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Windows product key

hp250
Microsoft Windows 7 (64-bit)

 

From a current thread on recovery of O/S:

 

"The product key is programmed into the BIOS."

 

Is that really so ?

 

What if one decides to install some other Windows O/S from a legally bought ISO ? Is this new product key also then programmed into the BIOS ?

 

If it is so, is it then only for HP machines ?

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The Product Key is programmed into the BIOS but only for the OS that came preinstalled form the factory.  In this case i am guessing Windows 10 home.  If you install a different OS then you will be prompted to enter the key for the OS and no it is not reprogrammed into the BIOS.  No this is not only for HP all computer manufactures do this now.

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Hi, @Ian50

 

To expand on what Dudefoxlive already posted, Microsoft has required that starting with Windows 8, that all PC manufacturers put the Windows OEM product keys in the PC's BIOS.

 

This was done to prevent the illegal transfer of OEM product keys on a Windows COA label from one PC to another.

 

There was quite a bit of abuse by folks using  OEM Windows product keys from the PC it was originally affixed to, onto another one.

 

The product key on the label is not the same as the product key that was installed by the PC manufacturer.

 

The PC manufactuers used to use volume license keys to install Windows.

 

With the Windows OEM product key in the BIOS, it is impossible to use the product key on another PC.

 

According to the Microsoft OEM licensing rules, the OEM product key can only be used on the PC it was originally assigned to, and can never be transferred to another PC for any reason. 

 

But with a product key sticker, there is no way to enforce that restriction.

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Thanks for the information.

 

Although this issue was not one currently relevant to me, your previous comment piqued my curiosity. I entirely skipped Vista and Win 8 anyway. Win 10 has no current value to me.

 

Still, this info is interesting to me and underscores some of the questions I was curious about.

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Thanks Paul.

 

Since I never bothered with Vista or Win 8, and have no current use for Win 10, I had simply thought that the "activation" rigmarole protected MS from theft.

 

This BIOS insertion seems like a "belt 'n braces" approach. One of the seemingly true points to using UEFI now seems apparent (overcoming the 2Tb disk size limit is not, I think, a priority to most home or small business users).

 

I can still remember buying an installable copy of NT off the retail shelf ... such ancient history :generic:

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You're very welcome.

 

Before XP came out, folks could use the same product key on multiple PC's, since there was no activation requirement.

 

I think the only way Microsoft had to thwart that issue back in the day, was to search their database from time to time, and block an OEM product key from future use when they saw it being used multiple times on multiple PC's.

 

Then came activation, and now activation 3.0 (the product key being in the BIOS).

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My history is DOS, OS2, NT, W2k, XP, W7interspersed with various flavours of Unix/Linux.  [OS2 was much maligned, and unfairly so, but it was the 1st affordable/available system to allow DOS multitasking. To this day, I do not really know why MS dumped on IBM here; greed for "all of it" looms likely.]

 

That list contains sufficient "activations" to last a lifetime. If Linux had ever settled the ongoing driver issues ...

 

An interesting discussion.

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