Legit reinstalls without OEM CDs

OEM A.C.T. (OEM Activation Control Technology)
This is a method that allows you to create a Windows XP Setup disk that has Multiple Manufacturer oembios.* files on it. During installation a script is run that determines what oembios.* files are needed for the system so that you will have a pre-activated install. This will help lessen the times that you need to call Microsoft for activation. :D

Legit reinstalls without OEM CDs

Postby msdemich » Fri Jun 06, 2008 10:13 pm

On many occasions, I have encountered computers with windows XP in a state beyond saving. (strange unfixable errors, spyware, virii, etc) Usually the user no longer has -or never had- the XP install disc. There will be a sticker on the side of the case with a CD-key, but thats it. Of course, HP, Dell, IBM, etc want to charge a bunch of money for replacement CDs (something they should have included with the computer in the first place).

I thought that this OEM A.C.T. project might be the solution but now I'm not so sure. I'm *not* a computer reseller. I just want a safe and legal way of reinstalling XP on these machines without having to buy new CDs from HP, Dell, or Microsoft.

Any advice would be appreciated.
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Postby TwoJ » Sat Jun 07, 2008 9:56 am

I'm not sure why you say you aren't sure, fear not Microsoft will not send their lawyers after you, they are much more interested in bigger fish.

To my knowledge as long as you follow the EULA (End User License Agreement) for the type of Windows that was installed on the machine you need to reformat then you are doing everything legal. Personally i haven't read the entire EULA from MS but then again i'm not worried that they spend their time on me.

Basically as long as you follow the pricipal of MS licensing, ie your OEM computer was installed with a XP Home or Professional, if you need to re-install windows you need to re-install with the same type. There are a few details that the OEM license cannot be re-installed if the motherboard has been replaced, but there are also a few conditions that might allow you to re-install even in that case. Really what would be considered illegal is to take parts of different computers and create a new computer and install windows OEM on that.
So every OEM computer that was shipped with windows it is legal to re-install it, as long as there has been no major hardware changes to that computer.

next, there is no law which states that Windows must be re-installed from the OEM media, when the person purchased the computer they bought the "right to use" (not to own) that version of windows on that machine and that right is why they put that COA (Certificate of Authenticity) sticker on an OEM computer, so that in the case you need to re-install you can use any OEM windows XP(of the same type- home or pro) and re-install it.

The media contains the oembios files that provide the pre-activation that will bypass the need to call Microsoft to validate the OEM copy if you re-install from the COA, the media also contains the original drivers for the hardware.

Now what may be illegal is to have the oembios files and the product keys necessary to install a SLP (System Lock Preactivated) OEM computer. But i'm no lawyer so i'm not positive it is absolutly legal/illegal or unknown.

What i do know is that OEM SLP is a way MS is using to make sure that 1 OEM computer has 1 licensed version of XP on it, and as long as i respect that then how i do it should not be a concern for them as long as there is no intent to defraud them in the process, and this is where the OEM ACT comes in - a way to pre-activate OEM SLP computers.

I was told a story once by a person that i trust to tell the truth that he had phoned microsoft explaining that he no longer had the windows source CD to re-install the OS, and the person said that legally he would need to contact the computer manufacture to obtain a re-installation CD (i believe that the OEM was out of buisness on top of it), or purchase a retail copy of XP, or as the microsoft represetitve suggest - download a copy of XP from an internet sharing site and use the COA from the computer!

So while the legal way might be stupidly difficult, microsoft themselves seem to have a policy of looking the other way for people who make their products a bit more efficient even if it may not be 100% legal, but as long as it respects their intelectual property and licensing.

So there's a little rambling - if you want to do it 100% legal you must re-install from the same windows type OEM CD (where you get it from is your buisness), you cannot buy just an OEM CD, they should only be given with an OEM system. Then you re-install with the COA product key and give MS a 10min call to go through the WGA process to get a 100% legally installed version of XP.
or you use the OEM-ACT or similar (questionably legallity) and at the end you have a 100% legally installed version of XP
-The choice is yours!
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Postby Siginet » Sun Jun 08, 2008 11:07 pm

The OEM Act method does not break any rules as long as it is used in a legal way.

If the computer is a dell with an XP Pro Sticker on it then you install the system with a Dell SLP Key and the Dell OEMBIOS files. Use a Win XP OEM Cd and everything is legit. The files are all the same on a regular XP OEM disk as a DELL OEM XP disk... aside from the dell crap. ;)
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