License Key Confusion

Discussion in 'Windows 7' started by mr3dd123, Jul 31, 2012.

  1. mr3dd123

    mr3dd123 MDL Novice

    May 14, 2012
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    Hi!

    I was going to write a long essay explaining my problems and confusion, but then I thought I might as well just get straight to the point... So my questions are:

    1) OEM activation works by an effectively dummy SLP key redirecting the O/S to the activation data stored in the BIOS. Is this correct??

    2) If I wanted to reinstall, for example, a Dell Win7 HomePrem Laptop, which had shipped with Win7 pre-installed (so OEM-Activated), could I just use a retail disc, and provide a Dell or any other Home Premium SLP key? Is there anything wrong with this method? Do I need to change the ei.cfg channel thingymajig?

    3) Can I use an OEM disc with a retail key? Does the disc type matter at all?

    4) Is the license key on my machine (which shipped with Win7 HomePrem) a valid license key? I know it's locked to this desktop, but is it physically locked to this desktop, i.e. tied into my SLIC Bios stuff? Is there any reason why it wouldn't work as a standard retail key? What makes it different from an SLP key? Can I even use it to activate Windows?

    5) Have I got really confused, and have no idea of what's going on?

    I am only asking, because I have a Saturday job at my local computer shop, and they seem to spend £100s ordering recovery discs for customers, (and too lazy to rip them in). I am pretty sure they don't need to bother, but am not 100% sure. (By recovery discs, I mean Branded Windows 7 Installation DVDs, that presumably have some license material built in?)

    6) If they do not need to purchase recovery media, then should they be using the key on the sticker, or a relevant SLP key? Do they need to use OEM discs?

    7)Finally, do the branded discs simply have SLP keys built in?

    Sorry for this long-winded article.

    Thank you for your time, whoever ends up answering it:eek:

    Edd.
     
  2. urie

    urie Moderator
    Staff Member

    May 21, 2007
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    On a branded machine that comes with windows vista or windows 7 pre-activated. You can use any vista or windows 7 dvd to install but to activate you need OEM:SLP key + and a .xrm-ms certificate that matches SLIC string in BIOS this will pre-activate machine no need for internet connection. If you use the key from the sticker on the machine this an OEM:COA key then you need to call MS to activate. Recovery disks i,e Dell for example Come with a folder called $OEM$ this contains files i,e, OEM:SLP serial number + Dell.xrm-ms certificate so when you install windows it pre-activates the machine.

    Look at Vista-OEM-Activation-How-it-Works for explanation.
     
  3. Stannieman

    Stannieman MDL Guru

    Sep 4, 2009
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    1) Almost. The key can be any OEM key for the given windows edition. Windows also needs a certificate installed in addition to the BIOS data.

    2 & 3) There is no difference between OEM and retail discs, only ei.cfg is different. You can use a retail disc for everything.

    4) Yes, but you have to phone MS the first time you use it to get it working. I don't think it's locked to that machine, but it might get locked to the first machine it's used on.

    5) I can't tell you...

    6) That recovery media probably only contains extra drivers which can be downloaded anyway. Also they probably contain the certificate. You can also download this cert and install it manually or use DAZ's loader. This isn't pirating cause the machine is allowed to run windows 7 + if the BIOS has OEM data it will only install the certificate and correct key for you.

    7) Some of them do I suppose, but for example my acer vista RTM disc has no OEM data in it. So it depends from OEM to OEM if they included all licensing stuff or not.
     
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  4. urie

    urie Moderator
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    May 21, 2007
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    @ Stannieman, does you acer dvd pre-activate if so probably due to the fact OEM:SLP serial + certificate will be integrated into the Wim file. I think the recovery disks name be can confusing some are recovery disks i,e images of pre-activated system with all the junk that comes with them, others are just OEM:SLP installation disk different thing.
     
  5. Stannieman

    Stannieman MDL Guru

    Sep 4, 2009
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    My disc is nothing more than a clean english MS disk but with 4 additional language packs included so you can choose your lang. No activation/driver/bloatware.
     
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  6. urie

    urie Moderator
    Staff Member

    May 21, 2007
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    Out of interest what type of key is on you computer I have a Dell Inspiron 530 Desktop that came with Vista and the Sticker says Vista Home Premium OEMAct it is actually an OEM:SLP key not OEM:NONE SLP. It did have a recovery partition and I got a vista OEM:SLP dvd and a drivers DVD. Not that that matters now moded bios to SLIC 2.1 vista is gone :D
     
  7. mr3dd123

    mr3dd123 MDL Novice

    May 14, 2012
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    So how does your activation shizzle work?

    Anyway, thanks for all your responses. I think I've got my head around it now. :biggrin: