How does Microsoft store activation credentials?

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  1. Posts : 14,603
    Windows 10 IoT
       #21

    NavyLCDR said:
    Not always. Windows 10 setup will only pick the version to install for you if it finds a pre-existing indication on the computer itself as to which version should be installed. The order of preference Windows setup uses to predetermine which version should be installed is a PID.txt file (or other answer file) in the \sources folder of the install media, a product key stored in UEFI/BIOS, or a product key input by the user. If Windows setup does not find a product key or specified version to install by any of those methods, it does NOT default to Windows 10 Home. It will ask the user which version they want to install after clicking on "I don't have a product key".
    On my two desktop PC's with legacy BIOS and no OEM embedded key, I get prompted to enter a key. If I click "I don't have one" the menu to select Home or Pro comes up. It does not auto install Home. That used to happen on my laptop. It has a Windows 8.0 Core OEM embedded key. If I didn't modify my install media with a PID.txt file, 10 Home was auto installed with no prompt for a key and no selection menu. Happily, the CU now ignores Windows 8 OEM keys. I get prompted for a key and can install what ever I want from the selection menu.
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  2. Posts : 3,449
       #22

    OK gonna get a bit technical now, but bear with me ...

    Windows stores the licence details in database files called tokens.dat (in addition to registry dependencies for hash checks etc)... Legacy (non-DL) in the spp folder under system32... digital licences are classified as a store licence (gets lumped together with the apps downloaded from there and subject to renewal at certain intervals.. according to event log, anyway)
    ... and stored in the tokens.dat in programdata\microsoft\windows\clipsvc folder - each also uses their own services to activate as well...
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  3. Posts : 11,210
    Windows / Linux : Arch Linux
       #23

    NavyLCDR said:
    Not always. Windows 10 setup will only pick the version to install for you if it finds a pre-existing indication on the computer itself as to which version should be installed. The order of preference Windows setup uses to predetermine which version should be installed is a PID.txt file (or other answer file) in the \sources folder of the install media, a product key stored in UEFI/BIOS, or a product key input by the user. If Windows setup does not find a product key or specified version to install by any of those methods, it does NOT default to Windows 10 Home. It will ask the user which version they want to install after clicking on "I don't have a product key".

    Hi there
    @NavyLCDR

    I always LIKE your posts and agree usually 100% of the time - but in this case unfortunately you are INCORRECT --just try wiping your HDD and installing the CU edition FROM SCRATCH after first having done an update via the usual methods.

    Your windows update edition needs to be AT LEAST version 1703 -- any earlier versions then of course what I'm posting here is BONKERS. I.E use a CU 1703 ISO or rufus bootable USB with 1703 on it - and install after an initial update from a previous version of Windows . (I mean here that your CURRENT running edition should be the 1703 version after you did an UPGRADE -- not a clean install -- from a previous version). If you aren't already running 1703 then do the upgrade FIRST before the clean install.

    So to update to 1703 from a previous version of windows do the following :

    a) take backup of existing installation so you don't have to re-do after the next step. (Macrium etc -- so you can restore if it doesn't work).

    b) wipe HDD and install clean the 1703 ISO

    Please try a CLEAN update and see what happens -- even a VM should be a good enough test. The default always is HOME unless you fix the ei.cfg file like I've posted previously.



    Cheers
    jimbo
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  4. Posts : 3,449
       #24

    @SIW2
    I recall a post of yours @ EF regarding Jim's CAPS thingy.. he's still got it LOL

    Back to topic...

    Why the need for an efi.cfg when installing CU?
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  5. Posts : 14,603
    Windows 10 IoT
       #25

    jimbo45 said:
    Hi there
    @NavyLCDR

    I always LIKE your posts and agree usually 100% of the time - but in this case unfortunately you are INCORRECT --just try wiping your HDD and installing the CU edition FROM SCRATCH after first having done an update via the usual methods.

    Your windows update edition needs to be AT LEAST version 1703 -- any earlier versions then of course what I'm posting here is BONKERS. I.E use a CU 1703 ISO or rufus bootable USB with 1703 on it - and install after an initial update from a previous version of Windows . (I mean here that your CURRENT running edition should be the 1703 version after you did an UPGRADE -- not a clean install -- from a previous version). If you aren't already running 1703 then do the upgrade FIRST before the clean install.

    So to update to 1703 from a previous version of windows do the following :

    a) take backup of existing installation so you don't have to re-do after the next step. (Macrium etc -- so you can restore if it doesn't work).

    b) wipe HDD and install clean the 1703 ISO

    Please try a CLEAN update and see what happens -- even a VM should be a good enough test. The default always is HOME unless you fix the ei.cfg file like I've posted previously.



    Cheers
    jimbo
    I've done numerous clean installs with stock install media, AU and CU, and they DO NOT auto install the Home edition as default. You first prompted for a product code. Enter one and the matching edition is installed. Click "I don't have one" and you'll get a selection menu. If its an MSDN ISO the options are Home or Pro. If its the MCT ISO your options are Home, Pro Education, and I think Home SL. If yours is installing Home maybe its because you added an ei'cfg?

    EDIT: Home may be highlighted, pre selected in the selection menu but you can easily change that with one mouse click. Unless your just blindly clicking every yes button that comes up.
    Last edited by alphanumeric; 26 Apr 2017 at 15:24.
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  6. Posts : 14,603
    Windows 10 IoT
       #26

    Superfly said:
    @SIW2
    I recall a post of yours @ EF regarding Jim's CAPS thingy.. he's still got it LOL

    Back to topic...

    Why the need for an efi.cfg when installing CU?
    You don't need it.
      My Computer


  7. Posts : 380
    Windows 10-Pro 64bit
       #27

    jimbo45 said:
    [email protected]Comp Cmndo

    I'm not sure I want a TPM module in my computer --Who knows --CIA / Trump / N.Korea or whatever -- that type of chip could really sink any computer privacy FOREVER....
    You might have one now & you never would know.
    Earlier TPM versions did less. Had one a couple years ago on a used Dell laptop, where the BIOS (not UEFI) had many settings locked. Needed the proprietary Dell software to unlock it. It can also be cleared by shorting the correct pins of the TPM & there is more than one variation of the chip.
      My Computers


  8. Posts : 17,369
    Windows 11 Pro
       #28

    alphanumeric said:
    I've done numerous clean installs with stock install media, AU and CU, and they DO NOT auto install the Home edition as default. You first prompted for a product code. Enter one and the matching edition is installed. Click "I don't have one" and you'll get a selection menu. If its an MSDN ISO the options are Home or Pro. If its the MCT ISO your options are Home, Pro Education, and I think Home SL. If yours is installing Home maybe its because you added an ei'cfg?

    EDIT: Home may be highlighted, pre selected in the selection menu but you can easily change that with one mouse click. Unless your just blindly clicking every yes button that comes up.
    That's exactly the way clean installs of CU have been on my computers as well. Since you don't actually have to install Windows 10 to test it, I just booted my laptop which has no product key stored in UEFI from Windows 10 ver 1703 USB flash drive created with the most recent MCT. My current Windows 10 is Education upgraded from Windows 10 Pro digital license:

    How does Microsoft store activation credentials?-capture2.jpg

    This is the third Windows of Windows setup after booting from the USB flash drive:

    How does Microsoft store activation credentials?-capture.jpg

    After I click "I don't have a product key", this is the next window:

    How does Microsoft store activation credentials?-capture1.jpg
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  9. Posts : 14,603
    Windows 10 IoT
       #29

    @ NavyLCDR Thank you. You beat me too it. I was going to do some screen shots but was under the weather last night and didn't do much of anything. My chronic pain spiked last night and I had to call it an early night. Still not the best but better than I was last night. Life goes on though. Time for another cup of java.
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