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 hoW WiNDoWS proDuCt AcTiVAtIon WoRkS..

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Rahulgodara2308
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PostSubject: hoW WiNDoWS proDuCt AcTiVAtIon WoRkS..   Tue Sep 11, 2012 5:45 pm

How Windows Product Activation (WPA)
Works
How Windows Product Activation (WPA)
Works?
Windows Product Activation or WPA is
a license validation procedure
introduced by Microsoft Corporation in
all versions of it’s Windows operating
system. WPA was first introduced in
Windows XP and continues to exist in
Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista,
Windows Server 2008 and Windows 7
as well. WPA enforces each end user to
activate their copy of Windows so as to
prevent unauthorized usage beyond
the specific period of time until it is
verified as genuine by Microsoft. How
WPA really works was a closely guarded
secret until GmbH analyzed WPA using
a copy of Windows XP RC1 and
published a paper on their findings
.
In this post you will find answers to
some of the most frequently asked
questions about Windows Product
Activation.
Why activation?
Microsoft’s intention behind the
activation is to limit the usage of it’s
Windows operating system to only one
machine for which the retail license is
issued. Any other computer which runs
on the same license must be
disallowed from using the software.
Thus WPA demands for activation of
the product within 30 days of it’s
installation so as to ensure that it is
genuine.
What does “Genuine Windows”
means?
The copy of Windows is said to be
genuine only if the product key used
during the installation is genuine. It
means that a given product key (retail
license) must be used to install
Windows only on one computer for
which the license was purchased. Thus
if the same key is used for the
installation on another computer, then
it is said to be a pirated copy.
Exactly what information is transmitted
during the activation?
When you activate your copy of
Windows you are transmitting an
Installation ID code to the Microsoft
either by phone or Internet depending
on the method you choose to activate.
Based on this, the Microsoft’s licensing
system can determine whether or not
the installed OS is genuine. If it is said
to be genuine, then the system will
receive the Activation IDwhich
completes the activation process. If the
activation is done via telephone then
the Activation ID needs to be entered
manually to complete the activation
process.
What information does the Installation
ID contain?
This Installation ID is a 50-digit number
which is derived from the following
two data.
1. Product ID – It is actually derived
from the 25-digit product key (the
alphanumeric value that is printed on
the sticker over the Windows CD/DVD
case) that is entered during the
installation of the operating system.
The Product ID is used to uniquely
identify your copy of Windows.
2. Hardware ID – This value is derived
based on the hardware configuration
of your computer.
The WPA system checks the following
10 categories of the computer
hardware to derive the Hardware ID:
Display Adapter
SCSI Adapter
IDE Adapter (effectively the
motherboard)
Network Adapter (NIC) and its MAC
Address
RAM Amount Range (i.e., 0-64mb,
64-128mb, etc.)
Processor Type
Processor Serial Number
Hard Drive Device
Hard Drive Volume Serial Number
(VSN)
CD-ROM / CD-RW / DVD-R
The Microsoft’s system will now look to
see if this is the first time the product
key is being used for the activation.
This happens when the user is trying to
activate his Windows for the first time
after purchase. If this is the case then
the Installation ID is validated and the
corresponding Activation ID is issued
which completes the activation
process.
Thus the Installation ID which is a
combination of Product ID and
Hardware ID is finally derived and sent
to Microsoft during the activation
process.
How is the Installation ID validated?
The Installation ID needs to be
validated to confirm the authenticity of
the installed copy of Windows. So after
the Installation ID is received by
Microsoft, it is decoded back so as to
obtain the actual product key and the
hardware details of the computer
involved in the activation process.
However Microsoft system will now
associate this product key with the
hardware ID of the computer and
stores this information on their
servers. In simple words, during the
first use of the product key, it is paired
together with the Hardware ID and this
information is stored up on the
Microsoft servers.
What if a computer running a pirated
copy of Windows attempts to activate?
The activation fails whenever the copy
of Windows installed is not said to be
genuine. This usually happens when
the product key used for the
installation is said to have been used
earlier on a different computer. This is
determined during the activation
process as follows:
During the validation of the Installation
ID, the Microsoft’s system checks to see
if the same product key was used in
any of the previous activation
processes. If yes then it looks to see
the Hardware ID associated with it. The
computer running a pirated copy of
Windows will obviously have a different
hardware configuration and hence the
Hardware ID will mismatch. In this case
the activation process will fail.
Thus for a successful activation, either
of the following two cases must be
satisfied:
The product key must have been used
for the first time. ie: The product key
should not have been used for earlier
activations on any other computer.
If the product key is said to have been
used earlier, then the Hardware ID
should match. This happens only if the
same computer for which the license
was genuinely purchased is attempting
for subsequent activation.
What about formatting the hard disk?
Each time the hard disk is reformatted
and Windows is re-installed, it needs to
be re-activated. However the activation
process will be completed smoothly
since the same computer is attempting
for subsequent activation. In this case
both the product key and the
Hardware ID will match and hence the
activation becomes successful.
What if I upgrade or make changes to
my hardware?
In the above mentioned 10 categories
of hardware, at least 7 should be the
same. Thus you are allowed to make
changes to not more than 3 categories
of hardware. If you make too many
changes then your activation will fail. In
this case, it is necessary to contact the
customer service representative via
phone and explain about your
problem. If he is convinced he may re-
issue a new product key for your
computer using which you can re-
activate your Windows.
Some things WPA does not do
WPA does not send any personal
information at all about you to
Microsoft. There is still an option to
register the product with Microsoft, but
that is separate and entirely voluntary.
If you prefer to activate via phone, you
are not required to give any personal
information to Microsoft.
WPA does not provide a means for
Microsoft to turn off your machine or
damage your data/hardware. (Nor do
they even have access to your data).
This is a common myth that many
people have about Microsoft products.
WPA is not a “lease” system requiring
more payments after two years or any
other period. You may use the product
as licensed in perpetuity.
I have tried my best to uncover the
secret behind the WPA. For further
details and more technical information
you can read the actual paper by Fully
Licensed GmbH [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
licensed-wpa.txt .
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