Stupid question about Windows XP activation...

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by Gullible Jones, Apr 12, 2010.

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  1. ... If you're reinstalling on the same machine for the fourth time, without any significant hardware changes, will it activate online normally? Or will it fail due to having exceeded the limit of three activations?
     
  2. whitedragon551

    whitedragon551 Registered Member

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    It should fail and it you should have to call and explain to an MS tech and they will give you the code to activate over the phone.
     
  3. Okay, thanks.
     
  4. iSole

    iSole Registered Member

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    OK, I have one!

    Is this something new, cuz I can't even count how many times I reinstalled XP! :eek:
    With and without hardware changes..

    Nothing was said everytime I activated it?!
     
  5. Searching_ _ _

    Searching_ _ _ Registered Member

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    I've wiped and reinstalled 13x in a week with activation each time. Not a peep.
    I haven't changed the hardware.
    Watchu talkin bout, Microsoft?

    A relative swapped harddrives and Windows XP said he had to call for activation.
     
  6. NoIos

    NoIos Registered Member

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    I believe it's a bit random thing. It happened to me to install various times and nothing happened. Then once, on the third installation(no hardware changes) I had to call Microsoft. It's an easy process really.
     
  7. HAN

    HAN Registered Member

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    I have a question... Why not make a basic image and use it to restore back to? One would never have this issue, along with the hassle of driver installations gone too. o_O
     
  8. blacknight

    blacknight Registered Member

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    Ya, I also always believed this, because the same thing happened to me.
     
  9. doktornotor

    doktornotor Registered Member

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    Well... if you are doing this on some laptop or OEM branded desktop and use the manufacturer supplied media, then usually no activation will be required at all no matter how many times you reinstall - it's gonna be preactivated via OEMBIOS files + SLIC1 table in BIOS.

    Reference: Preserving OEM Pre-Activation when Re-installing Windows XP.
     
  10. iSole

    iSole Registered Member

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    OK, mine is Home, maybe they figure Home users will have to reinstall alot,
    cuz they don't know what they are doin'. :D
     
  11. Just confirmed with Home. And found a few sources indicating that XP can be reinstalled indefinitely provided the hardware remains the same.
     
  12. iSole

    iSole Registered Member

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    Well, I changed the HD, the cd rom and cd writer, the ram and the powersupply,(not all at once!) XP still activated. :)

    Maybe they mean the motherboard.
     
  13. wtsinnc

    wtsinnc Registered Member

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    I've reinstalled from absolute scratch probably fifty times and cloned or installed an image more times than that; all on the same machine but with some minor hardware changes over the years.
    Since 2005, I've had to call Microsoft once to activate.

    I believe the MB, processor, and video card are the primary changes that are most likely to create the scenario where you have to call to activate.
    I read sometime back that it's sort of a point system; where the major components each have a value, such as the video card (perhaps) six points, the MB seven, and the CPU also seven.
    Exceeding ten points equates to MS assuming you are installing on a new machine.

    -Anyway, like most of those here, I've had no problem.
     
  14. cortez

    cortez Registered Member

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    I have five hard drives with multiple XP partitions on each one. I have yet to be asked to call in to activate. Perhaps I have been lucky. I also have no trouble re-imaging partitions as they are automatically activated.

    If a partition gets really corrupt or goes haywire due to an application (i.e. SandboxIE in my experience) and XP demands an activation it has always been fast over the internet.

    Either way, that is the reason why I like XP so much as one can test all sorts of applications and setups without any trouble.

    I hope Windows 7 is the same as I am hoping to try it out.
     
  15. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    Yes, this is how I understood that it worked. A point system. I have upgraded many computers with peripherals, and only a few times seen it ask for activation. There is also a file you are supposed to be able to copy that is the activation. They say you can replace this file once you reinstall on the same software. However, what they do not state (whoever "they" are) is that if you format your hdd, you can get asked to activate even if you posses this file. I once did an hdd upgrade, and had that file(s). I installed new drive, installed XP, placed the activated file in proper directory, reboot.. it did not work. I found that there is an ID on the hdd (luckily it was still operational) and you can get that ID, and set the new hdd with the same ID. This was all it took, the activation file was seen as proper and it worked fine.

    I have never understood thier point system though, sometimes just replacing a cd-rom drive sets it off, sometimes you can take a hdd from system A and place it in system B and it works just fine, even though system B is a different cpu, mobo chip, hdd, video, cdrom, etc etc. Go figure.

    Sul.
     
  16. doktornotor

    doktornotor Registered Member

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    Windows XP Activation Explained has a detailed explanation on what counts here. And here's how it that encoded into the installation ID.
     
  17. midway40

    midway40 Registered Member

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    Back in Februrary I decided to build a small homeserver to replace the one I was using which used to be my old desktop. I was changing the server in anticipation of the release of WHS V2 "sometime this year" because my old desktop was only 32-bit. WHS V2 (Vail) will be based on Windows Server 2008 R2 64bit (V1 is based on Server 2003 SBS 32bit).

    The only component I used from the old machine was the HDD. Imagine my surprise when I installed WHS and it activated with no problems o_O . The only thing I can think of is that since there are no retail versions of WHS (just OEM) maybe MS gives a little more leeway on them.

    Whatever the reason it saved me some dough :)
     
  18. doktornotor

    doktornotor Registered Member

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    WHS uses SLP 1.0 + OEMBIOS files; as long as you have the required strings in BIOS and corresponding OEMBIOS files on installation media it will activate.
     
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