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X250 BIOS entries "OA3 ID" and "OA2"

Posted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 7:11 am
by RealBlackStuff
In the X250 BIOS there are a few new/unknown fields on the first page:
OA3 ID xxxxxxxxxxxxx
OA2 Yes

Anybody know what these OAx entries are for?

Re: X250 BIOS entries "OA3 ID" and "OA2"

Posted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 10:23 am
by Screamer
I believe that it might be related to SLIC, since OA stands for 'OEM activation'.

OA2.x is meant for activating Windows Vista and 7, if I am not wrong. OA3.x on the other hand, is meant for activating either Windows 8 or Windows 8.1.

Re: X250 BIOS entries "OA3 ID" and "OA2"

Posted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 5:28 pm
by madicetea
Indeed, Screamer, your detective work knows no bounds.

One of a few official docs pages from Microsoft also states (and to no one's surprise) that W10 keys can also be embedded with OA3 - ... nd-later-b.

OA3 (and sometimes extensive OA3 tables with multiple licenses) are slipstreamed (added as a layer on top of) the regular factory golden master images by the OEM companies and IT professionals with the Active Directory Kit (ADK). I've seen it used before in medium and larger companies as a way to have Out of the Box (OOTB) activations of Enterprise or Professional versions of Windows for their employees.

It's interesting to see the difference of methodologies with the tables as well. Because OA2 (SLICv2 - v1 was used in XP and Vista) is a standard 'known' table and an (also now known to the public) OEM signing key, it's rather straightforward to inject SLIC2 tables for Windows 7 Pro or Ultimate into a machine, and they are the same across the entire OEM (all Lenovo is the same, but Lenovo OA2.x differs from Dell OA2.x) -- hence, the 'Yes' you are seeing.

OA3 for Windows 8 and later (iirc) is injecting the key itself and then salting it for the ID you are seeing? Although there is a command available with ADK windows imaging tools to verify what the key(s) are and if the version of windows currently running on the computer can be/was activated through the BIOS table.