Microsoft has been fighting piracy for a long time. When Vista first was release Paradox was able to figure out a way to trick the OS, with OEM certificates, into thinking the install was legitimate. You could even use Windows Update and pass all WGA validation checks.
With the release of SP1 this crack method did not work. However, through my research I have found a very popular tool to get SP1 activated once again. The tool is called Vista Loader and it uses OEM certificates just like the Paradox crack.
I tested this is a Virtual Machine. The VM has been deleted and was only used to testing purposes.
I first installed Vista, with no service pack, and cracked it with the Paradox crack to see if it really worked. It did, my copy passed all WGA validation tests. When I installed some updates and WGA updates I was only told that my copy of Vista might be counterfeit, but none of the updates disabled the crack until I installed SP1.
SP1 disabled the Paradox crack and gave me 15 days to activate vista with a legitimate key, but why wouldn’t the cert’s work? If Microsoft were to revoke those certificates then they would be disabling almost every OEM PC out there with Vista. SP1 just disabled the Paradox BIOS emulation software. What about new and different software? This is where the Vista Loader came into play. This idea also proves that the hardware BIOS cracks will always work, unless Microsoft finds a way to keep the real Vista Software activated and the counterfeited versions disabled.
This isn’t the only way to get around the activation process. There are sites out there that will keep your pirated copy of vista activated forever like a KMS server (http://vbs.net.cn/DNS/vbs/).
Microsoft is also fully aware of all the methods used to pirate their software and they put a lot of time into fighting piracy.
Please note that I am only testing this crack. The VM has been deleted. I understand that I have violated the EULA, but only for a proof of concept. Please forgive me Microsoft.