Trying to get proper BIOS setup for Dell to be genuine

Discussion in 'Windows 7' started by SammyDell, Mar 11, 2010.

  1. SammyDell

    SammyDell MDL Novice

    Mar 11, 2010
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    I have a Dell M6400 (BIOS A09) that was happily running Win 7 Ultimate until the most recent updates. After a ton of reading here, I think that I've learned enough to ask intelligently for help. (And I'll gladly read more if someone can point me.) Thanks in advance for your expert insight. :worthy:

    My machine was shipped with Vista (and an XP downgrade) and I installed the Dell OEM "auto-activation" Win 7 Ultimate on it. I believe that the problem is that my SLIC certificate (in the BIOS?) somehow says that I'm only allowed to run Vista and not 7. Does that sound right?

    I've DLed SLIC ToolKit 3.2 to see what I can learn, but it doesn't seem to tell me any licesning details. Can someone please help me understand what I need to do to update my BIOS or SLIC table to happily like Win 7 again? I'm betting that it is a simple few byte update somewhere if I just knew how and where.

    I'm also slightly scared to brick my machine (as it is my only real PC here), so I'm treading very cautiously and asking for help before I do anything stupid.

    Thanks in advance for your help.
     
  2. NoJuan999

    NoJuan999 Experienced SLIC Tool Operator

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    Step 1. Post the screenshot from the SLIC Dump Toolkit Advanced Tab here.
     
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  3. Rosco

    Rosco MDL Addicted

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    #3 Rosco, Mar 11, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2010
    You have probably installed the Windows Activation Technology (WAT) update KB 971033 and because you used the "Dell OEM auto-activation" DVD which I assume you downloaded the WAT update has found the loader used on those "pre-activated" DVDs and rendered your installation invalid.

    If this is what has happened to you there are a host of ways to fix this - search for threads about KB 971033 and follow instructions on how to fix it.

    It is not just a "simple few byte update to fix it" but it isn't that complicated either - it involves removing the loader M$ have targetted (on the so-called "auto-activating" DVD and now on your hard drive) and replacing it with one the KB971033 update doesn't break - apparently Daz's works - and re-validating after some tinkering.

    If it is this update that has broken your system when you become genuine again you can uninstall it - and I would as it is designed to update itself over time so you never know what it will do in the future but I suspect loaders that are manually installed are not M$ prime targets - self activating DVDs that can be sold to unsuspecting "customers" are.

    Now some tips :-

    1. Turn off "automatic updates" - change to notify before install.
    2. Never just blindly install updates unless you know what it is for - it could break something even though it is not meant to - even M$ are not perfect.
    3. If you have any doubt create a backup that you can restore from - a bit of work but better than no rescue.
    4. You should have a safe place to store system backups - a seperate partition at the least BUT a second drive is better as you can also store all your data (documents, game saves, music etc) here safe from an OS crash.
     
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  4. timesurfer

    timesurfer MDL Developer

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    #5 timesurfer, Mar 11, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 29, 2017
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  5. SammyDell

    SammyDell MDL Novice

    Mar 11, 2010
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    Thanks for the advice. I have already turned off autoupdates to avoid future problems.

    However, I think that you misunderstood my original setup a bit. I didn't need to apply any loader or hack to my machine originally. Since it was a Dell machine that also ships with Win 7 now, I simply updated the BIOS to the latest rev and the Dell OEM installation DVD auto-activated by itself. (I downloaded the DVD, so I can't be 100% sure that it was pure, but I believe that it was. Is there someway to check?)

    My theory is that the OEM activation was not previously checking if my BIOS license (SLIC license?) really allowed Win 7. (My machine was only OEM licensed for Vista.) So it gave me a "pass" that it should not have originally done. Does that make any sense? I know that my machine and BIOS can now ship with Win 7, so I believe that I just need someway to switch the BIOS/SLIC certificate to permit Win 7. Of course, I could be all wrong, but that seems to fit what I've read so far.

    Thanks!
     
  6. SammyDell

    SammyDell MDL Novice

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    #7 SammyDell, Mar 11, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 29, 2017
    (OP)

    To the best of my knowledge I'm not runing a loader of any kind. I have a normal Dell M6400 on which I've updated the BIOS to A09 some time ago.

    I was running Win 7 Ultimate happily based on an install from the Dell OEM disk. (I did download the disk, so it could have had something additional on there, but it said that it was a plain Dell OEM disk. Is there any sure way to tell?) The problem is that suddenly (I assume related to 971033), I suddenly am not genuine.
     
  7. timesurfer

    timesurfer MDL Developer

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    Ultimately before you can go online and get validated as genuine you have to be activated. So I sometimes suggest rearming then get your cert and key sorted out then validate and if yes then you can finally uninstall WAT update. You need to check in update history for that update to clear up whether or not it is the problem. If you have to re-flash bios there is a bios mod section here http://forums.mydigitallife.net/forums/25-Bios-Mods and if no bios mod is pre-made for your mobo then you can always request one here http://forums.mydigitallife.net/forums/33-Bios-Mod-Requests.-Post-Requests-Only
     
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  8. SammyDell

    SammyDell MDL Novice

    Mar 11, 2010
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    I think that I'm still somewhat confused about the certificate and how it interacts with the rest of the system. My BIOS is a stock Dell A09 BIOS, but is there some Asset Tag encoding in there additionally that knows that I'm only allowed to run OEM Vista? It seems like this certificate must match what is in my BIOS/SLIC. Is that where I'm mismatched?
     
  9. timesurfer

    timesurfer MDL Developer

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    In the slic table it will have model correspondence with cert. e.g. dell, hp, acer, Toshiba, etc....Keys will be universal or generic with version. e.g. pro, ultimate.

    Then RTM is the mostly used ISO that I know of. Depending on your slic being 2.1 you should be able to install RTM and then just deal with cert and key. That's all I know
     
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  10. SammyDell

    SammyDell MDL Novice

    Mar 11, 2010
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    Thanks. So my working theory is that if I could get the proper SLIC in my BIOS, I'd be all set. Of course, I'm not sure why it would not be correct since it is a normal Dell BIOS which should already have the right SLIC info. (And it worked happly until the new update.) Unless, that SLIC info is stored outside the main BIOS and somehow encodes that I' all allowed to run Vista? Can I just dump my current SLIC info to compare against a known good Dell record to see if they match? If so, how?
     
  11. SammyDell

    SammyDell MDL Novice

    Mar 11, 2010
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    So if the SLIC tables are in the BIOS and I have a normal BIOS from the Dell site, why would my BIOS not have a SLIC compatible with Win 7? Those values did not change from yesterday (genuine) until today (not genuine). I've extracted my BIOS file (A09) and have been looking at it in WinHex, but I can't find the data in the SLIC ToolKit dump. Should that data be in there somewhere?
     
  12. SammyDell

    SammyDell MDL Novice

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    #13 SammyDell, Mar 11, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2010
    (OP)
    Certificate Checked: I DLed the Certificate for Dell OEM and was able to match it exactly to an area in my tokens.dat (as pointed to by SLIC ToolKit). So it seems like my certificate is correct. So I assume that means that my certificate is correct.

    SLIC Table Checked: I used SLIC ToolKit to save the "SLIC Dump from Memory" to a file and found that it matched exactly to the file "Dell[DELL-QA09-NVDA]2.1.BIN" in the standard "SLIC 2.1 BINS" zip. So that seems to say that my SLIC table is fine also.

    What's left that could be wrong? Dell Asset tag weirdness?
     
  13. NoJuan999

    NoJuan999 Experienced SLIC Tool Operator

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    #14 NoJuan999, Mar 11, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2010
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  14. SammyDell

    SammyDell MDL Novice

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    That's what I thought, too. Alas, the little app (from the Genuine site) tells me that BillG is not happy with my Windows. :(
     
  15. NoJuan999

    NoJuan999 Experienced SLIC Tool Operator

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    #16 NoJuan999, Mar 11, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: May 23, 2017
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  16. SammyDell

    SammyDell MDL Novice

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    #17 SammyDell, Mar 11, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: May 23, 2017
    (OP)
  17. apollopimp

    apollopimp MDL Junior Member

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    just do what NoJuan999 said and see if you activate if you activate with a diffrent key than wola the key is the problem
     
  18. SammyDell

    SammyDell MDL Novice

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    OK, I gave it a whirl. Unfortunately, the OEM ultimate keys come up for me the same as the Dell one. They are not recognized as genuine. :(
     
  19. NoJuan999

    NoJuan999 Experienced SLIC Tool Operator

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    Did you enter a key and then re-Validate after each new key was entered ???
    You may have to reboot after entering each key to be sure it is seen properly by Win 7.
     
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