Key specifies the 29-character product key to apply to an installation of Windows Vista. You must always specify a value for the Key setting.

The product key that you use to activate the installation must match the number on the Certificate of Authenticity (COA) sticker that accompanies the retail product or that is physically attached to the computer case by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM).

Standard licensing agreements specify that you can use a product key only to activate one installation of Windows on one computer. Windows Product Activation enforces this requirement.

If you preinstall members of the Windows operating system under a volume license agreement, consult your specific license agreement to determine the number of installations permitted per product key.

If you specify a product key in the windowsPE configuration pass with ProductKey, then Windows welcome will prompt for a product key. If you specify the ProductKey setting during the specialize pass, then Windows Welcome will not prompt for a product key.



Specifies the product key to apply to an installation of Windows.

Product keys are 29 characters in the following format:


This string type does not support empty elements. Do not create an empty value for this setting.

Valid Passes


Parent Hierarchy

Microsoft-Windows-Setup | UserData | ProductKey | Key

Applies To

For the list of the supported Windows editions and architectures that this component supports, see Microsoft-Windows-Setup.

XML Example

The following XML output shows how to set user data.


See Also