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Where are the activation file stored? Eg when you enter your Serial number, and then activate via the internet or phone, where are the resulting file stored?

The reason im asking this question, is that I want to use the same boot media for 2 PCs, with 2 different licenses.

Assume this: I install a complete windows 7 installation on a portable drive. When imputting this in PC1, it will demand activation for PC1. Moving this to PC2, the activation for PC1 will be invalid. If I then input the CD-key for PC2, the PC2 will be sucessfully activated.

The problem is that too many activations will disable the CD-key, even tough the activation are done on the same hardware everytime., so activating PC1 with CDkey1, then activating PC2 with CDkey2, and then PC1 with CDkey1, and then PC2 with CDkey2 over and over and over again, in the end microsoft will block CDkey1 and CDkey2 for too many activations, even tough the licenses did not actually move to different hardware.

So the idea is to successfully activate PC1 (with CD-key for PC1), and then save the activation file somewhere safe. Then activate on PC2 (with CD-key for PC2) and then save this file somewhere safe.

After this, I can do a script, which will invoke slmgr.vbs -ipk XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX (with the correct CD-key for the PC in question), and then copy the correct activation file back into its correct location, which will instantly activate the PC in question.

So like, lets say I have 2 hard-drive less PC, and one portable drive with Windows 7 installed.

PC1 has serial number ABCDE-ABCDE-ABCDE-ABCDE-ABCDE PC2 has serial number FFFFF-FFFFF-FFFFF-FFFFF-FFFFF

For PC1, I set the serial number to ABCDE-ABCDE-ABCDE-ABCDE-ABCDE and then activate it over internet or phone. Then I want to save the file to lets say PC1.activation

For PC2, I set the serial number to FFFFF-FFFFF-FFFFF-FFFFF-FFFFF and then activate it over internet or phone. Then I want to save the file to lets say PC2.activation

Then I put a script in bootup, that will detect if its booted on PC1 or PC2, and thus run slmgr.vbs -ipk XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX and then copy the correct file (PC1.activation or PC2.activation) to the correct location, resulting in a valid activation.

So the question is: Where are the activation file stored?

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Does microsoft not compare the code to the MAC address? –  Ben Plont Jul 8 '13 at 4:41
    
Yes it does, but the result of the comparation is stored in like a encrypted blob in some file somewhere. Thats why you don't have to activate every day, only activate once and then its activated. The problem is that if I change PC from PC1 to PC2, and it need a reactivation, if I then slmgr the CD key of the PC2, the activation file of PC1 will be overwritten. Thats why I need to move out the activation file of PC1 Before activating PC2. –  sebastian nielsen Jul 8 '13 at 6:51
    
The simple solution is to disconnect both from the internet, change the license to both, then activate both by phone. –  Ramhound Jul 8 '13 at 11:43
    
As you understand, I intend to run the same drive for 2 computers. Activating the second computer will overwrite the activation for the first computer. –  sebastian nielsen Jul 10 '13 at 0:21
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1 Answer

up vote 3 down vote accepted

These instructions are taken from this MyDigititalLife.info article for "How to Backup and Restore Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 Activation Status (Activate Offline On Reinstall)". It should give you the basic steps that you will need to perform when switching back and forth, you may be able to automate this some how too with some basic scripting.

1. Copy and save or backup the following activation-related files to external storage medium such as USB flash drive or portable hard disk drive:

%SystemDrive%\Windows\ServiceProfiles\NetWorkService\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\SoftwarePlatform\Tokens.dat

and,

%SystemDrive%\Windows\System32\spp\tokens\pkeyconfig\pkeyconfig.xrm-ms

Note: For 64-bit (x64) OS, %SystemDrive%\Windows\SysWOW64\spp\tokens\pkeyconfig\pkeyconfig.xrm-ms have to be backed up too.

2. Retrieve and record the product key used to install and activate the current Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2.

Tip: If you can’t remember the product key used, there is plenty of product key viewers available to help.

3. Reinstall Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2. When installation wizard prompts for a product key for activation, leave it blank (do not enter anything).

4. In the newly installed Windows operating system, stop the Software Protection Service in Services.msc or with the following command (run in elevated command prompt):

net stop sppsvc 

5. Navigate to the following folder:

%SystemDrive%\Windows\System32\spp\tokens\pkeyconfig\

Note: In 64-bit (x64) operating system, also perform the action in %SystemDrive%\Windows\SysWOW64\spp\tokens\pkeyconfig\ folder.

6. Take ownership and give user full control permissions (alternatively add grant full control right click menu item) to pkeyconfig.xrm-ms file.

7. Delete the original default pkeyconfig.xrm-ms file, and replace with the backup copy.

8. Navigate to the following folder:

%SystemDrive%\Windows\ServiceProfiles\NetWorkService\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\SoftwarePlatform\ 

9. Take ownership and give user full control permissions (alternatively add grant full control right click menu item) to tokens.dat file.

10. Delete the original default tokens.dat file, and replace with the backup copy.

11. Restart the Software Protection Service in Services.msc or with the following command (run in elevated command prompt):

net start sppsvc 

12. Register the product key for Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 with the following command (run in elevated command prompt):

slmgr.vbs -ipk xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx

Replace xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx with the actual product key.

13. Windows will activated instantly, off-line. To check activation status, uses of of the following commands:

  slmgr.vbs -dlv 
  slmgr.vbs -dli 
  slmgr.vbs -ato
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