Friday, May 18, 2007

Vista OEM BIOS emulation invalid key fix

Like me, some of you might have tried using one of the earlier activation cracks using a key that you obtained from the beta program. Although it allowed you to activate, the system would still expire shortly.

Now there are other methods of activating, the most complete being the OEM BIOS emulation method or by using an updated BIOS instead of the emulator. Quite a few people have reported that they can't import the required product key after using one of the earlier cracks, in my case one that replaced tokens.dat and pkeyconfig.xrm-ms.

From what I could find, people were suggesting that a clean install should be done. I thought that there must be an easier way and indeed there is, after a bit of trial and error I found a solution, so no re-install is required. I have tested this on 2 machines that had the activation crack using beta keys on them and it worked fine. It might not work for other cracks that you have used but if you used the same type as I did, then try the following:

Turn off UAC vis MSCONFIG and reboot.
Use the Paradox oemtool.exe to install the emulation driver, in my case I used the ASUS one or for the ASUS BIOS only you can right click on ROYAL.INF and select install which will install the ASUS BIOS. Afer that is done, reboot. When the system has booted, run the following commands from the command prompt:

1. slmgr -rilc
2. slmgr -ilc c:\asus.xrm-ms (Or alternative)
3. slmgr -ipk XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX (Insert appropriate key)
4. slmgr -rearm

Now reboot again. You should find that it is now activated and will not expire, run winver.exe and slmgr -dlv from the command prompt to check, you should also notice the status as activated on the system information page.

Note, that step 1 & 4 are the ones I have added to make it work in my case after an original modification of the 2 files was completed, without requiring a re-install. You'll need to enter the appropriate OEM key for the BIOS and version of Vista you have installed, which can be obtained from the Paradox package; it's available on lots of sites so just do a search.

You could also modify a new version of the BIOS firmware for your motherboard and then you would not need the emulator. There are plenty that have been done already, so check in case yours has already been done.

Although the OEM method is currently a total fix, you should just use it as a way to extend your trial period, before you purchase it if you like it. Thanks to all the people who put the effort into these fixes and I hope my fix helps some people, like it did me.

Post ID: 784, posted by jase at 05:23 AM
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