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 How Windows Product Activation (WPA) Works?

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Hacker iam

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PostSubject: How Windows Product Activation (WPA) Works?    02/04/11, 10:59 am

Windows Product Activation or WPA
is a license
validation procedure introduced by Microsoft Corporation in all versions of it’s
Windows operating system. WPA was first introduced in Windows XP and continues
to exist in Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008 and Windows
7 as well. WPA enforces each end user to activate their copy of Windows so as
to prevent unauthorized usage beyond the specific period of time until it is
verified as genuine by Microsoft. How WPA really works was a closely guarded
secret until GmbH analyzed WPA using a copy of Windows XP RC1 and published a
paper on their findings.
In this post you will find answers to some of the
most frequently asked questions about Windows Product Activation.

Why activation?

Microsoft’s intention behind the activation is to limit
the usage of it’s Windows operating system to only one machine for which the
retail license is issued. Any other computer which runs on the same license must
be disallowed from using the software. Thus WPA demands for activation of the
product within 30 days of it’s installation so as to ensure that it is

What does “Genuine Windows” means?

The copy of Windows is said to be
genuine only if the product key used during the installation is genuine. It
means that a given product key (retail license) must be used to install Windows
only on one computer for which the license was purchased. Thus if the same key
is used for the installation on another computer, then it is said to be a
pirated copy.

Exactly what information is transmitted during the activation?

When you
activate your copy of Windows you are transmitting an Installation
code to the Microsoft either by phone or Internet depending on the
method you choose to activate. Based on this, the Microsoft’s licensing system
can determine whether or not the installed OS is genuine. If it is said to be
genuine, then the system will receive the Activation ID which
completes the activation process. If the activation is done via telephone then
the Activation ID needs to be entered manually to complete the activation

What information does the Installation ID contain?

This Installation ID
is a 50-digit number which is derived from the following two data.
Product ID – It is actually derived from the 25-digit product
key (the alphanumeric value that is printed on the sticker over the
Windows CD/DVD case) that is entered during the installation of the operating
system. The Product ID is used to uniquely identify your copy of Windows.
Hardware ID – This value is derived based on the hardware
configuration of your computer.
The WPA system checks the following 10
categories of the computer hardware to derive the Hardware ID:

  • Display Adapter
  • SCSI Adapter
  • IDE Adapter (effectively the motherboard)
  • Network Adapter (NIC) and its MAC Address
  • RAM Amount Range (i.e., 0-64mb, 64-128mb, etc.)
  • Processor Type
  • Processor Serial Number
  • Hard Drive Device
  • Hard Drive Volume Serial Number (VSN)
Thus the Installation ID which is a
combination of Product ID and Hardware ID is finally derived and sent to
Microsoft during the activation process.
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How Windows Product Activation (WPA) Works?

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