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What is Windows Product Activation?

Windows Product Activation or WPA is a license validation procedure introduced by Microsoft Corporation in all versions of it’s Windows operating system.

WPA was first introduced in Windows XP and also in
  • Windows Server 2003,
  • Windows Vista,
  • Windows Server 2008,
  • Windows 7,
  • Windows 8.
WPA enforces each end user to activate the copy of Windows so as to prevent unauthorized usage beyond the specific period of time until it is verified as genuine by Microsoft.

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This works with two ID's and they are
  • Activation ID
  • Installation ID

This Installation ID is a 50-digit number which is derived from the following two data.
1. Product ID:
It is actually derived from the 25-digit product key (the alphanumeric value that is printed on the sticker over the Windows CD/DVD case) that is entered during the installation of the operating system.
The Product ID is used to uniquely identify your copy of Windows.

2. Hardware ID :
This value is derived based on the hardware configuration of your computer.
The WPA system checks the following 10 categories of the computer hardware to derive the Hardware ID:
  • Display Adapter
  • SCSI Adapter
  • IDE Adapter (effectively the motherboard)
  • Network Adapter (NIC) and its MAC Address
  • RAM Amount Range (i.e., 0-64mb, 64-128mb, etc.)
  • Processor Type
  • Processor Serial Number
  • Hard Drive Device
  • Hard Drive Volume Serial Number (VSN)
Click HERE to learn more.

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