confused about activation RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • Before I upgrade to Vista I wanted to make sure I understand the conditions under which I will be allowed to use it. So I went to:

    Activating Windows: frequently asked questions

    which left me pretty confused:

    How many times can I install Windows on my computer before I have to activate Windows again?

    You can reinstall Windows on the same computer as many times as you want because activation pairs the Windows product key with information about your computer’s hardware. If you make a significant hardware change, you might have to activate Windows again.

    Question: So when I reinstall, how does my clean install know about previous ones so it will not ask me to re-activate? And what exactly is a "significant hardware change"?


    Will I ever need to activate my current copy of Windows again?

    You make a significant hardware change to your computer, such as upgrading the hard disk and memory at the same time. If a major hardware change requires activating Windows again, you will be notified and will have three days to activate your copy of Windows.

    You reformat your hard disk. Reformatting erases your activation status. In this case, you’ll have 30 days to activate Windows again.

    Question: How does a clean install of Vista know if it's installed on a new HDD (which if I don't upgrade my RAM or make any other changes shouldn't lead to a reactivation according to the above statement or, in case I upgrade more than just the HDD, give meonly 3 days to reactivate) or on a reformatted harddrive (in which case I will always need to reactivate, but will have 30 days to do so)?

    Perhaps I missed something?  How could I  upgrade  the  HDD  other than by buying a  new  one   and  reinstalling  the  OS?

     I  sincerely hope  someone could answer  the  above,


    • Changed type Carl-S Friday, October 3, 2008 4:22 PM
    • Changed type Carl-S Friday, October 3, 2008 4:22 PM
    Wednesday, May 9, 2007 12:05 AM