locked
Vista won't activate after hardware change-Help! RRS feed

  • Question

  • I recently installed two more GB of RAM and now with Vista Ultimate it says there's been a hardware change and I need to activate.

    When I click to activate I have to click continue and then nothing happens, absolutely nothing. No option for phone activation or anything. Nothing at all comes up.

    When I go to Vista Welcome Center and click on more details, it's telling me that Vista needs activation within 1 day. I click to activate and same thing, I click on continue and absolutely nothing happens and no activation screen comes up after that.

    I'm worried about losing everything.

    Please help!

    Thanks,

    Jay
    Thursday, March 20, 2008 3:15 PM

Answers

  • Click on the blue Vista start button and directly above the Start button you'll see the "Start Search" box.

    Within the "Start Search" box type in:  slui.exe 4 then press the Enter key on your keyboard.  The Windows Activation window should appear in a moment.  Proceed to activate by phone.

    Thursday, March 20, 2008 3:51 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Click on the blue Vista start button and directly above the Start button you'll see the "Start Search" box.

    Within the "Start Search" box type in:  slui.exe 4 then press the Enter key on your keyboard.  The Windows Activation window should appear in a moment.  Proceed to activate by phone.

    Thursday, March 20, 2008 3:51 PM
    Moderator
  • Carey: Thank you very much!

    That file brought up the phone activation box.

    When I went to activate by phone, it didn't work and they put me on to someone live who was able to give me the numbers to activate and Vista is now activated again. What a relief!

    Do you have any ideas on why the screen to activate over the net won't come up?

    Thanks again for your help!
    Thursday, March 20, 2008 4:57 PM
  • Carey: Thank you very much!

    That file brought up the phone activation box.

    When I went to activate by phone, it didn't work and they put me on to someone live who was able to give me the numbers to activate and Vista is now activated again. What a relief!

    Do you have any ideas on why the screen to activate over the net won't come up?

    Thanks again for your help!
    Thursday, March 20, 2008 5:00 PM
  • Hi Grush,

     

      When a user makes a significant hardware change, Vista will go into, what is called, Hardware Out of Tolerance. All that means is the hardware changed just enough that Vista is unsure if it is still installed on the same computer as before the hardware change.  Because of this, Vista requires the user to reactivate, but will only allow you to reactivate by phone. Furthermore, when the user calls, the "Automatic Voice" will not be able to conduct the reactivation, the user will need to talk to a Live Activation Rep. The reason for this is the Live Activation rep can ask a few questions and ensure Vista is still being used within the License Agreement.

     

      Now, let's say that, some time in the future, you need to re-install Vista (on the same computer as before and no hardware was changed) once you have re-installed, Vista will ask to be activated. In this situation, you should be able to Activate over the Internet.

     

      I do know that Activating by Phone is a pain, but it should only take about 5 mins and shouldn't happen too frequently.(unless you change your hardware allot)

     

     

    On a Side Note, I just wanted to tell you that recently some PC Hardware manufacturers have been releasing Drivers (for their hardware) that sometimes changes that hardware's "Hardware ID". Windows (XP and Vista) use hardware IDs to determine if hardware has been added or changed in the computer. So in some cases, installing a new Driver may cause Vista to go into Hardware Out of Tolerance.  This is why installing SP1 may, sometimes, cause Vista to go Hardware Out of Tolerance, because SP1 contains some new drivers.

     

    Microsoft is currently working with these hardware manufacturers to ensure this doesn't happen in the future (or at least lower the chance of it happening)

     

    I hope this answered your question,

    Darin Smith

    WGA Forum Manager

    Thursday, March 20, 2008 6:34 PM
  • Thanks very much, Darin for explaining this to me.

    Seems like kind of a pain to go through just for adding RAM to a slot.

    The person I talked to on the phone asked me where I got Vista and how many computers I was running it on. It almost seemed like they didn't trust me, which was somewhat of an annoyance.

    Now I'm scared to install SP1. I hope it doesn't throw the activation out of whack. I've been running the SP1 beta for awhile and tried uninstalling it earlier today. When Vista loaded after the uninstall I just got a black screen with a mouse cursor. I had to restore to an earlier date to get Vista to load. I'm about to try to uninstall it again so that I can install the final release of SP1. I hope it works this time.

    I will probably reinstall Vista in the not so distant future on this same computer. I had ordered an external 1.5TB drive for backup which I need to do this. It arrived defective and had to send it back. The vendor has received it, but the site says they're still awaiting the return. I hope they ship it soon and nothing goes awry before then.
    Thursday, March 20, 2008 7:17 PM
  • Hi grush,

     

      Normally, just adding a stick of Ram wouldn't cause this, but any changes you have done since you last activated are cumulative, meaning maybe you added a Sound Card 8 months ago, installed a Driver 2 months ago and then today you added a Stick of Ram...The ram by itself wasn't enough to cause the Out of Tolerance, but the ram + the sound card + the Driver install, all togeather, was.

     

      It's not that the Activation Rep doesn't trust you, it's just their job to weed out the people that (unlike you) are trying to use keys that don't belong to them and such.  No offence was intended.  Also, you are not limited in the number reactivations you can do. As long as your within the Licensing Agreement, you can activate as much as you need. 

     

      And as for SP1, you shouldn't worry, you have just recently re-activated, so Vista's Hardware Tolerance is very wide. Meaning, even if SP1 does install a driver that changes a Hardware ID, it is unlikely that it would be enough of a change to pass your Vista's current Hardware Tolerance.

     

     

    Good luck with the reinstall and don't hesitate to create a new thread if anything comes up that I can help you with (i.e. anything Activation or Validation related  )

     

    Darin

    Thursday, March 20, 2008 7:48 PM
  • Thanks, Darin!

    The RAM is the only thing I remember installing for quite awhile. I have noticed when you remove USB devices to work on the puter and then replace them in different ports, it seems to throw Windows off a bit, and wants to install new hardware, and I never check to see what ports they're in before I remove them.

    I agree that MS has a problem with piracy and needs to be careful. Just a pet peeve of mine like exiting stores where they check your receipt and what's in your bags.

    I was able to install the final release of SP1 and had no problems with it messing with activation.

    Thanks again,

    Jay
    Friday, March 21, 2008 4:21 PM