Re: stolen operating system

From: Torgeir Bakken \(MVP\) (
Date: 09/09/04

Date: Thu, 09 Sep 2004 02:09:09 +0200

MarlaJo wrote:

> In the response to the last post, the enquiry regarding MS & pirating
> software / multiple installs and uses of a single license was acknowledged
> but was left unanswered. Can you please explain how MS can detect multiple
> installs/uses of a single-use application license agreement and, if not, what
> is to stop anyone from so doing?

It is described here:

In short, it creates a hardware hash (will be unique for each
computer), and this hash together with the Product Key (SP1 and up)
is transmitted to Microsoft. Note that after 120 days, this record
is purged from Microsoft's database.

Also note that for all computers from the larger OEM suppliers (Dell,
IBM, HP, Gateway, Sony etc.), no information is sent to Microsoft at
all, no Product Key, no hardware hash, no nothing, they do not need to
activate online. This because they use a BIOS locked CD/Product Key.
When the OS installed with e.g. Dells OEM CD/Product Key boots up and
finds a Dell BIOS, it will automatically activate the Windows Product.

So, at least for laptops, this tracking functionality you sought after
is pretty moot because almost all laptops sold are from these larger
OEMs so there is no information about them stored at Microsoft (and
for those computer that does activate online, the data is gone after
120 days, but that time line could be extended of course).

torgeir, Microsoft MVP Scripting and WMI, Porsgrunn Norway
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