causes it to not use the product key added to the node template( via the generate template wizard or the template editor). There are two ways to work around this issue:


    1.       The first option involves using clusterCmd to associate a Key with the image- the command line for that would be as follow:

    Clustercmd /WDS /AssignKey:YQGMW-MPWTJ-34KDK-48M3W-X4Q6V   /Image:<name of the image>

                     Note the Image name has to reflect the name of the WIM file you created.

    2.       Or modify the unattend.xml file and add the product key section to it. To do this,

    a.       open the unattend file in notepad ( unattend.xml lives in  %System Drive%\program files\HPC pack\data\installShare\)

    b.      scroll down to the WindowsPE Pass section, in the <user data> section, add  the following:


                        <Key> YQGMW-MPWTJ-34KDK-48M3W-X4Q6V <Key>




    You do not need to do both of them.  One of them will suffice. One of them associates the key with a specific  image on the head node and the second modifies the unattend file used for installing the compute nodes. You will need to do this every time you install a new head node. Both of the methods are equally effective if you intend using a just one image on the head node.

    If, however, you intend experimenting with multiple images on your cluster, it is advisable to use clustercmd. This is especially important if the media type or license type for the images is different, as this might require the ability to associate different product keys with different images.

    The unattend method will use the same product key for all installations, this will work for you if you have a single WIM ( image) file.


    The key provided in both the examples above is the Eval Key for W2k8 provided at the download site. You may replace it with a key you might have procured. Make sure the Key matches the SKU you chose (Standard, enterprise etc) in the deployment template and media type( Retail, Eval, Volume etc) used to create the image.



    -parmita mehta


    Thursday, March 13, 2008 1:52 AM

All replies

  • Hi


    Neither fix works for me,


    when I try clustercmd from cmd.exe I get no command clustercmd.


    I tried editing the .xml file and add the above it. The boot process tells me the file is corrupt at line 29 column 9 (or something close to that) and when I look  it up in the xml file it is the start of the added information, the location of ProcductKey



    Tuesday, April 29, 2008 6:17 AM
  • <Key> YQGMW-MPWTJ-34KDK-48M3W-X4Q6V <Key>

    should be

    <Key> YQGMW-MPWTJ-34KDK-48M3W-X4Q6V </Key>

    I cut and pasted this from your post without checking the validation of the XML file. Thought I'd stop someone from making my mistake.


    Tuesday, May 6, 2008 6:56 AM