How to Backup and Restore Windows 7 OEM Activation License(Activate Offline On Reinstall)

Most new laptop or desktop computer  come with Windows 7 pre-loaded now. It’s good to get such a computer because we now have a genuine (OEM) license and don’t need to use any cracks which would get deactivated after some time.

One inconvenience brought by OEM activation is that Microsoft limits and restricts the number of time that online activation can be done. Once you’ve gone over that limit, you’ll have to call Microsoft to get a replacement. However,I don’t   like to “contact” Microsoft every time after reinstalling or reformating the computer for a fresh and clean start.I believe most of you don’t want to do this too.

I now know of a way to activate a clean Windows 7  installation using the OEM generic product key. Of course this method is meant for ONLY about reinstalling Windows 7 on a computer  WITH A genuine (OEM) Windows 7 LICENSE and not on a computer without a Windows 7 license.

You can try the following trick to Backup and Restore Windows 7 OEM Activation License(Activate Offline On Reinstall)

  • Copy and save or backup the following activation-related files to somewhere safe
    %SystemDrive%\\Windows\\ServiceProfiles\\NetWorkService\\
    AppData\\Roaming\\Microsoft\\SoftwarePlatform\\Tokens.dat

and

%SystemDrive%\\Windows\\System32\\spp\\tokens\\pkeyconfig\\pkeyconfig.xrm-ms

Note: For 64-bit (x64) OS, %SystemDrive%\\Windows\\SysWOW64\\spp\\tokens\\pkeyconfig\\pkeyconfig.xrm-ms have to be backed up too.

  • Retrieve and record the product key used to install and activate the current Windows 7 .
    Tip: If you can’t remember the product key used, there is plenty of product key viewers available to help.
  • Reinstall Windows 7 . When installation wizard prompts for a product key for activation, leave it blank (do not enter anything).
  • In the newly installed Windows operating system, stop the Software Protection Service in Services.msc or with the following command (run in elevated command prompt):
    net stop sppsvc
  • Navigate to the following folder:
    %SystemDrive%\\Windows\\System32\\spp\\tokens\\pkeyconfig\\

Note: In 64-bit (x64) operating system, also perform the action in %SystemDrive%\\Windows\\SysWOW64\\spp\\tokens\\pkeyconfig\\ folder.

  • Take ownership and give user full control permissions (alternatively add grant full control right click menu item) to pkeyconfig.xrm-ms file.
  • Delete the original default pkeyconfig.xrm-ms file, and replace with the backup copy.
  • Navigate to the following folder:
    %SystemDrive%\\Windows\\ServiceProfiles\\NetWorkService\\
    AppData\Roaming\\Microsoft\\SoftwarePlatform\\
  • Take ownership and give user full control permissions (alternatively add grant full control right click menu item) to tokens.dat file.
  • Delete the original default tokens.dat file, and replace with the backup copy.
  • Restart the Software Protection Service in Services.msc or with the following command (run in elevated command prompt):
    net start sppsvc
  • Register the product key for Windows 7 with the following command (run in elevated command prompt):
    slmgr.vbs -ipk xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx
  • Replace xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx with the actual product key.
  • Windows will activated instantly, off-line. To check activation status, uses of of the following commands:
    slmgr.vbs -dlv
    slmgr.vbs -dli
    slmgr.vbs -ato

You have to note that it can only be used to install the same version of windows 7 you have the original OEM license for. For example, if your computer came pre-installed with windows 7 Ultimate, you can only reinstall with Ultimate. And that the ability to backup and restore old activation status in order to pre-activate or ready-activate a machine after re-installation must be on the same hardware without any hardware change, else user will need to activate online again.

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