(NT6.x /10.x) Lisence types / preinstalled generic keys

Discussion in 'Windows 10' started by twl1999, Mar 8, 2017.

  1. twl1999

    twl1999 MDL Novice

    Feb 20, 2017
    #1 twl1999, Mar 8, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2017
    Well, hello everyone I'm new in here, but quite old school coder and would like some information over why there is MAK/KMS and few types of RTM and seems there's always 2 types of OEM licensing styles at windows images.

    What I am after is that every image from M$ comes with preinstalled productID/key which selects the actual installed version. When this key is removed with command:

    slmgr /CPKY
    and verified what current edition can actually be licensed/activated with command:

    slmgr /DLI All
    or verbose
    slmgr /DLV All
    Now, for example Windows 10 Pro (which is available as MAK/KMS/OEM/RTM) would report that it can be licensed/activated to MAK/KMS/OEM/RTM (about 20 choices what ever type of key you insert it will activate and you can verify key type with slmgr /DLI for example). So, my question is why is there always VOLUME and RTM/OEM editions released separately, does the VOLUME edition image actually install something differently? or why there is no universal single version with no generic product key within install.wim ?

    (Sorry for a novel, but kinda hard to explain what I am trying to understand.)
  2. s1ave77

    s1ave77 Has left at his own request

    Aug 15, 2012
    For Windows applies that all versions are basically indeed the same, only the Licensing mechanisms with which they are shipped differ. As you noticed, switch the key means switch the Licensing Channel.

    Mostly this are names; Volume MAK/KMS is supposed to be for bigger corporates/institutions which use their own activation servers. OEM normally is only for hardware vendors and not supposed to be available publicily (devices are shipped with recovery partition + media).

    Only version for the consumer market is Retail.
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  3. abbodi1406

    abbodi1406 MDL KB0000001

    Feb 19, 2011
    RTM =! Retail

    Win7/8/8.1 Pro VL edition is not upgradable
  4. pisthai

    pisthai Imperfect Human

    Jul 29, 2009
    AFAIK, you're right with the explanation of the KMS, which is indeed for bigger Companies (Corporates) and Institutions alike only. The used Keys for KMS are called VLKey's: 'Volume License Key' which could be used for to use the same Single Product Key for multiple activations of the same Software on different computers, uncounted. KMS Activations are done NOT via MS Activation Servers, it's done by the Owner of those VLK's on his Key Management Server.

    MAK are not sold in big quantities only, MAK's could be bought even in low quantity! The MAK is limited by Activation Count! It also uses the same single Product Key, just the Activations are limited to the amount af activations it was sold for, 50 to 50 Activations, 100 to 100 Activations and so on. For to be able to check how many activations are done and how many are still free to use, MS has a software called VAMT Tool, free to download from MS Servers. Activations of MAK used installations of MS Software, is done via MS Activation Servers. Unlike KMS activated Software, over which MS didn't has direct control, MS controls the Activations if MAK's are used.

    For sure, there some way to work around that MAK activations as well!!
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  5. twl1999

    twl1999 MDL Novice

    Feb 20, 2017
    #5 twl1999, Mar 9, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2017
    Yep, that would be 'Ready to Manufacturing' or something. Thanks for clarification.


    The point of this conversation is also to optimize existing variants with either selection of same install media as original OS and since we now have ESD format that compresses better no matter what it's made for (as a protection). However, bad news is only NT 6.3 and above supports the format from dism and Windows PE images to be used as repair/fix from external storage. Which I use mostly thru Syslinux/G4D and so on.

    The needed data from WIM images since NT 6.0.6000.16384 because of the generic product key is insane (currently running about 96GB + media that's rough 284 versions of NT 6.x, but the idea that we don't actually need more than 1 version weither it's OEM/Retail/VL makes huge difference how much space is needed.

    Too bad I understood too late that there is actually generic preinstalled product key which could of been removed to need less data.


    Which comes to next question:

    a. Is it possible to remove the preinstalled product key from wim without mounting / installing it with dism ?
    b. If not where is the product key at registry located (because installing and using slmgr is kinda nasty to be done to amount of images we are speaking of even, if I would build network share to remove offline image generic key from online system) ?
  6. Carlos Detweiller

    Carlos Detweiller MDL Spinning Tortoise

    Dec 21, 2012
    Release To Manufacturing.