Windows Activation

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by TerryWood, Aug 7, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. TerryWood

    TerryWood Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2006
    Posts:
    703
    Hi All

    I have Windows XP SP3.

    A question to Wilders experts.

    What happens if my hard drive fails and I then replace it with a different make and a larger size drive and finally I restore an image (AcronisTI) to this new drive. Will there be any problems with activation?. In other words will Windows hiccup and expect me to activate?

    Thank you

    Terry
     
  2. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2003
    Posts:
    17,039
    HI Terry

    I don't think it will, but even so, I would guess it will activate fine. It's only after too many changes you might have to call.

    Pete
     
  3. dw426

    dw426 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2007
    Posts:
    5,543

    Peter, I'm not real sure about that. At least in my own case, when I replaced just an external DVD burner, Windows made me do it. That may not be the norm but it sure as heck happened to me.
     
  4. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2003
    Posts:
    17,039
    Did you have trouble activating?
     
  5. Chuck57

    Chuck57 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2002
    Posts:
    1,422
    Location:
    New Mexico, USA
    I don't exactly know what MS policy on XP is. I know what it says.

    Case in point. I installed it a four or five times on my desktop, due to tinkering and screwing things up. The last couple of times, I had to make a phone call to activate it. That computer finally died, so...

    I got this newer computer a year ago, clean and installed XP just to see what would happen on a completely different machine, or if I'd have to buy a new copy. It installed and activated over the Internet without a problem.
     
  6. dw426

    dw426 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2007
    Posts:
    5,543
    Yes, as soon as I tried it told me my license had been "used too many times" (I can remember possibly 2 re-installs previously, no more). XP's activation policy is horrendous IMHO. It's a great OS, but you never know when it'll deem you "suspicious" and throw you into activation hell....and the 7th circle of hell is calling the activation center where you have no idea what they are saying and the hold times are long enough that you need a shave once you've hung up.
     
  7. Jo Ann

    Jo Ann Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2007
    Posts:
    508
    Terry, I've been through that situation a few times and you may have to reactivate Windows (most likely by telephone). However, MS understands those issues and won't be difficult about it as long as you have a legit license. ;)

    JA
     
  8. prius04

    prius04 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2007
    Posts:
    1,238
    Location:
    USA
    I'm having a difficult time understanding these activation issues. I suppose it's because I've never had any despite the numerous changes I've made to several machines over the years - swapping video cards, adding various types of cards in free slots, adding RAM, adding/replacing HDDs and optical drives - almost everything except replacing a system board.

    I have upgraded HDDs on 3 different machines running three different versions of Windows (Pro, Home, and MCE 2k5). After I restored images created with ShadowProtect, the machines started up as if **nothing** had changed. I didn't have to do a thing - all was the same as it had been before I replaced the drives (which I presume is the whole point of imaging/restoring).

    Most recently, I upgraded my daughter's Dell. I added 2 x 1GB sticks of RAM, a WD 320GB HDD (internal to be used as the primary), and a DVD burner (she only had a CDRW in there) all at the same time. The SP restore from an image on an external USB drive to the 320GB WD went off without a hitch and there have been no activation-related issues.

    FWIW.....
     
  9. dw426

    dw426 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2007
    Posts:
    5,543
    Perhaps it's because of the images? The license information will still be on them, plus, and maybe this is a stretch, Windows didn't "know" you installed something different because all the configurations were the same on the image?
     
  10. prius04

    prius04 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2007
    Posts:
    1,238
    Location:
    USA
    I can only assume it was because of the images but then I've read accounts from users who claimed they had to reactivate because Windows "griped" after they made some (relatively) minor change to their configuration; doesn't seem to follow any rational pattern.

    Regardless, with respect to my daughter's machine, the image I restored certainly contained the license information but then all of the h/w changes were done *after* the image. Windows would have to "know" there was an additional (and different primary) HDD, an optical drive had been added, and the amount of physical RAM had changed, wouldn't it?

    One side note; after I added a new HDD in another one of my machines and restored an image, Diskeeper, of all things, bitched about activation. I found that rather odd since (a) Windows, itself, didn't seem to care, (b) the DK license information was definitely on the image, and (c) subsequently, when I followed the same procedure on two other machines with DK installed, DK didn't even seem to notice. o_O
     
  11. dw426

    dw426 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2007
    Posts:
    5,543
    Lol, it just goes to show that the words computer and rational should never be in the same sentence.
     
  12. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2005
    Posts:
    3,719
    I have read different articles that told what XP checks for. It went something along the lines of 3 minor devices or 2 major devices. Something like that. It never seems to stick to that scheme though, as I too have seen adding ram cause the activation process to spawn again.

    I have read that to back up your activation using the wpa.dbl file, you must not format your drive. Within the drive's volume ID I believe it was, was one part that XP deems major. Putting a new hdd in that has a different volume ID (and it almost certainly would), usually causes XP to want to reactivate. This I have read is to keep to the rules that state you can only have one OS on your computer. Silly stipulation, but I know it happens.

    The images, I believe, place everything back exactly the same, including the volume ID. Ghost is what I used when I did images, and if I remember correctly, it would tell me if the overall size or partitions sizes were different and adjust stuff for me. So, I would say it was on those images. Try placing a new motherboard in and then put the image back on. I have tried many times, it has never worked for me. Matter of fact, I tried lot's of things so that I could make one image for my upgrades. Get a new computer or board/cpu, just put the image back on. Never worked. I never was able to do with XP what 98 could do so easily.

    No matter anyway, either a peep uses images when they build a new computer and keeps it till they get rid of it, or you can roll your own Unattended CD and reinstall whenever with ease.

    Sul.
     
  13. Hairy Coo

    Hairy Coo Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2007
    Posts:
    1,486
    Location:
    Northern Beaches
    Depends on how many times you have reinstalled /made hardware changes as to when the requirements to activate will kick in.
    Also different for OEM and retail versions.
    If you havent made many changes you are safe-in my case it took years even though I was pretty active.

    See this article here (thanks to Longboard).

    Reactivation is pain free if you are being honest.

    The whole idea is that MS wants to stop the OS from being used in more than one computer.
     
  14. farmerlee

    farmerlee Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2006
    Posts:
    2,585
    I while back i successfully changed my system over from a seagate 160gb ide hard drive to a couple of seagate 160gb sata drives and no re-activation was needed. Windows simply configured itself for the new hardware i rebooted and all was fine.
     
  15. cortez

    cortez Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2006
    Posts:
    444
    Location:
    Chicago
    I have installed XP (OEM, Pro, and Home editions) images onto 5 different Hard Drives and have never had any problem with activation (all hard drives are used on only one machine [one main drive, another which also has images in partitions, and three testing drives]). But I will not be surprised if it did ask for activation.

    This makes XP a darn good OS as It allows for plenty of testing prior to making an addition to the main drive.

    The only images that want activation are images of an unactivated XP ( I use it as a reference for missing files ect.).

    As it is on a DVD in uncompressed mode (TI10), I can see into Windows as it is before applications are installed [ a good way to see if the registry is as it should be; especially after uninstalling an application). I also do not have to worry about the 30 days of time ticking before it asks for activation.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2008
  16. TerryWood

    TerryWood Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2006
    Posts:
    703
    Hi All

    I raised the original post. I just want to say thanks to everyone for their contribution (and any future ones). It does seem possible that if the scenario I described occurrs, then I might have a chance of avoiding activation!

    Thanks

    Terry
     
  17. hossie

    hossie Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2005
    Posts:
    88
    I dont think it should create any sort of problem, provided the image file is not corrupt
     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.