OEM MS Licenses

We bought 8 new PC's.    I got a letter from Microsoft about doing a license audit.

The PC's do not have the label on the case for the Windows 7 license.

I used Keyfinder and the product key is all the same.

Why?   I thought each machine needs it own unique product key
bankwestCTO/CashierAsked:
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hulseboschSystem administratorCommented:
Dell (and other brand) OEM install CDs check BIOS for activation.  
They have a factory COA in them so when you use their disks to do a factory reinstall you don't need to enter anything.

That COA is what a keyfinder will find and it won't work for activation via Internet - it only works with the auto activation that happens during install from the OEM disks.  
If you need to re-install, but don't have the OEM disks and try to use that key (if you found it with a keyfinder) it should give an error during activation, saying something like it's an invalid key.
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Seth SimmonsSr. Systems AdministratorCommented:
then you need to go back to the vendor where you purchased it and ask what they did
go to control -> system and look at the product id
is OEM part of it?  if not, you need to find out what they used (volume, etc.)
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bankwestCTO/CashierAuthor Commented:
Yes, part of the ID has OEM
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kittuskattusCommented:
Some of the bigger vendors have licensing tied to the machine BIOS/UEFI - Lenovo and Dell are 2 manufacturers that spring to mind. No need for individual license keys for the OEM OS installs as the OS activation is done in hardware.
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bankwestCTO/CashierAuthor Commented:
So with the audit I have, since I show it as OEM, there shouldn't be a problem?

I am use to machines having the key on the machine, so if ever needed to reinstall the OS, the key is right there
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bankwestCTO/CashierAuthor Commented:
These are HP machines and Acer
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bankwestCTO/CashierAuthor Commented:
Ok, so should I ask the vendor for the OEM disk?    They didn't come with any
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hulseboschSystem administratorCommented:
I am not really sure. (But dont think so, ususally you have a restore partition. Getting the dvd will cost you extra)
Dont know how the audits by Microsoft work.
My best guess would be, they can check the system themselves.

This should be the case, for they would have to check as well for systems with the label on the case.
Somehow they will be able to match your machine  / code / OEM
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kittuskattusCommented:
Providing MS with the machine model & serial numbers will let them track whether you are licensed or not.
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pcelbaCommented:
Product keys can be equal for OEMs but the label should always be present. Label placed on the computer cover can be damaged so some vendors are placing it inside under easily detachable part of the "PC body". Other but very rare option is label supplied as a part of the PC documentation.

You have to ask the vendor where to look for W7 labels if you cannot find then easily.
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bankwestCTO/CashierAuthor Commented:
THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH.    I was starting to panic.
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hulseboschSystem administratorCommented:
Your welcome. Good luck on the audit.
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bankwestCTO/CashierAuthor Commented:
Can I ask another question pertaining to this ...........................

I have the disc in the original packaging for these OEM installs.    

For example.....I ordered 8 new machines.     If ONE of those went down, can any disk (of those 8 new machines) work to do a reinstall?     Do I need the disk?     Or just use the recovery partition.

Mainly I guess I was wanting to know if each disc is PC specific.    They are All the same OEM number when I do Keyfinder.
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pcelbaCommented:
No, the disk is not PC specific. You'll need it when your PC harddrive crashes without any backup.
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