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Windows 7: Product key in registry does not correspond with product key in BIOS

16 Jan 2016   #1
riddler

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Product key in registry does not correspond with product key in BIOS

I have been reading posts on seven-/eight-/tenforums for years with pleasure and gratitude for all the solutions they provided. But my current issue is one of the strangest things I've encountered in all these years. Have been searching through a lot of posts but haven't found any similar issue (or solution for it) yet. So here it goes.

Symptom: the OEM product key in the registry of a Windows 7 Pro installation (laptop) does not correspond with the OEM product key in the laptop's BIOS.

Here's the situation in short. It concerns a laptop from a student friend of mine who asked me to upgrade her current Windows 7 Pro x64 OS to Windows 10. She couldn't tell me if the installation was the original OEM factory partition or if it (perhaps) could be a pirated version. Since I wasn't about to just upgrade to Windows 10 without checking the authenticity of the Windows 7 OS, I performed the regular checks: see if it was activated already by running the "Activate Windows" program (check), check under Control Panel -> System and Maintenance -> System tab if the OS was already activated (check) and run Microsoft's online Validation Tool (check). Everything seems fine, the OS is activated and genuine.

Still, the COA sticker was missing. My friend didn't have any physical recovery media or other stuff with a license sticker on it. So I thought I'd check the product key stored in the BIOS and compare it with the product key in the registry. If they'd correspond, all would be well.

However, things turned out differently. After retrieving the product key from the registry with several programs (Magical Jellybean Key Finder, Belarc Advisor and Windows Product Key Finder Pro), I compared it with the BIOS product key (retrieved with NeoSmart Technologies' Windows OEM Product Key Tool). Result: they did not correspond. I couldn't believe it at first and double checked it with another program that retrieves both the registry product key and the BIOS product key and lists it in one table (One Up's Recover Keys). It confirmed my initial result.

I know that it's possible to run a pirated version that is activated and appears to be genuine and pass the validation tool. And since it's a students' laptop, I can't rule this out. But it could also be possible that another genuine OEM version has been installed on the laptop (and thus activated and genuine). And that's why I want to be absolutely sure I'm doing the right thing with upgrading to Windows 10. Therefore, I'm a bit stuck in my upgrade decision process.

My questions are:

1. Should I just upgrade to Windows 10 on the current Windows 7 OS without knowing if the latter is truly genuine or not? I suppose that the Windows 10 upgrade will complete successfully since the current Windows 7 OS has passed the validation tool, but this is merely a prediction. I haven't tried upgrading a pirated Windows 7/8/8.1 OS, so I'm not sure what happens in such a situation.

2. If the first question is answered positive, will the Windows 10 upgrade use the registry product key of the Windows 7 installation (and register the laptop hardware on the MS servers and tie the new Windows 10 license to the laptop hardware config based on that registry product key)?

3. If second question is answered negative, will the Windows 10 upgrade use the BIOS product key?

4. I know that since the Windows 10 November update, it is not necessary anymore to upgrade from the Windows 7 OS first and then wipe everything for a clean full Windows 10 install. As I've read, one can immediately start with a clean full Windows 10 install and then enter the Windows 7 product key when prompted to enter a key during the install process. With this in mind, would it be sensible to immediately do a clean full Windows 10 install and enter the BIOS product key since this key is originally tied to the laptop hardware (and completely disregard the registry product key of the current Windows 7 OS)?

I realize these are a lot of questions, my apologies for this. But this situation has been boggling my mind for the past five hours. Hopefully you could help me out. Thanks in advance.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 Jan 2016   #2
AddRAM

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

A windows 7 key is not stored or shown in the bios.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jan 2016   #3
riddler

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

@AddRAM: thnx for the quick response!

I also initially thought that only Windows 8/8.1 OEM keys are stored in the BIOS, but strangely NeoSmart Technologies' Windows OEM Product Key Tool does give a certain 'BIOS key' as a result (see attachment below).

See other attachment to this post: the exact same result is also given by One Up's Recover Keys under "Windows 7 Professional (from BIOS) -> License Key". Also see that same attachment: the result under "Windows 7 Professional -> License Key" corresponds to the results given by Magical Jellybean Key Finder, Belarc Advisor and Windows Product Key Finder Pro (which all three extract from the registry).

If only one program extracts a so-called 'key from BIOS', it could easily be seen as an anomaly. But if two programs retrieve the exact same 'BIOS key' then surely that can't be a coincidence, right? Especially when the second program lists both the 'BIOS key' and the different registry key (which is confirmed by three other registry key retrievers)?

-----


Attached Thumbnails
Product key in registry does not correspond with product key in BIOS-screenshot-2.png  
Attached Images
Product key in registry does not correspond with product key in BIOS-screenshot-1.png 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Jan 2016   #4
kathy025

Windows 7 Professional SP1 x64 (OEM)
 
 

Hello,

NoelDP's response may help shed light on why you're seeing different keys:
Win 7: How to find OS product key in BIOS?

Below is also useful reading (specially the bulleted list) :
How to Find Your Lost Windows or Office Product Keys
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jan 2016   #5
riddler

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

@kathy025: thnx for the tips and links

NoelDP's response and this article made it clear for me that a distinction should be made between the OEM:SLP key (which resides in the BIOS of the laptop) and the OEM:COA key (which can be found on the COA sticker).

I followed the bulleted list in the HowToGeek-article you mentioned:
  • Stored in software on your PC --> check; already retrieved the product key from the registry via various programs (see my previous posts in this thread);
  • Printed on a sticker --> check; already determined that the COA sticker is missing on the laptop;
  • Embedded in your PC's UEFI firmware --> check; the laptop has no UEFI and/or Windows 8/8.1 installed. The key that is embedded in the BIOS is an OEM SLP (as per NoelDP's response).
I also found this blog explaining how to retrieve the OEM:SLP key with a program called SLIC Toolkit. The blog's download link to the toolkit sadly contains a virus, so I haven't been able to try it out yet (searching for other download links brings me to shady sources). But I assume it will give the exact same result as NeoSmart's Windows OEM Product Key Tool and Recover Keys (under 'BIOS' key).

The HowToGeek-article also mentions running a VBS-script and using NirSoft's ProduKey. I've put the results in two attachments to this post.

The VBS-script gives the exact same result as the other registry product key retrievers. NirSoft's ProduKey shows both the registry key and the BIOS key. The BIOS key corresponds with the results given by NeoSmart's Windows OEM Product Key Tool and Recover Keys (under 'BIOS' key).

I think that the laptop's current Windows 7 OS is a genuine and activated OS. However, as mentioned in my opening post the laptop unfortunately has no COA sticker. So I'll just write down the registry product key of the current OS and do the upgrade to Windows 10 from the current OS. Once I've finished and all is well, I'll come back to it in this thread and give you my end result.

Small follow-up question in the meantime: suppose I had received the laptop with a complete blank harddrive (i.e. everything wiped including all factory and restore partitions) and the only key that I could retrieve is the OEM SLP key from the BIOS, could I use this key to re-install Windows 7 on the laptop? (not sure how I would get OEM media to do the installation, but that would be a later concern)

-----


Attached Thumbnails
Product key in registry does not correspond with product key in BIOS-screenshot-4.png  
Attached Images
Product key in registry does not correspond with product key in BIOS-screenshot-3.png 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jan 2016   #6
torchwood

W7 home premium 32bit/W7HP 64bit/w10 tp insider ring
 
 
MXdiag

Run and post the MXdiag results,
We will be able to tell if its the original OEM or a replacement.

Windows Genuine and Activation Issue Posting Instructions

Roy
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jan 2016   #7
riddler

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

@torchwood (Roy): totally forgot about MXdiag. Thnx for reminding.

Code:
Diagnostic Report (1.9.0027.0):
-----------------------------------------
Windows Validation Data-->

Validation Code: 0
Cached Online Validation Code: 0x0
Windows Product Key: *****-*****-WWYF9-R9DCR-QB9CK
Windows Product Key Hash: 9qUnykN7Dhap+p4EDDmqAMCqFfM=
Windows Product ID: 00371-OEM-8992671-00007
Windows Product ID Type: 2
Windows License Type: OEM SLP
Windows OS version: 6.1.7601.2.00010100.1.0.048
ID: {D830BFEE-87E4-42F2-A7B6-D284DCB2801F}(1)
Is Admin: Yes
TestCab: 0x0
LegitcheckControl ActiveX: N/A, hr = 0x80070002
Signed By: N/A, hr = 0x80070002
Product Name: Windows 7 Professional
Architecture: 0x00000009
Build lab: 7601.win7sp1_gdr.151230-0600
TTS Error: 
Validation Diagnostic: 
Resolution Status: N/A

Vista WgaER Data-->
ThreatID(s): N/A, hr = 0x80070002
Version: N/A, hr = 0x80070002

Windows XP Notifications Data-->
Cached Result: N/A, hr = 0x80070002
File Exists: No
Version: N/A, hr = 0x80070002
WgaTray.exe Signed By: N/A, hr = 0x80070002
WgaLogon.dll Signed By: N/A, hr = 0x80070002

OGA Notifications Data-->
Cached Result: N/A, hr = 0x80070002
Version: N/A, hr = 0x80070002
OGAExec.exe Signed By: N/A, hr = 0x80070002
OGAAddin.dll Signed By: N/A, hr = 0x80070002

OGA Data-->
Office Status: 109 N/A
OGA Version: N/A, 0x80070002
Signed By: N/A, hr = 0x80070002
Office Diagnostics: 025D1FF3-364-80041010_025D1FF3-229-80041010_025D1FF3-230-1_025D1FF3-517-80040154_025D1FF3-237-80040154_025D1FF3-238-2_025D1FF3-244-80070002_025D1FF3-258-3

Browser Data-->
Proxy settings: N/A
User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 8.0; Win32)
Default Browser: C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe
Download signed ActiveX controls: Prompt
Download unsigned ActiveX controls: Disabled
Run ActiveX controls and plug-ins: Allowed
Initialize and script ActiveX controls not marked as safe: Disabled
Allow scripting of Internet Explorer Webbrowser control: Disabled
Active scripting: Allowed
Script ActiveX controls marked as safe for scripting: Allowed

File Scan Data-->

Other data-->
Office Details: <GenuineResults><MachineData><UGUID>{D830BFEE-87E4-42F2-A7B6-D284DCB2801F}</UGUID><Version>1.9.0027.0</Version><OS>6.1.7601.2.00010100.1.0.048</OS><Architecture>x64</Architecture><PKey>*****-*****-*****-*****-QB9CK</PKey><PID>00371-OEM-8992671-00007</PID><PIDType>2</PIDType><SID>S-1-5-21-226357066-1169219840-648947338</SID><SYSTEM><Manufacturer>FUJITSU</Manufacturer><Model>LIFEBOOK E734</Model></SYSTEM><BIOS><Manufacturer>FUJITSU // Phoenix Technologies Ltd.</Manufacturer><Version>Version 1.20</Version><SMBIOSVersion major="2" minor="7"/><Date>20150203000000.000000+000</Date></BIOS><HWID>E3D13707018400F4</HWID><UserLCID>0413</UserLCID><SystemLCID>0413</SystemLCID><TimeZone>West-Europa (standaardtijd)(GMT+01:00)</TimeZone><iJoin>0</iJoin><SBID><stat>3</stat><msppid></msppid><name></name><model></model></SBID><OEM><OEMID>FUJ   </OEMID><OEMTableID>PC      </OEMTableID></OEM><GANotification/></MachineData><Software><Office><Result>109</Result><Products/><Applications/></Office></Software></GenuineResults>  

Spsys.log Content: 0x80070002

Licensing Data-->
Versie van Software Licensing-service: 6.1.7601.17514

Naam: Windows(R) 7, Professional edition
Beschrijving: Windows Operating System - Windows(R) 7, OEM_SLP channel
Activerings-id: 50e329f7-a5fa-46b2-85fd-f224e5da7764
Toepassings-id55c92734-d682-4d71-983e-d6ec3f16059f
Uitgebreide PID: 00371-00178-926-700007-02-1033-7601.0000-0992014
Installatie-id006882139185640332194436521073072531102842538625852080
URL van processorcertificaat: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=88338
URL van computercertificaat: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=88339
URL van gebruikte licentie: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=88341
URL van productcodecertificaat: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=88340
Gedeeltelijke productcode: QB9CK
Licentiestatus: licentie
Resterend aantal nieuwe Windows-activeringen: 2
Vertrouwde tijd: 17-1-2016 15:40:02

Windows Activation Technologies-->
HrOffline: 0x00000000
HrOnline: 0x00000000
HealthStatus: 0x0000000000000000
Event Time Stamp: 1:17:2016 03:56
ActiveX: Registered, Version: 7.1.7600.16395
Admin Service: Registered, Version: 7.1.7600.16395
HealthStatus Bitmask Output:


HWID Data-->
HWID Hash Current: NAAAAAEAAQABAAEAAAABAAAABgABAAEAln24uSw6xpHaJ+zqluhgO6KvVvTsFS7h9KTI9g==

OEM Activation 1.0 Data-->
N/A

OEM Activation 2.0 Data-->
BIOS valid for OA 2.0: yes
Windows marker version: 0x20001
OEMID and OEMTableID Consistent: yes
BIOS Information: 
  ACPI Table Name	OEMID Value	OEMTableID Value
  APIC			FUJ   		PC      
  FACP			FUJ   		PC      
  HPET			FUJ   		PC      
  MCFG			FUJ   		PC      
  SSDT			FUJ   		SataAhci
  SSDT			FUJ   		SataAhci
  SSDT			FUJ   		SataAhci
  SSDT			FUJ   		SataAhci
  SSDT			FUJ   		SataAhci
  UEFI			FUJ   		PC      
  TCPA			PTL		 CRESTLN
  MSDM			FUJ   		PC      
  ASF!			FUJ   		PC      
  UEFI			FUJ   		PC      
  FPDT			FUJ   		PC      
  SLIC			FUJ   		PC      
  UEFI			FUJ   		PC      
  SSDT			FUJ   		SataAhci
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jan 2016   #8
kathy025

Windows 7 Professional SP1 x64 (OEM)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by riddler View Post
the only key that I could retrieve is the OEM SLP key from the BIOS, could I use this key to re-install Windows 7 on the laptop?
This may interest you:
Quote:
How can I install an SLP key?
You cannot! SLP keys will NOT install on a standard installation of Windows using standard media (OEM, Retail, Upgrade, Technet/MSDN, etc. etc.) Additionally they may be locked to a particular OEM (ex. Dell.)
The only way you will get a copy of Windows installed using an SLP key is with the original installation media from the OEM, which is usually an imaged based "installation" with all the bloatware on it - maybe except in the case of Dell, which typically will ship Dell branded standard Windows installation media with the SLP key embedded. Point being, you'll never need to know what an SLP key is, because you'll never have to enter one during an installation - if you were to be prompted for a key during install, then the SLP key isn't embedded, and guess what, it won't work anyway.

Source: https://www.foolishit.com/tech-info/slp-product-keys/
Please run MGADiag as per torchwood's instruction so we can verify if you have an OEM SLP or a COA SLP. What you need is the COA SLP for re-installation.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jan 2016   #9
riddler

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

@kathy025: thanks again!

Your link to the FoolishIT-article pretty much explains it all. A re-install with an OEM SLP key is ruled out. It can only be done with the OEM COA key. That means if the COA sticker is missing, the only way to get the OEM COA key is via the registry of the current OS. Luckily the laptop does have the current OS installed. Hopefully the MGAdiag result will show it is genuine.

So in that hypothetical case I mentioned (laptop with clean HD, no restore partition available to restore to factory partition, only OEM SLP key retrieved from BIOS) it means that I should either call the manufacturer of the laptop and hope they can provide installation media, or I should buy a new (I assume retail) license?

I have posted the MGADiag-results just a few minutes before your last post
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jan 2016   #10
DavidE

Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64
 
 

With laptops sometimes the COA sticker is in the battery compartment, did you check there ?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Product key in registry does not correspond with product key in BIOS




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