Possibly Unattended install. All of the info like your key is incorporated into a file so there are no stops in the install. They would also slipstream in the assorted software and use some key if needed. The software would install but you would likely be prompted to register on the first use.
no i dont think it was that, when i got my laptop back it was in some funny mode, cant remember the name of it, it looked very simular to the way windows lodes up normaly but where the user name was it had the modes name? i remeber doing a search about it some time ago and it said it was used by repair centers. i need now to go back into this mode to fix something.