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Reactivation demanded with swapable drives RRS feed

  • Question

  •  

    I do a lot of beta testing and make working backup (cloned) copies on SATA drives for software testing and personal data backup.  The working backup is installed on the same computer from which Windows was originally installed and activated.  I've done this with XP for years without reactivation problems.

     

    I just switched to a valid OEM copy of Windows Vista Ultimate 64 primarily in anticipation of Microsoft's plan to abandon support for XP.  Vista activation went perfectly, including driver updates and a video card change (I'm not experiencing the constant reactivation requests that others have reported).  However, on boot with an exact backup copy on a different hard drive, Vista immediately went into installing a "new driver" and prompting for reboot.  When I checked the activation status, it had changed to 3-day reactivation required.  

     

    The only thing that is different is the serial number of the hard drive (same model and manufcturer).  There are absolutely no other hardware or data changes since the backup was made.  Apparently, Vista somehow perceives that it has been installed on a different computer solely because of the hard drive being different. 

     

    I'm sure I could phone the activation center and get Vista activated again, but I haven't resorted to that yet because it's ridiculous to expect me to do that each time I insert a backup drive (one of more times per week).

     

    What can be done to avoid this unwarranted demand for reactivation, which would result in constant phone calls for reactivation? 

     

     

    Thursday, November 1, 2007 3:45 PM

Answers

  • Hello K.Star,

     

      Vista should not have required reactivation from replacing one hard drive. The only time one piece of hardware should cause you to have to reactivate is when changing out the motherboard.

     

      But I have seen that some drivers, firmware updates and the like, will change the Hardware ID of some of your hardware, enough that Vista is right at the edge of going Hardware Out of Tolerance (i.e. requiring re-activation) and that when an actual hardware change is made, Vista askes to be reactivated. In this situation, from the user's point of view, they only changes out one piece of hardware and then had to reactivated.

     

      While I can't confirm that this is what happened in your situation, it does sound like it. I would suggest Activating by Phone, but do not interact with the recorded automatic phone activation. Don't punch in anything or punch in random numbers. Either way, the goal is to get directed to a live Activation Rep and activate with him/her.

     

     

    Thank you,

    Darin Smith

    WGA Forum Manager

     

    Thursday, November 1, 2007 5:07 PM

All replies

  • Hello K.Star,

     

      Vista should not have required reactivation from replacing one hard drive. The only time one piece of hardware should cause you to have to reactivate is when changing out the motherboard.

     

      But I have seen that some drivers, firmware updates and the like, will change the Hardware ID of some of your hardware, enough that Vista is right at the edge of going Hardware Out of Tolerance (i.e. requiring re-activation) and that when an actual hardware change is made, Vista askes to be reactivated. In this situation, from the user's point of view, they only changes out one piece of hardware and then had to reactivated.

     

      While I can't confirm that this is what happened in your situation, it does sound like it. I would suggest Activating by Phone, but do not interact with the recorded automatic phone activation. Don't punch in anything or punch in random numbers. Either way, the goal is to get directed to a live Activation Rep and activate with him/her.

     

     

    Thank you,

    Darin Smith

    WGA Forum Manager

     

    Thursday, November 1, 2007 5:07 PM
  •  Darin Smith MS wrote:

     

      Vista should not have required reactivation from replacing one hard drive. The only time one piece of hardware should cause you to have to reactivate is when changing out the motherboard.

     



    Are you absolutely sure about that? I just got off the phone to the reactivation people for the very same reason. I cloned my vista home premium retail install to a new hdd (a larger disk) and I had to reactivate. No other hardware in my pc was touched.

    It is nothing short of ridiculous. What exactly does it acheive? The customer rep asks me, "how many machines do you have it installed on?". I say "one" - the truth mind you - and she gives me the code. So I ask again, WHAT IS THE POINT OF THE WHOLE EXERCISE?
    Saturday, December 1, 2007 2:52 PM