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Does OEM partition stores the serial key which is grabbed by the Win 7 setup done from the disk provided with laptop.

I realized that when you install clean system from Windows 7 disk you get with laptop, it grabs the serial key or it doesn't ask one. So from where it gets that serial key. Is it the OEM partition or anything else? Or the recovery partition stores the key?

What all the things these two partitions do store in them?

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Where do these keys come from?
These keys were retrieved from OEM SLP systems that are being sold by the big OEM vendors.


OEM SLP Keys:

  • OEM SLP (System-Locked Pre-installation) keys are only issued to the big manufacturers such as Dell, Asus, Sony, etc.

  • These are the only keys that are able to bypass activation that is, perform offline activation without contacting Microsoft.

  • They will work with any OEM SLP system, regardless of the OEM system's brand i.e. Product Keys are not brand specific.


What is SLP 2.0?
This mechanism referred as 'SLP 2.0' ('system-locked pre-installation 2.0') consists in THREE (3) elements:

  • The OEM's hardware-embedded BIOS ACPI_SLIC information signed by Microsoft

Toshiba = “TOSQCITOSQCI00?
HEX: 54 4F 53 51 43 49 54 4F 53 51 43 49 30 30

  • A certificate issued by Microsoft that corresponds to the specific ACPI_SLIC information. Something like oemname.xrm-ms.

  • A special type of product key that corresponds to the installed edition of Windows.


Is the OEM SLP license mechanism a crack?
There is no cracking here; the OEM SLP license mechanism was created by MS and is completely legitimate.


More information can be found : SLP Systems on Wikipedia

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Do this SLPs are stored in restore partition? –  Mahesha999 Sep 5 '12 at 9:46
    
@Mahesha999 They are generic keys slip streamed in the installation itself. If the installation happens from a recovery partition it exists there, or it exists on the installation DVD / media. It activates offline with a combination of hardware + product key. BTW u can also slip stream product keys on installation media. Click the link to see how its integrated and how it is stored : forums.mydigitallife.info/threads/6960-Tutorial-OEM-DVD –  aliasgar Sep 5 '12 at 10:51
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@Mahesha999 - In a around about way it is. There should still be a sticker with the unique user key on the case since that is still a requirement from Microsoft. –  Ramhound Sep 5 '12 at 10:58
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