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In the interest of research, I've been digging into message boards and forums run by unabashed Windows enthusiasts who are intent on breaking Microsoft's activation technology. I've had these forums bookmarked for years and stop in every once in a while just to see what's new. This time I decided to drop by and actually try some of tools and utilities to see if I could become a pirate, too.
If you do intend to try this stuff out for yourself, I recommend extreme caution. My hunt for utilities that bypass Windows 7 activation technologies led me to some very seedy corners of the Internet. First, I did what any red-blooded wannabe pirate would do and tried some Google searches. Of the first 10 hits, six were inactive or had been taken down. After downloading files from the remaining four sites, I submitted them to Virustotal.com, where three of the four samples came back positive for nasty, difficult-to-remove Windows 7 rootkits. Here's one example:
RemoveWAT first appeared last summer, around the time Windows 7 was released to manufacturing. The philosophy behind this small utility is simple: It disables the Windows Activation Technologies function while allowing the system to retain its Genuine status in every official check by Microsoft. The most recent version claims to work with all editions of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. (It does not work with Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008.)
Windows pirates figured out how to exploit this hack around the time Windows Vista was launched. The Windows 7 Loader program, which I used on a test system, looks at your PC's BIOS to see whether it contains an ACPI_SLIC table with software licensing information ("markers" for the Windows operating system and the name of the computer maker). If the SLIC table is present, the tool installs the correct product key for your Windows 7 edition along with a digital certificate; the combination mimics a legitimate OEM preinstallation. For systems with a BIOS that doesn't contain the proper SLIC tables (a scenario I didn't test), it uses an alternate boot loader (typically some variant of GRUB) and installs BIOS emulation code to fool the system into thinking your system is a legitimate OEM installation. You can use the one-click installer or select from advanced options to personalize your PC by choosing a particular brand.
In this case, I had installed a retail copy of Windows 7 Home Premium on a relatively new system (purchased in mid-2009) that was originally licensed for Windows Vista. I didn't enter a product key during setup, and I had gone more than 30 days without activating. Here's what I saw when I ran W7Loader:
The latest salvo from Microsoft in the war against pirates is the Windows Activation Technologies Update (KB971033). In its default configuration, it performs an initial validation check and then repeats the process every 90 days, downloading new signatures to detect exploits that flew under the radar in the previous scan. When I initially wrote about this subject last month, the question I heard most often was, "Why does it need to keep checking? If I get validated, shouldn't that be good enough?"
Unfortunately, the experiences I've written about here prove why that strategy doesn't work. If you used a copy of RemoveWAT that was created in 2009, you were able to fool Microsoft validation servers with a 100% success rate. However, as the anguished cries of forum participants proved, the KB971033 update in February exposed all of those hacks, restoring the correct license files and causing the systems to (correctly) fail validation. As a result, the RemoveWAT developer modified his code and released a version last week that trumped the new update and once again allowed hacked machines to pass the activation test.
Last weekend, I used some sophisticated forensic tools to take an equally close (and completely unauthorized) look at what Microsoft is doing with its most recent anti-piracy update. Tomorrow, I'll publish the surprising results of that analysis.
Our database contains 17 different files for filename removewat.exe . You can also check most distributed file variants with name removewat.exe. This files most often belongs to product RemoveWAT. and were most often developed by company Hazar & Co.. This files most often have description RemoveWAT . This is executable file. You can find it running in Task Manager as the process removewat.exe.
The procedure has been met with significant criticism by many consumers, technical analysts and computer experts, who argue that it is poorly designed, highly inconvenient and ultimately does nothing to prevent software piracy. The process has been successfully circumvented on multiple occasions.
If Windows is pre-installed on a computer by an original equipment manufacturer (OEM), the operating system is automatically activated without the need for interaction from the user. In this case, the copy of Windows installed does not use the product key listed on the certificate of authenticity, but rather a master product key issued to OEMs called a System Locked Pre-installation (SLP) key. On each boot, Windows confirms the presence of specific information stored in the BIOS by the manufacturer, ensuring the activation only remains valid on that computer, even if the product key is used on another machine.
Others defend Microsoft's use of product activation. The Harrison Group, a market research firm, conducted a study sponsored by Microsoft in 2011 illustrating that computers running activated versions of Windows software were on average 50% faster than their pirated counterparts. The group concluded by stating that users of genuine Microsoft products ultimately receive superior performance while counterfeit users are susceptible to security issues and lost productivity. Fully Licensed GmbH, a developer of digital rights management technology, while criticizing Microsoft for being vague about the nature of information sent from a given computer during activation, nevertheless concluded that activation is not particularly intrusive and does not significantly violate privacy.
This software comes with a large database to help you activate any edition and build of Windows 7. It does not rely on a preset set of serial keys, instead it disables the checking function in your operating system, thus eliminating trial and preserving full functionality. Thanks to its size you can transfer it to a USB flash drive and use it on additional devices.
A product key is a 25-character alphanumeric code used for activating Windows 10. Here is an example of what a product key looks like XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX. Depending on how you purchased Windows 10, you can find the product key:
This function serves to emulate the SLIC 2.1 that OEM devices bring with Windows 7. This information is available in the BIOS of the motherboard. However, it is possible to imitate it from the hard disk boot. The Loader does not modify the system files. It does not change any original dll. Much less deactivates the WAT, it only enters the information in the boot (it is the 100 MB partition made when we install Windows 7). and when turning on the PC, start the BIOS. It looks for the boot.
Before loading it, it takes the information of the SLIC so that the system begins with the emulated BIOS, that is why always with the AIDA64 or with other programs, we will find the same info of the Original BIOS with the emulated SLIC 2.1 and does not emulate a third-party BIOS. Additionally, it installs a key and a certificate that contains information that must match that of the SLIC. By the time WAT does its verification, the files are intact, the parameters that an OEM team must have met, and happily, it tells us that Windows is activated. When you send that info to MS, we have access to updates and system improvements without any problem.
It is minimal and simply because some only followed tutorials that were poorly done or not well-intentioned and because they did not give a little bit of logic. If RemoveWAT is active first and the update is installed, it will check the services and rewrite them. The correct order is to install KB9710332 and then RemoveWAT so you can alter the services. Now, what does this particular program do?
Because the idea is not to keep hiding from Microsoft and have access to all the features and improvements, the activation of the system with this method is not real, only the dlls and the files are modified to make us believe that the activation occurred. The mission of it is to remove WAT, and that is what it does, not activate the system. 2b1af7f3a8