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Thursday, July 29, 2010

System Locked Preinstallation

System Locked Preinstallation, often abbreviated as SLP, is a procedure used by major OEM computer manufacturers in order to preactivate Microsoft Windows before mass distribution. There are three different versions of SLP: 2.1, 2.0, and SLP, which is now commonly referred to as SLP 1.0 to avoid confusion. The are used roughly coinciding with Windows NT versions (see table below). Operating systems that use SLP 1.0 check for a particular text string in a computer's BIOS upon booting. If the text string does not match the information stored in the particular installation's OEM BIOS files, the user is prompted to activate his or her copy as normal. SLP 2.0 and SLP 2.1 works in a similar manner. This effectively "locks" the operating system to the qualified motherboard. In addition, if an end user feels the need to perform a "clean install" of Windows, and if the manufacturer supplies the user with an installation disc (not a "System Recovery" disc that is a hard drive image), the user will not be prompted to activate the copy, given that the installation is performed on the same motherboard. Furthermore, because the check only involves the BIOS and not hardware, a user is allowed to change virtually all hardware components within the machine except motherboard, a procedure that would normally trigger re-activation in retail Windows copies.
SLP Versions
Version Windows
SLP Windows XP, Windows Server 2003
SLP 2.0 Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008
SLP 2.1 Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2
SLP installations still require a product key, which are unique to the specific version of Windows (Home (XP), Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate, Server, etc...). The product key printed on the Certificate of Authenticity affixed to an OEM assembled is sometimes said to suffice, but this is not necessarily the case. As of February 28, 2005[1], those keys were invalidated for normal activation by Microsoft in an effort to further reduce software piracy, but does not apply to SLP. If the COA product key is lost, then product key finders, readily available on the Internet, can decrypt the key from a local installation. Keys from either source (see below) will allow the user to avoid activation upon reinstallation. However since SLP 2.0 was introduced hackers have been able to create modified bootloaders based on the linux bootloader grldr, these are capable of emulating a SLP text string (such as one for Dell, Acer and so on) so it appears to be present in the bios. This combined with a OEM certificate and OEM product key can instantly activate a Windows Vista/7 installation illegally but also be very hard to notice. This method can also be integrated into a Windows installation disk to activate on initial boot.
Microsoft released the following generic product keys that can be used to avoid product activation on any SLP-enabled computer using the corresponding version of Windows XP: (Please note that the following keys are not volume license keys. The installation source must also be SLP-enabled by the manufacturer. Microsoft has not publicly released an SLP key for Windows XP Home Edition, but the actual key from any SLP-activated installation of XP Home can be used on any other, regardless of brand. SLP-enabled installation CDs usually supply the needed key automatically, without the user having to enter one.)
Generic product keys
Product Name Product Key
Windows XP Professional (32-bit) ​MVF4D-W774K-MC4VM-QY6XY-R38TB​
Windows XP Professional (64-bit) ​FM634-HJ3QK-6QVTY-RJY4R-XCR9J​
Windows XP Tablet PC Edition ​XT67V-GY7FW-GR6FR-WDK2C-8T97J​

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