View Full Version : Windows XP Product ID: Public or Private?

04-02-2005, 04:54 AM
I've been making some themes that are designed to let the user customize the OEM logo in their system properties screen of Windows XP. I've been wondering lately if it is a bad thing keep the Product ID (the string of characters that often contains "OEM", not to be confused with the Product Key that appears on the COA sticker) in the screenshots for people to see online. An example (where the ID was edited, leading me to believe it were for good reason) is at the Zone Alarm site: http://www.zonelabs.com/store/content/company/products/xpInfoCenter/faq.jsp?lid=ts_xpsp2faq#13

04-02-2005, 10:35 AM
I don't think it is a bad thing to have it there, but there are tools online where they take the Product ID off your computer and decrypt it and then tell you the product key which was used to install it. I have some free tool called Keyfinder and it does just that.

However, most product keys would be useless to another copy of xp anyway - I always heard that if you got any old product key for a copy of XP it would install but it doesnt - you have to have the specific one available. So in terms of piracy issuses I dont think it would be much of a problem although it could lead people to getting your product key if they decrypted it....

04-02-2005, 09:20 PM
That was just what I was afraid of. I just want to eliminate as much hassle as possible. And having to reactivate my new XP Pro which I had for only about a month (which barely survived a month's use, needed a fresh installation to fix driver errors that Windows Update corrupted), At first, the installation was saying my key was invalid. The XP Pro Sp2 booklet doesn't even list phone numbers for support. Reinstalling a 2nd time the same day (not even far enough to activate) fixed that once in a million anti-miracle though. Then I had to activate manually over the phone. This has to be done each time now (Read Here) (http://www.microsoft-watch.com/article2/0,1995,1769339,00.asp). I thought it was just because of my new DVD burner replacing my primary CD-ROM, but that wouldn't change the 4-month/10-check hardware hash to that degree. The people at the activation number and all the other departments I talked to prior to that barely spoke english. I hope they don't plan on placing limits on the times you can reinstall now. I don't even know if the "substantially the same" hash for hardware will reset every 4 months anymore either. I'll add a task my backup list to backup the WPA files next time though, unless I change more hardware. :p