Unattended XPCD

Activating Windows
Submitted by Unknown

Are you tired of choices yet? Well, too bad, here is another one.

There are currently three ways to activate Windows depending on your version.

Retail Versions can make use of the WINNT.SIF method of activation, or use a backup of their activation file.
OEM Versions can make use of the WINNT.SIF method, a backup of their activation file, or use the originally included activation method.
Then there are Volume License CDs which you must purchase a license for which don't require activation at all.

» WINNT.SIF Method

This method is quite simple, however you MUST have an ACTIVE internet connection at the time of first login. If you do not have such a connection, then this method will fail and you will have to complete Activation manually.

Add the following line of code to the [Unattend] section of your WINNT.SIF file.

» Backup Activation Method

To begin this method, you must have access to the system you're planning on activating, and have it already activated. For home users this is simple, as Windows needs to be activate after 30 days, and most likely you're planning on using your CD/DVD on this system.

Once your system is activated, navigate to your system32 directory within your Windows directory, and locate the files WPA.DBL and WPA.BAK. These two files comprise your Windows activation information.

Once you have located the WPA.DBL and WPA.BAK files, copy them to $OEM$\$$\system32 in your Windows Setup Source. That's it, you're done.

Remember that if you decide to use a virtual machine, that this method will fail, as the virtual system will look different to the OS from your host system.

» OEMBIOS Method

This method requires an existing installation of Windows that has been pre-activated by a Royalty OEM. (If your computer was manufactured by a royalty OEM the COA sticker will have the manufacturer's name or logo.)

Locate on your hard drive the following 4 files:
  • %SystemRoot%\system32\OEMBIOS.BIN
  • %SystemRoot%\system32\CatRoot\{F750E6C3-38EE-11D1-85E5-00C04FC295EE}\OEMBIOS.CAT
  • %SystemRoot%\system32\OEMBIOS.DAT
  • %SystemRoot%\system32\OEMBIOS.SIG
Locate these files, and compress them with MAKECAB, then simply copy the compressed versions into the I386 directory in your Windows Setup Source folder on your hard drive.
Last updated 2009-08-14 00:29:33 by Unknown
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