To the credit of Microsoft, the hardening and improvement of anti piracy mechanism has stood and managed to somewhat stop any crack attempt by hackers in order to easily pirate and activate Windows Vista for mass illegal circulation in underground retail market. There is no perfect crack for Vista perfect activation yet, and so far all so called ‘Vista cracks’ are typically based on workaround to circumvent convenient feature provided by Microsoft for hesitate customers, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) or system builders.

For example, the very first hack to bypass activation in Vista is attempt to extend trial period of Vista by rearming (resetting) the activation countdown timer. Trial period and ability to use Vista without product key entered is new feature Microsoft provides for consumer to evaluate Vista. Not satisfy with just longer free period to use Vista, hackers wrote a resident program TimerStop and TimeStop which loaded as driver in Vista to stop countdown timer from counting down, effectively put Vista in evaluation period which does not need product key forever.

Then hackers came out with innovative idea to replace version of activation file to activate Vista against KMS (Key Management Service), which meant for corporate users who have to manage hundreds of computers. KMS activation crack has an disadvantage of some features such as DreamScene not support as KMS can only activate Vista Business and Vista Enterprise editions which do not have Windows DreamScene.

In later stage, hackers finally manage to develop a near perfect crack for Vista activation, which also able to pass validation test. The OEM BIOS crack is based on the deployment method Microsoft gave to original equipment manufacturers such as Dell, HP, Acer, Lenovo, IBM, Hewlett Package, Gateway, ASUS, Toshiba, Sony, Fujitsu and LG who manufacture and sell desktop and notebook computers. It’s also impossible for these Royalty OEMs to factory pre-install and pre-activate each and every computer delivered to consumers. Thus Microsoft provides each OEM unique master product keys for every editions of Windows Vista in a system called System-Locked Preisntallation 2.0 (SLP 2.0). Under SLP2.0 system, to safeguard these product keys from been easily used to illegal activation of Vista, a special table called SLIC (Software Licensing Description Table) in BIOS ACPI. Inside the same ACPI_SLIC table there is also a valid Windows marker. Both SLIC table and Windows marker must co-exist for activation based on OEM product key to work.

The OEM BIOS activation is the loophole that hackers used to crack and activate Vista, simply by modding and adding the required SLIC tables plus Windows marker (OEMID and OEMTableID) into the BIOS, and then import the corresponding OEM certification and enter its product key.

Activate Vista ala OEM is the best Vista crack for now. Not only the OEM activation is instant and immediate, but it’s also the hardest to be detected and foiled by Microsoft, as if successfully cracked, everything will be exactly the same and equal with a new PC bought from OEM. OEM activation is also reliable enough to pass any Windows validation (WGA) on genuine test, especially in view of impending release of Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1).

However, to activate Vista using OEM method via physical SLIC/SLP compliant mod BIOS is not easy. There is no one-click activator to do this (except for software based emulator). Firstly, you need to have the technical known-how to mod the BIOS and flash the BIOS. Secondly, not all BIOS can be modified to include the required SLIC table. And thirdly, there are high risk of breaking your motherboard is something goes wrong. Luckily, there are good samaritans who work round-the-clock to help Vista users who need technical support on modding BIOS. Check out this forum thread (also search through the old thread) to request for mod BIOS, seek technical help or search for one already done. It’s highly likely that the BIOS of your motherboard has already been cracked.

For those with unmodable BIOS, or who don’t want to risk spoiling the motherboard can try out software based (softmod) BIOS emulator instead. Software based OEM BIOS emulator installs as boot loader, and then loads the necessary SLIC information to memory to cheat and con Vista into believing that the BIOS is in fact contains all OEM activation requirements, and thus will activate Vista when supplied with correct OEM certificate and OEM product key. Check out Vista Loader or Paradox OEM Emulation Toolkit. Note that most other Vista activators are based on these two software emulator, which is easy enough to use. So you no need any other activators to increase your risk to adware, spyware, trojan or virus. As software based OEM simulator is, as it said, software based, it may be detected, or simply been deactivated by Vista on update or during validation.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational and educational purpose only.