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Bezalel

Building a Pre-activated CD from an existing installation

180 posts in this topic

I've put together two files that can be used to make a pre-activated CD if all you got with your computer is a restore CD you will also need access to an OEM hologram CD for the rest of the files. Put the following files in the same folder

getfiles.bat

attrib -s %SystemRoot%\system32\CatRoot\{F750E6C3-38EE-11D1-85E5-00C04FC295EE}\OEMBIOS.CAT
makecab %SystemRoot%\system32\CatRoot\{F750E6C3-38EE-11D1-85E5-00C04FC295EE}\OEMBIOS.CAT
attrib +s %SystemRoot%\system32\CatRoot\{F750E6C3-38EE-11D1-85E5-00C04FC295EE}\OEMBIOS.CAT
makecab %SystemRoot%\system32\OEMBIOS.BIN
makecab %SystemRoot%\system32\OEMBIOS.DAT
makecab %SystemRoot%\system32\OEMBIOS.SIG
cscript //nologo getkey.vbs > winnt.sif

getkey.vbs

Dim objFS, objShell
Dim strXPKey

Set objShell = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")

strXPKey = objShell.RegRead("HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProductName")
If Len(strXPKey) > 0 Then
WScript.Echo "[UserData]"
WScript.Echo "ProductKey=" & chr(34) & GetKey(objShell.RegRead("HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\DigitalProductId")) & chr(34)
WScript.Echo "[Data]"
WScript.Echo "MSDosInitiated=0"
WScript.Echo "UnattendedInstall=Yes"
End If

Function GetKey(rpk)
Const rpkOffset=52:i=28
szPossibleChars="BCDFGHJKMPQRTVWXY2346789"
Do
dwAccumulator=0 : j=14
Do
dwAccumulator=dwAccumulator*256
dwAccumulator=rpk(j+rpkOffset)+dwAccumulator
rpk(j+rpkOffset)=(dwAccumulator\24) and 255
dwAccumulator=dwAccumulator Mod 24
j=j-1
Loop While j>=0
i=i-1 : szProductKey=mid(szPossibleChars,dwAccumulator+1,1)&szProductKey
if (((29-i) Mod 6)=0) and (i<>-1) then
i=i-1 : szProductKey="-"&szProductKey
End If
Loop While i>=0
GetKey=szProductKey
End Function

Getfiles.bat will generate 5 files to be placed in the i386 directory of your CD. the files are:

OEMBIOS.BI_

OEMBIOS.CA_

OEMBIOS.DA_

OEMBIOS.SI_

winnt.sif

Edited by Bezalel
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hi, can you explain this with more detail? i have xphome on my laptop and on each install it has to be activated which is kind of a pain, are you saying that i wouldnt have to keep activating it? thanks

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Theres a problem with your theory cause the windows activation also reads your PID number. The Windows PID is a unique code identifying your version of Windows and it is also used to identify your hardware setup. So if you install it on another system with a totally different hardware setup then the PID would be different.

Or am I wrong?

Edited by phatcat42141
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Theres a problem with your theory cause the windows activation also reads your PID number.

Windows Activation only checks the PID is the BIOS checks fails. Royalty OEMs don't use unique keys because their machines don't have to be activated.

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hi, can you explain this with more detail? i have xphome on my laptop and on each install it has to be activated which is kind of a pain, are you saying that i wouldnt have to keep activating it? thanks

If your laptop was mande by a Royalty OEM (the COA sticker hase manufacturer's name or logo) and you also have access to the Windows intallation bits (hologrammed OEM CD) you can use these files to recreate the OEMBIOS files and extract the CD-Key origionally used by the manufacturer to install windows. A Windows CD made with these files will not require activation when used on the computer the files were extracted from (or other computers of the same make).

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So if I have a bunch of OEM machines(Dell, HP, Gateway, etc), and I'm creating an image for those machines, I can use the Product Key located in their WINNT.SIF from the Recovery CD instead of the Key on the sticker?

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So if I have a bunch of OEM machines(Dell, HP, Gateway, etc), and I'm creating an image for those machines, I can use the Product Key located in their WINNT.SIF from the Recovery CD instead of the Key on the sticker?

In that case you already have to OEMBIOS files. And yes you can use the key in winnt.sif as long as your target machine will pass the BIOS check.

You cannot use the same image for multiple manufacturers and still preserve the activation. (I'm working on that but am not ready to discuss any details.)

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Windows Activation only checks the PID is the BIOS checks fails. Royalty OEMs don't use unique keys because their machines don't have to be activated.

Thanks for that reply. I never knew that.

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Hello

this method don't work anymore with XP and service pack only with rtm

i have tested it without success under xp pro sp1 and sp2

Good idea but i was really simple when xp had no activation !!

++

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Indeed, this Method DOES work with Windows XP sp1 slipstreamed to sp2. I just did it a couple of times today.

But it may work only for Royalty OEM computers.

At any rate, my (successful) case was as follow: Toshiba laptop shipped with xp home sp1 on a recovery cd (ghost image) only. I extracted back the image and then slipstream sp2 and latest hotfixes in the i386 folder of the hard drive, before doing the usual unattend preparation things (among them this method to recover activation) and burning back a fresh CD. Installed and no need to activate (no network so i'm sure it did not activated in my back).

The important point to get (at least the one at which I was stuck for a while because it is not explained in the unattended guide) is that not only do you need those oembios files, but also the CORRESPONDING product key, which may NOT be the one written on the sticker on your computer but ANOTHER one which is coded in the registry.

That is why that getkey.vbs is the important script to RETREIVE the GOOD product key to put in your winnt.sif. And not the dummy one from the sticker.

So to get it, you must be running the original os from the recovery CD and not any installation you may have done later.

@KRYOGENIUS: No offense, but before posting such information you should check it better and not only beleive/propagate the rumor. Or at least be less affirmative (Journalists do also like rumors but they carefully use conditional). I almost gave up because of such posting as yours but thanks to my not liking undocumented statements, I eventually managed.

Edited by Djé
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Thanks for your clarification. When I wrote pre-activated I meant Royalty OEM. I've had mixed results when using the key on the sticker but it always works with the key in the registry, that's why I wrote getkey.vbs (I did not write or know who wrote the getkey function). I've used this method for Home, MCE2005, TabletPC2005, Pro, and Server. BTW the OEMBIOS files for MCE2005, TabletPC2005, and Pro are interchangable and the product keys are interchangable between brands. You can also use the keys found on http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechn...oy/wpadepl.mspx and http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechn...y/oempreac.mspx.

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Bezalel :thumbup

Thanks for getting me closer with that for my MCE 2005

You just cleared it up for me what I needed for no activation BS although my Pid will be ok since this is legit.

1st Step was since i don't have a Royalty OEM MCE 2005 CD

Gain access to HP_RECOVERY partition, done

Now have access to all the files so I can copy the I386.

Will be a lot of cleaning up in there though to remove the 40 games, limited Office, and other junk I don't want.

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Ok done this on my MCE 2005 HP a1310n and went to WU and it told me welllll it looks ok but answer 20? first

What does coa say, what type PC, manufacturer and so on and I left.

Well answer for me was

copy original SETUPP.INI from I386 and add all the Hotfixes for MCE

I'm activated now as soon as I do all that Genuine Advantage stuff

Another UnattendXPPro sucessfull Install

Edited by maxXPsoft
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Couple of quick questions...

I'm going to need to reload Windows on a laptop for my wife's work. This particular laptop has passed through many hands, and the original Windows install CD (along with all the software install CD's, I assume) is long gone. I don't presently know the manufacturer of the laptop, but based on the fact that it's a laptop I assume it's going to be a Royalty OEM.

Question 1 - I have OEM windows installs for both Home and Professional from Royalty OEM #1. Do I just need to substitute the four OEMBIOS files and the product key to make a Royalty OEM #2 CD?

Question 2 - is there any certain advantage to using the getkey.vbs file, or can I just use the Magical Jellybean Keyfinder to get the product key?

Thanks in advance.

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I used an MCE 2 CD set that was not manufacturer specific ; Dell, HP

Mine is a HP but just adding those files and getting all the Hotfixes for Media Center Edition worked for me.

And benefit is NO 40 games they want you to pay for and Trial versions of a bunch of stuff I don't use.

Mine squeaky clean

His getkey.vbs works and makes the basic Winnt.sif which is good for beginner's, yes you can use JellyBean

Edited by maxXPsoft
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I agree with maxXPsoft.

1. You only need the 4 files & the key. If the system on the computer is still the original one, you can use this method (provided the Royalty thing).

2. getkey.vbs works fine. Don't know about the other. But hey, it's not bad to have a confirmation: try both!

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I don't presently know the manufacturer of the laptop, but based on the fact that it's a laptop I assume it's going to be a Royalty OEM.

Take a look at the COA Sticker. If it has the manufacturers name it's a Royalty OEM, if it say "OEM Product" it's not.

Question 1 - I have OEM windows installs for both Home and Professional from Royalty OEM #1. Do I just need to substitute the four OEMBIOS files and the product key to make a Royalty OEM #2 CD?

It is possible that OEM #1 made other changes to the CD but the basic answer is yes

Question 2 - is there any certain advantage to using the getkey.vbs file, or can I just use the Magical Jellybean Keyfinder to get the product key?

In addition to finding the key I create a basic winnt.sif (just enough to enter the key). If you already have a customized winnt.sif you can use either method to find the key. (I used Magical JellyBean KeyFinder to verify my scripts.)

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@dj`e

Very Interesting, I also have a toshiba tecra m2 laptop and wish to do the same as yourself, after you created the new Cd how did you install the toshiba drivers ect

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after you created the new Cd how did you install the toshiba drivers ect

That was a bit of work:

I took the 'Drivers & utilities' CD and copied it to my HD.

Then I went to Toshiba's website and upgraded the above tools and drivers with the last versions when available.

For each of them, I then looked if there were an .inf file to install the drivers.

- If found, I made a folder under $OEM$\drivers\ with all the necessary files for that driver (including the .inf & the .cat) and added the folder path to the 'OemPnPDriversPath' directive in the [unattended] section of 'winnt.sif'. See the guide for more details.

- For the remaining ones, comming only with an .exe, I made a custom kTool file (you can use a batch, WPI, or whatever) to install them unattendedly at T12 (after having made silent installs using the -R switch & the setup.iss file).

Unfortunately some of them still complain when installed this way and message boxes appears with errors.

After trying different solutions (T12, RunOnceEx) for each of these problematic progs, I found out that despite these messages, they do get installed properly: the messages are in fact related to the 'running' of the progs which is automatically launched after the install (no way to prevent this) but don't work before the desktop is fully loaded or collide with the 'Run' reg key setup by these progs.

So I just install them @T12 and don't look at the message boxes ! I prefer to have the ugly things occur at this early stage and have my RunOnceEx clean, without any error message.

[Edit] Also, for some of the 'drivers & utilities', I simply did not install anything! Just because they are useless bull$hit...

Edited by Djé
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@ Djé

Many thanks, just one last question i also have the I386 folder, but do not have the setup.exe,setupxp.htm,win51,win51ip files.... who did you overcome this?

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you only need the win51 file and its siblings. Others are useless.

Search the forum for posts with win51 in the title and you'll have the recipe to make them.

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@ Djé - Many thanks for your help - I did not find the files themselfs but i understand that the files are only a text file with the work windows in them and saved as win51 & win51ip in my case as i have Windows XP Pro.

Just to confirm you say i will not need the setup.exe file then that is found at the root of the CD

Thanks Again

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Be careful: I think you have to have a 'space' and 'enter' (or vice-versa) after the word (which as to be spelled correctly, case sentive maybe).

If you slipstream sp2 after the extraction of I386, you may not even need to write them, as they may be generated automatically by the slipstreaming process.

On the other hand, if your CD has allready sp2 included and you don't slipstreaming anything, you'll have to write a 3rd file (win51ip.sp2 ?).

The Setup.exe at the root is just the launcher thing showing-up when you insert the CD under windows, asking you what you want to do.

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i have a little problem and wonder if this method could help,

i have a HP LS1200 MCE system which went bang due to my kids and putting/spilling a drink on it

as my system is dead and out of warrenty i was wondering could i use a method like this to use my recovery disk on another machine as i like MCE2005 ?

i know the hardware would be different but is it possible as i own the software could i bastardise it to use on another machine ?

if it is possible could someone explain in plain laymens terms how im not too clued up on this sort of thing

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@ Djé

Many thanks, just one last question i also have the I386 folder, but do not have the setup.exe,setupxp.htm,win51,win51ip files.... who did you overcome this?

I simply re slip the i386 dir usin NLite & that will give you all the add files & subfolders you need inc the setup.exe etc.

Cheers

MC.

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