Windows OEM FAQs and Downloads


Contents

Introduction

I’ve been helping out on Windows Installation topics on the Dell Community Forums for about 10 years now. Over this time I’ve wrote guides and unofficial workarounds covering OEM Licensing, Downloading Installation Media and Activating Windows. Consequently I’ve became a world expert on OEM licensing and Windows Installation helping out with millions of Windows Installs. This FAQ will work for all OEMs and not just Dell unless otherwise stated.

wininstall

Dr Philip Yip

Proud to be Scottish and British.

uk-flags

Supporter of CANZUK.

Your Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Product Key

Genuine Microsoft Label and Microsoft Digital Marker

Newer systems come with a Genuine Microsoft Label (GML) like the following:

Win10Home Win8Home Win8Bingwin10Pro Win8Pro

These labels just indicate the presence of a Windows License. The 25 digit System Locked Preinstallation (SLP) Product Key resides with a Microsoft Digital Marker (MSDM) Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) table embedded in the Unified Extensive Firmware Interface (UEFI) BIOS.

The correct installation media discussed below will automatically input this SLP key during installation and you should’t need to manually look it up to input it. The UEFI BIOS ACPI Table MSDM tab can be checked with RWEverything.

msdm

Code of Authenticity (COA)

In the past systems shipped with Windows 7 OEM will have a code of Authenticity (COA). This is a paper label which contains your Edition of Windows alongside your 25 digit OEM Product Key. This Product Key can be used with Windows 10 Installation Media but is not typically used for Windows 7 installation (see System Licensed Internal Code):

Windows 7 COA

Since the launch of Windows Vista the COAs provided by Microsoft have been of low print quality. In order to reduce their likelihood of fading OEMs typically placed them under the battery compartment in laptops. Use your phone to take a picture of the COA before Windows 10 installation:

Laptop COA

System Licensed Internal Code (SLIC)

For Windows 7 OEM there was also a BIOS based activation mechanism. The System Licensed Internal Code (SLIC) Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) table is embedded in the BIOS. The BIOS ACPI Table SLIC tab can once again be checked with RWEverything.

slic

A SLIC version of 2.1 is eligible for Windows 7 OEM System Locked Preinstallation. A SLIC Version of 2.0 is for Windows Vista (End of Life) and a SLIC Version of 1.0 is for Windows XP (End of Life).

OEM branded installation media such as the Dell Windows 7 Reinstallation DVD will install Windows 7 OEM with a generic System Locked Preinstallation (SLP) key. If the SLIC and OEM ID match the SLP key and Windows Edition then offline product activation will occur.

dell-windows-7-reinstalaltion-dvd31

Unified Extensive Firmware Interface

For optimal settings you should install Windows 7, 8.1 and 10 64 Bit using a UEFI Boot. Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 should use a UEFI Boot with SecureBoot (Legacy ROMs and Legacy Boot options should be Disabled). Windows 7 should use a UEFI Boot with Legacy ROMs (SecureBoot and Legacy Boot Options should be Disabled).

For more details see my guide Unified Extensive Firmware Interface (UEFI). Note: Other OEMs may use different keys instead of [F2] and [F12]. I also give a video demonstration on updating the UEFI BIOS to the latest version and Enabling these technologies.

Home Systems – UEFI BIOS Setup

Business Systems – UEFI BIOS Setup

Downloading Microsoft Windows Installation Media

Since there are Free Upgrades and also Downgrade rights I will place the series of Genuine Microsoft Labels applicable to each installation media type and Code of Authenticity.

Windows 10 Build 14393 Version 1607 (Recommended)

This is the first proper Windows Installation Media that passes all my criticisms. This installation media is multi-Edition and will automatically input the SLP key from the MSDM for all the following OEM licenses:

Win10Home Win8Home Win8Bingwin10Pro Win8Pro

This installation media will also accept the Windows 7 Product Key from the COA:

Windows 7 COA

To Download a Windows 10 Build 14393 .iso, make a Bootable USB and Clean Install follow my guide Download a Windows 10 Build 14393 Version 1607 OEM and Retail .iso from Microsoft and Create a Bootable USB and Clean Install. I also have a number of tutorial videos:

Download a Windows 10 RS1 .iso and Create a Bootable USB (UEFI BIOS)

Clean Install with a Windows 7 OEM COA or Windows 8/10 MSDM

Windows 10 Build 10586 Version 1511 (Not Recommended) – Dell Only

Dell system’s shipped with Windows 10 (6th Generation Intel Skylake Systems) also have a Downloadable .iso. This .iso is larger because it is multi-lingual but mono-Edition. The .iso appears to be a generic Windows 10586 Recovery Drive. There is a Dell logo and as far as I can tell no other additional drivers or modifications.

Win10Home win10Pro

Download a Windows 10 Build 10586 Version 1511 Recovery Drive .iso from Dell and Create a Bootable USB UEFI BIOS.

A Recovery Drive is simplified Windows Installation Media. A Recovery Drive can also be created with each build of Windows 10.

I do not recommend using a Recovery Drive of an older build of Windows 10 as you will waste time installing the old build, downloading the new build and then updating to the new build opposed to simply just installing the new build.

Windows 8.1 with Update 2

Windows 8.1 with Update 2 Installation Media is outdated with respect to Windows 10 Build 14393 installation media. Since the Windows 10 Build 14393 .iso accepts the SLP key from the MSDM for all Windows 8.x OEM licenses it is recommended.

Windows 8.1 with Update 2 Installation Media will only work with the following Microsoft Genuine Labels. Windows 8.1 with Update 2 Installation Media is mono-Edition inputting in the SLP key from the MSDM for only the correct Edition and completely ignoring the incorrect Edition. To add to the confusion the first Genuine Microsoft Genuine Label is the same on systems shipped with both Windows 8.x (Home) and Windows 8.x (Home) Single Language. If you attempt installation with the Windows 8.1 (Home) .iso and are asked for a Product Key try the Windows 8.1 (Home) Single Language .iso.

Win8Home Win8Pro

The Windows 8.1 (Home) with Bing OEM and Windows 8.1 (Home) Single Language with Bing OEM Genuine Microsoft Labels also say Windows 8 but are different Editions that are not Downloadable. For these you must use the Windows 10 Build 14393 .iso.

Win8Bing

Download a Windows 8.1 with Update 2 .iso from Microsoft and Create a Bootable USB UEFI BIOS.

Windows 8.1 Installation UEFI BIOS

Windows 8.1 Refresh and Reset

Download a Windows 8.1 with Update 2 .iso and Create a Bootable USB

Resetting Windows 8.1

Windows 8.1 Refresh

Refresh isn’t present in Windows 10.

Windows 8.1 and Windows 8.0 Legacy Installation Media

Windows 8.1 with Update 1 Installation Media reached End of Life. This had the flaw that it was Retail only and rejected Windows 8.0 keys.

Windows 8.1 reached Installation Media reached End of Life. This had the flaw that it was Retail only and rejected Windows 8.0 keys.

Windows 8.0 reached Installation Media reached End of Life. This had the flaw that it was Retail only and rejected Windows 8.1 keys.

Windows 7 SP1 Pro for 6th Generation Intel Skylake Hardware (January 2016) – Dell Only

All sorts of hurdles have existed with Windows 7 Installation Media. Dell used to ship installation media with all Dell Systems but Microsoft forced all OEMs to undergo a Media Reduction Initiative in 2010. Microsoft only made the Retail .iso Downloadable causing issues since 2009. Microsoft finally listened to our feedback and allowed OEMs to provide Windows 7 Reinstallation .isos but only for in warranty new systems which Dell support for Downgrade Rights. These systems possess a SLIC ACPI table for Downgrade Rights to Windows 7 Pro as well as a MSDM table for Windows 10 Pro. These .isos have been updated by Dell to incorporate driver support for installation on Intel 6th Generation Skylake hardware:

dell-windows-7-reinstalaltion-dvd31

They will work for systems with Pro Genuine Microsoft Labels where OEM SLP will automatically be applied as the systems possess a SLIC ACPI table. There will no prompt for a product key during installation and activation will occur offline.

win10Pro Win8Pro

Download Windows 7 64 Bit Reinstallation SP1 January 2016 Media Refresh with Updated Drivers for a 6th Generation Intel Skylake System from Dell.

Windows 7 SP1 + Convenience Rollup (April 2016) for 1st to 5th Generation Intel Hardware – Dell Only

Since these .isos aren’t available officially a collection of the unofficial .isos have been ripped from Dell Windows 7 Reinstallation DVDs and modified to incorporate the Convenience Rollup, IE11, USB 3.0, NVMe support and Storage Controller support. The Edition to install should match the Edition on the COA.

Windows 7 COA

OEM SLP will automatically be applied as the systems possess a SLIC ACPI table. There will no prompt for a product key during installation and activation will occur offline. For more details see Download Unofficial Dell Windows 7 32 Bit and 64 Bit (April 2016) Reinstallation .iso.

Windows 7 SP1 (November 2010)

All sorts of hurdles have existed with Windows 7 Installation Media. Microsoft forced all OEMs to undergo a Media Reduction Initiative in 2010. Microsoft only made the Retail and Commercial OEM .iso Downloadable causing issues since 2009.

november-2010

The first problem with their flawed Digital Download is it asks for a Product Key. All OEM keys from COAs are rejected flagging up the following error.

preinstaleldsoftware

This error message can be circumvented by use of Jan Krohn’s Windows .iso Download Tool which generates direct download links from Microsoft’s servers. For more details see Download Windows 7 SP1 (November 2011) Commercial OEM and Retail .iso from Microsoft. OEM SLP must be applied manually discussed below.

Download a Windows 7 SP1 (November 2010) Commercial OEM or Retail .iso

Windows 7 SP1 + Convenience Rollup (April 2016)

One of the main issues with Microsoft’s Digital Deployment of Windows 7 is the installation .isos are from November 2010. This causes two problems firstly it takes a fortnight to update and secondly if installed on new hardware the Windows Installation is too old to support USB 3.0 and newer Storage Controllers meaning Windows 7 cannot find the hardware or USB ports during installation.

Microsoft released a Convenience Rollup to bring a Windows 7 Installation up to date until April 2016 however they failed to release this as a full .iso and haven’t gave great instructions regarding the slipstream.

I created a slipstream script for 32 Bit and 64 Bit Windows.

Written Instructions (in more depth) Slipstreaming the Convenience Rollup, IE11, NVMe, Intel Storage Controller and USB 3.0 Drivers.

Slipstream Windows 7 Convenience Rollup, Internet Explorer, USB 3.0, NVMe and Storage Controller Drivers into Windows 7 Installation Media

For the slipsteam in depth instructs may be found in Slipstreaming the Convenience Rolup, IE11, NVMe, Intel Storage Controller and USB 3.0 Drivers. Brief instructions are found below. The following Downloads are required.

64 Bit Windows

64 Bit Slipstream Brief Instructions

Download the following:

1. Store in C:\Updates
https://download.microsoft.com/download/5/D/0/5D0821EB-A92D-4CA2-9020-EC41D56B074F/Windows6.1-KB3020369-x64.msu
http://hotfixv4.microsoft.com/Windows%207/Windows%20Server2008%20R2%20SP1/sp2/Fix487764/7600/free/477475_intl_x64_zip.exe
http://hotfixv4.microsoft.com/Windows%207/Windows%20Server2008%20R2%20SP1/sp2/Fix3366972/7600/free/486575_intl_x64_zip.exe
http://download.windowsupdate.com/d/msdownload/update/software/updt/2016/05/windows6.1-kb3125574-v4-x64_2dafb1d203c8964239af3048b5dd4b1264cd93b9.msu
http://download.microsoft.com/download/6/C/A/6CA15546-A46C-4333-B405-AB18785ABB66/Windows6.1-KB2729094-v2-x64.msu
http://download.microsoft.com/download/1/4/9/14936FE9-4D16-4019-A093-5E00182609EB/Windows6.1-KB2670838-x64.msu
http://download.microsoft.com/download/5/A/5/5A548BFE-ADC5-414B-B6BD-E1EC27A8DD80/Windows6.1-KB2834140-v2-x64.msu
http://download.microsoft.com/download/9/1/C/91CC3B0D-F58B-4B36-941D-D810A8FF6805/Windows6.1-KB2639308-x64.msu

2. Store in C:\Updates\IE11
http://download.microsoft.com/download/7/7/D/77DEA30E-F617-4088-9352-FDBFED2987EE/IE11-Windows6.1-KB2841134-x64.cab

3. Extract 64 Bit Drivers and Store in C:\Drivers
https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/25476/Windows-7-USB-3-0-Creator-Utility
https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/26361/Intel-Rapid-Storage-Technology-Intel-RST-RAID-Driver?product=55005

4. Extract your Windows 7 .iso or copy the files from your Windows 7 SP1 (Re)Installation DVD/USB and store in C:\Win7

5. Open the 64 Bit Rev4 in notepad and save as 64 Bit Rev4.bat (all file types).

6. Right click 64 Bit Rev4.bat and select run as administrator.

7. Wait for script to execute. Press any key to end the script when prompted.

This will give you Media Refresh April 2016 Installation Media. Monthly Security Rollups can be downloaded from here and applied post installation:
http://www.catalog.update.microsoft.com/Search.aspx?q=security%20monthly%20rollup%20for%20Windows%207%20for%20×64

Advanced users may modify the script to slipstream this update should they wish to do so. Most other users can simply apply it post installation.

32 Bit Windows

32 Bit Slipstream Brief Instructions

Download the following:

1. Store in C:\Updates
https://download.microsoft.com/download/C/0/8/C0823F43-BFE9-4147-9B0A-35769CBBE6B0/Windows6.1-KB3020369-x86.msu
http://download.windowsupdate.com/d/msdownload/update/software/updt/2016/05/windows6.1-kb3125574-v4-x86_ba1ff5537312561795cc04db0b02fbb0a74b2cbd.msu
http://download.microsoft.com/download/B/6/B/B6BF1D9B-2568-406B-88E8-E4A218DEA90A/Windows6.1-KB2729094-v2-x86.msu
http://download.microsoft.com/download/1/4/9/14936FE9-4D16-4019-A093-5E00182609EB/Windows6.1-KB2670838-x86.msu
http://download.microsoft.com/download/F/1/4/F1424AD7-F754-4B6E-B0DA-151C7CBAE859/Windows6.1-KB2834140-v2-x86.msu
http://download.microsoft.com/download/3/1/D/31DB4F4F-207D-416E-9A07-FBD9E431F9FB/Windows6.1-KB2639308-x86.msu

2. Store in C:\Updates\IE11
http://download.microsoft.com/download/7/7/D/77DEA30E-F617-4088-9352-FDBFED2987EE/IE11-Windows6.1-KB2841134-x86.cab

3. Extract 32 Bit Drivers and Store in C:\Drivers

https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/25476/Windows-7-USB-3-0-Creator-Utility
https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/26361/Intel-Rapid-Storage-Technology-Intel-RST-RAID-Driver?product=55005

4. Extract your Windows 7 .iso or copy the files from your Windows 7 SP1 (Re)Installation DVD/USB and store in C:\Win7

5. Open the 32 Bit Rev4 in notepad and save as 64 Bit Rev4.bat (all file types).

6. Right click 32 Bit Rev4.bat and select run as administrator.

7. Wait for script to execute. Press any key to end the script when prompted.

This will give you Media Refresh April 2016 Installation Media. Monthly Security Rollups can be downloaded from here and applied post installation:
http://www.catalog.update.microsoft.com/Search.aspx?q=security%20monthly%20rollup%20for%20Windows%207

Advanced users may modify the script to slipstream this update should they wish to do so. Most other users can simply apply it post installation.

Windows 7 SP1 + Convenience Rollup (April 2016) Activating with the SLIC

Windows 7 Retail or Windows 7 Commercial OEM Installation media will not automatically apply OEM SLP instead asking for a Retail Product Key. This can be skipped during installation and a SLP key and cert file can be installed using the command prompt. If the SLIC and OEM ID match the SLP key and the Windows Edition offline product activation will occur. This will work for systems with Pro Genuine Microsoft Labels via Downgrade Rights to Windows 7 Pro.

win10Pro Win8Pro

The key on the COA isn’t needed for this activation mechanism but you should match the Edition on the COA.

Windows 7 COA

 

The OEM SLP Cert and Script Collection for most OEMs may be found here. More details are found in my guide Applying Windows 7 OEM SLP and Activating with the SLIC.

Applying OEM SLP and Activating with the SLIC

My Windows 7 COA is Faded

If your Windows 7 COA is faded you can still install Windows 7 OEM using the systems SLIC as instructed above.

faded coas

For Windows 10 you can Initially Upgrade to make your system a Windows 10 Edition Device.

A system which has already been upgraded to Windows 10 Edition is a Windows 10 Edition Device. This means its hardware (motherboard) details have been submitted to a Microsoft Product Activation Server where they are stored. If Windows 10 Edition is clean installed on a Windows 10 Edition Device one can skip input of the product key and select the correct Edition during installation. Post installation when online the system will contact the Microsoft Product Activation Server which will recognise the Device and give it the green light for Microsoft Product Activation.

If the system has never been made a Windows 10 Edition Device GatherOSState can be launched on a system with a Windows 7 OEM SLP install to yield a genuine ticket. This genuine ticket can be used to initially activate a clean install of Windows 10 making a system a Windows 10 Edition Device. For more details see The Initial Clean Install of Windows 10 using a Faded Windows 7 OEM COA.

The Initial Clean Install of Windows 10 OEM on a System with a Faded Windows 7 COA

 

 

 

Advertisements
    More To Explore