[Discussion] Is it possible to change wifi MAC Address?

Discussion in 'Windows 10' started by ForeverYoung2, Jul 10, 2018.

  1. ForeverYoung2

    ForeverYoung2 MDL Novice

    Dec 5, 2015
    Windows 10 has restrictions on changing MAC for Wifi.
    I think it applies to all wireless cards not just intel and includes win 7 and 8 too.

    Simply put there's a restriction on the first octet. it must contain 26AE


    Changing the mac using the registry is quite easy but only using one of the formats above.
    Any idea how to get around this? For testing try to use a mac starting with 00: ... it will never happen on Win.
    But linux doesn't give a damn.

    I wonder if a Wifi USB adapter is able bypass this.
    Any info appreciated.
  2. pisthai

    pisthai Imperfect Human

    Jul 29, 2009
    The Mac Addresses are hard-coded and could not be changed. Normally you could change the Mac Address temporary but permanent.
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  3. Sajjo

    Sajjo MDL Expert

    Feb 6, 2018
    #3 Sajjo, Jul 10, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2018
    On my Ralink and Realtek I use a eeprom mass production kit to alter MAC
    It gives me unlimited access and I can program anything. No restrictions.
    Windows I kinda gave up, Linux was a bit unreliable for me.
    For me at least: reprogramming eeprom is my goto
    It depends on your chipset what restrictions and sw available of course.

    Newer chipset allows a limited number of reprogramming before it burns the fuses
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  4. LatinMcG

    LatinMcG Bios Borker

    Feb 27, 2011
    i used to be able to in ver 1511 or prior w10 (havent tested lately) with mac makeup 1.95D
  5. ForeverYoung2

    ForeverYoung2 MDL Novice

    Dec 5, 2015
    That's awesome @Sajjo I wish I had that knowledge, I know its probably dead simple but requires investment to experiment with.

    I never had issues in linux regardless of brand, I was specifically asking for Windows, which module or service or whatever is using to prevent mac change.
    You can easily change MAC of Ethernet or other external network adapters but somehow you cannot change MAC on a laptop wifi running on an M.2 slot.


    So testing out of curiosity this happened. My 8770w had 2 empty M.2 slots besides the used one from default wifi. So, I added a 2nd Wifi Card (intel 7260) and I was able to change MAC fully.
    Then, I removed the original Wifi and booted using only the 7260 with already changed mac = Reverted back to OEM mac. Then I was able to change the MAC of the original wifi, as long as the other wifi mac remained authentic.

    This leads me to believe that Windows builds/relies on mac address to generate hashes or encryption related. Hence why a lot of software use MAC for licensing validation purposes.
    So, you can change wifi MAC to anything as long as there's another Wifi with OEM mac. ( M.2 connections only).

    But WHY? How? How does windows do this? Why hasn't there been more research on this? Browsing around people simply say "these are Microsoft rules and that's the way it is" and leave it at that.
  6. BAU

    BAU MDL Addicted

    Feb 10, 2009
    That's just manufacturer locking in BIOS / UEFI. They have tested the product with certain wi-fi cards, so they want you to only use such cards.
    It's been around since laptops became a thing. The only reason why it's different in Linux is that they mostly use hacked drivers, while Windows uses mostly OEM supported drivers. The MAC change is a feature of the wireless driver, not of OS. Plenty of older drivers did not support any MAC change, at all.
  7. MS_User

    MS_User MDL Guru

    Nov 30, 2014
    in win10 if u change your mac u most likely lose your digital license so would think about it before doing it.