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Windows 7: Couple of question about OEM keys and MAKs/VLKs


14 May 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 
Couple of question about OEM keys and MAKs/VLKs

A few questions.

1) If my company has MAK volume license keys,but I install using a Dell Windows 7 OEM disc on a PC, will there be activation/product key problem? In other words, does the Dell OEM disc have any differences compare to say a copy from digital river which i'm guessing can be called 'retail install' version?

2) This question is opposite. If had a Dell OEM key for 64 bit version, but use a win 7 64bit retail disc and try to activate would there be an issue?

Reason I ask all this is i'm trying to plan out a couple of general Win 7 images for my company to be usable to all pc's, including OEM keys and non-OEM.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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14 May 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 x64 Home Premium (and x86 VirtualBox VM)
 
 

All Recovery disks are customised by the manufacturer.
The amount of customisation varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, and from model to model, as well as OS to OS.
A Dell Recovery disk is ONLY valid on the PC with which it was shipped (at least in theory)

What you say in your last paragraph makes no sense. An OS deployment will strictly use only ONE type of Key, to reduce the admin overhead, and maintain the manageability.

You cannot used an image with an OEM Key, and the same image with an MAK Key (or vice-versa), as far as I know.

What you could do is an MAK deployment with one image, and an OEM with another - but that nearly doubles the workload.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 May 2012   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

I'm not sure if i'm explaining clearly..

What I'm trying to plan out is have ONE master Win 7 64-bit image and ONE 32bit image for ALL PCs, even potential new Dell purchases with OEM Win 7 sticker on them. For the PCs that don't have OEM win 7 sticker, but say have Vista sticker for example, we will use our MAK keys.

Possible or not possible?

Will I have to make separate 32/64 bit company master images for PCs that have Dell OEM win 7 sticker?

You confused me a bit on the Dell OEM CD. I don't think a specific Dell branded Win 7 DVD is attached to a specific computer.

This stuff can get confusing real quick.
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15 May 2012   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 x64 Home Premium (and x86 VirtualBox VM)
 
 

You would be FAR better to use your MAK Keys for ALL computers.

The branded Dell disk is in theory locked to a particular model of machine (but not to a particular machine, true). In practice that's not the case, but it's best for future-proofing to assume that it is.

If you start cloning an OEM_SLP-keyed install based on the Dell Key, you will break a number of the licensing rules.

In theory it's possible to create a deployment using retail media - but then that means inserting the appropriate Key into each machine at first boot.

What is your problem about using MAK Keys throughout?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 May 2012   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by event3horizon View Post
I'm not sure if i'm explaining clearly..

What I'm trying to plan out is have ONE master Win 7 64-bit image and ONE 32bit image for ALL PCs, even potential new Dell purchases with OEM Win 7 sticker on them. For the PCs that don't have OEM win 7 sticker, but say have Vista sticker for example, we will use our MAK keys.

Possible or not possible?

Will I have to make separate 32/64 bit company master images for PCs that have Dell OEM win 7 sticker?

You confused me a bit on the Dell OEM CD. I don't think a specific Dell branded Win 7 DVD is attached to a specific computer.

This stuff can get confusing real quick.
I can confirm that a Dell branded Windows DVD is good only for the computer it was supplied with.

In fact, I think it states on the disc that it's an OEM version that is only to be used on a Dell computer.

To prove a point, I tried to install it on a spare HP computer and it threw a hissy fit and wouldn't install.

It's what you get when pay a little extra for a so-called recovery disc. It installs Windows and the drivers come on a separate disc so it's ideal for anyone who wants a clean install without Dell's bloatware.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 May 2012   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 x64 Home Premium (and x86 VirtualBox VM)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by seavixen32 View Post
I can confirm that a Dell branded Windows DVD is good only for the computer it was supplied with.

In fact, I think it states on the disc that it's an OEM version that is only to be used on a Dell computer.

To prove a point, I tried to install it on a spare HP computer and it threw a hissy fit and wouldn't install.

It's what you get when pay a little extra for a so-called recovery disc. It installs Windows and the drivers come on a separate disc so it's ideal for anyone who wants a clean install without Dell's bloatware.
That experience is contrary to many - I've often found that a Dell-sourced System recovery disk will install on something else, although obviously it wouldn't activate.
It was true a few years ago - in the early days of XP - but the BIOS-LOCK system has changed since then, and the SLP Key and SLIC table takes care of most of it now. As I understand it, the Dell System disk currently is pretty much a standard OEM disk with the Dell customisations, and no 'Dell-lock' present.
What a disk set produced from the machine itself is, is another matter!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 May 2012   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 

In that case Noel, I'll give it another try as I'm intrigued now.

My wife has graciously said I can use her laptop as long as I fix her computer without the usual whingeing from me!

What I do know is that the disc that Dell provided me with is an OEM copy of Windows 7 Home Premium and it's supplied with a separate driver disc that only has the chipset, LAN and graphics drivers. The rest have to be downloaded from Dell.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 May 2012   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Good info. Thank you.

My problem with using MAK keys on all PCs is obviously a shortage of them. Why should we use our MAK keys when we can use a Dell OEM key sticker? I also wasn't planning to use a DELL DVD on other OEM brands. Just wanted to know if I can use the retail DVD (made into a custom company image) and if it will accept and activate Dell OEM keys.

My company often buys the OS with the PCs it buys, and doesn't choose the no OS option from Dell.

And I don't mind inserting the appropriate key onto each PC. We don't have hundreds or thousands of PCs.. lol.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 May 2012   #9

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 x64 Home Premium (and x86 VirtualBox VM)
 
 

If you use a Retail DVD you will have to individually apply each machine's Key and activate it (probably by phone).

ALL Volumne Keys are Upgrades - so each machine MUST have its own qualifying Pro license anyhow (whether XP, Vista or Windows 7).

Getting extra MAK activations is not a problem - and it's a LOT cheaper than using OEM_COA Keys for multiple activations when you consider the value of peoples' time.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 May 2012   #10

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by event3horizon View Post
Good info. Thank you.

My problem with using MAK keys on all PCs is obviously a shortage of them. Why should we use our MAK keys when we can use a Dell OEM key sticker? I also wasn't planning to use a DELL DVD on other OEM brands. Just wanted to know if I can use the retail DVD (made into a custom company image) and if it will accept and activate Dell OEM keys.

My company often buys the OS with the PCs it buys, and doesn't choose the no OS option from Dell.

And I don't mind inserting the appropriate key onto each PC. We don't have hundreds or thousands of PCs.. lol.
If you have the DELL OEM reinstall Disk ( not the Recovery Disks) for all your DELL machines ( which you can easily get from DELL even if you do not have them), then as suggested by mate alphanumeric in one of his posts elsewhere, " if you copy the $OEM$ folder and ei.cfg file from the sources folder on the Dell disk to the new sp1 disk, the sp1 disk should now do the OEM SLP activation like the original Dell disk did."

The advantage here will be that you need not enter the different CAO-SLP key for each DELL machine and then activate it by phone/ a robo call /activates through internet sometimes . The same DVD will autoactivate all your DELL machines provided all of them have the same Windows 7 edition. (32bit or 64 bit does not matter)

Alternatively, you can google search on ways and means of backing up and restoring the OEM-SLP activation. You can directly address DELL Technical Support and find out whether you can do it and whether they have any objections to it. Mostly they will not. (Seven Forum Admin does not permit mentioning the activation Backup and Restore programs here.. IMO, it is perfectly ethical and legal when it is resorted on a legally licenced OEM machine with a factory embedded SLIC which ensures protection against piracy.)

That said, please do check the following two articles and whether these are of help to you.

Learn About Product Activation on Product activation.

"Original Equipment Manufacturer

Most OEMs sell systems that include a standard build of the Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system. Hardware vendors perform OEM activation by associating the operating system to the firmware (basic input/output system, or BIOS) of the computer. This process occurs before the computer is sent to the customer so that no additional actions are required by the user. This method of activation is known as OEM activation.
OEM activation is valid as long as the customer uses the OEM-provided image on a system. To create a customized image, customers can use the image provided by the OEM as the basis for creating the custom image. Otherwise, a different activation method must be used. For further details on customizing Windows and activation impacts refer to the following whitepaper.
Note OEM activation is applicable to computers with Windows installed that are purchased through OEM channels.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff730914.aspx speaks about customizing Windows 7 Professional edition

There is also a white paper on how retain the OEM activation in Windows 7 for companies wanting to use a modified custom image. ( Not immediately able to get it. )

EDIT: here is the link for downloading the white paper: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/downl...s.aspx?id=5114 Preserving the OEM activation in Windows Vista and Windows 7
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 Couple of question about OEM keys and MAKs/VLKs




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