Thursday, January 24, 2013

Activate Windows 8 with OEM key (when you do not know where to find). v1

This is a Technicians Only Document !!!
Applies to: OEM Versions of Windows 8

This document is under version control. Thos post is not about activating your pirate version of Windows.
Others: I am not a slave of Microsoft :D

Reusing OEM Key in Windows 8 series - Also includes how to locate Windows 8 key.

With the Windows 8 release Microsoft had introduced some new and improved activation technologies. This time they have come up with OA3 (OEM Activation 3). This is a method that OEMs use to inject the product key to hardware and use it to activate Windows (o/l or off/l). Each key is unique.,16636.html

Not like the earlier SLIC hacks, this, according to MS, is more difficult to crack (although it is not 100% true as usual).

SLIC can be used to activate Windows 7 and earlier versions. The famous Windows Loader uses the same thing to activate pirate versions of Windows.

Now, the problem is, Win 8 keys will NOT be displayed as sticker. However, you must check whether your branded machine has Authenticity sticker.

If you ever need to activate Windows again, you will be walking into a mess. Where to find the key, how to activate, which version to install? Lots of questions to be answred.

If you have a recovery media (unfortunately, recovery media will not be made available, non for free as well. Just a hidden partition). However, if you own one, you do not have any issue.
If you do not have the recovery partition (formatted), and you do not have the recovery media, now what?
Also note that UEFI interfaces (no legacy BIOS anymore in the future), does not allow USB boot. Not yet. Either you have to turn legacy BIOS on or use a DVD instead.

Use this utility to locate your unique product key:
Install and run.
Go to ACPI tables (check the tooltip for info).
Go to MSMD table. From there, you will find this unique key. If you do not see the key but some hexa decimals: Convert the last 29 pairs with a hex converter to ascii... you can also use this (I am not going to tell how):
Install Windows 8. You must follow these steps when you install Windows.
The media must match the SKU (Stock Keeping Units) and must match the SingleCoreLanguage version.
Open your ISO image file (use Daemon tools lite) and check whether you see an cfg file (ei.cfg). If you have, edit it, if you do not see, you need to extract the iso and create a file/use an injector to inject the file and reimage
Create the file with these lines:


(better to stick with the first one as this introduces complications but this has worked in some occations. Experiment with it)...

If you need to use a VLK Generic Key first, you need to set 0 to 1.

  9. Just install Windows (provide the key if asked to. Or, you can specify later).
10. The activation can happen automatically. If not, open a command prompt with admin permission.
11. Click Windows Key > Click cmd > Right click > Run as Admin.
12. type slmgr.vbs /dlv to check license. If it says licensed, no worries. You will also see the very last portion of the serial number (OEM Key).
13. If not activated, but you can see the product key, type slmgr.vbs -ato (not for the people who specified a generic vlk key at the installation). This could be doen even if you are offline.
14. If you do not see a product key, you have to specify the key. slmgr.vbs -ipk xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx and press enter. If you receive an error, your Windows version is not the excat what you had earlier.
15. If you recieve no errors, type slmgr.vbs -ato and press enter. Ignore the errors if happen. Wait for some time and check the /dlv (step 12).
16. To remove the generic key and specify the unique OEM key: slmgr.vbs -upk and press enter. And then follow step 14 and below.

Other utilities:
OA3 Tool for Intel® Integrator Toolkit 5.0:

I will include how to activate Windows 7 with an OEM key or certificate in a next post. This is not a cracking tutorial but an experimental for viewers. As we already know it is possible to trick Windows 7 activation already.


Anonymous said...

Using the AMAZING understanding and programming prowess of "Agnoheim" I have adapted a batch script using a FOR loop to gather the Product Key from the bios using his tool and store it as a variable, then by utilizing SLMGR, install that product key and then activate Windows 8. This should work on all computers that are certified for Windows 8. If it is not, the product key value will return blank and make the rest of the script invalid.

Copy and paste this following code into a batch script and store in the same folder as the tool provided from Agnoheim. Rename the exe file to rpkfb.exe (Retrieve Product Key From Bios) so that the script will work properly. Enjoy my fellow admins!


REM We will retrieve the product key from the bios (If it exists) and store it as a variable
for /F "tokens=* delims=" %%i in ('rpkfb.exe') do set PRODUCTKEY=%%i

@ECHO Your Product Key is %PRODUCTKEY%

REM We will take the product key and install it using "Software License Manager" aka (SLMGR)
cscript //B "%SYSTEMROOT%\system32\slmgr.vbs" -ipk %PRODUCTKEY%


REM We will now take the newly installed product key and activate Windows 8
cscript //B "%SYSTEMROOT%\system32\slmgr.vbs" -ato

Script stops here

There are a multiple ways to adapt this


Install / Deploy Windows 8 with the Default Product Key (Trial) and activate after install

Keep in mind, There are no hacks associated with this! Lets continue...


1. Using MDT, you can use the EXE provided and store its output as a Task Sequence Variable and use it in later task sequence steps to activate Windows 8. Unsure of how to store the output currently, but working on it.

2. Use the script from a flash drive or network location and it should work great!

3. Pack the files into a executable using something along the lines of BAT to EXE converter and just simply run it from a flash drive or network location or add it as an application or custom task sequence step in MDT during a Windows 8 deployment task sequence somewhere after the "State Restore" phase. MDT will hold onto the EXE until it returns a 0 3010 success code so that means the script will process fully before it moves on because its packed into a EXE.

All in all, this will allow all of us to utilize the Windows 8 licenses that come along with the machines in the first place and activate Windows legitimately using that method. Although there was more to figure out on our end, I think Microsoft has truly made a great move with SLP 3.0 by making each license truly unique to each computer. SLP 2.1 was a great attempt, but I think they have it down now. This will allow us to keep machines legal without having to rip our hair out creating WMI Manufacturer based activation for Windows 7 "LIKE I HAD TO DO!" LOL!

God Bless guys!

P.S. - If anybody needs to know how to make a hidden recovery partition with MDT prepared Windows PE on it during a task sequence that will capture a WIM of the currently installed OS, allow you to restore it, and add a boot entry to the Windows Boot Manager, please let me know!

Anonymous said...

I have taken the liberty to compile the self extracting executable using SFX Maker that will utilize the code above in a automated fashion and nothing else.

Download the file here:

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Kimberley Reeves said...

Jo Maddox said...

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