Re: PC Service & software piracy (again)

Discussion in 'A+ Certification' started by Barry Watzman, Sep 3, 2003.

  1. LARGE OEMs (Dell, Gateway, Toshiba, HP, etc.) have a choice of "BIOS
    Locking" and not requiring activation, or of requiring Activation and
    not "BIOS locking" (in the second case, essentially there is no
    difference between the OEM copy and a retail copy as far as the need for
    product activation is concerned). It seems to me that most OEMs are
    choosing the second choice, but this varies, and in fact a given OEM
    could do BIOS locking on some models and Activation on other models.
    I've experienced both types of installations.

    Adam Leinss wrote:

    > "techshare" <> wrote in
    > news::
    > [snip]
    >>Microsoft and/or Dell seem
    >>to have it fixed so that you'll never get that XP installation
    >>activated again on the new system. (long story, would have to put
    >>in another post ... but if you've already been there and done that
    >>... you know what I'm talking about).

    > My understanding was that OEM copies were "BIOS locked" and did not
    > need activation:
    > "When Microsoft releases a new operating system, manufacturers often
    > rally behind it with OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) versions,
    > and Windows XP is no exception. Vendors, such as Compaq, will ship
    > machines with their own OEM versions of XP, and most will be pre-
    > activating the software so the customer is relieved of that chore.
    > Vendors can activate by contacting Microsoft themselves before
    > selling the PC, or will have the option of using a "System Locked
    > Pre-Activation" or SLP method to tie the copy of Windows XP to the
    > system.
    > The SLP uses OEM-specified BIOS information as an activation key for
    > Windows XP. At boot time, Windows XP compares the PC's BIOS with the
    > SLP information, and if it matches, no activation is necessary. These
    > versions will not require a hardware hash or contact with Microsoft.
    > This allows the end user to restore a trashed machine using the OEM's
    > System Recovery disks without having to activate again. An additional
    > benefit is that these versions will allow you to change every
    > component on the machine with the exception of the BIOS without
    > triggering a new activation. The user could even replace the
    > motherboard as long as it was acquired from the OEM and had the
    > correct BIOS identification. Allen Neiman says that most of their OEM
    > vendors will be shipping Windows XP this way. Though he declined to
    > say which vendors, he said at press time there were five to seven
    > major vendors signed up." (Quoted from
    > I know for a fact that Dell was one of the vendors that use SLP
    > media. That media slipped on the Internet giving Dell owners
    > essentially a VL version of Windows XP.
    >>There are many cases where software problems can be resolved
    >>without applying a new service pack, or using the Windows CD.
    >>However, there are also cases where that simply cannot be done.
    >>So, what am I going to do? Use one of my own XP license keys?! I
    >>think not.

    > Thankfully I was out of the retail PC repair biz before XP hit the
    > streets. :eek:)
    >>Maybe a good policy is to tell them the price for the new OS +
    >>installation ... and remind them that if they decide to go
    >>elsewhere ... we'll report them to the SPA. Just Kidding :) ...
    >>Anyway, any reasonable ideas to combat this problem would be
    >>appreciated. Thanks!

    > I guess my policy would be let the customer worry about activating.
    > Use their key and reinstall the software. Eventually Windows XP will
    > force THEM to call Microsoft, get the 50 digit confirmation number
    > and re-activate the software or Microsoft will explain to them that
    > they have a bootleg copy of Windows XP and they need to buy a new
    > copy. I think they are given 30 days grace period for activating
    > Windows XP.
    > Either way, I don't see how you think it's your problem! Now, if
    > they don't have a CD key, that's one thing and yeah, you have to tell
    > them to buy a new copy. As long as you aren't loading bootleg copies
    > from your shop onto their computer, there's isn't anything you can
    > get in trouble for. For example: someone comes in with Windows 2000
    > and you give them Windows XP. That would be bad.
    > However, I don't think anyone needs to act like the software police.
    > Microsoft made this technology: let them deal with the angry
    > customer! Intuit removed their version of PA after hordes of angry
    > customers and bad press floated their way.
    > The only thing I would ever report to anyone would be if a customer
    > had child pornography on his or her computer.
    > Adam
    Barry Watzman, Sep 3, 2003
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