Windows 7 Ultimate cracked and activated with OEM master key

Windows 7 has yet to even be released officially to the general public, and already the dodgy folk on the Internet have fully cracked and activated the Ultimate version, with help from a leaked Lenovo OEM DVD .ISO file.

The news comes from various Chinese forums who state that you can already pass Windows Genuine Advantage validation offline, OEM style.

The leaked .ISO was originally posted on a Chinese forum, which was then downloaded in order for people to get hold of the boot.wim, and in turn retrieving the OEM-SLP key, plus the OEM activation certificate. Microsoft uses the same digitally signed OEM certificate, which has an .xrm-ms extension, as that in Windows Vista. Another point to note is that the key is a master one, which can be used to activate other OEM branded installations, like ones from Dell, HP or indeed Lenovo.

This is quite concerning; as mentioned, Windows 7 has yet to even be released, and it can be fully activated. This demonstrates the risk such a huge company as Microsoft takes when distributing a product as significant as an operating system, but this was essentially inevitable, regardless. It's interesting that a product can be pirated and activated before it's properly released to customers.

Microsoft was not available for comment at the time of writing.

Updated: A Microsoft spokesperson has confirmed to Neowin: "we are aware of reports of activation exploits that attempt to circumvent activation & validation in Windows 7, and we can assure customers that Microsoft is committed to protecting them from counterfeit and pirated software. Microsoft strongly advises customers not to download Windows 7 from unauthorized sources. Downloading Windows 7 from peer-to-peer Web sites is piracy, and exposes users to increased risks – such as viruses, Trojans and other malware and malicious code—that usually accompany counterfeit software."

Update 2: Microsoft has confirmed that they will be blacklisting the key. According to Alex Kochis, Director of Genuine Windows at Microsoft: "we've worked with that manufacturer so that customers who purchase genuine copies of Windows 7 from this manufacturer will experience no issues validating their copy of Windows 7. At the same time we will seek to alert customers who are using the leaked key that they are running a non-genuine copy of Windows. It's important to note that no PCs will be sold that will use this key."

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Hello peeps,
I registered here simply to reply to this post having stumbled across it while researching windows 7.
Having sat and read this section on windows 7 being cracked and pirated my thought is simply this, wether its movies, music, or software, once it hits the net (legit or not) it'll get cracked, patched, copied and or redistributed no matter what, there is no way around it. Take movies for example, a lot of news media lately with the release of harry potter 6, and trying to stop anyone from the inside leaking screeners for it. It will happen, if not from production once the dvd is out it'll appear online.
So, my point is, the only way piracy of digital media / software will ever stop is the day they pull the plug on the internet and pass it off as a bad joke, which ofc will never happen.

;)

It's all a non story for me. I'll buy the program, probably a family pack and call it good. Hacked software almost always turns out to be a pain in the ass and I don't have the time or compulsion to screw around with it.
I'll get the new OS-X version too.
What does bother me is the money I laid out for three Vista Ultimate's and that "Dog" never wagged it's tail until the service pack came out. Even with the service pack it was sluggish at best.
I was surprised at the prices that they want for 7. I'll pay for 7 because having tested it for awhile, I know it will work for me, unlike VISTA. This is the last Windows OS that I'll buy unless they come up with something incredible like Digital Auto-Suck.

Just like all TechNet keys that got out still good wow! all hot air nothing to back it up 100 meg part the os makes not the hack do clean install you will see

It is amusing to see all the MSFT sites on Win 7 and Office 2010 warn people about Trojans, Viruses, Blended threats and yada yada coming with torrent and file shares. Maybe I'm under a rock but I could have sworn that MSFT has been running hundreds of "safe compiuter intiative sites" quaterbacked by Mike Nash and other VPs to tell you best practices to defend against these critters and it doesn't take a lot of IQ to do so with efficacy.

They should put their energy into making better features that respond to feedback requests. Fear of viruses isn't going to deter people eager to try the latest from downloading it.

I cannot find this 100 mb reserved partition that you are referring to. I ran gnu parted and it shows no 100 mb partition that was created.

Okay, I ran the 7Loader proggie and since I don't have the SLIC 2.1, I chose NO SLIC option. Now everytime I reboot, my Gateway PC keeps going into the Gateway System Recover console!!!!!!!! System Restore does not work...can anyone fix this????

I think it is booting into the system restore partition on your PC instead of your Windows partition. Not sure how to fix it except to remove the partition and reinstall Windows and then run the loader again.

This hack creates a 100MB reserved partition which contains the GRUB loader and the files needed to boot into Seven. There might be some sort of conflict with the reserved partition many manufacturers setup on their computers for recovery.

As a TechNet subscriber I'll wait for Aug 6th to get my copy. I was just interested in how the hack was coded.

ok...I got Diskpart to work and it says that the Recovery partition is bootable but not my C: partition. Now, I am trying to figure out how to make Diskpart make my C partition bootable......

This is why I say just get rid of activation all together because of 2 things

1) Anyone who wants to pirate windows will always be able to do so getting around any activation methods Microsoft has in place.

2) The Legit users who are the honest users get inconvenienced either to activate their copy of windows or have the legit version get flagged as pirated get frequently harassed by WGA.

All in all product activation is worthless.

The only legit one I have seen is 7Loader.Release.4-Orbit30 release of this. Works on OEM and Clone boxes. Interesting indeed. No special boot loader is needed either. This really sucks for Microsoft, all the hard work done, but hey, there will always be pirates and honest people. I will get a free copy with Intel Retail Edge program so I am looking forward to my legit copy. =)

This was inevitable. Glad that it's out of the way.

I have Win 7 Pro on pre-order and will be paying for it on release Oct 22.

That said, as soon as the ISO's hit MSDN I will be torrenting it so I don't have to wait. I can probably get away with the activation extension period thing, but this helps too.

And, of course, Microsoft responds with their usual scare tactics (i.e., FUD) that pirated copies of Windows expose people to viruses. Hey, get a clue Microsoft, your own Technet bloggers provided the very hash files that people can use to verify that the ISO files AREN'T infected.

roadwarrior said,
And, of course, Microsoft responds with their usual scare tactics (i.e., FUD) that pirated copies of Windows expose people to viruses. Hey, get a clue Microsoft, your own Technet bloggers provided the very hash files that people can use to verify that the ISO files AREN'T infected.
so true

Well, considering that the couple of links that pointed to the activation hack that were posted here (and removed) had virii/trojans in them, I don't think there's a whole lot of FUD involved. Are you sure that leaked interim ISO wasn't rebuilt with crap in it? There were at least 3 leaks that were. Exactly 0 Microsoft employees have released hashes for OEM pre-activation discs because the public should not have access to them. They are not and will not be available for download.

GreyWolfSC said,
Exactly 0 Microsoft employees have released hashes for OEM pre-activation discs because the public should not have access to them. They are not and will not be available for download.

You really don't seem to understand the whole OEM activation thing, do you? You don't have to have any special disc, you can use ANY copy of Windows Vista or Windows 7 to do it. After install, it is a simple matter of running 2 commands from the command line (the program for this is built in to windows), one to install the certificate file (which is a simple XML file), the other to install the product key (if you didn't type it in at setup). Boom, you're activated.

Please refrain from commenting further on OEM activation until you read up on it yourself and find out exactly how it works, as it seems from your previous comments that you really don't understand the subject.

roadwarrior said,
You really don't seem to understand the whole OEM activation thing, do you? You don't have to have any special disc, you can use ANY copy of Windows Vista or Windows 7 to do it. After install, it is a simple matter of running 2 commands from the command line (the program for this is built in to windows), one to install the certificate file (which is a simple XML file), the other to install the product key (if you didn't type it in at setup). Boom, you're activated.

Please refrain from commenting further on OEM activation until you read up on it yourself and find out exactly how it works, as it seems from your previous comments that you really don't understand the subject.

That's how you steal it. I'm a Microsoft Partner. I know how it works. An OEM will NEVER give you the certificate. They are never supposed to be detached from the Windows installation or the BIOS and an average end-user would never be able to install a SLIC PA certificate. There IS NO PRODUCT KEY TO ENTER FOR PRE-ACTIVATION. You just install the OS and it's activated.

An OEM installation is simply a disc that's sold in bulk to a PC manufacturer with a license limiting it to the machine it was installed on. It comes in a white cardboard sleeve with the product SKUs printed on a label and a clear DVD case inside with one version (x86/x64) on it. It still has a key, and it doesn't self-activate.

in my opinion that's the only thing they can do...of course they will always say from a PR point of view that "we will do the best to stop people from pirating windows, etc, etc...don't download windows from unknown sources they might contain viruses bla bla bla" but in the end they know it is a battle they can't win putting some draconian activation method will probably **** off legal owners more than pirates so why bother...

I've purchased a few Vista Ultimate licenses and feel kind of ripped off. I've also tested the hell out of Windows 7 and got absolutely nothing back. Therefore, I think this crack will be a good enough reward for now.

This is quite concerning; as mentioned, Windows 7 has yet to even be released

No it's not. It has always been this way since Vista. What else is new?

How interesting...

It was a Chinese IT guy that was able to swipe a VSD of Windows 7 last year...now it's another Chinese person that has Windows 7 cracked.

For a country that is under marshall law....they have a lot of smart people over there.

deep down M$ doesn't give a **** about it....if everyone continues to use their products.
anyway M$ did a good job with win7 so i will definitely buy and update my old trusty XP.
does anyone know if upgrading from XP to 7 is possible/supported?
cheers!

its really a shame but knowing microsoft I am guessing they make sure they dont get the official updates or etc. Luckily I have mine the right way and thats through the preview program and the RTM I be getting through technet on August 6,2009 the right way.its nto alot of money to get the upgrade version or the full version in my personal opinion its just sad people rather ripoff a big company like microsoft.

For the prices they are offering for upgrades, it isn't worth the hassle of downloading and cracking Windows anymore. Plus, with the constant stream of patches that come out, why not just cough up the money and get the legit version.

I wouldn't be surprised if Microsoft had tracking or reporting technology within the testing-OS, or is simply tracking the OS externally and learning loads from our (users) tracking attempts. Especially before the official release, I'm sure they're learning loads and finding out ways to circumvent all of this. So in a way, I doubt they're angry about this.

For people who legally installed and legally activated the Windows RC, MS should allow us to use an upgrade installation to Windows 7 RTM. Even though, MS will not be getting the "full" amount of dollars from us, they would at least start to cut back on pirating.

It would be nice for Microsoft to be able to sell the thing for a few weeks and make a profit, THEN someone come out with a crack. That way everyone wins. Kinda. I'd still buy 7, because it's worth it.

I don't understand why people are eager to download 7 illegaly, aren't they doing a good job on this one?

I like how some people like to raise the argument that if MS dropped the price e.g. by 50%, there would be less piracy, that people are pirating it because the OS is too expensive. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter even if they dropped the price to e.g. $50, there will be those who don't want to pay regardless of price. Just like there will be those who think $20 for AV is too much and rather find a pirated version or go free. There are numerous examples out there. The thinking is "why pay when I can get it for free"?

Piracy will always exist and there's only so much MS can do to stop it without creating a haggling and annoying system that could cause them to lose paying customers. Everyone knows from experience, that a hacked version of WinXP was very easy to install. Pop the CD in and you are pretty much set - even someone who has very minimal computer knowledge can do it. But these bios hacks etc, can be a challenge for those who are less computer -savvy. For most of us here, it's a few more steps and easy as pie but for some others, it might be just too complicated to understand and follow and they decide to just go out and buy it. That 1/100 that converts is 1 less pirate.

It amazes me that people bother with a crack in the first place, I mean Windows 7 Ultinate is only �199.99 it's not actually going to break the bank is it. I have already pre ordered mine ready for release date. I'm more than happy to pay for the software and have a genuine copy instead of penny pinching cracking software and ripping of Microsft.

Sorry to moan but it really gets up my nose when people cannot be bothered to spend a few hundred on an operating system. 199.99 is not expensive, well to me it's not.

Steven77 said,
That's right to you its not alot of money. Regardless of piracey that is alot of money to me.

Exactly - It IS alot of money in one go !

Good for you man! friend .. please .. it is a lot of money. I do not agree with piracy, just in case, but I think Microsoft should sell their products cheaper in order to sell more. That's one way to stop piracy. Sell products more in line with the reality of each of the markets where it operates.

Dude, Ultimate version costs 314$ in US and 314€ in Europe, that is unfair.
314$ is less than 230€, so basically its much more expensive to buy it in Europe.
I was planning to buy legit copy of 7, but there are 2 drawbacks:
1. Pre order offer was valid only in US and Canada
2. Europe has to pay much more for same software

Of course eventually i will be getting a legit copy.

Software is not always pirated due to exorbitant prices. Have you ever pulled up one of those nifty .nfo files? You wanna know what it says?

"BECAUSE WE CAN"

..and then follows the saga of inter-twined networks of the underlying, umm, s--tuff.

Itz just the end-user who gets it "free of cost": that end-user who is absolutely clueless about any of the above stuff, and probably the concept of "licensing" a software (or code in part or whole)

Omkar? said,
Software is not always pirated due to exorbitant prices. Have you ever pulled up one of those nifty .nfo files? You wanna know what it says?

"BECAUSE WE CAN"

..and then follows the saga of inter-twined networks of the underlying, umm, s--tuff.

Itz just the end-user who gets it "free of cost": that end-user who is absolutely clueless about any of the above stuff, and probably the concept of "licensing" a software (or code in part or whole)


That is fake.

Proper scene groups say at the end of their NFO to pay for software.

basically, the OEM activation has not changed from vista to win7. You need a updated SLIC table version 2.1 (2.0 for vista) in your motherboard bios to be dismissed by OS activation check. for those who buys a big brand name computers such as dell hp sony, they already come with win 7 OS. the method is only good for those smart a$$ ppl who knows how to modify/obtain/flash your non-oem motherboard with the new SLIC table codes. i'd say MS's activation method is 99.9 secure. even they plug this hole with additional checks, the very limited group will find ways to use without pay. and, it's not worth it to spend large amount of $$ to stop those 0.1%

My OEM updated my bios to slp2.1 via a bios update. So you definitely do not need to be that smart Also 98% of people who run modded bios had it done for them.

It doesn't make any sense to pay $100-200 for an OS when laptops are being sold for $200. I don't want to hear about a temporary special on an upgrade... Ultimate Full will set you back almost $200. I bet if they would just skip anti-piracy protection and multiple version programming they could get away with charging $50 for ultimate. Their volume would go through the roof and I believe their profits would too.

A small reminder: Although this article may be about a crack/hack, you still may not post about where to get it or how to install it, and if you have a cracked copy of Windows keep it to yourself.

I always wonder how such OEM copies get leaked lol...

The complications I had with Vista initially trying to bypass its authentication and then updating it was too much of a hassle. I mean a good copy was eventually released but that was almost a year into its release. At the end of the day, for an OS, I rather keep it authentic.

Well how long is long ago considering that the OEM version was just released last week if memory servces correct.

Also, from what I know whatever is out there the 16385 are 'edited' ISOs.

MistaT40 said,
Also, from what I know whatever is out there the 16385 are 'edited' ISOs.


You are misinformed, most of the ones currently being circulated are genuine, as evidenced by the fact that they match the hashes published in the Technet blog.

this is my 3rd, i started with XP authentic (even more than 1 copy) then vista, and i already pre-ordered Win7 (and only because MS made the offer to upgrade for $49.99)

ramik said,
this is my 3rd, i started with XP authentic (even more than 1 copy) then vista, and i already pre-ordered Win7 (and only because MS made the offer to upgrade for $49.99)

Likewise, All authentic since Win 95! For what I've paid MS over the years I ought to get Windows 7 free and maybe a fruit basket to go with it!

well all protections all the time since they are made are useless cause they got cracked and pwned like nothing else cause they are crackers who do it cause they are curios how to bypass but it's clearly shows use the truth of all nothing can be protected fully and never will unless worlds end come ^^ !

Skullpture said,
HAHAHA. I smell yet another delay from MS. :laugh:

They can't delay it.

They already spent money on marketing, etc....

if ms had a brain they would just drop the whole wga and any protection they have as it gets bypassed very easily and quickly and they could use those profits to actualy improve windows.

Ya because being able to download it and have absolutely nothing stopping people from using it for free will help with piracy SURE.

Ok seriously, is this required? Does an ISO OS installer have to have the keys to the castle in it? WTF are they thinking? I mean, that's like sending your PIN number and ATM card to a criminal.....

It shouldn't. There are two halves to SLIC: a certificate on the disc and one in the BIOS. Lenovo 'somehow' allowed the BIOS cert to become available.

GreyWolfSC said,
Lenovo 'somehow' allowed the BIOS cert to become available.


The BIOS cert is actually the easy part, since it is already present in (and easily recovered from) the BIOS of any recent computer, or from a BIOS flash update file.

roadwarrior said,
The BIOS cert is actually the easy part, since it is already present in (and easily recovered from) the BIOS of any recent computer, or from a BIOS flash update file.

There are no OEM PCs available on the market yet that use SLIC 2.1. The only place it could have come from is Lenovo. The Vista ones are a different version with a different key.

GreyWolfSC said,
There are no OEM PCs available on the market yet that use SLIC 2.1. The only place it could have come from is Lenovo. The Vista ones are a different version with a different key.


There are already BIOS updates available that have the SLIC 2.1 tables in them. Take a look at the forums on the site named in this article if you don't believe me. Machines that are eligible to take advantage of the free upgrade are also available, and those would have SLIC 2.1 information as well, most likely.

roadwarrior said,
There are already BIOS updates available that have the SLIC 2.1 tables in them. Take a look at the forums on the site named in this article if you don't believe me. Machines that are eligible to take advantage of the free upgrade are also available, and those would have SLIC 2.1 information as well, most likely.

Free upgrades don't use SLIC. The the fulfillment copies of Vista that were shipped were OEM copies or retail. There's no way that there are already PCs out with Windows 7 BIOS certificates as the final version was just signed off on and OEMs just got it last week. Someone stole or leaked the cert.

GreyWolfSC said,
Free upgrades don't use SLIC. The the fulfillment copies of Vista that were shipped were OEM copies or retail.

OEM copies from big companies are exactly what SLIC is used for.

There's no way that there are already PCs out with Windows 7 BIOS certificates as the final version was just signed off on and OEMs just got it last week. Someone stole or leaked the cert.


You are wrong, period. There ARE systems available that have SLIC 2.1 information in the BIOS. The OEMs have had the information on SLIC 2.1 since around the beginning of the year. Believe whatever you want, but if you read through those forums, you will find lots of reports of people with CURRENT systems that shipped with SLIC 2.1 enabled BIOSs, or have found the information in BIOS updates available on the OEM's web site.

I HAVE a bios with slic 2.1 put in it BY THE MANUFACTURER. Toshiba A215 S7437. It came in a bio's update at the beginning of july. So we can close the book on whether this is true or not.

roadwarrior said,
OEM copies from big companies are exactly what SLIC is used for.

You are wrong, period. There ARE systems available that have SLIC 2.1 information in the BIOS. The OEMs have had the information on SLIC 2.1 since around the beginning of the year. Believe whatever you want, but if you read through those forums, you will find lots of reports of people with CURRENT systems that shipped with SLIC 2.1 enabled BIOSs, or have found the information in BIOS updates available on the OEM's web site.

An OEM copy is just a disc that's issued by the manufacturer. An OEM pre-activation disc is different. The license certificate must match the product being installed. SLIC 2.1 is not a Microsoft key. It's an activation method. My Vista x64 disc is OEM. My roommate's that came with his ASUS system is OEM-PA. There is no key to enter on his computer if he uses my disc, and his disc will not activate on my computer.

GreyWolfSC said,
An OEM copy is just a disc that's issued by the manufacturer. An OEM pre-activation disc is different. The license certificate must match the product being installed. SLIC 2.1 is not a Microsoft key. It's an activation method. My Vista x64 disc is OEM. My roommate's that came with his ASUS system is OEM-PA. There is no key to enter on his computer if he uses my disc, and his disc will not activate on my computer.

Yes, I'm aware of the difference between the two types of disc, but that wasn't my point anyway. My entire point (which was verified by the poster above you) is that there are in fact systems with SLIC 2.1 information available.

Now please stop commenting on things you clearly don't understand.

IMHO :Microsoft is allowing it (piracy) on purpose. After all, over 50% of the windows around here are illegal copies.

I think it's more than that. Most of the people on here are from way back when this site first started. Back then you could get pretty much anything you wanted from here. It's only when NW started to become more popular and "mainstream" that things like that were cracked down on.

iamwhoiam said,
I think it's more than that. Most of the people on here are from way back when this site first started. Back then you could get pretty much anything you wanted from here. It's only when NW started to become more popular and "mainstream" that things like that were cracked down on.

QFT, it just really surprised me when many of the users here have this holier than thou attitude about piracy when thats what this site was founded on. I remember the member only section of this site had all kinds of stuff. It was the reason I originally joined neowin. I remember back when they had the devils own xp edition.

Gotenks98 said,
QFT, it just really surprised me when many of the users here have this holier than thou attitude about piracy when thats what this site was founded on. I remember the member only section of this site had all kinds of stuff. It was the reason I originally joined neowin. I remember back when they had the devils own xp edition. :)

Yup, this is how I found out about neowin as well. XP was the last OS I "warezed" though. For me, it's too much to hassle with WGA and all that crap.

Gotenks98 said,
QFT, it just really surprised me when many of the users here have this holier than thou attitude about piracy when thats what this site was founded on. I remember the member only section of this site had all kinds of stuff. It was the reason I originally joined neowin. I remember back when they had the devils own xp edition. :)

Heh The funniest part that keep coming up is this attitude that piracy is bad and shouldn't be talked about, yet there are tons of torrent clients running in screenshots, and people talking about their installed and unreleased software.

kInG aLeXo said,
If there is no crack exist for a software that means it has too little functions or too little users :P


I must be too old, i must hav forgots how to read teh Interwebz... cannot understand the previous post...

Mr.Ed

I use a software called mipower that requires you to insert a physical key into the computer's parallel port to function. I think that kind of protection will be a lot better than the current scheme.

Skyfrog said,
Dongles were tried decades ago and failed miserably. They're expensive and people always ended up losing them.

And they're very easily bypassed with emulation.

surrealvortex said,
I use a software called mipower that requires you to insert a physical key into the computer's parallel port to function. I think that kind of protection will be a lot better than the current scheme.

Imagine if all software required this. You would have tons of dongles and have to remember which is which. Take the time to change them when you run something and not lose it. Also, they have easily bypassed for a while now, as stated.

(snipped)
Hooray! Now quick let's blame DRM or evil corporations or some other made-up scapegoat for what is in reality pure and simple greed on the part of the ordinary person to get something for nothing.

7Dash8 said,
(snipped)

Hooray! Now quick let's blame DRM or evil corporations or some other made-up scapegoat for what is in reality pure and simple greed on the part of the ordinary person to get something for nothing.


I have to wonder what the Internet was like before the Entitlement Generation got ahold of it.

antareus said,
I have to wonder what the Internet was like before the Entitlement Generation got ahold of it.

Did the internet exist before the Entitlement Generation got ahold of it?

This is also how you can activate it with less hassle than the 'crack' this news is about: Buy a legit license.

Since no systems have actually been sold by the OEM's yet, I assume MS will simply invalidate the key and hand out a new one, before October 22?

Not that it will stop piracy in exactly the same way later, and then it's much worse of course, with legit OEM systems in the market.

Their half priced pre-sale might still help them sell legit copies, but you can't help but wonder if the retail price was lower would this be a major concern?

I don't plan on canceling my pre-orders, I'm sure they'll find some way to block this and make Lenovo feel the hurt.

zeke009 said,
Their half priced pre-sale might still help them sell legit copies, but you can't help but wonder if the retail price was lower would this be a major concern?

I don't plan on canceling my pre-orders, I'm sure they'll find some way to block this and make Lenovo feel the hurt.


Yeah, because $49 was WAY too much for an operating system!

antareus said,

Yeah, because $49 was WAY too much for an operating system!

The crack and the post here are about Ultimate, a $219.99 upgrade or $319.99 full install purchase.

This crack wouldn't be news if it was for Home Premium.

I think they would be ahead to just drop the whole activation mess. The pirates are going to steal it no matter what, it's just a nuisance to legitimate owners. Besides aren't most of their sales from OEMs? If it's already sold on all new PCs they aren't really losing much since most people will be buying it. Apple seems to have gotten this all along.

Skyfrog said,
I think they would be ahead to just drop the whole activation mess. The pirates are going to steal it no matter what, it's just a nuisance to legitimate owners. Besides aren't most of their sales from OEMs? If it's already sold on all new PCs they aren't really losing much since most people will be buying it. Apple seems to have gotten this all along.


so true

Apple has a more restrictive install routine. You can't even install Apple software (other than the Windows ports, of course) on a non-Mac. Yes, I know about OSx86...

My point was that most Windows 7 sales will be attached to new PCs, the same as OS X sales. The people who are going to pirate it are going to no matter what and nothing will stop them, so Microsoft is wasting time, money and annoying it's genuine customers for very little reason.

Nothing unusual for me, a matter of time. And it's not Microsoft's fault - every software can be cracked and every protection can be removed. This is life

Just my two cents here. I'm a linux user 90% of the time. But Windows 7 does seem to be worth the money judging by the RC. However, in the back of my mind I've got questions like "how many times can I use a genuine key?" "what if I want to format?" "What happens if it says I am a pirate when I'm not?" - all these annoyances and hurdles to jump through when you're a legitimate customer (especially after being used to linux installations) means I've often used pirated versions of windows in the past even when I have a key!

(snipped)

You can use retail key for automatic activation 10 times, then you need to use phone. Happened to me on Vista in a year and half and i did install only in my computer (oh well in VM couple of times as well). (snipped)

SoLoR1 said,
You can use retail key for automatic activation 10 times, then you need to use phone. Happened to me on Vista in a year and half and i did install only in my computer (oh well in VM couple of times as well).(snipped)

What is that 10 times crap?

You can register your windows as many times as you wish without a phone call as long as you have not changed the configuration.

I even changed my graphics card and Vista activated a new activation fine.

Activation is so much better now than on XP.

leesmithg said,
What is that 10 times crap?

You can register your windows as many times as you wish without a phone call as long as you have not changed the configuration.

I even changed my graphics card and Vista activated a new activation fine.

Activation is so much better now than on XP.


well i could register only 10 times for some reason, thats why i hate it. Also beta/RC key i had from technet i could use only 10 times, before i needed new one.

Mercy0001 said,
I wait for the GA to buy and install it. MS will surely fix this with an update for this, and then you have some problems...

This will never be patched unless they redesign OEM licensing and replace it completely due to the nature of how it works. To the software, the bios IS a genuine OEM bios, there is simply no way to detect that the machine was not built by a valid OEM. This is why MS have not bothered to touch the protection in 7, because anything they do will have no effect whatsoever. The ultimate 100% fix is to actually install the OEM-SLP into the BIOS, so it checks out every time from hardware however this can potentially destroy your BIOS if you do it wrong.

freeloaders are OK for another iteration of Windows.

mocax said,
never entrust the master key to a chinese company.... :(

But this Chinese company bought IBM's pc business...

I always thought neowin had some rule against posting about cracks and warez?

heck the article writer even posted the site where the crack can be found on a front page story. unbelievable

News posters have for a long time now been given immunity against things that would quickly get a warn in the forums or even in the comments on a news post!

DaveBG said,
Why would that be bad???

This is bad for ms because more ppl now can pirate their flag product. This is bad for neowin because it now links to warez and can be prosecuted. This is bad for pirates because as this method gains publicity a fix might eventually be introduced.

bad bad poster.

"This is bad for ms because more ppl now can pirate their flag product." - which is actually good for people

Th"is is bad for neowin because it now links to warez and can be prosecuted." - no one will do anything , and the link and the files can be foundi n google and all major torrent sites

"This is bad for pirates because as this method gains publicity a fix might eventually be introduced." - until that time there will about 10 more activation hacks anyways

good poster!

DaveBG said,
which is actually good for dishonest people

Fixed that for you.

the link and the files can be found in google and all major torrent sites

Yeah, so can lots of other pirated software. Does that mean it should be ok to post links to them on Neowin? I really don't think so.

ShadowXhawk said,
This is bad for ms because more ppl now can pirate their flag product. This is bad for neowin because it now links to warez and can be prosecuted. This is bad for pirates because as this method gains publicity a fix might eventually be introduced.

bad bad poster.


The key is most likely going to be blocked anyway, we didn't link to any warez and are within our community rules. We're reporting a exploit, and we've contacted Microsoft and have let them know of the situation.

As usual there is a gross over reaction from the vocal minority who aren't in full possession of the facts. There are no links in our story to get this crack, we simply reported the named source of the story. Should you sue Google that they list the information freely then?

Tom W said,
As usual there is a gross over reaction from the vocal minority who aren't in full possession of the facts. There are no links in our story to get this crack, we simply reported the named source of the story. Should you sue Google that they list the information freely then?


Would you say the same if someone reported that this crack was available on Demonoid or The Pirate Bay? Usually in cases like this Neowin simply reports that something is available on "torrent sites" or that an unnamed site is reporting the information. The web site in question is clearly named in this article, which is generally taboo in cases like this around here. And it's not as if you really have to dig around on the site to find it.

Sean Bradford said,
The key is most likely going to be blocked anyway, we didn't link to any warez and are within our community rules. We're reporting a exploit, and we've contacted Microsoft and have let them know of the situation.

+1. It'll be funny if a lot of people use the key and it gets blacklisted.

Why would you trust the security of an operating system cracked and uploaded by pirates? The same with anti-virus and firewall software, if it isn't from an official source then you have no idea if it's been tampered with or worse deliberately loaded with malware.

because the OS iso comes from Microsoft itself (md5 and sha1 hashes are published on Microsoft website, for Win7 maybe not yet), and you can do the hard bios mod yourself with just a small bin file with core certificate that can contain no virus...

Roadrunna, stop beliving the FUD that Microsoft spews about pirated software. As ramik stated, it is very easy to know if the ISO you download is the original and not a hacked or infected copy, by simply checking the hash files. Its even possible to check the hash from just the torrent file without even downloading the ISO to see if it will be the original or not!

ZombieFly said,
(snipped)

This can be the only unreliable piece of software in the process, as using the softmods you are allowing some software to run before windows kernel load, they might be able to do somekind of Blue Pill malware, but the self-made hardmod remains safer but much too complicated..

I can't believe this topic is even being given the time of day. The truth is that MS didn't change the licensing model from Vista, which was cracked 100% due to the OEM bios exploit therefore 7 was cracked before it was released; all that was needed was one of the oem master keys. Now all those one click activators etc just need updating and that's all there is to do.

Looks like MS has given up trying to beat the pirates as they totally ignored the fact that their protection system was blown apart years ago and have released 7 with exactly the same flaws...

ZombieFly said,
I can't believe this topic is even being given the time of day. The truth is that MS didn't change the licensing model from Vista, which was cracked 100% due to the OEM bios exploit therefore 7 was cracked before it was released; all that was needed was one of the oem master keys. Now all those one click activators etc just need updating and that's all there is to do.

Looks like MS has given up trying to beat the pirates as they totally ignored the fact that their protection system was blown apart years ago and have released 7 with exactly the same flaws...



Very old saying (originally attributed to Robert A. Heinlein) - What one brain can do, a better brain can (and will) undo.

Also, nowadays, the rewards favor the undoers (especially when the target is Microsoft, or the United States, or anyone connected with either) simply in terms of "street cred" (in case nobody has noticed, there is a rather large amount of anti-Microsoft and/or anti-United States in general fervor these days).

I don't like it (I'm a Microsoft Registered Partner, and an American); but I can't ignore reality, either.

ZombieFly said,
I can't believe this topic is even being given the time of day.

I'm surprised it's given the time of day considering all the hoop-la over even mentioning RTM in the forums. Yet, right here on the FP is the name of the site that's largely responsible for all the BIOS mods to activate XP, Vista and 7.

Already?

But seriously... Over here, the piracy rate is huge. I think only 1 out of 10 people I know uses legal Windows. Probably even less than that.

NeoandGeo said,
FCKGW?

No, this is not a volume license method, and the key cant be blocked by microsoft, without it hurting alot of customers.

GurliGebis said,
No, this is not a volume license method, and the key cant be blocked by microsoft, without it hurting alot of customers.



Wait, what customers? Are PC's shipping with Win7 already? It's so early in the process MS can go in and fix it.

GurliGebis said,
No, this is not a volume license method, and the key cant be blocked by microsoft, without it hurting alot of customers.

They can say "blame lenovo".

GP007 said,
Wait, what customers? Are PC's shipping with Win7 already? It's so early in the process MS can go in and fix it.

Then another OEM key will be leaked.

I think most of you don't realize how OEM validations work. You need an OEM BIOS, or something that emulates one (one of those so-called "loaders"). Vista/7 checks to see if you have the BIOS and key and then validates you. WGA can't tell if it's fake or not, it thinks you've got an OEM PC with an Ultimate license.

It was inevitable. And sad, really. It's a shame that people would invest time and effort to get something that took a multi-billion dollar company years to create. I guess some people really are cheap.

DaveBG said,
Anyone has to have access to software poor or for testing only this way. Dont try to look like a hero...

Excuse me, but I'm not trying to look like a hero. Also, what you said makes no sense at all.

Anaron said,
It was inevitable. And sad, really. It's a shame that people would invest time and effort to get something that took a multi-billion dollar company years to create. I guess some people really are cheap.

LOL. How did MS become a multi-billion $$$ company? Hint: selling OEM preloads and VLK licenses of Windows. Don't worry about MS, even with poor sales of Vista it made billions. Windows is a cash cow from hell.

I guess some people really are cheap.... Oh really and how much of a retail price are you prepared to pay surely not a thousand dollars eh take your head out of your anus and get real not everyone can afford the cost of an OS vista ultimate is still over 500 bucks here and homo basic is nearly 400

This is quite concerning; as mentioned, Windows 7 has yet to even be released, and it can be fully activated. This demonstrates the risk such a huge company as Microsoft takes when distributing a product as significant as an operating system, but this was essentially inevitable, regardless. It's interesting that a product can be pirated and activated before it's properly released to customers.

Concerting? Why? Are you a part of Microsoft?

Also, "It's interesting that a product can be pirated and activated before it's properly released to customers."

Seriously? Do you think this is new? This has been done many times before, this is neither new nor interesting.

...And this is why Anti-Piracy tech just does not do the job.

Come on microsoft, do away with activation and whilst your there make it all in one dual-layerd disk: one side 32bit and the other side 64bit.

Also make the installer a custom installer, let us choose the crao, sorry, i meant good wholesome applications to install!

Tommy DW said,
...And this is why Anti-Piracy tech just does not do the job.

Come on microsoft, do away with activation and whilst your there make it all in one dual-layerd disk: one side 32bit and the other side 64bit.

Also make the installer a custom installer, let us choose the crao, sorry, i meant good wholesome applications to install!

Dual Layer, and Double sided are two different things....you're thinking double sided.

It's quite amazing to see how some people openly admit to trying such illegal activator's on a public site such as Neowin.

As a partner with Microsoft, it will be interesting to watch this post develop.

You and me both. I knew it was only a matter of time though, but I would've thought that a crack that worked in Vista would be blocked in 7.

excalpius said,
MS will ban the key, like they have in the past.

Nothing to see here. Move along.

The problem is, that if the key i banned, every machine legally sold with it will be marked as non-genuine.

So once machines hit the store, those keys has to be genuine forever

this method can't be banned/blocked/reversed as it's the same method used by ALL oems. Altering this mechanism would render all current machines sold by these vendors useless.
Basically, if you go the piracy route with this one, you're good to go despite what any of the MS partner zealots say.

On a side note, any idea how many keys will be available from MSDN? will it be one as it was for Vista?

If 7 hasnt changed much since Vista architectually, it wouldnt be hard to crack activation thats almost identical to the original protection. Which people have had 2 and a half years getting to know.

MS knew this, but know its almost futile to try for a "flawless", uncrackable system. Nobody has managed to do this yet, and until they do, they are at the mercy of the masses.

Its all about OEM licensing to the big companies, thats where they make their money.

GurliGebis said,
The problem is, that if the key i banned, every machine legally sold with it will be marked as non-genuine.

Every machine sold with Windows 7 pre-installed? All 0 of them? Damn!

ZombieFly said,
this method can't be banned/blocked/reversed as it's the same method used by ALL oems.

Maybe MS can ban this key (as they did with the FCKGW for XP long ago in the SP1 or SP2), as this seems to be a test key for OEM's and not for a specific brand one, and Win7 is not yet public, but it will be useless as the day the first oem pc is sold the keys will be available everywhere.

It's quite amazing to see how some people openly admit to trying such illegal activator's on a public site such as Neowin.

I was just going to post the same thing. People seem so willing to boast about their illegal activities on the internet - it's a strange condition frankly.

ramik said,
Maybe MS can ban this key (as they did with the FCKGW for XP long ago in the SP1 or SP2), as this seems to be a test key for OEM's and not for a specific brand one, and Win7 is not yet public, but it will be useless as the day the first oem pc is sold the keys will be available everywhere.

The keys for Vista was the same for most of the OEM's, so it working with several OEM's is not an indication of it being a test key.

Why should they give them test keys, since they have been having test keys for all the test builds they have got from ms?

PC's with win7 aren't even out yet. What makes people think it's too early to go in and change keys for systems that have this installed and ban the leaked key?

Sure it might take some extra time, but that's the price you pay for a big mistake.

GP007 said,
PC's with win7 aren't even out yet. What makes people think it's too early to go in and change keys for systems that have this installed and ban the leaked key?

Sure it might take some extra time, but that's the price you pay for a big mistake.

for the reason i just mentioned above, it's useless as when oem pc's are out many many new keys are going to be released, by blocking this leaked key microsoft will only earn 1-2 months without keys leaking around...

GurliGebis said,

The problem is, that if the key i banned, every machine legally sold with it will be marked as non-genuine.

So once machines hit the store, those keys has to be genuine forever

Yea but the systems hasn't hit the stores yet so Lenovo can go back and reimage them. It would be different if this leak had happened in say December.

ZombieFly said,
this method can't be banned/blocked/reversed as it's the same method used by ALL oems. Altering this mechanism would render all current machines sold by these vendors useless.
Basically, if you go the piracy route with this one, you're good to go despite what any of the MS partner zealots say.

On a side note, any idea how many keys will be available from MSDN? will it be one as it was for Vista?

You can still ban the PID which is how they deal with VLK leaks reported by the corporation.

Chicane-UK said,
I was just going to post the same thing. People seem so willing to boast about their illegal activities on the internet - it's a strange condition frankly.

It's because they think they are annonymous...that illusion makes people admit to things or say things they wouldn't normally say or do. IF you think nobody will know who you are, you can say anything to them....like for the fact that I'm gonna kick your a$$ up one wall and down the other Chicane-UK...nevermind the fact that maybe you're 220, 6'2", and can bench maybe 600 lbs in real life, and I'm 5'9", 175lbs, and can maybe bench an empty bar..... get the drift?

btw, i'm not 5'9, i don't weigh 175, and i can lift more than a bar...just making a point.

Midnight Mick said,
It's quite amazing to see how some people openly admit to trying such illegal activator's on a public site such as Neowin.

As a partner with Microsoft, it will be interesting to watch this post develop.

IT IS NOT ILLEGAL, there is no way that this is illegal. Sure, it is illegal to copy windows, but this key may be encouraging it, but that does not make it illegal.

Sheesh, you people will jump on anything.

Chicane-UK said,
I was just going to post the same thing. People seem so willing to boast about their illegal activities on the internet - it's a strange condition frankly.

I'm not ashamed to admit it,i've ordered win7 and i don't see why i can't try out the software i'm buying,like in shareware,rather than an old beta version.
The rtm runs much better than 7100(i've installed premium,which is what i'm getting).I don't think people realize that alot of your info goes to m/soft wether u have updates on or not

Protection is never 100%. I think that MS has enough ideas to stop piracy and take strict action but they'll never do that coz that will take away Windows Share in Market which is a very important factor.
Although people do get pirated copies, it's up to individual to use pirated or a legitimate software. And as per the statistics lot of corporates/individuals use legitimate copies.
Piracy is generally spread in developing countries as the prices seem exorbitant there and become unaffordable for individuals/small business.

Pfft if they really wanted to stop piracy they'd make it affordable for all not just those in some countries reality is they just don't give a damn

Piracy is generally spread in developing countries as the prices seem exorbitant there and become unaffordable for individuals/small business.

well New Zealand isn't classed as a developing country but MS sure do love to over price their products here take the initial price of vista ultimate $999.95 i just about had a heart attack when i saw it as for it's price now it's still $568.97 and buggar me if vista home basic isn't $379.00

Raa said,
Until the hack gets blocked :P

Until that time there will be around 17 other activators available... or full ISO of corporate edition...

There's no such thing as a corporate edition, but I assume you mean VLK. The volume license editions have required activation since Vista. They weren't going to make the same mistake they did with XP.

DaveBG, I'm not sure what version you've found but all the official Vista ISOs from MSDN require activation. Even the Enterprise editions.

Your ISOs might not be so "untouched" after all...

DaveBG said,
I have personally downloaded numerous torrents with untouched ISO of vista that has no activation at all. Just install and forget type of image.

I may recommend you reading this article
Wikipedia
All editions of Microsoft Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 including volume license editions (volume license editions can also be activated with a Key Management Server located on an organisation's local network as opposed to a Microsoft server, although the KMS itself must first be activated with Microsoft before it can activate other copies itself)

m-p{3} said,
I may recommend you reading this article

Quoting a Wikipedia article that has no reference is not the greatest idea I've ever seen.

hitman05 said,
DaveBG, I'm not sure what version you've found but all the official Vista ISOs from MSDN require activation. Even the Enterprise editions.

Your ISOs might not be so "untouched" after all...

Correct. All the installs in a corporate require activation to a master server in the network once every 6 months. That server needs activation once every 3 months.

kraized said,
Hmm, may have to cancel my Amazon pre-order. LOL.

I wont, I'm glad that I can get Windows 7 Pro for €99 inc postage from Amazon....

Cartoondad said,
I wont, I'm glad that I can get Windows 7 Pro for €99 inc postage from Amazon....


Gee luck for some isn't it i'd have loved to have been able to pre-order mine but NOOOO MS chose to rip new zealanders off AGAIN

Windows 7 can also be activated by replacing the RTM activation mechanism by the RC one. Subsequently RC product keys will work.

mynetx said,
Windows 7 can also be activated by replacing the RTM activation mechanism by the RC one. Subsequently RC product keys will work.

Easily patched by Microsoft. Enjoy the next version of WGA :P

If it's real and it works, I guess Torrent users will not be paying their upgrade to Windows 7....

It's a shame since Win7 is so much better than Vista, for once, MS should be rewarded with some money for that OS!!

TruckWEB said,
If it's real and it works, I guess Torrent users will not be paying their upgrade to Windows 7....

It's a shame since Win7 is so much better than Vista, for once, MS should be rewarded with some money for that OS!!


It's not like: oh if I can get this for free. then won't buy it. They were not going to buy WIn 7 in the first place.

Those who are interested in upgrading/buying will buy in any case.

FoxieFoxie said,
It's not like: oh if I can get this for free. then won't buy it. They were not going to buy WIn 7 in the first place.

Those who are interested in upgrading/buying will buy in any case.


Nah, that's just a theory people cooked up as an argument against DRM. There's no real evidence that that is the case. There are cases of game developers that distributed their games without DRM and paying the price of it.

IMO, people will always try to save their money. If a person wanted both Win7 and a new audio player but only have the money for one and suddenly someone told them that they could have both, what do you think will happen?

kheldorin said,

Nah, that's just a theory people cooked up as an argument against DRM. There's no real evidence that that is the case. There are cases of game developers that distributed their games without DRM and paying the price of it.

IMO, people will always try to save their money. If a person wanted both Win7 and a new audio player but only have the money for one and suddenly someone told them that they could have both, what do you think will happen?

Some people are taught by their parents as young people not to steal.

Tekzel said,
Some people are taught by their parents as young people not to steal.

Oh wow! You just solved piracy! And probably burglary and thefts! The world is saved. Hooray!

We don't need law and enforcement anymore. Yay!

FoxieFoxie said,
No, they say: I just want it to be legal.

For some, there are plenty of reasons why they would choose the illegal route.

1. They have chosen the illegal route before and nothing every happened to them. They know that it would be bad PR for MS.

2. The illegal version works just as well as the legal one.

3. MS is a mega-corporation. Faceless and nameless. MS has a history of "shady" dealings. They will feel no shame or guilt from stealing from MS.

4. They thought Vista was crap and Win 7 is what Vista should have been. So they think they are entitiled to get Win 7 for free.

5. People can justify and rationalize their decisions for anything.

kheldorin said,

Nah, that's just a theory people cooked up as an argument against DRM. There's no real evidence that that is the case. There are cases of game developers that distributed their games without DRM and paying the price of it.

Can you give me an example of these game developers?

kheldorin said,
IMO, people will always try to save their money. If a person wanted both Win7 and a new audio player but only have the money for one and suddenly someone told them that they could have both, what do you think will happen?

The exact same thing that would have happened when they couldn't get both, they would buy one and not the other. Your example pretty much disproves your earlier point. Either the person would pirate or not buy, but both ways the company wouldn't see money from them. Doesn't that support the argument that pirates should just be ignored?

kheldorin said,
For some, there are plenty of reasons why they would choose the illegal route.
...

2. The illegal version works just as well as the legal one.

That depends on how long it takes microsoft to block the method.

shinji257 said,

That depends on how long it takes microsoft to block the method.


sometimes methods are never blocked.

kheldorin said,
Oh wow! You just solved piracy! And probably burglary and thefts! The world is saved. Hooray!

We don't need law and enforcement anymore. Yay!

That about sums it up. I am pretty sure most people are taught by their parents not to steal, rape, or murderer but we still have prisons full of people who did just those things. Pirating software is just easier for people to rationalise as a victimless crime. They are stealing something that can't be seen or touched. They are never going to meet anyone affected by the crime. Many of the same people wouldn't go into a store and steal the boxed dvd off the shelf, even if they knew they would get away with it.

TruckWEB said,
It's a shame since Win7 is so much better than Vista, for once, MS should be rewarded with some money for that OS!!

The problem is that the people who do get it from a torrent, and use this key actually have a superior product to the people who actually bought it. They can change hardware as much as they want, they won't have to prove that they bought it ever again. That sucks.

kheldorin said,

Nah, that's just a theory people cooked up as an argument against DRM. There's no real evidence that that is the case. There are cases of game developers that distributed their games without DRM and paying the price of it.

IMO, people will always try to save their money. If a person wanted both Win7 and a new audio player but only have the money for one and suddenly someone told them that they could have both, what do you think will happen?


As usual, the truth is somewhere in between. Both of you are wrong. There are both kinds of people. Some only care for the warez, others always stay legit, yet others try to get away cheap.

kheldorin said,
For some, there are plenty of reasons why they would choose the illegal route.

1. They have chosen the illegal route before and nothing every happened to them. They know that it would be bad PR for MS.

2. The illegal version works just as well as the legal one.

3. MS is a mega-corporation. Faceless and nameless. MS has a history of "shady" dealings. They will feel no shame or guilt from stealing from MS.

4. They thought Vista was crap and Win 7 is what Vista should have been. So they think they are entitiled to get Win 7 for free.

5. People can justify and rationalize their decisions for anything.


or
6. M$ is going to over charge for it again ( i don't mind paying for it but im not prepaired to be gauged in the wallet for it)

my thoughts exactly and seeing as MS are giving new zealanders the kick in the nuts treatment i think i'll be doing the same to MS

invisible69 said,
erm, you can already download an activator for Win 7 RTM... and it's weeks old, and works ;)


Its not really a proper crack, it can easily be detected and disabled when Microsoft want to :P

well same happened with Vista. I remember, int he summer before it was released, some Chinese cracker was made famous for managing to crack it :P lol

invisible69 said,
erm, you can already download an activator for Win 7 RTM... and it's weeks old, and works ;)
And expires on march 2010, lol. I suggest you read and learn before you install cracks that switch RTM files to RC ones.

Avi said,
And expires on march 2010, lol. I suggest you read and learn before you install cracks that switch RTM files to RC ones. ;)

This one is different, no RC files used, only oem certificates and keys...

InsaneNutter said,
Its not really a proper crack, it can easily be detected and disabled when Microsoft want to :P

but when is this "when Microsoft want to"? Vista's similar activation is still valid till now, even though many said after the release of SP1 for vista this kind or cracks will be disabled and blocked, but nothing has been done for neither of the 2 variants (soft and hard mods), as MS declared that the hard bios mod is too complicated for people and they care for the small percentage of users who do it, but softmod which can be detected easily is still active too, and i saw (in a country where copyright is not an issue) Vista DVD's with softmod auto installed for $1 (and no, i didn't get them as i already own authentic copies of xp and vista)...

invisible69 said,
erm, you can already download an activator for Win 7 RTM... and it's weeks old, and works ;)

you really dont want to use that program, it replaces certain files with the Earlyer Pre-RTM builds files to pass the activation with an RC key.
Aside from being easaly detected it also expires in march.

ramik said,
but when is this "when Microsoft want to"? Vista's similar activation is still valid till now, even though many said after the release of SP1 for vista this kind or cracks will be disabled and blocked, but nothing has been done for neither of the 2 variants (soft and hard mods), as MS declared that the hard bios mod is too complicated for people and they care for the small percentage of users who do it, but softmod which can be detected easily is still active too, and i saw (in a country where copyright is not an issue) Vista DVD's with softmod auto installed for $1 (and no, i didn't get them as i already own authentic copies of xp and vista)...

Microsoft can't fix a key based activation method using a master OEM key. Those OEM master keys can pre-activate a ton of computers. The only way that it could be fixed is to blacklist the master key but then all of those other systems that use it would need to be reinstalled with a new key. If Lenovo acts quickly they can get the master key blacklisted and reissued. They also need to seal the leak.

As it stands the retail and oem discs are virtually identical as far as the install is concerned. The only differences are OEM specific ones. The retail discs will accept, install with, and activate with OEM keys fine.

shinji257 said,
Microsoft can't fix a key based activation method using a master OEM key. Those OEM master keys can pre-activate a ton of computers. The only way that it could be fixed is to blacklist the master key but then all of those other systems that use it would need to be reinstalled with a new key. If Lenovo acts quickly they can get the master key blacklisted and reissued. They also need to seal the leak.

I really doubt that will happen, because MS doesn't really care - it's just a further means to ensure market penetration of Windows.
If MS really cared about it, they would use a method that can't be cracked that easily.

InsaneNutter said,
Its not really a proper crack, it can easily be detected and disabled when Microsoft want to :P


and yet the Vista activator still works,,,,