Whether you choose to automate using the bootable Windows XP CD with an answer file, using a disk image, or using a scripted install over the network, the first thing you'll want to do is make sure you're properly licensed. If I had a dollar for every time I'd created an image using the wrong media for my licensing, I'd have exactly one dollar…because after the first time I screwed it up, I've always remembered to double-check my media before starting development on a new automated install.
Microsoft revises its licensing policies almost as often as it releases Service Packs. For the latest twists and turns, check out
Under Microsoft's current licensing model, retail Windows XP media cannot ...