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NIC and WPA Votes

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#1
xmf

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I'm getting ready to clone my netbook's hdd over to a new Intel SSD (using Intel's included software), and I need to be sure I won't be prompted to reactivate my OEM copy of WinXP. The reason I can't re-verify is because the product key has worn off of Microsoft's sticker :angry: I've considered purchasing a new copy of XP, but I've worked pretty hard on streamlining the one I'm currently using, and I would really rather not incur the expense or time needed to get things back to where they currently are.

After researching online, I've seen a few articles about WPA and "votes", but I'm still not 100% clear on this issue and I don't want to take any chances here.

I've already upgraded my RAM from 1 - 2gb, and after reading about the NIC counting as 3 votes, I'm seeking some clarity on what would need to be done for those votes to be lost. For instance, if I disable LAN and Wifi in the BIOS, would that affect the vote count?

Also, even if the NIC vote count remains unaffected, will simply swapping the hard drive bring my vote count down low enough for XP to prompt for re-activation?

Thanks a bunch


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#2
Ponch

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This article answers your questions pretty clearly.

#3
CharlotteTheHarlot

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Licenturion did much research into this in 2001. Two of the original papers are: Here and Here.

Both those papers and XPInfo ( a program for basic research ) are on that page.

Wikipedia has some info too.

P.S. This is a very tender subject on clean boards like MSFN, tread carefully, read the forum rules and don't discuss circumvention. Probably best to take this elsewhere, but that's just my opinion as I don't work here. You can always PM the moderators to ask if something is legit or taboo!

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#4
dencorso

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I'm getting ready to clone my netbook's hdd over to a new Intel SSD (using Intel's included software), and I need to be sure I won't be prompted to reactivate my OEM copy of WinXP. The reason I can't re-verify is because the product key has worn off of Microsoft's sticker :angry: I've considered purchasing a new copy of XP, but I've worked pretty hard on streamlining the one I'm currently using, and I would really rather not incur the expense or time needed to get things back to where they currently are.

In principle, any key retrieving software, like Magical Jelly Bean Key Finder should be enough to solve your problem, if the OS asks for the key after changing just the HDD, which I doubt it will.

#5
allen2

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Replacing only the hard drive shouldn't trigger the activation as Microsoft (and in fact i tried it one time and it didn't ask anything).
Even if you were asked to activate, you won't be prompted to enter the key unless MS ask you to do so and then they should provide you the key.
As a final note, as long as you can provide MS proof you bought the notebook with an oem licence, they shouldn't bother you too much to activate it.

#6
xmf

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Thank you all for the replies.

This article answers your questions pretty clearly.


I actually found that article before posting, but I still wasn't totally sure about what effect disabling items in the BIOS (as I described) would have on votes.

Licenturion did much research into this in 2001. Two of the original papers are: Here and Here.

Both those papers and XPInfo ( a program for basic research ) are on that page.

Wikipedia has some info too.

P.S. This is a very tender subject on clean boards like MSFN, tread carefully, read the forum rules and don't discuss circumvention. Probably best to take this elsewhere, but that's just my opinion as I don't work here. You can always PM the moderators to ask if something is legit or taboo!


I'm not sure what could be considered "dirty" about my post. I have a legit copy of windows and am simply seeking info to help me avoid needing to re-activate. If there's anything dirty here, it's MS' practice of supplying stickers that don't withstand laptop usage, and reaping money from customers that then need to re-purchase products - but that's a separate issue.

In principle, any key retrieving software, like Magical Jelly Bean Key Finder should be enough to solve your problem, if the OS asks for the key after changing just the HDD, which I doubt it will.


I researched this option, and it seems such programs do not work on OEM installs.

Replacing only the hard drive shouldn't trigger the activation as Microsoft (and in fact i tried it one time and it didn't ask anything).
Even if you were asked to activate, you won't be prompted to enter the key unless MS ask you to do so and then they should provide you the key.
As a final note, as long as you can provide MS proof you bought the notebook with an oem licence, they shouldn't bother you too much to activate it.


This is interesting. I don't mean any disrespect, but I'm curious how you came to have these opinions (aside from the hard drive which you've experienced yourself). I called microsoft and they essentially told me that if I didn't have a key I was out of luck.

#7
Ponch

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I actually found that article before posting, but I still wasn't totally sure about what effect disabling items in the BIOS (as I described) would have on votes.

It says that a disabled device does not come in the enumeration at next boot and so the votes are lost. If it is so for a device disabled in Windows, it is surely is for a device disabled in Bios. Also why would you take the risk to disable devices in Bios ? Why do you seems so scared when you can always fall back on your HDD and retry?
Why did you call Microsoft ? The key is needed for installation, not for activation. Usually of course, if you have it for installation, you have it for activation. Have you actually tried Magical Jelly Bean Key Finder or have you stopped at the consideration that "it seems such programs do not work on OEM installs".
Did you activate the system yourself the 1st time you used it ? Do you still have the install media ?What brand is it ?
Have you read about the "120 days" in the article ? When did you change the RAM ?

Edited by Ponch, 16 January 2013 - 03:29 AM.


#8
allen2

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Your assumption that the key finder programs won't work on OEM install are completly wrong they work perfectly. But if you don't have confidence in those, you can still use program like aida or OCS inventory that can also get the key and they work perfectly with oem keys.
Microsoft has provided in the past even media for customers for free.

Edited by allen2, 16 January 2013 - 04:03 AM.


#9
xmf

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It says that a disabled device does not come in the enumeration at next boot and so the votes are lost. If it is so for a device disabled in Windows, it is surely is for a device disabled in Bios.


I was seeking clarification on what type of disabling would cause votes to be lost. Disable wifi in BIOS? Disable wifi within XP? Disable LAN in BIOS? Disable LAN in XP? Disable both in XP or in BIOS?

Also why would you take the risk to disable devices in Bios ?


If I know that doing so represents no threat as far as reactivation issues, I would do so for small performance gains because I don't use onboard LAN or wifi.

Why do you seems so scared when you can always fall back on your HDD and retry? Why did you call Microsoft ? The key is needed for installation, not for activation. Usually of course, if you have it for installation, you have it for activation.



I'm not scared, I'm being cautious because I don't want to wind up wasting a bunch of time, energy, and money. Admittedly, I did not read the linked article thoroughly enough to see the portion about being able to revert back to old hardware config to avoid needing to reactivate. I also am unclear as to whether XP SP3 provides a 50 digit number as the original XP did, with which one can simply call MS and obtain a 42 digit reactivation number. I assumed that one would need the original key found on the MS sticker to reactivate because this is what I was told by the rep I spoke with at MS.

Have you actually tried Magical Jelly Bean Key Finder or have you stopped at the consideration that "it seems such programs do not work on OEM installs".


Below is an explanation I found about the product key jellybean will find. Also, because my question is about reactivation vs re-installation, it seems such a program would be useless in my situation since, apparently, reactivation does not use the key on the windows sticker.

"The factory installed image is done using a Windows Volume Licence Key (VLK), via a disk cloning process. The VLK will be the same for (at least) all instances of that laptop, but is valid as long as there is a unique Windows CoA for the same version of Windows attached to the laptop.

The individual CoA on the bottom of the laptop has a unique OEM licence key, to satisfy the EULA requirement on the manufacturer in using their VLK for factory installations."

Did you activate the system yourself the 1st time you used it ? Do you still have the install media ?What brand is it ?
Have you read about the "120 days" in the article ? When did you change the RAM ?


It's been a few years, I honestly don't remember whether I had to activate XP initially. It came pre-installed on my (then new) ASUS netbook, and with no install media. I also do not remember if I upgraded the RAM within 120 days of activation (if I did activate it initially).

Edited by xmf, 16 January 2013 - 04:21 AM.


#10
Ponch

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I was seeking clarification on what type of disabling would cause votes to be lost. Disable wifi in BIOS? Disable wifi within XP?

You make it look like you have not read the article at all. :whistle:

#11
bphlpt

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Have you actually tried Magical Jelly Bean Key Finder or have you stopped at the consideration that "it seems such programs do not work on OEM installs".


Though you have again quoted information that you have found about the product, you still have not answered the question. Have you actually tried it? Assuming you have not, please do so.

Cheers and Regards

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#12
Ponch

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The answer is not that "it doesn't work on OEM installs" but that it's not the key he needs to reactivate by phone IF he needs to reactivate by phone which he probably won't. That's the reason why I did not talk about key finders in my 1st answer. Also the article I linked to was answering all of the questions. But for any reason, he hasn't tried yet to run his new XP on SSD.
Also maybe Asus can find the unique key on basis of the computer's serial number if he REALLY needs it.

#13
submix8c

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COA (sticker) key has nothing to do with phoning MS for activation. That one is your PC's key and is unique to your PC.

1 - Needs Activated - Phone MS with phone# given on the screen
2 - Provide the string of numbers displayed to Robo-Voice
3 - Robo-Voice provides a string of numbers back
4 - Activated

You're mistaken about "uses volume license key". That's a misnomer...
How To Activate XP

Note Some original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and select installations of Windows XP that use a volume license agreement are pre-activated and require no additional steps to activate.

A better term is "Royalty Key". Use the KeyFinder to get that key (different from the COA sticker).

Here is a set of phone numbers to help you out. Worst case, you contact a real person and explain that this is a Pre-Installed OEM PC and the COA is worn off.

You've posted Topics on SSD (and Alignment), "XP or Windows 7" on a "New Desktop" you were going to purchase, and previously problems with XP on an Inspiron 6400.

it's an Inspiron 6400 w/ an nLited install of XP Pro.

I will assume that you didn't buy this one. You also spoke of a Netbook here.

I recently acquired a netbook with an Intel N450 chip.

Before that you inquired about nLite and a Dell OEM MCE.

My configuration is a simple Dell laptop with one hard drive.

Can we assume that it's indeed the Inspiron and Dell MCE that we're speaking of? If so, your "Royalty Key" is already embedded in the WINNT.SIF file (at least MINE is) and that should be the key used, so you SHOULD have no problems with MS whether Re-Activating or calling MS to talk to a Live Person, although they might argue the fact that you used nLite.

I would tend to agree also with Ponch (ASUS? where did you get that from?) in that even though the COA is worn you should still have a Serial Number or Service Tag Number somewhere proving that you're legitimate but the COA Sticker is toast. Heck, you could give that and a scan of your Dell XP MCE OEM CD (more than likely a DVD). You're seriously freaking for no reason IF you're legit with a legit Notebook/DVD combo.

Edited by submix8c, 16 January 2013 - 10:57 AM.

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#14
xmf

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COA (sticker) key has nothing to do with phoning MS for activation. That one is your PC's key and is unique to your PC.

1 - Needs Activated - Phone MS with phone# given on the screen
2 - Provide the string of numbers displayed to Robo-Voice
3 - Robo-Voice provides a string of numbers back
4 - Activated

You're mistaken about "uses volume license key". That's a misnomer...
How To Activate XP

Note Some original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and select installations of Windows XP that use a volume license agreement are pre-activated and require no additional steps to activate.

A better term is "Royalty Key". Use the KeyFinder to get that key (different from the COA sticker).

Here is a set of phone numbers to help you out. Worst case, you contact a real person and explain that this is a Pre-Installed OEM PC and the COA is worn off.

You've posted Topics on SSD (and Alignment), "XP or Windows 7" on a "New Desktop" you were going to purchase, and previously problems with XP on an Inspiron 6400.

it's an Inspiron 6400 w/ an nLited install of XP Pro.

I will assume that you didn't buy this one. You also spoke of a Netbook here.

I recently acquired a netbook with an Intel N450 chip.

Before that you inquired about nLite and a Dell OEM MCE.

My configuration is a simple Dell laptop with one hard drive.

Can we assume that it's indeed the Inspiron and Dell MCE that we're speaking of? If so, your "Royalty Key" is already embedded in the WINNT.SIF file (at least MINE is) and that should be the key used, so you SHOULD have no problems with MS whether Re-Activating or calling MS to talk to a Live Person, although they might argue the fact that you used nLite.

I would tend to agree also with Ponch (ASUS? where did you get that from?) in that even though the COA is worn you should still have a Serial Number or Service Tag Number somewhere proving that you're legitimate but the COA Sticker is toast. Heck, you could give that and a scan of your Dell XP MCE OEM CD (more than likely a DVD). You're seriously freaking for no reason IF you're legit with a legit Notebook/DVD combo.


Freaking? That's a stretch considering you are interpreting based on a forum discussion. And one of the main reasons I started this discussion is because (as I previously stated) I was told by a rep at MS that I would be out of luck if my hardware change on XP SP3 required me to reactivate and I didn't have the key from the MS sticker.

Also, this is not a conspiracy :sneaky: I have a netbook, a (now older) Dell laptop, and a desktop. I also thought that maybe ASUS could provide the activation key on the worn sticker based off of my netbook's serial # but I called them and they could not. However, as you and others in this thread are stating, I should not need that anyway.

Edited by xmf, 16 January 2013 - 01:37 PM.


#15
xmf

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I was seeking clarification on what type of disabling would cause votes to be lost. Disable wifi in BIOS? Disable wifi within XP?

You make it look like you have not read the article at all. :whistle:


The section on NIC I did read. When the author mentions disabling, they don't specifically mention on what level (bios/within xp) and to what degree (wifi only, lan only, etc). I assume this could differ based on one's setup. So for my netbook, do I have one NIC that controls both wifi and lan? My question still stands as to exactly what activity would disable to NIC so its votes would not be counted in WPA.

Edited by xmf, 16 January 2013 - 01:43 PM.


#16
CharlotteTheHarlot

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I'm not sure what could be considered "dirty" about my post. I have a legit copy of windows and am simply seeking info to help me avoid needing to re-activate. If there's anything dirty here, it's MS' practice of supplying stickers that don't withstand laptop usage, and reaping money from customers that then need to re-purchase products - but that's a separate issue.

Well like I said, read their rules here. I was just giving you a friendly heads up about zero tolerance for discussing things like circumvention. I apologize if you misinterpreted my comment, I didn't mean to imply you were going to do anything dirty.

Anyway, I can confirm from seeing many laptops, even some a couple years old that those stupid stickers can easily wear off. What I always do is take photos of every sticker. The ones that are real bad can sometimes be read if you play with them in a good photo-editor, invert ( negative ) and play with brightness, contrast, intensity, and some other effects.

If it is totally gone, you should at least have the manufacturer part number and serial number ( also on the bottom but on much more durable stickers ) which is proof of a model run that was obviously delivered with a genuine Windows installation. The manufacturer themselves might be convinced to look it up in their records. I don't know if you are here in the USA, but in addition to federal agencies every state has numerous bureaucracies that deal with consumer protection. The big guns are in the state attorney generals' offices who seem to enjoy going after companies that commit fraud or other malfeasance. I would tell them that Microsoft and/or your manufacturer are trying to defraud you by not supplying you with the legitimate Windows product key that has worn off your netbook. I have always wondered when someone was going to challenge this practice ( maybe it has already happened? ) of putting those non-durable stickers on the bottom and not on the keyboard where the Intel logo is placed. IMHO it is deliberate negligence and deserves class action. And why didn't Microsoft, who has so much to say about OEM practices not demand that the stickers be placed in a sensible area? A cynical person might think it was intentional planned obsolescence again.

BTW, I'm pretty sure that if you never entered that key from the sticker into a Windows prompt, it will not be found in the registry or anywhere else. Others should take a lesson from this and remember to write down or photograph their sticker as soon as possible.

If you have an old registry export saved from this computer, you can retrieve the digital product ID ( an often changing hash value ) and try to import it and see if activation is satisfied. That would be legal since it is the same exact computer, but I am going to stop there with my advice.

... Let him who hath understanding reckon the Number Of The Beast ...


#17
jaclaz

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Just in case:
http://www.msfn.org/...ows-activation/
http://www.msfn.org/...ion/page__st__7

jaclaz

#18
submix8c

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1 Freaking? That's a stretch considering you are interpreting based on a forum discussion. 2 And one of the main reasons I started this discussion is because (as I previously stated) I was told by a rep at MS that I would be out of luck if my hardware change on XP SP3 required me to reactivate and I didn't have the key from the MS sticker.

3 Also, this is not a conspiracy :sneaky: I have a netbook, a (now older) Dell laptop, and a desktop. 4 I also thought that maybe ASUS could provide the activation key on the worn sticker based off of my netbook's serial # but I called them and they could not. 5 However, as you and others in this thread are stating, I should not need that anyway.

1 - Nope, not a stretch - it "devolved" into it.
2 - MS First-Level Rep (somewhere on the other side of the Pacific, no doubt)? Those have real genius (called a Q&A "handbook")!
3 - Never said that - there are, however, implications based upon this topic. You never said that the (unknown) Netbook was OEM-anything (going back through your old posts).
4 - You acknowledged in your first post it was a KEY, different than Product ID and Activation Code (those are what you supply/get when phone-activating). Correct terminology and AGAIN the Internal Key (if indeed pre-installed) is different from the COA key (says so everywhere on the net).
5 - Not if OEM Pre-Install or Single-Used Key - just make a phone call (all of which I gave a link to) in case.

It was suggested that you retain your original HDD just in case. If your COA key is "gone" then it's STILL highly recommended to use a KeyFinder FIRST.

Your choice. :yes:

Someday the tyrants will be unthroned... Jason "Jay" Chasteen; RIP, bro!

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#19
Ponch

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When the author mentions disabling, they don't specifically mention on what level (bios/within xp) and to what degree (wifi only, lan only, etc).

"if, say, you disable a network connection which uses the NIC and then reboot, you may be missing its three votes"
this is (as I wrote before) clearly disabling in Windows. Disabling in Bios would be even more radical (well, one could say "you can't remove it more").
This; "It then calculates and records a number based on the first device of each type" (bold in the article) clearly means only one NIC is considered for that calculation, not two (LAN and WiFi).
To reassure you (and almost quote the article "that answers all your questions") in case of a netbook, you are very unlikely to change
  • the display adapter
  • the motherboard
  • the processor type
  • the processor serial number
and with the NIC enabled, there you have them, 7 votes. Just wait 120 days to disable the NIC if you really need to.

...Ponch (ASUS? where did you get that from?)

Very simply, :D I did not assume anything, I asked for the brand, he answered, I read the answer and I believed him. Next time, use ctrl+F. ;)

I called microsoft and they essentially told me that if I didn't have a key I was out of luck.

So now also to Submix8c, according to you, what key were they talking about ? Or was the MS guy talking rubbish ?
If you install an OEM PC that is preactivated and then (this is basically what the OP was worried about) you change too much hardware for the OS to feel home, is MS expecting you to search the Winnt.sif on your CD for the royalty key ??? Or does that system stay activated whatever happens because the manufacturer's Bios and the OEM file are still there ? I've never been there personally (well, I've changed a lot but not not enough, and if I had, the 120 days rule would have spared me).

#20
xmf

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1 - Nope, not a stretch - it "devolved" into it.

3 - Never said that - there are, however, implications based upon this topic. You never said that the (unknown) Netbook was OEM-anything (going back through your old posts).

It was suggested that you retain your original HDD just in case. If your COA key is "gone" then it's STILL highly recommended to use a KeyFinder FIRST.


1- If you want to think I'm freaking out, okay :)

3- post 1:
I need to be sure I won't be prompted to reactivate my OEM copy of WinXP
post 6:
I researched this option, and it seems such programs do not work on OEM installs.

I'm not sure why you are still recommending using a keyfinder.

"if, say, you disable a network connection which uses the NIC and then reboot, you may be missing its three votes"
this is (as I wrote before) clearly disabling in Windows. Disabling in Bios would be even more radical (well, one could say "you can't remove it more").
This; "It then calculates and records a number based on the first device of each type" (bold in the article) clearly means only one NIC is considered for that calculation, not two (LAN and WiFi).
To reassure you (and almost quote the article "that answers all your questions") in case of a netbook, you are very unlikely to change

  • the display adapter
  • the motherboard
  • the processor type
  • the processor serial number
and with the NIC enabled, there you have them, 7 votes. Just wait 120 days to disable the NIC if you really need to.


I still think the author's statements are somewhat non-definitive, "you may be missing its votes", and I still don't feel I know for sure what level of disabling will cause lost votes, but I suppose I can experiment, and if disabling lan, wifi, or both causes lost votes I can simply enable them again and that should cause xp to cease prompting me to revalidate.

I looked through the article again, and it did not explicitly mention whether there is a 120 day clean-slate period after initial activation and any subsequent reactivation.

Were you stating that if changing my hard drive necessitated a reactivation, that after 120 from that reactivation I could disable NIC with no issues?

#21
dencorso

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I need to be sure I won't be prompted to reactivate my OEM copy of WinXP

Reminds me of Marathon Man... link... :unsure:

#22
allen2

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I'm not sure why you are still recommending using a keyfinder.

They work for sure on OEM key what you read is just wrong at least for XP/2003 OS. Why don't you try Aida32 or Everest (if you want a big name to be sure ?)

#23
Ponch

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Were you stating that if changing my hard drive necessitated a reactivation, that after 120 from that reactivation I could disable NIC with no issues?

I'm not stating anything. I'm just going on quoting that article that seems serious and gives info about something it apparently none of us has experienced yet but you're insisting MIGHT be a problem for you. I can go on and on, you don't seem to understand anything the article says. I'm not going to spend an hour changing my hardware for you to see if the article was right, I just assume it is and it's you that needs to try. Now we keep telling you that there won't be no problem but you don't seem to believe any of us. So what's the point asking ? Why don't you just try, I don't see any risk? You still have that perfectly working backup anyway.

I'm not scared, I'm being cautious because I don't want to wind up wasting a bunch of time, energy and money

I think it's exactly what you are doing since 2 days. And you'll end up being told to buy any Asus CD/license for XP Home/Pro that you'll find on eBay for $10, that will tick the money waste. Then you'll put that SSD in your netbook, have a cold sweat because XP tells you it found a new hard drive, new volumes etc... needs to reboot,... and ... and... and...that was it. :blushing:

#24
xmf

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I'm not sure why you are still recommending using a keyfinder.

They work for sure on OEM key what you read is just wrong at least for XP/2003 OS. Why don't you try Aida32 or Everest (if you want a big name to be sure ?)


Okay, but what use would that code be to me at this point if it's not used for re-validation? And I don't have non-OEM software to do a new install?

#25
submix8c

submix8c

    Inconceivable!

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(sigh...)

REPEAT - that IS the OEM Royalty key...

It is used to - INSTALL!

It MUST be (re-)valid if the OEM's used it. I thought I made it CLEAR how validation works. I'll repeat it for your edification -

1 - XP is Installed with KEY of one of the following:
1a - Royalty/OEM (Internal)
1b - OEM COA Sticker, unique to THAT OEM PC (external)
1c - Generic OEM Key (similar to COA sticker) supplied with an OEM System Builder Kit
1d - Full Product Retail Key
1e - Upgrade Product Retail Key
1f - Full Product Select Key (aka "Volume")
2 - For 1b thru 1e, Activation Required, and you DO it
2b - (Post#13... two separate Numeric Codes, one you supply and one you get back)
See? Three independent but interconnected values for Validation.
1a uses SPECIAL files to correspond to that Key to lock the OS to that Brand PC, as does 1f except it works on ANY PC. These do NOT require Activation (self-Activate). All others are UNIQUE and ALWAYS require Activation. NOW, re-read said articles...

And I don't have non-OEM software to do a new install?

SO confused... (see above 1a,b,c - keyword OEM!) Did YOU install this Netbook or is it (OMG) Pre-Installed? If Pre-Installed it has a ROYALTY key used for Installation AND (as stated) it's USUALLY CLEARLY VISIBLE in "I386\WINNT.SIF" - bone up on that filename and the contents, will you?

xmf= :ph34r: / :unsure: / :wacko: / :crazy: / :sneaky: <-choose or select from drop-down...

[sarcasm]YES, we are LYING to you! Don't do anything we say - we WANT your Computer to never work again.[/sarcasm]

Someday the tyrants will be unthroned... Jason "Jay" Chasteen; RIP, bro!

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