Activation after Hardware/Software changes RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • I have Windows XP Home Edition.  It was purchased separately for a computer I assembled myself.  Now every time I make a hardware change or even update a driver for existing hardware I have to re-activate Windows. 

    Why is it required to re-activate for such events?  This is very annoying, and it not only a wastes my time but not to mention that somewhere there is someone whose sole job it is, is to read off a 42-digit confirmation code and ask the question (once, sometimes twice because they didn't understand you the first time) "How many computers is this software installed on?".  To me this is terrible customer service.  There must be a better way to profile a computer system besides the hardware profile.  Hardware is constantly being updated, new and better video cards, bigger and faster RAM, etc.  Not to mention if a component goes bad and you have to replace it.

    If anyone knows a setting which can be changed, a proverbial switch to filp, to stop this please, please post!


    Friday, June 9, 2006 3:35 PM

All replies

  • scottdw:


    I'm sorry the problems you are having.

    Product Activation is able to tolerate a certain degree of change in a hardware configuration by allowing a current hash value to have a degree of difference from the hash value that was originally activated. As a result, users can change their hardware without the product believing it is on a different PC than the one it was activated on. If the user completely overhauls the hardware making substantial hardware changes (even over long periods of time), reactivation may be required. In that case, users may need to contact a Microsoft customer service representative by telephone to reactivate

    For more information on Windows Activation go here:



    I hope this helps,



    Friday, June 9, 2006 4:16 PM
  • During the most recent demand for Windows re-activation, the only change that was made was I updated the drivers for my sound card.  To do so I completely removed all the currently installed drivers so I could get a clean install with the new drivers.  Well, as soon as I uninstalled all the current drivers Windows immediately responded by saying that there was a BIG change in the hardware configuration and I need to re-activate within 3 days.  This hardly seems to me to be an "overhaul" or a "substantial" change in the hardware.  I guess I will just avoid further modification, or plan ahead and do it all at once, if I want to avoid this in the future.



    Friday, June 9, 2006 4:37 PM