Staging the master image with the default product key

As with earlier versions of Windows, you are required to include a single, default product key in each edition of your golden image of Windows 10, Windows 8.1 or Windows 8. The default product key is also known as the OEM master key, the OEM manufacturing key, the OEM setup key, or the OEM SLP key.

The default product key is edition-specific and cannot activate Windows. Instead, it instructs Windows to search for the injected OA 3.0 product key in the firmware. The default product key can be found in the document of Kit Guide Default Manufacturing Key OEM in OEM Preinstall Kit (OPK).


If you fail to include the default product key in your golden image, the end user will be unable to active Windows. Be sure to use the correct default product keys for the version of Windows that you are using and correct OA3.0 product key in range of the targeted stock keeping units (SKU) in the firmware.

There are 3 ways to set a default product key in Windows 10:

  • Use an Unattend.xml when you are running through Setup.exe install process. Follow the steps outlined in OEM deployment of Windows 10 for desktop editions.

  • Install the default product key by using the slmgr.vbs tool while in Windows (Audit Mode), and then run the sysprep /generalize and image capture commands. For example:

    Cscript %windir%\system32\slmgr.vbs /ipk XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXXXXXXX-XXXXX

  • Use DISM to set the product-key of an existing image by using the following command against a Windows 10 image you have mounted. For more information about DISM commands, see DISM Windows Edition-Servicing Command-Line Options. For example:

    DISM /mount-wim /WimFile:sources\install.wim /index:1 /MountDir:c:\mount

    DISM /image:c:\mount /Set-ProductKey:XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX

    DISM /unmount-wim /mountdir:c:\mount /commit


XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX refers to the specific default product key value.

Creating the master image for Windows Pro Education and Workstation device

To create the master image for Windows Pro Education and WS device, Microsoft strongly recommends that the OEM use the same edition for the image, default key, and OA3 DPK. For instance, if the targeted device is Windows Pro Education, use Windows Pro Education image, Windows Pro Education default product key, Windows Pro Education OA3 product key. The same is similarly true for the Windows Pro Workstation Edition.