How to Get a Legal Install of Win7 Pro on an OEM Machine?

Discussion in 'Windows 7' started by Durga, Jun 30, 2015.

  1. Durga

    Durga MDL Novice

    Jun 26, 2015
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    Hi,

    I'm a newbie at all this so please respond with that in mind.

    I recently bought a computer that came with Windows 7 Professional SP 1 x64 preinstalled by the computer builders. I did not get a Windows 7 Pro install DVD with the system. The company will not supply me with one. I think this is referred to an OEM install. I am very unhappy with the way the company actually installed Win7 and want to change things to suit myself.

    I do have a COA sticker on the side of the computer and so, by my understanding, have a legal licence number. I also know what the OEM Product ID Number is (but I don't know how to use that).

    From information elsewhere in these forums I managed to download the following ISO's:

    Windows 7 Professional SP 1 X64
    Windows 7 Professional SP 1 x64 VL (i.e. volume licence)

    My questions are as follows:

    1) Would it possible for me to legally install Win7 Pro (and have it legally activated) to this same computer using my COA number and one of those two ISO's I downloaded?

    2) If that is possible which of those ISO's should I use? Is there one that is better to use than the other (and if so why)? Or is it possible to use both of them equally well?

    3) If this is possible then when and where do I have to enter the OEM Product ID Number? Or is that number already installed in the BIOS (and so I don't have to enter it at any stage)?

    As I'm not an expert on this please do add any other information that I should have asked for but which I don't have the experience to know to ask for.

    Hope my questions make sense.
     
  2. CaptainKirk1966

    CaptainKirk1966 Former MDL Guru

    Oct 31, 2009
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    The non-VL iso is best. It should work with the key on the coa entered at the proper time. If not, a phone call (enter slui 4 in the search box) may be needed.

    If it is a bigger oem, then there is likely a slic table in bios, and you could achieve oem:slp activation using Daz loader.
     
  3. John Sutherland

    John Sutherland MDL Addicted

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  4. CaptainKirk1966

    CaptainKirk1966 Former MDL Guru

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    Yes, an excellent idea if the system is still running, backup the activation info with the Josh Cell tool, disconnect from internet and boot the Windows dvd, reinstall Windows without specifying a key when asked, restore activation using same tool, then reconnect to internet ...

    When backing up the activation, you may want to keep the tool and results on a usb thumb drive, especially if you are wiping the hard drive clean while reinstalling.
     
  5. urie

    urie Moderator
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    I would download SLIC-ToolKit to see if slic 2.1 is present this can also backup certificate and key, also download The-Ultimate-PID-Checker to check key if slic is not present.
     
  6. Durga

    Durga MDL Novice

    Jun 26, 2015
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    #6 Durga, Jul 1, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2015
    (OP)
    Thanks very much for the responses so far.

    I downloaded the Josh Advanced Tokens Manager and also the SLIC Toolkit.

    As far as I can tell the SLIC Toolkit is saying that SLIC v2.1 is installed. Being a newbie I'm not sure what that means but think it means that there is information stored in the BIOS relating to the validation of the OEM Windows 7 that is installed.

    However, where I find myself getting mightly confused now is the numbers that are being reported as being my 'Product Key'.

    SLIC and Josh say that the Product Key is 6V27R-JRHC9-*****-*****-*****

    But that doesn't match with the licence on the COA sticker on my box. That COA licence number is YF3MQ-2XX2K-*****-*****-*****

    Also if I use the Control Panel applet 'System' on my computer then I get the following information.

    "Windows Activation
    Windows is activated
    Product ID: 00371-OEM-*******-****"

    So this is a completely different number from the 'COA licence number' and from the 'Product Key'.

    I was always under the impression that in doing a clean install of Windows I would need to enter the 'COA licence number' - and from there things would sort themselves out as far as activation went (at least when I did installs of WinXP that was all I ever had to do). Why won't just entering the 'COA licence number', when asked to do so, work when I install Windows 7?

    So could someone please explain what all three different numbers are and how they relate to each other and why (say) the Josh Advanced Tokens Manager will be using the 'Product Key' instead of the 'COA licence number' to get the system activated? (I don't understand this.)
     
  7. CaptainKirk1966

    CaptainKirk1966 Former MDL Guru

    Oct 31, 2009
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    The manufacturer does not generally use the coa key that you find stuck on the case. They ship out machines with a method called oem:slp, which involves a license a.k.a. SLIC table provided by the bios, and a special matching certificate and key. The slic toolkit will dump these to disk so that you can reuse them, instead of using the coa key. Josh tool should also reinstate the oem:slp activation, but I do not believe it will dump the certificate and key that would be needed for manual re-activation. So maybe dump the data using both tools, at least for your archives.

    So, the better approach is to not use the coa key stuck on the outside.
     
  8. Tito

    Tito Super Mod / Adviser
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    @Durga

    Is it a Zoostorm PC? Can you please upload the dump of SLIC & cert?
     
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  9. CaptainKirk1966

    CaptainKirk1966 Former MDL Guru

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    Doesn't Daz already have Zoostorm in his loader?
     
  10. Tito

    Tito Super Mod / Adviser
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    I'm hoping for a new cert.

    :rolleyes:
     
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  11. John Sutherland

    John Sutherland MDL Addicted

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    Hello Durga - I'll try to answer your questions and clear up any confusion you might have about OEM activation.

    1.) The Windows activation key that is reported by the SLIC Toolkit and the Advanced Tokens manager is the one that is embedded in your machine's BIOS and would be used if you activated Windows offline, as I've described in post #3 above. The Windows activation key that is displayed on the COA sticker is the one you would use if you called Microsoft and activated Windows online. I found myself in the same situation when I was trying to install and activate Windows 7 on a HP Mini 210 a while back. I was not able to find a COA sticker on this particular machine and ended up activating offline using the OEM Certificate and the activation key that I backed up using ABRbeta.exe.

    2.) The product ID identifies the version of Windows that is installed. The product ID displayed on my Lenovo T400 Thinkpad is 00371-OEM-8992671-00437, and this corresponds to Windows 7 Professional x86_64 with Service Pack 1 English language. The .iso I used for installation was X17-59186.iso.

    3.) To activate by phone, all you need is the activation key displayed on the COA sticker. I've never done this myself, but I believe that after you give the COA activation key to the Microsoft rep, they read back an entirely different key that you must enter in order to activate Windows.

    4.) If you decide to activate offline, then you need two things: the activation key that is present in the machine's BIOS and the digitally signed OEM certificate, which is file type *.xrm-ms. The Advanced Tokens Manger and ABRbeta.exe are used to backup and then restore both the activation key and the OEM certificate. As CaptainKirk1966 has already stated, just be sure to copy these tools and the files they generate to another device for safe keeping, such as a USB flash drive. And again, once you get to the point during the installation where you're asked to make your network connection, DON'T DO IT, you have the option of skipping that particular step. Once the installation is complete, plug in the USB flash drive and use the files you've saved to activate Windows offline.
     
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  12. s1ave77

    s1ave77 MDL Guide Dog/Dev

    Aug 15, 2012
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    @ John Sutherland

    Slight correction: There's no key embedded in SLIC tables. Not confuse it with OA3.0 MSDM table for Win 8 and up.
     
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  13. CaptainKirk1966

    CaptainKirk1966 Former MDL Guru

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    #13 CaptainKirk1966, Jul 2, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2015
    Actually, the slic table is the only thing provided by bios. Key and the certificate matching the slic are separately supplied after Windows installation.

    The discussion at this link also describes Win7 oem activation (7 uses slp 2.1 which is similar to slp 2.0)
    http://forums.mydigitallife.net/threads/5619-Vista-OEM-Activation-How-it-Works.

    This post above also mentions the slmgr commands needed to apply the certificate and key manually after windows is installed. This could be the certificate and key dumped by the slic toolkit. So, aside from ease of use, there is no need for a tool that will automatically backup and restore the activation tokens.

    As mentioned by s1ave77, Windows 8.x uses a different oem:Dm mechanism, and keys are stored in bios in this case.

    I don't think that is as big a problem as you make it seem. A fresh install will come up in trial mode, and then you have plenty of time to activate.
     
  14. John Sutherland

    John Sutherland MDL Addicted

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    Hello slave77 - Then I have a question I'd like you to answer. I got my Lenovo T400 cheap because there was no OS installed. I installed Windows 7, but did not activate it, because I had to figure out which OEM Cert. to use. When I ran the SLIC Toolkit, I saw 20 out of the 25 alphanumeric characters displayed for the Windows activation key - only the last five were missing.

    So my question is, if Windows 7 had not yet been activated, where did this partial activation key come from, if not from the BIOS?
     
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  15. Tito

    Tito Super Mod / Adviser
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    @John Sutherland

    Its from the OS; if you haven't used any key while installing Windows, it uses fallback trial keys.
     
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  16. John Sutherland

    John Sutherland MDL Addicted

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    OK, now I understand. Thanks for your insight Tito.
     
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  17. Durga

    Durga MDL Novice

    Jun 26, 2015
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    Thanks very much for the information so far. Going by what has been posted and what I found elsewhere (but I'm a newbie on this site and can't post links yet) I think I now understand the purpose of the different licence numbers, enough to try an install of Win7 and see how it goes.
     
  18. Durga

    Durga MDL Novice

    Jun 26, 2015
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    I did the install using the Product ID and Cert files saved from the SLIC Toolkit. As far as activation goes it seems to have worked just fine. Whew! Really wasn't as complicated as I thought it would be.

    Where I ran into problems with the install itself was in Win7 installer insisting on wanting to produce three partitions, two 'system partitions' at around a 100MB each and a third partition (where the normal Windows files go) utilising the entire rest of the available space on the HDD. No matter what I did I could not find a way to decrease the size of that third partition to 100GB, which would have been my preferred size. In the end I just had to accept the size the installer had in mind and install using that.

    Why couldn't I make my preferred size of partition during the install routine? Is there a way to do that during the install routine?

    (In any case, once I was into Win7 itself I was able to shrink that third partition down to 100GB.)