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waves

Problem with Dell OEM Activation

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I created an xp slipstream with my dell oem cd last year. Since then I have reloaded windows on many of my friends machines without a problem. I always had to reactivate, but I simply put in their product code from the side of their pc and activated right over the net. Recently, I have had to call microsoft on 2 occasions. Does anyone know why this is happening? Is there a way that I can avoid calling, and just activate over the net like I used to? My slipstream is fully automated. I use a generic product key given by microsoft, and at the end of the install, it asks me to activate. I plug in the product key, and it says thank you for activating. Did microsoft do away with this option? I don't want to have to call every time. I want to be able to enter the product key and be done. Thanks.

Edited by waves
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I created an xp slipstream with my dell oem cd last year. Since then I have reloaded windows on many of my friends machines without a problem. I always had to reactivate, but I simply put in their product code from the side of their pc and activated right over the net. Recently, I have had to call microsoft on 2 occasions. Does anyone know why this is happening? Is there a way that I can avoid calling, and just activate over the net like I used to? My slipstream is fully automated. I use a generic product key given by microsoft, and at the end of the install, it asks me to activate. I plug in the product key, and it says thank you for activating. Did microsoft do away with this option? I don't want to have to call every time. I want to be able to enter the product key and be done. Thanks.

If your freinds have PCs made by Royalty OEMs (The COA will have the OEM name instead of "OEM Product") you will not be able to activate them online. This change was implemented begining in Feb 2005. Instead of using your Dell CD why don't you make one CD per manufacturer. Take a look at http://www.msfn.org/board/index.php?showtopic=63258 for more details.

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Are you saying that if my friend has an hp with windows xp pre loaded, that I can never activate it online with a slipstream cd? What if I have a volume license or hacked copy of xp? Does it also reject these? I don't have either, but I am just wondering if it will reject everything except it's own that it came with.

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Hi Waves,

There are two issues here, the XP OS install files you use and the product key used to activate.

Many royality OEM versions of XP are BIOS locked to the specific PC they were intended for. You can get some indication if this may be the case with a specific PC by checking for files such as:

%SystemRoot%\system32\OEMBIOS.BIN

%SystemRoot%\system32\OEMBIOS.DAT

%SystemRoot%\system32\OEMBIOS.SIG

If these are present then the Royality XP is probably BIOS locked. You need to use the specific OEM XP CD with this PC or build your own using these files.

More information on this can be found here:

http://www.msfn.org/board/lofiversion/index.php/t63258.html

The second issue is the product key used. You may have to use the product key on the XP sticker attached to the OEM PC rather than the key used previously by the OEM for activation.

Many of the OEM preinstallation product keys are now blocked from activation due to abuse.

The product id on the XP sticker should work (assuming you have the correct OEM files on your installation CD) assuming this has also not been abused by overuse.

The last resort is telephone activation which should be fairly quick and free.

Kind Regards

Simon

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Hello

You have also OEMBIOS.CAT to considere !

++

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I quickly read through what you recommended. Does this mean I need to create a slipstream cd for each pc manufacturer? Let's say I make a dell cd, hp cd, compaq cd, gateway cd, etc, and then I use each one on a pc made by that brand. Will this eliminate the activation? Doesn't the hardware still have to be the same? For example, I make a gateway slipstream cd. I use it on a gateway pc to reformat. Will it always work on every gateway, or does the hardware still have to be the same? I am confused. I used to be able to run my dell slipstream on any pc, and then simply type in the product key on the side of the pc, and it would work. That doesn't work anymore. I have to call now, which takes time and explaining which I would like to avoid. Thanks.

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All installation of Windows XP should have the OEMBIOS files. On retail copys these can be deleted but if you delete them on a SLP Pre-Activated computer you will lose the Pre-Activation.

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I don't care about pre activation unless I can make a "dell" unattended cd that works on all dells, and an hp that works on all hp's, etc. Can this be done? If not, I just want the product key to be able to activate without calling.

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I have made a Dell cd that seems to work (on two different 8xxx dimension models).

I have slipstreamed and had XPCreate do it's magic to it.

Two techniques I've used.... I managed to obtain the original Dell Windows CD (a feat not for mere mortals :) )

Using the winnt.sif's install code from that, put that in MY WINNT.SIF ....

The CD Installed and didn't need activating !!!!

Might try this on other Dells for the heck of it. Not sure how similar the BIOSs have to be.

----------------------

The other technique I've used.... regular OEM version of windows, plus code from sticker on compuer case put into WINNT.SIF.

Windows installs. Activation is required. Internet activation fails. Phone call to MS gets it activated.

-----------------------

So if you use the code on the sticker.... (per Bezalel, my experience, and other places I've read), you will have to call MS.

I've used an SP1 CD (cd name is XP2_PER_ENG) with the code from it's winnt.sif in my winnt.sif file, with my slip streaming.

The result... No activation.

Same CD (well DVD really :) ) used on two different Dells, both installed fine, and did not whine about activation! (Both XP Home)

I must say that the two different Dells were very similar. Not sure if it will work on other units.

---------------------------

Thank you PsiMoon314 and KRYOGENIUS for stating which files were the OEM locked ones..... I've tried that "google is your friend" busines as well as keyword searches here, and could not bring it up.

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You can use the Dell OEM CD on Dell, HP, Compaq, IBM etc if you have the OEM Bios files from the XP SP2 cd from the hardware specific manufacturer. Simply install the Dell OEM CD on the HP (or other manufacturer) and after it is up (and not connected to the network) copy in the 4 OEMBios files from the HP CD (or other Manufacturer) to the Window directories. The key is that the OEMBIOS files contain the SLP to validate with the Bios.

C:\WINDOWS\system32\dllcache\OEMBIOS.*

C:\WINDOWS\system32\oembios.bin

C:\WINDOWS\system32\oembios.dat

C:\WINDOWS\system32\oembios.sig

C:\WINDOWS\system32\CatRoot\{F750E6C3-38EE-11D1-85E5-00C04FC295EE}\OEMBIOS.CAT

and then do part II of http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechn...y/oempreac.mspx

and you are activated. I have done this many times without issue.

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You can use the Dell OEM CD on Dell, HP, Compaq, IBM etc if you have the OEM Bios files from the XP SP2 cd from the hardware specific manufacturer. Simply install the Dell OEM CD on the HP (or other manufacturer) and after it is up (and not connected to the network) copy in the 4 OEMBios files from the HP CD (or other Manufacturer) to the Window directories.

There is an issue with this method. If the user ever runs SFC manually they will be prompted for the Dell OEMBIOS files. I haven't figured out yet how Windows knows that the files were changed, the replacement files are digitally signed by MS and they are present in the dllcache.

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You mention that this is exactly what the other post is about. So, to comfirm, if I create a cd with hp oembios files and product key, it will work on all hp pc's with no other alterations and no activation will be needed? And this would go for all other pc manufacturers as well?

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waves,

Actually what I do for hp is install the OS with the Dell OEM CD and then migrate the HP oembios files and then put in the OEM key in this link http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechn...y/oempreac.mspx in the %SYSTEMROOT%\system32\oobe\oobeinfo.ini. I don't care about the Key installed with. and how offen will someone run SFC. (I am working on a work around for that).

You can create a cd with the OEMBios files on it and use section "IV. Unattended Install" of document http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechn...y/oempreac.mspx which does work, I think you have to make sure that the setupp.ini is correct. You just have to make sure you have the Royalty Oem from HP and not just a straight OEM. Also make sure it is disconnected from the network after OS install so that the activation cannot occur.

:thumbup

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I am not too familiar with SFC. How do you run it? I agree that the average user would never run SFC. If I understand correctly, the above method works as long as SFC is not run. If it is run, what needs to be done?

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