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OEM MS Licenses

Posted on 2014-11-21
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Last Modified: 2014-11-21
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
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Question by:bankwest
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Expert Comment

by:Seth Simmons
ID: 40457304
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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by:bankwest
ID: 40457310
Yes, part of the ID has OEM
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by:kittuskattus
ID: 40457317
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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Author Comment

by:bankwest
ID: 40457331
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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by:bankwest
ID: 40457334
These are HP machines and Acer
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hulsebosch earned 350 total points
ID: 40457335
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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Author Comment

by:bankwest
ID: 40457342
Ok, so should I ask the vendor for the OEM disk?    They didn't come with any
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Expert Comment

by:hulsebosch
ID: 40457361
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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Assisted Solution

by:kittuskattus
kittuskattus earned 50 total points
ID: 40457386
Providing MS with the machine model & serial numbers will let them track whether you are licensed or not.
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Assisted Solution

by:pcelba
pcelba earned 100 total points
ID: 40457433
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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Author Closing Comment

by:bankwest
ID: 40457438
THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH.    I was starting to panic.
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Expert Comment

by:hulsebosch
ID: 40457451
Your welcome. Good luck on the audit.
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Author Comment

by:bankwest
ID: 40458430
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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Expert Comment

by:pcelba
ID: 40458459
No, the disk is not PC specific. You'll need it when your PC harddrive crashes without any backup.
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