windows activation nightmare!!!

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by BrownChiLD, Jun 7, 2007.

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  1. BrownChiLD

    BrownChiLD Registered Member

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    Hi guys

    i need help bad..

    a client has 50 units of with windows XP home licenses.. i was tasked me to setup everything the most efficient way possible, specially with later maintenance.. ofcourse, imaging and cloning techniques are the MUST in this scenario..

    (Note: lets not get into the legal issues and stuff.. what is important for us now is that the client paid hard earned cash for 50 xp home licenses, he atleast deserves the right to setup everything the "most efficient" way possible..

    So anyway, i setup, tweaked, and modified one master computer with everything as needed.. i activated the windows license on it and ran the windows updates and all... so now im ready to deploy my images via cloning and restoring images using acronis TI to all 49 units with exactly the same hardware specs, with just the RAM sizes varying.....

    everything was going smooth until i started getting the WINDOWS HAS TO BE ACTIVATED before i could log in prompt crap on the first boot.. If i dont activate it, i end up in a loop of being requested to activate.. and if i do activate it (as i have tried) i've come to a point where it says i need a new key or some other crap..

    i've read about this Microsoft activation scheme etc.. but i never thought i'd get into this situation with it.. sucks..

    so now i ended up re-cloning destination disks again and again until the deployed disk boots up without the windows activation crap.. coz it was pretty random.. soemtimes it takes 4 re-cloning of the source disk for the target disk to work w/o getting caught in the activation thing..


    now here's what i dont get..
    - i got the same specs computers,
    - i ALREADY activated the source computer
    - i am using 1 is-to 1 imaging/cloning, which should, if it is a sector by sector thing, be EXACTLY as the source.. but how can it be possible that the SOURCE disk boots w/o a problem, while some target disks asks for activation first, even when tried on the EXACT SAME COMPUTER from which the source already existed on..

    I dont get it at all.. how this windows activation thing can get through.. is it phoning home every start up? and keeping its counts there?


    what's more important is how do i BYPASS this crapo_O

    I even tried to apply the ACTIVATION hack thing that was supposed to disable the "Require activation" thing of XP.. but one some disks cloned, i still get the darn thing... randomly too..

    what's going on.. im kinda baffled..

    can anyone help?

    I just need to kill the activation thing.. help please.. im stuck..
     
  2. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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  3. BrownChiLD

    BrownChiLD Registered Member

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    im aware of SYSPREP and in my case this is not an efficient solution..

    in his network environment (PUBLIC ACCESS COMPUTERS), the computers are prone to system damages. often we find ourselves re-cloning, and restoring images etc..

    I really just need a way to turn off or bypass this stupid activation..

    also, i thought acronis does PERFECT sector by sector cloning? How come some of the cloned systems suddenly gets activation crap? and some dont? everything is exactly the same hardware too.. that's what confuses me.
     
  4. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Unfortunately thats not quite true. Serial numbers of the processor and hard drive are taken into account as well as the MAC address of the NIC.

    I think this means you have lost 5 votes. You need 7 votes to pass.

    http://aumha.org/win5/a/wpa.htm
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2007
  5. coolbluewater

    coolbluewater Registered Member

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    You wouldn't be seeing that "stupid activation" prompt if whoever purchased XP chose the correct version and Volume License Key:
    http://www.microsoft.com/piracy/activation_volumefaq.mspx
    I don't know of any businesses that can purchase a VLK for the XP Home edition, but maybe I'm wrong.
     
  6. 666

    666 Registered Member

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    Doesn't matter. You can clone your drive to 50 others to avoid having to run the installer 50 times, but you'll still need to activate 50 times. Unfortunately that is the most efficient way to roll out 50 copies of XP Home. And yes, Bill Gates deserves to burn in hell for that.

    http://www.tecchannel.de/client/windows/401701/ has a workaround, but that involves switching off the CPU serial and changing the MAC address on each of your 50 machines. You'll probably have to do it for each different RAM size anyway.

    Reactivating 'em is a lot easier, and it saves a lot of trouble later on: you don't want to network 50 machines that share the same MAC address, and when you'll need to patch XP because of the umpteenth security flaw there's a good chance that the update or new service pack will come bundled with the WGA malware and you'll have to do it all over again.
     
  7. BrownChiLD

    BrownChiLD Registered Member

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    regarding the activation on each unit.. i tried it.. it was ok doing online activation untill some of the installs starteg giving me the activation exceeded crap..

    anyway, i found a way already.. if ya'll must know.. i resulted to hacking the activation crap with AntiWPA software.. works like a gem..

    thanks to all

    tea
     
  8. 666

    666 Registered Member

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  9. BrownChiLD

    BrownChiLD Registered Member

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  10. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    You must know that everything you do on the internet leaves an indelible trail that can be picked up at any time by anyone who is interested.

    Have a nice day

    Xpilot
     
  11. 666

    666 Registered Member

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    With a proxy server or an anonymous wireless connection in the local coffeeshop there's no need to worry about that. Contrary to popular belief anonymous internet does exist.

    Which is definitely what the OP needs. Violating a few EULAs for domestic use won't get you into any trouble, but a WPA crack on 50 computers of a client turns a civil breach of contract into commercial license infringement and that's food for criminal law in most jurisdictions. Even if the client has 50 valid keys.




    TI is capable of perfect sector cloning and will do so when it can't read the file system, but it doesn't do so by default. If it can read the file system it will ignore "empty" sectors and skip XPs paging and hibernation files. So if you want to clone a disk or partition to run file recovery software on the copy, Acronis is not the right program for you.

    If you want it to do what its name promises, i.e. making a TRUE image, you'll need to make sure it doesn't read the file system. But if you want to go that far there are free apps that do a better job than Acronis. Most Linux boot CDs have an imaging app that can make a true image.
     
  12. BrownChiLD

    BrownChiLD Registered Member

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    they got my client's money.. why else should they bother? this is just to make things easier in the admin side of things.. i think it's better for MS and other anti-piracy teams to focus on real pirates/illegal users than an actually legit user who just wants to make things easier..

    though this point can never be put into a legal term without all the legal mambo jumbos, loop holes, and other stuffs it creates, but, I believe its something that needs not talk about and wasted time on.. know what i mean?

    life goes on...
     
  13. 666

    666 Registered Member

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    To get more money? Don't forget we're talking about Mi©®o$oft here.

    They don't go after the real pirates for fear they'll switch to Linux. The chinese may not pay for Windows, but by installing their unofficial shareware editions on hundreds of millions of computers they keep the market share above 90% which makes it harder for the paying customers to switch to the competition.

    A small business, 50 computers, the license fees already paid but room for more because of an innocent breach of contract... Bi££¥ G@t€$ won't pass that window of opportunity! Just like the RIAA keeps sueing those computer illiterate grannies.
     
  14. Allen L.

    Allen L. Registered Member

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    666, you nailed it in that last post!

    ;)
     
  15. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    You might want to look at the Deep freeze products from Faronics which revert a computer to it's original state every time it is rebooted.
    http://www.faronics.com/

    The software is not expensive, and it works.

    I used their software at a teen center where the kids loved to mess up the machines, download stuff and install it, change settings, etc. After installing Faronics, the problems went away.

    The limitation is that you can't store data on the C drive. It will disappear when the system is rebooted. In my case this was exactly what I wanted since the kids were not supposed to leave their files on the hard drive after they stopped using the computer.

    The Faronics software was developed for public computers in libraries, etc.
     
  16. curt504

    curt504 Registered Member

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    Hay Brown, You haven't mentioned that you will want to change the SID of each box so they play in a network? Or I may not be up on when cloned computers can exist on the same network with identical SIDs or not.

    There's a simple enough solution off MS's side oddly: NewSID.exe

    Go to sysinternals.com search for NewSID.exe

    To be on the safe side I've changed the SID on my home computers that I cloned from a master copy. The clones are for the same reason as you Brown, I own the licenses but too much work goes into installing and customizing that cloning is the only practical solution.

    Good luck.
     
  17. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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    I believe in skimming this topic. The above reply by cbw is the only correct one.

    Op in original post wants to side step or avoid the legal stuff. Sorry can't do it here. It's obvious to me at least "the business owner" is fudging things.

    Oh well. Next.
     
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