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Vista Re-Activation after changing RAID configuration (2 volumes down to 1 volume) in onboard intel RAID controller RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have recently had to re-activate my copy of Vista Business via the telephone, which was relatively painless.

     

    I had wiped my system and installed Vista afresh, fully updated etc but with no additional software and did not include my graphics card drivers (I will explain later) after which I took an image (using Acronis True Image) such that I could put back a 'base copy' of Vista rather than having to go through the pain of installing it again and updating it all over again etc.

     

    The reason I left out the graphics drivers was that NVidia drivers can be a pig to uninstall/update so I didn't want old driver in my image.

     

    So far so good - but then I re-wiped the system and restored the from the image and it wants re-activating again within 3 days?!

     

    There has been no hardware change and so this should not have happened - however I did change the configuration of the HDD in the BIOS.

     

    I have 2 SATA II HDD (Samsung Spinpoint 500GB) which via a motherboard built in Intel RAID Controller I had arranged as a Striped RAID array.

     

    When I took the image, I had split the array into 2 volumes and this appeared to present itself in Vista as two separate disks, however I discovered that True Image could not see the 'D' drive for some reason so after taking the image (to DVDs) I put the array back to a single volume and instead split this into 2 partitions (using Acronis Disk Director) and recovered my image to the C drive (D is now visible to True Image by the way).

     

    It is at this point it want re-activating.

     

    I am assuming that the apparant change to volumes has caused this as there are no other changes - and in fact there were no hardware changes at all.

     

    I have a new graphics card arriving in the next day or two so I am holding on for that before I try re-activating 'again'...and I am anticipating it not being so easy this time :-(

     

    So - why did changing the volumes via the controller cause this? and if I re-image after another re-activation, should recovering the image have been successful?

     

    Thanks

     

    Wednesday, March 12, 2008 9:33 PM

Answers

  • Anytime you reinstall Windows Vista, you'll have to reactivate since the SID (Security Identification) number references has changed.  If you install a new or different video card, you will not be asked to reactivate.

     

    Windows Vista Activation FAQ: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/windowsvista/buyorupgrade/activationfaq.mspx

     

    Wednesday, March 12, 2008 10:35 PM
    Moderator
  •  Ext3rm1n8r wrote:

    OK - so my new graphics card should be OK then.

     

    I'm unsure what you are asking. You have said you are not going to re-activate untill you have installed the new graphics card. So if you needed to re-activate before adding the card, you will still need to activate after installing the card.

     

     Ext3rm1n8r wrote:

     

    Having re-installed Vista and re-activated it all was well - and I took an image of the C drive. Surely recovering an image shouldn't trigger re-activation? I am currently assuming it was the change to the RAID controller configuration that upset the activation software and made it believe the HDD had changed perhaps?

     

    Correct, the act of recovering an image shouldn't trigger re-activation. I do agree that changing the RAID controller configuration is what triggered the re-activation.

     

     Ext3rm1n8r wrote:

    So - IMO, recovering an image is not reinstalling - in principal an image should just reflect the state of the partition at a given time and recovering to that image should continue with the activated status as-was when the image was taken - although if the hardware had changed since the image was taken I could understand that triggering re-activation (but this was not the case for me).

     

    Thanks

     

    That is correct

     

       One caveat, however: You stated that when you imaged the partition, you did not have any graphic drivers installed. That is fine, but, in the furture, if you re-apply the image and then install graphic drivers, you May need to re-activate. This should not happen, but we have been seeing recently that some hardware drivers will change the hardware ID (of the hardware that the driver controlles) and since hardware IDs is how Vista determines if a Re-activation is required, installing new drivers can, on occasion, trigger a re-activation.

     

      Microsoft is currently working with Hardware Vendors to stop their Drivers from causing this, but I did want to mention to you, that it could happen.

     

    Thank you,

    Darin Smith

    WGA Forum Manager

     

    Thank you,

    Darin Smith

    WGA Forum Manager

    Wednesday, March 12, 2008 11:47 PM

All replies

  • Anytime you reinstall Windows Vista, you'll have to reactivate since the SID (Security Identification) number references has changed.  If you install a new or different video card, you will not be asked to reactivate.

     

    Windows Vista Activation FAQ: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/windowsvista/buyorupgrade/activationfaq.mspx

     

    Wednesday, March 12, 2008 10:35 PM
    Moderator
  •  

    OK - so my new graphics card should be OK then.

     

    Having re-installed Vista and re-activated it all was well - and I took an image of the C drive. Surely recovering an image shouldn't trigger re-activation? I am currently assuming it was the change to the RAID controller configuration that upset the activation software and made it believe the HDD had changed perhaps?

     

    I need to understand this - otherwise as soon as I reactivate and take a new image (in its newly-re-activated state) I could find myself back at the same position very quickly.

     

    So - IMO, recovering an image is not reinstalling - in principal an image should just reflect the state of the partition at a given time and recovering to that image should continue with the activated status as-was when the image was taken - although if the hardware had changed since the image was taken I could understand that triggering re-activation (but this was not the case for me).

     

    Thanks

    Wednesday, March 12, 2008 11:06 PM
  •  Ext3rm1n8r wrote:

    OK - so my new graphics card should be OK then.

     

    I'm unsure what you are asking. You have said you are not going to re-activate untill you have installed the new graphics card. So if you needed to re-activate before adding the card, you will still need to activate after installing the card.

     

     Ext3rm1n8r wrote:

     

    Having re-installed Vista and re-activated it all was well - and I took an image of the C drive. Surely recovering an image shouldn't trigger re-activation? I am currently assuming it was the change to the RAID controller configuration that upset the activation software and made it believe the HDD had changed perhaps?

     

    Correct, the act of recovering an image shouldn't trigger re-activation. I do agree that changing the RAID controller configuration is what triggered the re-activation.

     

     Ext3rm1n8r wrote:

    So - IMO, recovering an image is not reinstalling - in principal an image should just reflect the state of the partition at a given time and recovering to that image should continue with the activated status as-was when the image was taken - although if the hardware had changed since the image was taken I could understand that triggering re-activation (but this was not the case for me).

     

    Thanks

     

    That is correct

     

       One caveat, however: You stated that when you imaged the partition, you did not have any graphic drivers installed. That is fine, but, in the furture, if you re-apply the image and then install graphic drivers, you May need to re-activate. This should not happen, but we have been seeing recently that some hardware drivers will change the hardware ID (of the hardware that the driver controlles) and since hardware IDs is how Vista determines if a Re-activation is required, installing new drivers can, on occasion, trigger a re-activation.

     

      Microsoft is currently working with Hardware Vendors to stop their Drivers from causing this, but I did want to mention to you, that it could happen.

     

    Thank you,

    Darin Smith

    WGA Forum Manager

     

    Thank you,

    Darin Smith

    WGA Forum Manager

    Wednesday, March 12, 2008 11:47 PM
  • Darin

     

    Thanks for the detailed reply.

     

    You are right - that I intend to re-wipe my machine back to my 'base image', then insert my shiney new graphics card (which arrived today) and THEN try to re-activate BEFORE installing any specific drivers for the card.

     

    Then I will re-image and then apply the graphics drivers...which I truly hope will not re-trigger activation again.

     

    I will then have a 'pre-activated base image' of Vista for my PC which I can go back to on as-regular a basis as I wish without having to re-install/re-activate. I like to do this because I regularly install MS development beta/CTP and like to go back to a clean state rather than suffer 'issues' following uninstalls etc

     

    I hope that if I need to speak to MS for re activation all will be straightforward...my copies are legit and as such I don't expect to be inconvenienced :-o

     

    Cheers

    Thursday, March 13, 2008 11:37 AM
  •  Ext3rm1n8r wrote:

     

    I hope that if I need to speak to MS for re activation all will be straightforward...my copies are legit and as such I don't expect to be inconvenienced :-o

     

    Cheers

     

    That shouldn't be a problem. If you do have to reactivate, just use the Activate by Phone method and (if the Automatic Voice fails to Activate) talk to a Live activation rep. they will ask a few questions to confirm you are using Vista within the End User Licensing Agreement and if you are, the Rep will process the re-activation. Shouldn't take longer then 5-7 mins, end-to-end.

     

     

    Darin

    Thursday, March 13, 2008 8:33 PM