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Firmware Upgrade: Your hardware has significantly changed and you must validate. RRS feed

  • Question

  • 2 Months ago I purchased a retail version of Win XP Pro w/SP2 from TigerDirect.
    Installation proceeded without any issues.
    I recently noticed an issue while burning cd/dvd's. I read that a firmware upgrade for my Plextor PX-716A cd/dvd burner may solve my issue. But after upgrading the dvd/cd firmware I am notified that I must a reactivate my OS due to significant hardware change(s). I try to activate using WGA and Microsofts website and both tell me I have activated the product key to many times.  I am given 3 days to reactivate. Why? This was my first and only installation using this product key. Why do I only get 3 days?
    What is the purpose of having a Retail version over OEM? I have read the links offered by Microsoft but I am not sure I understand since I am having to call in to reactivate my product. 

    Also, I am curious to know, Since I built this machine. On install some hardware was recognized. Including the Nic card. So product activation took place on the initial start up. However, graphic card, sound card were not recognized. Drivers had to be installed for those products. If WGA uses your hardware configuration and since the video/sound cards where not recognized at time of install and activation. After installing drivers are they considered significant hardware changes and are counted against me?  Then when I did the firmware upgrade it took me over the top for hardware changes. Thus, reactivation time.  Is the a flaw in activation or am I reading into my issue incorrectly?
    Tuesday, December 26, 2006 4:40 PM

Answers

  • NY,

    Rerun the Activation Wizard and choose Telephonic Activation.  If the automated phone system also reports your PK has been used too many times, please choose the option to speak with an Activation rep.  They will ask you some questions to determine if you are using your copy of XP in accordance with the End User Licensing Agreement, and if so, will issue you a Product Activation code to enter into the Wizard, and then you will be activated.

    The purpose of the 30 day activation grace period upon initial installation of XP is to give you an opportunity to get your hardware issues ironed out before you have to activate.  Activating before you had your video and audo drivers squared away seems to have caused you to "use up" two of your hardware change "mulligans" when drivers were updated:  to the Operating System, it looked like you changed hardware when really all you did was to get the right drivers for the hardware that stayed the same.  Then, the change to your optical drive was a third hardware change in a short amount of time, and that was the straw that broke the camel's back.

    All of the articles that I have read about XP activation say that XP allows up to three of the 10 hardware "votes" to change from the initial hardware survey taken by the Product Activation process.  After these three votes change, any additional change will trigger a need to reactivate within a three day period.  It is interesting to note that not all hardware items carry the same number of votes, for example IIRC a network card carries three votes all by itself.  Also, if no changes have been recorded for 120 days, the Product Activation vote tally gets a clean slate and the vote count starts over again.

    Here's a good basic description of Windows Product Activation:  http://www.aumha.org/win5/a/wpa.php

    Tuesday, December 26, 2006 5:06 PM

All replies

  • One does not activate Windows using WGA.  One must activate via the internet or by phone.

    If you cannot successfully activate via the internet, then choose the alternative option to "activate by phone". 

    The Activation Wizard displays the toll free number that you can dial.

    You can open the Windows Product Activation wizard by clicking Start, then Run, and type in "oobe/msoobe /a", then press the Enter key located on your keyboard.

    How to activate Windows XP: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307890/en-us

    Tuesday, December 26, 2006 4:47 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks Carey for responding.  Sorry, I incorrectly referenced the WGA.  I am aware of "How to activate my product" or "How to make a call". Thank you for the link(s) anyway. Could you please explain why I am having to reactivate due to the hardware changes I referenced?
    Tuesday, December 26, 2006 5:03 PM
  • NY,

    Rerun the Activation Wizard and choose Telephonic Activation.  If the automated phone system also reports your PK has been used too many times, please choose the option to speak with an Activation rep.  They will ask you some questions to determine if you are using your copy of XP in accordance with the End User Licensing Agreement, and if so, will issue you a Product Activation code to enter into the Wizard, and then you will be activated.

    The purpose of the 30 day activation grace period upon initial installation of XP is to give you an opportunity to get your hardware issues ironed out before you have to activate.  Activating before you had your video and audo drivers squared away seems to have caused you to "use up" two of your hardware change "mulligans" when drivers were updated:  to the Operating System, it looked like you changed hardware when really all you did was to get the right drivers for the hardware that stayed the same.  Then, the change to your optical drive was a third hardware change in a short amount of time, and that was the straw that broke the camel's back.

    All of the articles that I have read about XP activation say that XP allows up to three of the 10 hardware "votes" to change from the initial hardware survey taken by the Product Activation process.  After these three votes change, any additional change will trigger a need to reactivate within a three day period.  It is interesting to note that not all hardware items carry the same number of votes, for example IIRC a network card carries three votes all by itself.  Also, if no changes have been recorded for 120 days, the Product Activation vote tally gets a clean slate and the vote count starts over again.

    Here's a good basic description of Windows Product Activation:  http://www.aumha.org/win5/a/wpa.php

    Tuesday, December 26, 2006 5:06 PM
  • Thanks Dan, your response seems to acknowledge my assumption. In the future I will make sure all my ducks are in a row (hardware drivers) before I activate my OS.
    Tuesday, December 26, 2006 5:26 PM
  • NY,

    You're welcome :-)

    Tuesday, December 26, 2006 6:43 PM
  • Upgrading CD or DVD drive firmware usually counts as a hardware change because the firmware version would be different. I have just upgraded my Plextor 750A firmware from 1.01 to 1.03 and now my XPInfo counts this as changed as it does not see the 1.01 anymore and therefore losing a yes vote on that.
    Monday, January 15, 2007 5:09 PM