Make OEM reinstallation CD ask for product key

Posted: 02-27-2009, 11:05 PM
Lately I have found myself needing to reinstall Windows XP Pro for several
people, on desktops or laptops which have the 25-character OEM license key
on the COA sticker attached to the computer.

They have usually lost their reinstall CD, or else they don't have it with
them, and I happen to have an OEM reinstallation CD from the same
manufacturer. HOWEVER, if I install Windows XP using this CD, it doesn't
ask for the license key (and later investigation shows that it is
activated, using the OEM's preinstallation key or whatever it's called).

I know that I can do some stuff to get the key changed to the one on the
sticker, after installation, but I would really like to know how to invoke
the installation process, or even modify the CD (I know how to do that) to
ask for the product key during install.

Thanks for any help. Let me know if there's a better forum.

David Walker

Make OEM reinstallation CD ask for product key


Responses to "Make OEM reinstallation CD ask for product key"

Ian D
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
Re: Make OEM reinstallation CD ask for product key
Posted: 02-28-2009, 12:26 AM

"DWalker07" <none@none.com> wrote in message
news:%23bq%23j$SmJHA.4540@TK2MSFTNGP04.phx.gbl...
> Lately I have found myself needing to reinstall Windows XP Pro for several
> people, on desktops or laptops which have the 25-character OEM license key
> on the COA sticker attached to the computer.
>
> They have usually lost their reinstall CD, or else they don't have it with
> them, and I happen to have an OEM reinstallation CD from the same
> manufacturer. HOWEVER, if I install Windows XP using this CD, it doesn't
> ask for the license key (and later investigation shows that it is
> activated, using the OEM's preinstallation key or whatever it's called).
>
> I know that I can do some stuff to get the key changed to the one on the
> sticker, after installation, but I would really like to know how to invoke
> the installation process, or even modify the CD (I know how to do that) to
> ask for the product key during install.
>
> Thanks for any help. Let me know if there's a better forum.
>
> David Walker
The OEM CD is BIOS locked to computers from the same
manufacturer. That's why no product key or activation is
needed. A single product key assigned to the OEM is coded
onto all the CDs and written to the registry of each machine.
The product key on the sticker represents the XP licence for
each individual computer. If the OEM disk works, there is no
need to change the product keys in the registry.

If you change the installation so that it asks for a product key,
XP will then need to be activated, and due to MS policy re OEM
product keys, it will not activate. Your customers will then be
stuck with non-functioning XP installations after the 30 day
grace period.

Your OEM CD is obviously identical to the CDs the owners
received with their machines, so no licence rules have been
broken by your leaving things the way they are. It would
also, be legal for you to make a CD copy for anyone that has
lost theirs, as their computers are licenced to use XP.


Nepatsfan
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
Re: Make OEM reinstallation CD ask for product key
Posted: 02-28-2009, 12:33 AM
"DWalker07" <none@none.com> wrote in message
news:%23bq%23j$SmJHA.4540@TK2MSFTNGP04.phx.gbl...
> Lately I have found myself needing to reinstall Windows XP Pro for several
> people, on desktops or laptops which have the 25-character OEM license key
> on the COA sticker attached to the computer.
>
> They have usually lost their reinstall CD, or else they don't have it with
> them, and I happen to have an OEM reinstallation CD from the same
> manufacturer. HOWEVER, if I install Windows XP using this CD, it doesn't
> ask for the license key (and later investigation shows that it is
> activated, using the OEM's preinstallation key or whatever it's called).
>
> I know that I can do some stuff to get the key changed to the one on the
> sticker, after installation, but I would really like to know how to invoke
> the installation process, or even modify the CD (I know how to do that) to
> ask for the product key during install.
>
> Thanks for any help. Let me know if there's a better forum.
>
> David Walker

I got to be honest with you David. I'm baffled as to why you'd want to make
a reinstall more complicated. You do realize that using the license key from
the sticker means your installation won't be automatically validated. Odds
are you'll end up having to make a phone call to activate XP. I don't get
it. You're using the right CD for the situation. Same manufacturer, same
version of XP. What's the problem with what you're doing?

FWIW, the Dell and Compaq installation CDs I have store the manufacturer's
SLP installation key in the winnt.sif file which is located in the I386
folder on the installation CD. For me that's D:\I386\winnt.sif. I've never
tried this, but my best guess is that if you edit this file in Notepad and
remove the portion of the file that looks something like this you'll be
prompted to enter a CD key during the installation.

[UserData]
ProductKey="XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX"

Good luck

Nepatsfan


Zaphod Beeblebrox
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
Re: Make OEM reinstallation CD ask for product key
Posted: 03-02-2009, 01:43 PM

"Ian D" <taurus@nowhere.com> wrote in message
news:%23Lj%239sTmJHA.4128@TK2MSFTNGP02.phx.gbl...
>
> "DWalker07" <none@none.com> wrote in message
> news:%23bq%23j$SmJHA.4540@TK2MSFTNGP04.phx.gbl...
>> Lately I have found myself needing to reinstall Windows XP Pro for
>> several
>> people, on desktops or laptops which have the 25-character OEM
>> license key
>> on the COA sticker attached to the computer.
>>
>> They have usually lost their reinstall CD, or else they don't have it
>> with
>> them, and I happen to have an OEM reinstallation CD from the same
>> manufacturer. HOWEVER, if I install Windows XP using this CD, it
>> doesn't
>> ask for the license key (and later investigation shows that it is
>> activated, using the OEM's preinstallation key or whatever it's
>> called).
>>
>> I know that I can do some stuff to get the key changed to the one on
>> the
>> sticker, after installation, but I would really like to know how to
>> invoke
>> the installation process, or even modify the CD (I know how to do
>> that) to
>> ask for the product key during install.
>>
>> Thanks for any help. Let me know if there's a better forum.
>>
>> David Walker
>
> The OEM CD is BIOS locked to computers from the same
> manufacturer. That's why no product key or activation is
> needed. A single product key assigned to the OEM is coded
> onto all the CDs and written to the registry of each machine.
> The product key on the sticker represents the XP licence for
> each individual computer. If the OEM disk works, there is no
> need to change the product keys in the registry.
Spot on. I am amazed at the people that want to make things mode
difficult than they need to be.
> If you change the installation so that it asks for a product key,
> XP will then need to be activated, and due to MS policy re OEM
> product keys, it will not activate.
Actually, they can activate using the code on the sticker, it just won't
*automatically* activate over the internet. They will have to call MS
to activate.
> Your customers will then be
> stuck with non-functioning XP installations after the 30 day
> grace period.
Not if they call MS to manually activate.
>
> Your OEM CD is obviously identical to the CDs the owners
> received with their machines, so no licence rules have been
> broken by your leaving things the way they are. It would
> also, be legal for you to make a CD copy for anyone that has
> lost theirs, as their computers are licenced to use XP.
I don't know about the legality, but certainly there is no problem from
a licensing standpoint. I'd do it in a heartbeat.

--
Zaphod

Arthur: All my life I've had this strange feeling that there's something
big and sinister going on in the world.
Slartibartfast: No, that's perfectly normal paranoia. Everyone in the
universe gets that.


DWalker07
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
Re: Make OEM reinstallation CD ask for product key
Posted: 03-02-2009, 05:37 PM
"Nepatsfan" <nepatsfan@SBXXXIX.com> wrote in
news:eSsA6wTmJHA.500@TK2MSFTNGP06.phx.gbl:
> "DWalker07" <none@none.com> wrote in message
> news:%23bq%23j$SmJHA.4540@TK2MSFTNGP04.phx.gbl...
>> Lately I have found myself needing to reinstall Windows XP Pro for
>> several people, on desktops or laptops which have the 25-character
>> OEM license key on the COA sticker attached to the computer.
>>
>> They have usually lost their reinstall CD, or else they don't have it
>> with them, and I happen to have an OEM reinstallation CD from the
>> same manufacturer. HOWEVER, if I install Windows XP using this CD,
>> it doesn't ask for the license key (and later investigation shows
>> that it is activated, using the OEM's preinstallation key or whatever
>> it's called).
>>
>> I know that I can do some stuff to get the key changed to the one on
>> the sticker, after installation, but I would really like to know how
>> to invoke the installation process, or even modify the CD (I know how
>> to do that) to ask for the product key during install.
>>
>> Thanks for any help. Let me know if there's a better forum.
>>
>> David Walker
>
>
> I got to be honest with you David. I'm baffled as to why you'd want to
> make a reinstall more complicated. You do realize that using the
> license key from the sticker means your installation won't be
> automatically validated. Odds are you'll end up having to make a phone
> call to activate XP. I don't get it. You're using the right CD for the
> situation. Same manufacturer, same version of XP. What's the problem
> with what you're doing?
>
> FWIW, the Dell and Compaq installation CDs I have store the
> manufacturer's SLP installation key in the winnt.sif file which is
> located in the I386 folder on the installation CD. For me that's
> D:\I386\winnt.sif. I've never tried this, but my best guess is that if
> you edit this file in Notepad and remove the portion of the file that
> looks something like this you'll be prompted to enter a CD key during
> the installation.
>
> [UserData]
> ProductKey="XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX"
>
> Good luck
>
> Nepatsfan
>
>
>
I wondered why many Dell XP systems were pre-activated, all using the
same license number and not the license number on the CD sticker. Now I
have read that the OEMs often use one license number for all boxes of the
same mode.

I just figured that if I did a reinstall, I wanted the license number IN
the system to match the license number from the sticker.

If that's not necessary, then I won't worry about it. I was just
concerned when the various keyfinder programs showed a different product
key than the sticker on the box showed.


David


Nepatsfan
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
Re: Make OEM reinstallation CD ask for product key
Posted: 03-02-2009, 06:22 PM
"DWalker07" <none@none.com> wrote in message
news:OuZth21mJHA.504@TK2MSFTNGP06.phx.gbl...
> "Nepatsfan" <nepatsfan@SBXXXIX.com> wrote in
> news:eSsA6wTmJHA.500@TK2MSFTNGP06.phx.gbl:
>
>> "DWalker07" <none@none.com> wrote in message
>> news:%23bq%23j$SmJHA.4540@TK2MSFTNGP04.phx.gbl...
>>> Lately I have found myself needing to reinstall Windows XP Pro for
>>> several people, on desktops or laptops which have the 25-character
>>> OEM license key on the COA sticker attached to the computer.
>>>
>>> They have usually lost their reinstall CD, or else they don't have it
>>> with them, and I happen to have an OEM reinstallation CD from the
>>> same manufacturer. HOWEVER, if I install Windows XP using this CD,
>>> it doesn't ask for the license key (and later investigation shows
>>> that it is activated, using the OEM's preinstallation key or whatever
>>> it's called).
>>>
>>> I know that I can do some stuff to get the key changed to the one on
>>> the sticker, after installation, but I would really like to know how
>>> to invoke the installation process, or even modify the CD (I know how
>>> to do that) to ask for the product key during install.
>>>
>>> Thanks for any help. Let me know if there's a better forum.
>>>
>>> David Walker
>>
>>
>> I got to be honest with you David. I'm baffled as to why you'd want to
>> make a reinstall more complicated. You do realize that using the
>> license key from the sticker means your installation won't be
>> automatically validated. Odds are you'll end up having to make a phone
>> call to activate XP. I don't get it. You're using the right CD for the
>> situation. Same manufacturer, same version of XP. What's the problem
>> with what you're doing?
>>
>> FWIW, the Dell and Compaq installation CDs I have store the
>> manufacturer's SLP installation key in the winnt.sif file which is
>> located in the I386 folder on the installation CD. For me that's
>> D:\I386\winnt.sif. I've never tried this, but my best guess is that if
>> you edit this file in Notepad and remove the portion of the file that
>> looks something like this you'll be prompted to enter a CD key during
>> the installation.
>>
>> [UserData]
>> ProductKey="XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX"
>>
>> Good luck
>>
>> Nepatsfan
>>
>>
>>
>
> I wondered why many Dell XP systems were pre-activated, all using the
> same license number and not the license number on the CD sticker. Now I
> have read that the OEMs often use one license number for all boxes of the
> same mode.
>
> I just figured that if I did a reinstall, I wanted the license number IN
> the system to match the license number from the sticker.
>
> If that's not necessary, then I won't worry about it. I was just
> concerned when the various keyfinder programs showed a different product
> key than the sticker on the box showed.
>
>
> David
>
>

On a computer from a major OEM, the key on the sticker is not used. I'd
guess that there are several million Dell computers happily running XP Pro
under the same key (it starts with XJM6Q). As long as you're reinstalling on
a Dell, you're fine using the installation CD and associated SLP key. Bottom
line, don't worry about it.

Take a look at the Royalty OEM section of this article for a good
explanation of this issue.

http://www.edbott.com/weblog/archives/000506.html

If you want some more info on this subject do a Google search for System
Locked Preinstallation.

Nepatsfan



Stefan Kanthak
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
Re: Make OEM reinstallation CD ask for product key
Posted: 03-03-2009, 12:20 PM
"Zaphod Beeblebrox" <Zaphod.Arisztid.Beeblebrox@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> "Ian D" <taurus@nowhere.com> wrote in message
>> If you change the installation so that it asks for a product key,
>> XP will then need to be activated, and due to MS policy re OEM
>> product keys, it will not activate.
>
> Actually, they can activate using the code on the sticker, it just won't
> *automatically* activate over the internet. They will have to call MS
> to activate.
No, that's just plain wrong! You can use ANY OEM-CD-Key with ANY OEM-CD!
The CDs used by (major) OEMs for system locked preinstallation just differ
in the four OEMBIOS.* files they provide for their hardware. If these
match the BIOS of the machine the CD gets installed to XP will be activated
automatically.

See MSKB 899356 and the whitepaper referenced there!

Stefan

Zaphod Beeblebrox
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
Re: Make OEM reinstallation CD ask for product key
Posted: 03-03-2009, 01:04 PM

"Stefan Kanthak" <postmaster@[127.0.0.1]> wrote in message
news:etnVop$mJHA.3876@TK2MSFTNGP02.phx.gbl...
> "Zaphod Beeblebrox" <Zaphod.Arisztid.Beeblebrox@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> "Ian D" <taurus@nowhere.com> wrote in message
>
>>> If you change the installation so that it asks for a product key,
>>> XP will then need to be activated, and due to MS policy re OEM
>>> product keys, it will not activate.
>>
>> Actually, they can activate using the code on the sticker, it just
>> won't
>> *automatically* activate over the internet. They will have to call
>> MS
>> to activate.
>
> No, that's just plain wrong! You can use ANY OEM-CD-Key with ANY
> OEM-CD!
> The CDs used by (major) OEMs for system locked preinstallation just
> differ
> in the four OEMBIOS.* files they provide for their hardware. If these
> match the BIOS of the machine the CD gets installed to XP will be
> activated
> automatically.
>
> See MSKB 899356 and the whitepaper referenced there!
>
Um, OK, but you've missed a critical point. If you make the install ask
for the product key and the user supplies the key from the sticker on
any large OEM (like Dell, HP, etc.) then they WILL have to call MS to
activate. Trust me. Or don't trust me, try it yourself. As I
understand it, some years back MS made the change because people were
using the keys from the stickers to activate additional computers.
Since then, the keys on the stickers have required you to call MS for
activation.

--
Zaphod

Arthur Dent, speaking to Trillian about Zaphod:
"So, two heads is what does it for a girl?"
"...Anything else he's got two of?"


Stefan Kanthak
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
Re: Make OEM reinstallation CD ask for product key
Posted: 03-03-2009, 01:24 PM
"Zaphod Beeblebrox" <Zaphod.Arisztid.Beeblebrox@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> "Stefan Kanthak" <postmaster@[127.0.0.1]> wrote in message
> news:etnVop$mJHA.3876@TK2MSFTNGP02.phx.gbl...
>> "Zaphod Beeblebrox" <Zaphod.Arisztid.Beeblebrox@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>
>>> "Ian D" <taurus@nowhere.com> wrote in message
>>
>>>> If you change the installation so that it asks for a product key,
>>>> XP will then need to be activated, and due to MS policy re OEM
>>>> product keys, it will not activate.
>>>
>>> Actually, they can activate using the code on the sticker, it just
>>> won't
>>> *automatically* activate over the internet. They will have to call
>>> MS
>>> to activate.
ARGH! Your linebreaks suck!
>> No, that's just plain wrong! You can use ANY OEM-CD-Key with ANY
>> OEM-CD!
>> The CDs used by (major) OEMs for system locked preinstallation just
>> differ
>> in the four OEMBIOS.* files they provide for their hardware. If these
>> match the BIOS of the machine the CD gets installed to XP will be
>> activated
>> automatically.
>>
>> See MSKB 899356 and the whitepaper referenced there!
>>
>
> Um, OK, but you've missed a critical point.
NO! Read what I wrote!
> If you make the install ask
> for the product key and the user supplies the key from the sticker on
> any large OEM (like Dell, HP, etc.) then they WILL have to call MS to
> activate. Trust me. Or don't trust me, try it yourself.
BTDT! Many many times! Again: read what I wrote!
> As I
> understand it, some years back MS made the change because people were
> using the keys from the stickers to activate additional computers.
> Since then, the keys on the stickers have required you to call MS for
> activation.
Read the white paper! TRY to understand it (and how SLP works).

Stefan

Zaphod Beeblebrox
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
Re: Make OEM reinstallation CD ask for product key
Posted: 03-03-2009, 02:29 PM

"Stefan Kanthak" <postmaster@[127.0.0.1]> wrote in message
news:uudhhNAnJHA.3572@TK2MSFTNGP05.phx.gbl...
> "Zaphod Beeblebrox" <Zaphod.Arisztid.Beeblebrox@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> "Stefan Kanthak" <postmaster@[127.0.0.1]> wrote in message
>> news:etnVop$mJHA.3876@TK2MSFTNGP02.phx.gbl...
>>> "Zaphod Beeblebrox" <Zaphod.Arisztid.Beeblebrox@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>
>>>> "Ian D" <taurus@nowhere.com> wrote in message
>>>
>>>>> If you change the installation so that it asks for a product key,
>>>>> XP will then need to be activated, and due to MS policy re OEM
>>>>> product keys, it will not activate.
>>>>
>>>> Actually, they can activate using the code on the sticker, it just
>>>> won't
>>>> *automatically* activate over the internet. They will have to call
>>>> MS
>>>> to activate.
>
> ARGH! Your linebreaks suck!
I'm set to break at 72 characters, and have not had anyone complain
before. What would you prefer that it be set to?
>
>>> No, that's just plain wrong! You can use ANY OEM-CD-Key with ANY
>>> OEM-CD!
>>> The CDs used by (major) OEMs for system locked preinstallation just
>>> differ
>>> in the four OEMBIOS.* files they provide for their hardware. If
>>> these
>>> match the BIOS of the machine the CD gets installed to XP will be
>>> activated
>>> automatically.
>>>
>>> See MSKB 899356 and the whitepaper referenced there!
>>>
>>
>> Um, OK, but you've missed a critical point.
>
> NO! Read what I wrote!
I did. You missed what I was saying.
>
>> If you make the install ask
>> for the product key and the user supplies the key from the sticker on
>> any large OEM (like Dell, HP, etc.) then they WILL have to call MS to
>> activate. Trust me. Or don't trust me, try it yourself.
>
> BTDT! Many many times! Again: read what I wrote!
I have also BTDT, may hundreds of times. I did read what you wrote.
You missed (and appear to continue to miss) what I was saying.
>
>> As I
>> understand it, some years back MS made the change because people were
>> using the keys from the stickers to activate additional computers.
>> Since then, the keys on the stickers have required you to call MS for
>> activation.
>
> Read the white paper! TRY to understand it (and how SLP works).
I had read it before you mentioned it, and read it again when you
referred to it to make sure I didn't miss anything. Here is a quote
from that whitepaper:

"In order to reduce a significant source of piracy, Microsoft has
disabled online activation for COA Keys that are attached to PCs that
have been pre-activated by OEMs. This change should have a minimal
impact on licensed users who generally do not use their COA Key to
activate the software because it has been pre-activated by the OEM.
However, if a licensed end user needs to activate because the OEM
pre-activation does not work as expected (e.g., after the replacement of
a defective motherboard) they can do so via phone-based activation."

Notice that it says the same thing I was saying. MS disabled online
activation of the keys on the stickers (COA keys) of major OEMs because
of piracy. If you use the key on the sticker (COA), you will have to
call MS to activate. Now, what is it about that that I've gotten wrong?
Be specific, and if you can, please quote a relevant passage from the
whitepaper or other authorative source.

--
Zaphod

Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster: A cocktail based on Janx Spirit.
The effect of one is like have your brain smashed out
by a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick.


 
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