Make your own OEM Activated Windows 7 / Vista Installation Media (USB/DVD)

Windows 7 is finally been released, and to be honest it's way better than Vista. Microsoft has continued with their OEM_SLP activation practice. This round they updated the SLIC 2.0 to 2.1 so the machines with Vista pre-installed cannot enjoy the same benefits with Windows 7.

This tutorial will teach you how to prepare your own OEM activated copy of Windows 7 and Vista (which uses a slightly different method) on either a USB thumb drive or DVD, depends if your machine can boot from an USB device.

First you need the following items:

Let's get it started.

First of all, install the Download Tool, run it and you should see a window look like this:

Click on "Browse" and point it to the ISO you downloaded, then click Next.

Here since we are going to use USB thumb drive, please click "USB device".

Note: Not that the DVD method is unusable here but it will require additional too to modify the ISO prior to burning it. I will touch on that on later.

Now select the USB thumb drive you have inserted, careful, don't choose the wrong one!

Now press "Begin copying", it will ask you are you sure, now ask yourself that question and click on yes. It will then format the drive and copy the content of the Windows 7 ISO onto the thumb drive.

Here is something you might want to know, if you are running a 32-bit operating system and making a 64-bit installation media, it will prompt you that the "bootsect" was not successfully executed because it requires 64-bit environment. The "bootsect" utility makes your USB device bootable. However I have successfully made a 64-bit installation media on a 32-bit OS so if it makes you feel safer, do make the 64-bit installation media on a 64-bit OS. However the other way around (Making a 32-bit installation media on a 64-bit OS) is no issue.

After it's done copying, you may close the problem but do not remove the drive yet, we need to a few things here in order to achieve the OEM_SLP activation upon completion of installation.

Now comes the fun part... first you need to obtain the OEM files for the offline OEM_SLP activation, you can obtain them HERE (Credit goes to "searchengine" on My Digital Life Forum). Download and extract, you should see a folder named "$oem$". Save that folder to your desktop or somewhere you can easily get access to.

Next, open up the USB thumb drive you just created, navigate to "sources" folder:

Open "sources" folder, then copy the "$oem$" folder you downloaded above into the sources folder, it should look like this:

Next, locate the file called "ei.cfg" and delete it, this will allow you to pick the version of Windows 7 you want to install:

And you are done! Eject the USB drive, and boot up the target computer, boot into the USB drive you just created and follow the on screen instructions, and you shall have a fresh copy of Windows 7 installed.

Field Notes