Windows - Activation

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by ErikAlbert, Aug 24, 2007.

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  1. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    Since I cannot activate WinXPproSP2 anymore on my computer, I was wondering how many times you can activate WinXPproSP2 and some other members too.

    According X-Setup Pro, some kind of tweaking software, which I'm trialing at this moment,
    I've read this information accidently.

    I hope you do remember your number of activations or you are in the same boat like me, one day.

    I didn't know anything about this. I simply assumed, that as long my hardware didn't change, I could activate WinXPproSP2 an unlimited times and that would be logical.

    Microsoft seems to control these components :
    01. Processor Model
    02. Processor Serial Number
    03. RAM Size
    04. Graphics Adapter
    05. IDE Controller
    06. SCSI Host Adapter
    07. Harddrive
    08. CD-ROM Drive
    09. Volume Serial Number
    10. MAC Address
    And there is obvious an 11th verification :
    11. Number of Activations

    I guess that this info is stored in the files :
    1. C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\WPA.DBL
    2. C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\WPA.BAK

    Isn't that enough to verify the identity of my and your computer ? Obvious not for Microsoft.
    After all, I'm a honest guy, who paid €165.00 for WinXPproSP2.

    My recent experience with the activation of ShadowProtect wasn't pleasant either.
    I'm not going to buy any software with activation anymore as long it is still possible.
    I have 3 of them and 2 of them caused already activation problems.
    I consider activations as an attack on my personal freedom.

    I don't have a problem with activation itself, I have a problem with the way they do it.
    1. They don't verify your computer, based on hardware identification (except M$ maybe), they give you some kind of client number during the first installation and call it "Activation Code" or "Machine ID", whatever.
    If that number is gone due to formatting of your harddisk, you have to reactivate the software and your activation counter increases with "1".

    2. Even when your machine is verified, they still count your activations, because they don't trust their OWN identification method.

    3. If the software is installed twice (or more) on the same computer, like in another snapshot, the software gives you a new activation code, which is compared with the previous activation code and then you are wrongly accused of piracy.

    That is my problem with activation.

    More and more companies will create softwares with activation and they will imitate the same crippled activation method of other companies.
     
  2. Meriadoc

    Meriadoc Registered Member

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    Re: Windows - Activaton

    Yes MS monitors 11 components. Isn't there a 50 times rule for some installations?
     
  3. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Re: Windows - Activaton

    Unforunately, one of the signs of piracy behavior is multiple installs on the same machine. It really isn't normal usage.

    Erik, I understand your frustration, but when you consider the assault on your freedom, consider how you'd feel if you worked hard for a long time to develop something, and then someone else copied it and was selling for half the price. I'd bet you'd become a big fan of this restrictive activation.

    Anyway the reality is we are going to have to live with it.
     
  4. dogma

    dogma Registered Member

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    Re: Windows - Activaton

    I didn't know XP service pack 2 needed to be activated on Win XP Pro. My cousin (who bought his desktop PC same time as my old desktop in 2001) restores his Win XP pre-service pack2 (can't remember if SP1 was installed) from his recovery floppy disk to factory settings. After this he installs SP2, which he downloaded from Softpedia a few years back (windows update takes too long), from a CD. I'm certain he has done this over 4 times now. And I can't remember it ever asking for activation?

    All PCs that I know have all come with SP2 pre-installed (WinXP Pro 2005). They also come with recovery DVDs so you don't need to go activate anything.

    Next time you get SP2 installed again, on a fresh install, maybe you should consider making a bootable recovery CD with some imaging software.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2007
  5. Chuck57

    Chuck57 Registered Member

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    Re: Windows - Activaton

    The XP activation over the phone is easy. I generally reformat yearly and the last time had to call and get a number. I just explained what I wanted to do and why and it was over and done in barely 5 minutes.

    Using virtualization, first Powershadow until it died and now Returnil, maybe I won't be needing to reformat any more - or as much.
     
  6. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    Re: Windows - Activaton

    When I get my activation, back after the phonecall, I will install Windows, activate it and do a backup and keep that image.

    When I want to re-install my computer from scratch I will restore that image.
    I wanted to do this in September, but I'm one activation too late. Three times isn't much.
     
  7. Chuck57

    Chuck57 Registered Member

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    Re: Windows - Activaton

    Three activations is ridiculous, and why by the end of this year I'm going to be running either an Apple computer or have Linux on this one - if I can ever find a version of Linux that will recognize and let me use my printer.

    I can appreciate M$ and they're penchant for controlling piracy, but if you install Windows on the same computer, you should be able to do unlimited reinstalls on That computer.

    On the other hand, I can in a way understand 3 activations. A lot of people keep a PC for 3 or 4 years. If they bog it down with junk, take it to someone and have them do a format and reinstall. Three activations is probably more than the average user will ever need. I download and test or play with all kinds of stuff on a daily basis. The new virtualization software out now has been a godsend to me.
     
  8. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    Re: Windows - Activaton

    Suppose I replace my old computer with a new computer, because my old computer is broke. They might also think I kept my old computer and consider my new computer as a second computer, although it isn't true, but that means for them ANOTHER license.
    I wonder how this will work in practice.
     
  9. Chuck57

    Chuck57 Registered Member

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    Re: Windows - Activaton

    That is precisely what I did with this computer that I got less than a year ago. It was prebuilt locally (generic) but with no OS installed, which is how I wanted it since I had a copy of Windows XP. My understanding was that you could install your copy of XP on a new computer.

    Obviously, the copy wouldn't register. I called, explained to the guy what I wanted to do and why (new computer). He asked if the old one was gone. I told him it was dead. He gave me the new activation number without hesitation. All done in barely five minutes.
     
  10. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    Re: Windows - Activaton

    I'm surprised they believed you so EASILY. After all you could have been a liar.
    Let's hope that each company with activation will be that easy.
     
  11. Chuck57

    Chuck57 Registered Member

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    Re: Windows - Activaton

    The guy I talked to was from overseas, India or somewhere. Very pleasant and friendly and didn't question me a bit. I don't know if that's the norm. It's the first time I've ever had to call.
     
  12. Ocky

    Ocky Registered Member

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    Re: Windows - Activaton

    @ ErikAlbert

    Please read this. http://www.pcbuyerbeware.co.uk/ProductActivation.htm

    Interesting also is this extract from above linked site:

    "That said, at present, if you don't need to contact the activation centre during the 120-day period after a telephone reactivation (made necessary because of the number of changes made to the system), this means that any changes you have made during the 120 days have been acceptable, the slate is then wiped clean, and you can start again using the current hardware as the new basis for making additional changes. Moreover, if you buy a new computer, if you remove Windows XP from the computer that is being sold or scrapped, you're entitled to install the same copy of Windows XP on the new computer. However, you'll have use the telephone option and explain the situation to Microsoft's customer service."

    Regards
     
  13. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    Re: Windows - Activaton

    Yes, it's only an one-case-story. It's hard to believe for me that it always will be that easy.
    If they don't believe me, I might have to buy the software again and that would make me really angry.
    At this moment, there aren't so many softwares with activation, but this can change it the following years and then it won't be so easy anymore to reinstall your actual harddisk or new harddisk.
    I see myself already writing 15 begging emails for activation. Pffft.
     
  14. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Re: Windows - Activaton

    Interesting, but questionable accuracy. If you buy a retail version of windows yes you can remove it from computer A and move it to B. But if it's an OEM version, it is licensed to both the machine purchaser and the machine and isn't transferable. Also every OEM version I've purchased both from velocitymicro and Lenovo(IBM) have required activation.
     
  15. Chuck57

    Chuck57 Registered Member

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    Re: Windows - Activaton

    My old version of xp was an oem. The guy never asked. I just explained what happened and he read off a new activation number. I'm sure, being M$, it wouldn't always be so simple. I think i might have just got lucky.
     
  16. SYS 64738

    SYS 64738 Registered Member

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    Re: Windows - Activaton


    I would just like to mention that this does not hold for example in germany. Here selling of OEM versions are allowed without the corresponding hardware. You have the right to install this software on any computer once, not exclusively on the computer hardware of the manufacturer mentioned on the CD-label.
     
  17. Firecat

    Firecat Registered Member

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    Re: Windows - Activaton

    It depends on a few things how "strict" M$ with you, but 95% of the time I've had absolutely no problem with the telephone activation process. The one time I did have a problem was when the automatic activation system wouldn't send me an activation code for whatever reason and I was transferred to what I assume was a line in Denmark, which took a lot more time than usual because this time I was speaking to a real person and not the automated machine. The drain on my phone bill was pretty hard :p
     
  18. Huupi

    Huupi Registered Member

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    Re: Windows - Activaton

    I don't get it,its my understanding that this so called OEM versions are tailormade to fit the machines they are made for,you said "any" right,so what happen if i install an HP OEM on an Acer with different hardware,its likely not good to do,or am i missing something !?!
     
  19. SYS 64738

    SYS 64738 Registered Member

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    Here, an i can only speak about conditions refering to german law, vou are absolutely allowed to install an HP OEM to an Acer or a no-name home built computer. The part of the licence which "binds" the software to the purchased hardware is not valid here.
    Please, don't take this as a authoritative statement, i'm not a lawyer, but selling OEM Software (for MS OS: including CD, licence key (COA) and short manual) is common practice here. You are allowed to buy a Fujitsu or Dell installation CD and install it on a no-name machine. Usually, you have to activate via phone, but this shouldn't be a problem. In doubt tell them you have had to change your mainboard.
     
  20. Huupi

    Huupi Registered Member

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    Sorry, its about mismatch,to install an OEM preconfigured HP CD on an any different rig spell trouble i guess because in many cases different hardware,missing drivers etc.Here in Holland its the same,OEM stuff for lesser half the price as compared with a retail windows.
     
  21. SYS 64738

    SYS 64738 Registered Member

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    Hm, usually, i guess, that the OS comes on a different CD than the drivers. But your are right, as far as i remember there were some issues with certain resellers, who "bind" their delivered OS CDs to their system (dongling). However, there are -absolutely legal- ways to get a fully functional OS out of this CDs. One of the simplest approaches is the use of start-up disks which are freely available even from Microsoft.
    But i guess that you have to elaborate an individual solution for some vendors occasionally. I never had to get concerned with this in detail, but i remember that i have read about this several times in popular computer magazines.

    To ErikAlbert:
    I can fully understand your upset about this activation procedure. My experience is, that i didn't face any problems in activating via phone. Gladly, MS does not license their OS like vendors of antivirus software, so you would have to purchase a new license yearly. But i expect this to come for sure one day.
     
  22. ashishtx

    ashishtx Registered Member

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    I had to do activate windows recently Via phone with automated system. It was fairly easy, although i had to tell them that i upgraded my RAM.
     
  23. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    The fact that they force you and me to call them, means they got you.
    They have now power over you and me and that is just the beginning.
    We honest users are the real victims, not the pirates and the activation code is just a new challenge for skilled crack writers, if it isn't beaten already.
     
  24. 19monty64

    19monty64 Registered Member

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    We are the victims of shop-lifters when we pay higher retail prices. We are the victims of insurance-fraud when we pay outrageous rates for auto-insurance. We are all victims of one crime or another. It's like Vegas, "it may be crooked, but it's the only game in town!"
     
  25. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Hello,
    I have installed several XPs on the same machines more that three times without a problem - including activation that is.
    Mrk
     
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