Microsoft to modify WGA for SP1 Final, might kill OEM BIOS MOD

Discussion in 'Windows Vista' started by indabox, Dec 4, 2007.

  1. indabox

    indabox MDL Novice

    Sep 28, 2007
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    Microsoft to modify Windows Genuine Advantage anti-piracy scheme - This article was pulled from ZDnet.com

    Microsoft is making changes to its Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) anti-piracy strategy via a couple of modifications it will implement in Vista Service Pack (SP) 1 and Windows Server 2008 next year.

    Microsoft is doing away with “reduced functionality mode” for individuals that its WGA activation and validation scheme deems to be running “non-genuine” software. The company also is plugging two WGA loopholes that pirates have been exploiting successfully.

    Microsoft is attributing the changes it is making to “feedback from customers and partners.”

    Microsoft announced plans for its WGA changes on December 4. The Release Candidate build of Windows Vista that is expected to go to testers before the end of this week will not include the changes. But Microsoft will introduce the changes to future test builds of Windows Vista SP 1 before the final version is released in the first quarter of 2008. Ditto with Windows Server 2008 — the current Windows Server 2008 test builds do not include the WGA changes, but some future builds will. Windows Server 2008 is slated to be released to manufacturing in early 2008.

    Microsoft is disabling two of the most common venues via which partners attack Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008: the “OEM BIOS exploit,” which involves pirates modifying system files on OEM-pre-installed copies of Vista, as well as and the “Grace Timer exploit,” via which pirates reset the “grace time” limit between installation and activation.

    At the same time, instead of punishing customers whose copies of Windows are deemed pirated by automatically degrading their functionality, Microsoft is taking a new tack: It will deliver to potential piracy victims “clear and prominent notices about the status of their system and how to get genuine,” according to a Microsoft press statement. “(users) won’t lose access to functionality or features, but it will be very clear to them that their copy of Window Vista is not genuine and they need to take action.” (Microsoft officials said they didn’t have a screen shot to share of the new notification system for WGA.)

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    So we might be looking at the end of bios modding, or it could just be stopping those who have used the Bios "soft modd" trick. For those that install these future test builds of vista, please report back and let us know if your "modded" Bios is still working.

    -Indabox
     
  2. ancestor(v)

    ancestor(v) Admin
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    #2 ancestor(v), Dec 4, 2007
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    They seem to build their efforts on costumer feedback. Bad he doesn't go into detail about how they want to approach "our" bios modding, but one possibillity is perhaps that they want to check the BIOS manufacturer and your own machine, e.g. you have a DELL, but use another SLIC. They see but don't like and your computer will be in RF-Mode and you as user will be clearly told you're an unhappy victim of pirated software (oh noes! iz it can be piraetd?! I dunno wher to by ginuien s0ftwaer?!?!11 plzkthxbai).
    Until now, spoken words are more or less "hot air" and we will see what is going into action...

    And there always is a workaround for everything ;)
    The BIOS modding (hardware) approach is a very good one in my eyes, and I think it will always work, depending on the constellations you use. Microsoft does the software, but they don't concept the hardware. So this is a weak link which we can tackle. A chain is just as strong as it's weakest link.
    Instead of tricking yourself around the activation via softmod, you tell the installed form that everything is alright.

    I'm eager to know what they're coming up next with...
    This sometimes feels like the eve of a revolution...:D
     
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  3. alanmies

    alanmies MDL Novice

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  4. Yen

    Yen Admin
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    #4 Yen, Dec 5, 2007
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  5. Cythrawl

    Cythrawl MDL Junior Member

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    #5 Cythrawl, Dec 5, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 29, 2008
    Of course dont forget, that SP1 is looking nigh on usless anyway. There are no supposed speed increases, (in the beta testing) and there really is not that much in there that probably warrants you even "upgrading" to SP1.

    To quote Windows Supersite on the SP1 Contents

    I dont see any fixes for any of the major issues with Vista, like Network performance/speed. The network stack in Vista is woefully broken and they aint done **** with it. I have two vista PC's on my network, one wired the other wirelessly and the network transfer speed is so slow its like using an Amiga with Parnet to transfer a 4gb file. Tried all so called tweaks disableing stuff in the network etc. still no dice. Be nice if this SP1 actually fixed **** instead of adding more **** that we dont need.

    On the BIOS hacks, Im pretty sure that they will probably still work. It may be that the hacks might have to change (perhaps it will look at the SLIC then the MFG of your board. so if it says ASUS SLIC and your MB is made by DFI then its obviously a hack, just like Ancestor (V) sez). I'll wait and see but Im not rushing to upgrade to SP1 or even really excited by its release TBH. Maybe SP2 will be better.
     
  6. jroc

    jroc MDL Member

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    My thoughts is that they are going after the 'Bio Emulators' and that the modded bios to OEM SLIC will be a nightmare for them to figure out and would cause more issues with OEM Vista Computers. As MS specified 'Modified System Files'
     
  7. ancestor(v)

    ancestor(v) Admin
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    #7 ancestor(v), Dec 5, 2007
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2007
    From what Cythrawl quoted, I can't see anything affecting us.
    I've got a legal copy of Vista, and I think I will test SP1. I'll tell you if there is anything interesting.

    I'm doing a bit of searching, primarly I'm interested in what exactly they think is a "oem bios exploit".
     
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  8. james_zhao555

    james_zhao555 MDL Novice

    Nov 15, 2007
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    #8 james_zhao555, Dec 5, 2007
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2007
    some anonymous person on another message board stated:

    IMO, validating from the COA is quite a disputable method if this is true. How can Microsoft even be sure that the person is actually a customer and not some guy who copied down the digits from Best Buy or something? I have a genuine vista from HP, but no longer have a full sticker due to bad storage when moving from my old home...so this could potentially screw me over. If Microsoft does travel down this path...they better be prepared to have lots of phone calls.

    Then again...I did not see the poster put any direct citations for his statement, so this method might not actually be real.

    Thoughts?
     
  9. ancestor(v)

    ancestor(v) Admin
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    #9 ancestor(v), Dec 5, 2007
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  10. luke

    luke MDL Senior Member

    Jun 22, 2007
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    There is a update out now that stops windows Timer stopper and OEM BIOS emulation, my mate had it happen to his computer you can still use windows but some things, your locked out of and cant uses, like Aero theme, transparency, you cant just go and uninstall the update, it locks you out of that to, he said it took like 30min to load into windows when he 1st installed it and when it finally loged in he had a big window come up saying that your copy of windows is not genuine.
     
  11. ancestor(v)

    ancestor(v) Admin
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    Further details on that, please.
     
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  12. Yen

    Yen Admin
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    #12 Yen, Dec 10, 2007
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2007
    This means a change at SLP2.0 licensing. M$ never mentioned that. Additionaly to ask for a COA sticker key will be insufficient. I could borrow that key and it'll activate against SLIC. So M$ has to check for this key additionally (online). But this would mean some extra work for M$ to do that and sounds like the ordinary OEM activation.......because they have to know if that key is used more than one time.
    You will be able to activate Vista like a VLK license of XP, but after verification (WGA) it's labeled "non genuine"

    At this point you have to crack Vista to get it genuine. This is clearly illegal to me and the OEM-bios mod game will be over.

    Yen
     
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  13. ancestor(v)

    ancestor(v) Admin
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    #13 ancestor(v), Dec 11, 2007
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2007
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  14. Yen

    Yen Admin
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    #14 Yen, Dec 12, 2007
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2007
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  15. ancestor(v)

    ancestor(v) Admin
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    They suck...hope this won't happen to me. I didn't pirate anything. I bought Vista and had to call those morons one time and explain them why I had to activate Vista so "often" :rolleyes: Not again, please...

    @Yen
    When it knocks on your door the next days and it says "Darin here" you know what is going on :D
    And remember, it's not said they just want dinner :D
     
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  16. Yen

    Yen Admin
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    Maybe she wants something to be "modified":p
     
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  17. ancestor(v)

    ancestor(v) Admin
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    Does that modification expire after 9 months? :D
    As long as she doesn't want our freedom to be modified everything is fine :p
     
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  18. Yen

    Yen Admin
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    #18 Yen, Dec 13, 2007
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2007
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  19. stupiddog

    stupiddog MDL Novice

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    #19 stupiddog, Dec 13, 2007
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2007
    I don't think so, at least for Vista. Imagine what kind of bad press the big manufacturers like Dell etc. would get if millions of their PCs would ask to be activated at the same time. Dell's customer support would completely break down, so would Microsoft's.

    I think it depends on how strong PC makers can make their point in negotiations for the next round of SLP. Effectively, COA SLP as I understand it is nothing else than retail activation (means you need to call MS in any case when you get your shiny new PC). If MS can pressure PC makers to accept that, then it's really game over. But I do not see that coming for a long time.

    And yes, I own a legitimate Vista Ultimate license key, but I do not use it due to privacy issues.
     
  20. Yen

    Yen Admin
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    I personally don't think so as well. But they could do a step by step changeover from OEM SLP to COA SLP.
     
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