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Windows 7 RTM Cracked With OEM License Key

With every release of Windows is the inevitable race by the pirate community to crack it. Even with activation schemes, which make things considerably more challenging, hackers were able to find a way to activate Windows Vista with a special OEM key. This very same hack has now made its way to activate Windows 7 RTM.

Such a key allows OEMs to pre-activate machines – something definitely not meant for the consumer market. The OEM activation system relies on a special BIOS that identifies itself to Windows. A software hack is all that's required to fool Windows into thinking that any machine is an authorized one that can be activated using the OEM license key.

The OEM license key this time around was extracted from a Windows 7 Ultimate DVD image from Lenovo, which contained the data that hackers needed to make the activation tools.

This type of hack is particularly difficult for Microsoft to stop because it means that it would lock out and greatly inconvenience Windows 7 integration processes already underway at one of its OEM partners – in this case, Lenovo.

Microsoft wasn't able to block out the OEM BIOS hack for Windows Vista until it released Service Pack 1, leading us to suspect that the same could apply for Windows 7.

Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • stradric
    If they knew about this type of exploit when Vista SP1 came out, then they have no excuse. That's just piss poor.
    Reply
  • nekatreven
    Ohhh....I'm off to search the torrents the wonderful torrents of...well, you get the idea.
    Reply
  • how quickly your product is cracked is directly proportional to how successful it will be. People in marketing should seriously use this as a viable metric for predicting sales.
    Reply
  • Core2uu
    A real testament to their piracy skillz would be if they could hijack a European oil tanker.
    Reply
  • Core2uu
    People pirate Windows, say it sucks and then wonder why it does.
    Reply
  • SirCrono
    duderth is right, I remembrer reading an article that said that the high adoption rates helped Microsoft mantain their domain over the enterprise market, it makes sense if you think about it, as long as every home user uses windows and office (legit or otherwise) the enterprises will have no choice but to stick to them (or at least the indirect costs of changing plataforms will be higher)
    Reply
  • tacoslave
    johnny depp = best pirate ever
    Reply
  • laserlight_2
    Core2uuA real testament to their piracy skillz would be if they could hijack a European oil tanker.By hacking the navigation, and redirecting to your house? That would have lovely consequences on the beach...And you still can't use the boat or oil after you hack it...
    Reply
  • Core2uu
    laserlight_2By hacking the navigation, and redirecting to your house? That would have lovely consequences on the beach...And you still can't use the boat or oil after you hack it...
    I said "hijack," not hack. Learn2Read before trying to make a witty response.
    Reply
  • Upendra09
    Stupid^^ You learn to read first, what so you think a reroute to ur house would be> a hijack
    Reply