Technical Details on Microsoft Product Activation for Windows XP. Updated: August 1. Software piracy is a worldwide problem which negatively impacts software developers, resellers, support professionals, and most importantly, consumers. One form of piracy, estimated to be as high as 5.
- Thanks for the help. I ended up on the phone with microsoft, who after making me jump through some hoops sent me to tech support. We tried all sorts of various tricks (including the one you mentioned above), all.
- Conclusions. Microsoft believes that product activation will be successful at deterring the casual copier, thereby reducing the piracy of Windows XP. Product activation achieves this goal by implementing a.
- Support for Windows XP has ended. Microsoft ended support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014. This change has affected your software updates and security options. Learn what this means for you and how to stay protected.
Casual copying is the sharing and installation of software on multiple PCs in violation of the software's end user license agreement (EULA). Microsoft has developed product activation as one solution to reduce this form of piracy.
Some of the programs and features that were part of the previous versions of Windows did not make it to Windows XP. CD Player, DVD Player, and Imaging for Windows are replaced with Windows Picture and Fax Viewer, Windows Media. Microsoft has announced the Windows XP end of support date of April 8, 2014. After this date, Windows XP will no longer be a supported operating system*. To help organizations complete their migrations, Microsoft. Activation helps verify that Windows on your PC is genuine and hasn’t been used on more PCs than the Microsoft Software License Terms allow. To activate, you’ll need a product key for the version of Windows that’s on. Due to piracy and other forms of unauthorized use, users cannot always be sure that they have a genuine copy of Windows XP. The goal of product activation is to reduce a form of piracy known as casual copying or 'softlifting.
Product activation uses several methods and technologies to help achieve Microsoft's goals of protecting intellectual property rights by making it easy for users to comply with the terms of the EULA and reducing software piracy. In order to help customers and partners better understand the technologies used by product activation, and their unobtrusive and anonymous nature, we will outline in this bulletin: How activation works for Windows XP acquired through: A PC manufacturer (OEM)A retail store (where customers buy "boxed" software product)A volume licensing agreement (customers who acquire their licenses through programs such as Microsoft Open, Enterprise, or Select licensing).
How the hardware hash component of the installation ID is created and the scenarios in which a copy of Windows XP may have to be re- activated due to a substantial hardware modification. For a more general overview on the basics of product activation please see http: //www.
Additionally, this document contains some technical concepts. Pointers to reference material covering certain technical concepts are included in the appendix. Information contained in this document represents product activation in Windows XP as of the document's date of publication. On This Page. Product Activation and volume licenses.
Product Activation and new pre- loaded PCs. Product Activation and retail boxed software product. Modifications to hardware and how they affect the activation status of Windows XPConclusions. Appendix A: This bulletin and Microsoft Product Activation for Office XP Family Products. Appendix B: Technologies used in Product Activation. Product Activation and volume licenses.
Windows XP upgrade licenses acquired through one of Microsoft's volume licensing agreements, such as Microsoft Open License, Enterprise Agreement, or Select License, will not require activation. Installations of Windows XP made using volume licensing media and volume license product keys (VLKs) will have no activation, hardware checking, or limitations on installation or imaging. Product Activation and new pre- loaded PCs. The majority of customers acquire Windows with the purchase of a new computer, and most new computers pre- loaded with Windows XP will not require activation at all.
Microsoft provides OEMs with the ability to "pre- activate" Windows XP in the factory and estimates that upwards of 8. PCs will be delivered to the customer pre- activated."Pre- activation" of Windows XP by the OEMs will be done in one of two different ways depending on the OEM's own configuration options and choices. Some OEMs may protect Windows XP using a mechanism which locks the installation to OEM- specified BIOS information in the PC. This technology works very similar to existing technologies that many OEMs have used over the years with the CDs they ship to reinstall Windows on these computers.
We expanded and integrated the existing OEM CD BIOS locking mechanism with product activation, and call this method of protection "System Locked Pre- installation," or SLP. Successfully implemented, SLP uses information stored in an OEM PC's BIOS to protect the installation from casual piracy.
No communication by the end customer to Microsoft is required and no hardware hash is created or necessary. At boot, Windows XP compares the PC's BIOS to the SLP information.
If it matches, no activation is required. Every single piece of hardware could be changed on a PC with SLP and no reactivation would be required â€” even the motherboard could be replaced as long as the replacement motherboard was original equipment manufactured by the OEM and retained the proper BIOS. In the unlikely scenario that the BIOS information does not match, the PC would need to be activated within 3. Microsoft activation center via the Internet or telephone call â€” just as in a retail scenario.
OEMs may also activate Windows XP by contacting Microsoft in the same way the consumer would activate. Activation done in this way is the same as activating a retail boxed version of Windows XP. This is discussed in more detail further below. For OEMs who do not employ either of the above two methods of pre- activation, a new PC acquired with Windows XP preinstalled must be activated by the customer. This activation is completed in the exact same way as would someone who acquired Windows XP by purchasing a boxed version at a retailer.
Product Activation and retail boxed software product. Product activation relies on the submission of the Installation ID. The Installation ID is specifically designed to guarantee anonymity and is only used by Microsoft to deter piracy. The Installation ID is comprised of two different pieces of information â€” the product ID and a hardware hash (a hash is a numeric value derived through a mathematical formula and based upon some other, original value). The product ID is unique to the installation of Windows and is created from the product key used during installation. Each product key delivered with retail boxed software is unique, and the product ID it creates is unique.
Microsoft uses the product ID for other purposes in addition to product activation such as when requesting product support. The product ID can be found by viewing the Properties of My Computer (an example of a product ID is 1. The hardware hash is an eight byte value that is created by running 1. PC's hardware components through a one- way mathematical transformation This means that the resultant hash value cannot be backwards calculated to determine the original values.
Further, only a portion of the resulting hash value is used in the hardware hash in order to ensure complete anonymity. Example A processor serial number is 9. When hashed, the resultant one- way hash is 1. Microsoft uses only six bits from that resultant hash in activation's hardware hash. Due to the nature of the hashing algorithm, those six bits cannot be backwards calculated to determine anything at all about the original processor serial number. Moreover, six bits represent 6.
There were over 1. PCs sold last year worldwide. From those 1. 00 million PCs sold, only 6. Microsoft developed the hardware hash in this way in order to maintain the user's privacy. Additionally, whether or not the PC can be put into a docking station or accepts PCMCIA cards is also determined (the possibility of a docking station or PCMCIA cards existing means that hardware may disappear or seem changed when those devices are not present).
Finally, the hardware hash algorithm has a version number. Together with the general nature of the other values used, two different PCs could actually create the same hardware hash. The 1. 0 different hardware values used to create the hash are outlined in the table below: Table 1 Hardware hash component values. Component Name. Example Hash Value (#o of bits)1. Display Adapter. 00. SCSI Adapter. 00.
IDE Adapter. 00. 11 (4)4. Network Adapter MAC Address. RAM Amount Range (i. Processor Type. 01. Processor Serial Number. Hard Drive Device.
Hard Drive Volume Serial Number. CDâ€”ROM / CD- RW / DVD- ROM0. Dockable"0 (1)- Hardware Hash version (version of algorithm used)0. The product ID (nine bytes) and hardware hash (eight bytes) are used by Microsoft to process the activation request.
When activation is done over the Internet, these two values form the Installation ID (in a binary format) and are sent along with request header information directly through secure sockets (SSL in HTTP) to the Microsoft activation system in a binary format. There are three communications made to complete Internet activation: Handshake request: Contains product ID, hardware hash, and request header data such as request ID (for linking the handshake, request, and acknowledgement) and activation technology version. License request: Contains product ID, hardware hash, and customer data structure for holding voluntary registration information if provided. If registration is skipped, this structure is empty. Also contains request header data such as request ID and the PKCS1.
The PKCS1. 0 structure can vary slightly based on the inclusion of voluntary registration information; about 2. Acknowledgement request: Contains certificate ID (returned to user's machine after license request), issue date, and error code. If Internet activation is successful, the activation confirmation is sent directly back to the user's PC as a digital certificate. This certificate is digitally signed by Microsoft so that it cannot be altered or counterfeited. The confirmation packet returned as part of Internet activation is approximately 9 kbytes in size (the digital certificate chain accounts for most of the confirmation data packet size).
If activation is done by telephoning a customer service representative, the product ID and hardware hash are automatically displayed to the user as the Installation ID; a 5. The encoding encrypts the data so that it cannot be altered and provides check digits to help aid in error handling. Telephone activation is a four step process: Selecting the country from which the call is being made so that an appropriate phone number can be shown in the product UI. Dialing the phone number. Providing the Installation ID to the customer service representative. Entering the Confirmation ID provided by the customer service representative.
The confirmation ID is a 4. Both the installation ID and confirmation ID are displayed to the user in easily understandable segments in the product UI.