"Hybrid" install of XP


S

Sybr

I did a test install of XP Home with these parameters:

PC: Gateway Thrasher (about 6 years old)
XP Install CD: from a Dell Dimension 4550
XP Activation Key: from a Dell Inspiron Laptop

The install worked, activation worked, and the Microsoft utility
MGADiag.exe shows validation as a Genuine copy.

So how is this possible? I thought OEM install CD's, and OEM stickers
with Activation Keys - are machine and brand specific. What gives?
 
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B

Ben Myers

Sybr said:
I did a test install of XP Home with these parameters:

PC: Gateway Thrasher (about 6 years old)
XP Install CD: from a Dell Dimension 4550
XP Activation Key: from a Dell Inspiron Laptop

The install worked, activation worked, and the Microsoft utility
MGADiag.exe shows validation as a Genuine copy.

So how is this possible? I thought OEM install CD's, and OEM stickers
with Activation Keys - are machine and brand specific. What gives?
I thought that the product keys were brand specific. In fact, they are,
because the vendor's name appears right there on the sticker. What you
have done implies that Microsoft does not check product keys down to the
last bit of detail, namely brand and model.

Absent a manufacturer-specific XP install CD, I use the Dell SP2 one
(Home or Pro to match the sticker), change the key with Keyfinder to
match the sticker, and never have a problem with product activation.
Saves a lot of time to do this, too. For example, Lenovo's laptops have
a four (or is it five?) CD set to run though, grinding away for about an
hour. With the Dell install CD plus a memory stick containing the
hardware drivers, I can get the system up and running real fast and
without any crapware... Ben Myers
 
S

Sybr

"what he has done is shown that dell oem product key can be used to
activate dell oem branded copy of windows installed on non dell
hardware."  Agreed... Ben- Hide quoted text -

- Show quoted text -
"what he has done is shown that dell oem product key can be used to
activate dell oem branded copy of windows installed on non dell
hardware."

Right. And I didn't think this was possible.

Maybe because XP is 8 years old - and two generations away from their
current home PC OS - Micro$oft just isn't that vigilant in checking
the fine details of an XP Activation?
 
S

Shenan Stanley

Sybr said:
I did a test install of XP Home with these parameters:

PC: Gateway Thrasher (about 6 years old)
XP Install CD: from a Dell Dimension 4550
XP Activation Key: from a Dell Inspiron Laptop

The install worked, activation worked, and the Microsoft utility
MGADiag.exe shows validation as a Genuine copy.

So how is this possible? I thought OEM install CD's, and OEM
stickers with Activation Keys - are machine and brand specific.
What gives?
Ben said:
I thought that the product keys were brand specific. In fact, they are,
because the vendor's name appears right there on the sticker. What you
have done implies that Microsoft does not check product keys down to the
last bit of detail, namely brand and model.

Absent a manufacturer-specific XP install CD, I use the Dell SP2 one
(Home or Pro to match the sticker), change the key with Keyfinder to
match the sticker, and never have a problem with product activation.
Saves a lot of time to do this, too. For example, Lenovo's laptops have
a four (or is it five?) CD set to run though, grinding away for about an
hour. With the Dell install CD plus a memory stick containing the
hardware drivers, I can get the system up and running real fast and
without any crapware...
Christopher said:
no, what he has done is shown that dell oem product key can be used
to activate dell oem branded copy of windows installed on non dell
hardware. i have seen other oem product keys successfully activate
with various different brand oem copies of windows, but some oem
branded windows installation cds plainly refuse to install on other
vendors hardware. also oem product codes will not work with retail
windows cds and vice versa. and there are other circumstances
regarding product key incompatibility but it is all sort of
academic because it implies non intended uses.
Right. And I didn't think this was possible.

Maybe because XP is 8 years old - and two generations away from
their current home PC OS - Micro$oft just isn't that vigilant in
checking the fine details of an XP Activation?
Not so sure what you think you discovered...

Actually - most Dell installation CDs I have seen have been pretty generic
ones. The number of ebay'd and otherwise sold Dell installation CDs could
have done that work for you (didn't say it was legitimate, just that it
could be done.)

You could have also proven that a product key on the side of a Dell computer
will work with a generic Windows XP OEM CD. It'll activate too.

Oh - and if you have Windows CD you could wait 120-180 days and install it
on another computer and activate it over the Internet, no problem.

Or if you install the same copy/product key on several machines and activate
them all within a little bit of time (not sure what that little bit of time
was/if anyone ever actually put a number to it) you would have successfully
activated that single copy over the Internet on several machines.

Or if you called and lied - you could activate over the phone an OEM copy
that was previously installed on another machine.

I don't recall anyone ever saying anything you seemed to have assumed.

OEM keys work with OEM media (Windows XP.)
Retail keys work with Retail media (Windows XP.)
Upgrade keys work with Upgrade media (Windows XP.)
Volume License keys work with Volume License media (Windows XP.)

But you can change the type of the media (editing one file) so it will
accept another type of key. You can customize the media so it has SP3 and
most post-SP3 updates integrated. You can automate the install with the
editing of a single file so it automatically uses a certain key and/or does
a whole host of other things during the installation.

There's not a lot of mystery left behind the Windows XP CD and product
key/activation. ;-)

And why you would use a third party product to change the Windows XP product
key after the install is beyond me - when Microsoft provides such a tool for
free... http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=50346&clcid=0x409
 
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B

Bruce Chambers

Sybr said:
"what he has done is shown that dell oem product key can be used to
activate dell oem branded copy of windows installed on non dell
hardware."

Right. And I didn't think this was possible.

Maybe because XP is 8 years old - and two generations away from their
current home PC OS - Micro$oft just isn't that vigilant in checking
the fine details of an XP Activation?

No, it's quite not that. The OEM WinXP installation CDs that Dell
first distributed with their computers weren't BIOS-locked. That's why
eBay was flooded with illicit sales of Dell OEM disks that worked on
just about anything. Dell changed this practice eventually (after a
couple years, that is), but there are still a lot of the old CDs around.


--

Bruce Chambers

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