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Should loading a Bios update cause the SLP2 key to be cleared from the system and necessitate reactivation of the Windows OS? RRS feed

  • Question

  • If a system comes pre-loaded with OEM Vista and an embedded SLP key and the BIOS is updated, should that cause the SLP key to be removed from the system?

    I am seeing this when a volume integrator builds the systems and pre-loads the OS, but when the BIOS is updated with the latest release form the mother board manufactures site the system needs to be re-activated.

     

    Is this normal? Should the Integrator be posting a BIOS update with his SLP keys embedded or should the OEM who build the mother boards BIOS preserve the integrators keys?  

     

     

    Friday, April 23, 2010 12:24 AM

Answers

  • Hello Doc_Silvercreek,

      The scenario you describe is expected behavior, but not percisely in the way you seem to believe.

      Computers, which are built by large manufactures that come with Windows Pre-Installed, come with two (2) Product Keys:

    A) OEM SLP: This key comes pre-installed in Windows, when it comes from the Factory. This key is geared to work with the OEM Bios Flag found only on that Manufacturer's computer hardware. So when Windows was installed using the OEM SLP key (at the factory) Vista looks at the motherboard and sees the OEM Bios Flag and Self-Activates. (that's why customers don't need to Activate thier computer when they first bring it home)

    B)  COA SLP: This is the Product key that you see on the sticker on the side (or bottom) of your computer. It is a valid product key and is the 'Backup' to the OEM SLP key. It should should only be used in limited situations (such as if the OEM SLP to OEM Bios Flag relationship stops working...such as when the Bios is flashed). The key must be activated by Phone.
    (Note: All manufacturers that use the OEM SLP/OEM Bios Flag system are required, by contract, to include a Certificate of Authenticity (COA) sticker, that has a COA SLP key, on the computer)

      So, in the situation you describe, the SLP key is not being removed, it's the OEM Bios Flag that is being overwritten by the Bios update. This is causing the OEM SLP key to OEM Bios Flag relationship to fail and as a result, Windows then becomes Unactivated.

      The resolution is to change out the OEM SLP key for the COA SLP key by clicking the Start button, right-click Computer and select Properties.  This will cause the System windows will open. At the bottom of the System window click the Change Product Key link and follow the directions and enter the COA SLP key when prompted.

    I hope my explain was understandable and helpful,


    Darin MS
    Friday, April 23, 2010 9:48 PM
  • I am in a position to drive the mother board manufacture to change the way the BIOS functions if necessary, but you seem to be saying that this is the way MS intends for OEM SLP activation to function?

     

     


      No, it is my understanding that this is how the Large Computer Manufacturers (OEMs) intended the OEM SLP Activation to function.  For whatever reason, the the OEMs didn't want thier customers, that had just bought a brand new Computer, to have to Activate Windows when they brought that computer home. The OEM SLP/OEM Bios Flag model was what was agreed upon. I have no idea why this was so importent, but from what I understand, it was a major requirment. 

     


    Darin MS
    Friday, May 7, 2010 9:49 PM

All replies

  • Hello Doc_Silvercreek,

      The scenario you describe is expected behavior, but not percisely in the way you seem to believe.

      Computers, which are built by large manufactures that come with Windows Pre-Installed, come with two (2) Product Keys:

    A) OEM SLP: This key comes pre-installed in Windows, when it comes from the Factory. This key is geared to work with the OEM Bios Flag found only on that Manufacturer's computer hardware. So when Windows was installed using the OEM SLP key (at the factory) Vista looks at the motherboard and sees the OEM Bios Flag and Self-Activates. (that's why customers don't need to Activate thier computer when they first bring it home)

    B)  COA SLP: This is the Product key that you see on the sticker on the side (or bottom) of your computer. It is a valid product key and is the 'Backup' to the OEM SLP key. It should should only be used in limited situations (such as if the OEM SLP to OEM Bios Flag relationship stops working...such as when the Bios is flashed). The key must be activated by Phone.
    (Note: All manufacturers that use the OEM SLP/OEM Bios Flag system are required, by contract, to include a Certificate of Authenticity (COA) sticker, that has a COA SLP key, on the computer)

      So, in the situation you describe, the SLP key is not being removed, it's the OEM Bios Flag that is being overwritten by the Bios update. This is causing the OEM SLP key to OEM Bios Flag relationship to fail and as a result, Windows then becomes Unactivated.

      The resolution is to change out the OEM SLP key for the COA SLP key by clicking the Start button, right-click Computer and select Properties.  This will cause the System windows will open. At the bottom of the System window click the Change Product Key link and follow the directions and enter the COA SLP key when prompted.

    I hope my explain was understandable and helpful,


    Darin MS
    Friday, April 23, 2010 9:48 PM
  • Very understandable Thanks, but should the Mother Board manufacture’s standard BIOS update remove the OEM BIOS flags? 

    With this scenario, it seems that every system that uses on OEM SLP will need to switch to a COA SLP on the first BIOS update?

    This seems like it will be a lot of hassle for MS as all the OEM integrator's customers will need to call MS to reactivate.

    I am in a position to drive the mother board manufacture to change the way the BIOS functions if necessary, but you seem to be saying that this is the way MS intends for OEM SLP activation to function?

     

     

    Friday, April 23, 2010 10:08 PM
  • Hello Doc_SIlvercreek,

    I think the problem is rooted in what BIOS update the end users should be applying to their systems.

    If the OEM integrator is applying a custom BIOS to a motherboard that is also sold to the channel as a generic product by the motherboard manufacturer, and part of that custom BIOS is the necessary SLIC information that is needed to mesh with the OEM integrator's SLP data in their master images and, presumably, their recovery media, then the end users have to be made aware of the fact that applying the generic BIOS updates will "brick" their BIOS, at least from a Windows Activation standpoint.

    I would think that a desirable feature in these cases would be at a minimum a programmatically displayed warning if the BIOS programming utility detected that a generic BIOS update were being applied to the system integrator's existing BIOS.

    Also desirable would be BIOS versions available for download at the OEM integrator's support site that would be able to rectify a "bricked" BIOS by restoring the OEM integrator's SLIC data to the BIOS.


    Buy Office 2007 Now, Get Office 2010 Free http://office2010.microsoft.com/en-us/tech-guarantee/microsoft-office-2010-technology-guarantee-FX101825695.aspx?CTT=97
    Friday, April 23, 2010 11:04 PM
  • Still having some issues trying to rectify the two MS requirements below.

    If the OEM posts a BIOS with the keys added, any board using this new BIOS will have the OEMs KEYs embedded if it did not have it originally which would seem to violate condition 1 below.

    The board manufactures BIOS wipes the ACPI tables and rebuilds them (without the OEM keys) which could be said to be changing the status of these fields which could be said to violate condition 2 below. (Since the Board Manufacture is not the SLP licensee, it is not a violation on the Manufacture part, but would seem to make it very difficult for the Integrator.)    

    The values of OEMID and OEMTableID in all ACPI system table headers can only be updated with the motherboard-specific core BIOS (an area of the BIOS that cannot be updated in the field).

     

     

    Any BIOS update that the OEM makes available externally cannot change the status of the ACPI_SLIC table. (If the BIOS did not have an ACPI_SLIC table when it left the factory, any BIOS updates cannot change that state.) The OEMID and OEMTableID fields in the ACPI_XSDT and ACPI_RSDT cannot be changed either.

     

    Monday, April 26, 2010 4:24 PM
  • Hello Doc_Silvercreek,

    If this is a real situation and not a hypothetical academic exercise, then the commonsense solution for the OEM integrator is to stay away from a motherboard manufacturer that is not able to comply with the requirements you quoted.

    In all walks of life, trying to fit square pegs into round holes is counterproductive.


    Buy Office 2007 Now, Get Office 2010 Free http://office2010.microsoft.com/en-us/tech-guarantee/microsoft-office-2010-technology-guarantee-FX101825695.aspx?CTT=97
    Monday, April 26, 2010 4:52 PM
  • I am in a position to drive the mother board manufacture to change the way the BIOS functions if necessary, but you seem to be saying that this is the way MS intends for OEM SLP activation to function?

     

     


      No, it is my understanding that this is how the Large Computer Manufacturers (OEMs) intended the OEM SLP Activation to function.  For whatever reason, the the OEMs didn't want thier customers, that had just bought a brand new Computer, to have to Activate Windows when they brought that computer home. The OEM SLP/OEM Bios Flag model was what was agreed upon. I have no idea why this was so importent, but from what I understand, it was a major requirment. 

     


    Darin MS
    Friday, May 7, 2010 9:49 PM
  • Still having some issues trying to rectify the two MS requirements below.

     


    If you work for a Large Computer Manufacturer, that uses the OEM SLP/OEM Bios flag model in the computers it produces, then you should be able to talk with your Engineering Managers or PMs and they should be able to explain it to you, in detail, and be able to answer any questions you may have. If you are the Owner, CEO or such, you should have a direct line to Microsoft in which you can request that information.


    If you do not work for a Large Computer Manufacturer, that uses the OEM SLP/OEM Bios flag model in the computers it produces, then (meaning no offence) it is not necessary for you to rectify any requirements.

    Thank you,


    Darin MS
    Friday, May 7, 2010 10:04 PM