locked
Cannot Activate Vista - Says Already Activated RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi folks,

    I'm posting it here in the forum because Microsoft support has been utterly useless so far.

    I am facing the following problem - I have an OEM copy of Vista Home Basic installed on this machine. About two months ago, the PC was infected by a virus and had to be taken to a computer repair store. As part of the repairs, the hard drive was formatted and Vista was reinstalled using the key I provided. Unfortunately, they forgot to deactivate the old installation - which means that the new installation cannot be activated while the old one is still active.

    Now - and this is where I've come to hate the retarded Microsoft customer support - here's the torture I've experienced when trying to fix this issue. I selected the phone activation option just so I can hold on and speak to a real person and explain my problem to them. Here's where the drama starts:

    1. I call the activation hotline in the UK (I'm an expat living in Switzerland and don't speak the local languages). The lady on the phone is completely useless and redirects me to the UK customer support number instead.

    2. Calling UK customer support seems to always result in a dead line - it seems they're open only 8AM to 6PM, which is completely stupid, seeing as I'm having problems with my HOME computer, so the only time I can call UK office is when I'm actually at work and therefore not in front of my computer to resolve the issue.

    3. I therefore decide to call US support as another English-speaking country. During the conversation, they attempt to redirect me to Activation support twice (which, again, is utterly retarded, given that Activation support always redirects me to Customer Support!) - I actually had to interrupt the guy twice and plead with him NOT to interrupt me and to hear me out!

    4. After about 10 minutes on the phone, the customer support person announces that he can't help me because mine is a Swiss activation key and I have to call Swiss customer support.

    5. I call Swiss customer support - and, just as I expected, no one there speaks a word of English. They redirect me to UK customer support (you know, the one that's only ever open when people who need it are at work).

    6. I've tried contacting Microsoft support by e-mail, but all I get are attempts to bill me $60 for no apparent reason. The UK phone line is still dead. The Swiss support can't help me because they don't speak a word of English and I don't speak a word of French. The US support can't help me because it's a Swiss issue. The Swiss support can't help me because... AARGH!

    Dear Microsoft - I'm sorry for the harsh language, but this level of customer support is completely unacceptable. As a working professional, I am shocked and appalled at how much time I have had to waste trying to actually use the software *I have already paid for*. I understand that you have very legitimate piracy concerns - but when you ask a paying customer to jump through so many hoops (and STILL not reach a solution) whereas a pirate can simply plug their Windows CD in and run the OS, you really encouraging - rather than preventing - piracy. Worst of all, it seems my problem would take all 10 minutes to solve ("Thank you, sir, we have now revoked your previous activation, so you're free to reactivate your copy now") - if only I could speak to the right person.

    Please help.

    Tuesday, May 25, 2010 6:40 AM

Answers

  • "George Chernikov" wrote in message
    news:2765522a-9461-4bd4-92f0-c9b0733ab70e...
    > Hi Noel,
    >
    > Thanks for your prompt feedback - are you sure this will work, though? If
    > we're just talking standard automatic phone activation, then attempts to
    > do so fail because the system says the key is already in use, so I somehow
    > need to get through to a live person (who speaks English and can work with
    > Swiss activation keys) to deactivate the earlier installation before they
    > can activate the current one.
    >
     
    >
     
    Ah - that's what you didn't say in your earlier post!
     
    There is no 'de-activation' required (there's actually no such thing in
    Windows).
    It's a simple check that you haven't breached the terms of your licence by
    installing the software onto a new machine or 50 (which from your earlier
    post you haven't <g>). Get a local friend over, and ask them to translate
    for you.
    If you want to check your status, you *could* run the MGADiag tool, and post
    the report here so we can give it the once-over, but I'm pretty confident
    that a 2-minute phonecall is all that's required.
    I must admit that I'm surprised that the Swiss phone support couldn't deal
    with an English-speaker - Swiss almost all speak some English anyhow.... or
    is the service outsourced to Algiers for French, Djakarta for German,etc...
    ? <g>
     
    --
    Noel Paton
    CrashFixPC
     
    Nil Carborundum Illegitemi
    www.crashfixpc.co.uk
     
     

    Noel Paton | CrashFixPC | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi | http://www.crashfixpc.co.uk
    Tuesday, May 25, 2010 8:01 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  •  
    George,
    I feel your pain!
     
    As to your solution - did you or did you not buy the key in Switzerland?
     
    If yes, then the solution should be fairly simple - get a local to make the
    call to the Activation line on your behalf. The reason the call is necessary
    is to confirm that there's a real person reinstalling the machine, and the
    process is usually totally painless, merely punching in a long list of
    numbers into the phone, then another list on the PC.
    noting personal is divulged either way.
     
    OTOH, if you got the key in the UK, then it probably would be a good idea to
    use the UK lines for the process - although I've never had to re-activate a
    Vista, I've done XP at all sorts of strange hours with no problem. It may be
    because you are using the international access line that the times are
    restricted.
    Again - can you get the machine to a point where it offers you the outbound
    numbers, and text those to a friend in the UK, so they can use the freephone
    access, and then text you back the response set, which you can then punch
    into the machine? (NB - do not leave the activation screen - new codes may
    be generated every time the process runs, but I've left it for hours,
    punched in the code, and everything's OK)
     
    HTH
    --
    Noel Paton
    CrashFixPC
     
    Nil Carborundum Illegitemi
    www.crashfixpc.co.uk
     
     

    Noel Paton | CrashFixPC | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi | http://www.crashfixpc.co.uk
    Tuesday, May 25, 2010 7:31 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi Noel,

    Thanks for your prompt feedback - are you sure this will work, though? If we're just talking standard automatic phone activation, then attempts to do so fail because the system says the key is already in use, so I somehow need to get through to a live person (who speaks English and can work with Swiss activation keys) to deactivate the earlier installation before they can activate the current one.

    I did buy the key in Switzerland (got a Home Basic OEM copy from a local computer store) and I have absolutely no problem divulging any personal information needed to fix the issue. However, because I don't speak enough French to navigate through Swiss customer support (and that's despite the fact that there's a very significant number of expats living in Switzerland!), I can't explain the above to them - that they need to deactivate the old installation first.

    As it is, all attempts to activate the system in whatever manner - be it via the Internet or by phone - fail because the key is already in use. And yes, I can get the system to the list of outbound numbers, I can even reach the UK automatic activation service - but I run into the above problem whenever I try to use it.

    Cheers for your help,

    George

    Tuesday, May 25, 2010 7:45 AM
  • "George Chernikov" wrote in message
    news:2765522a-9461-4bd4-92f0-c9b0733ab70e...
    > Hi Noel,
    >
    > Thanks for your prompt feedback - are you sure this will work, though? If
    > we're just talking standard automatic phone activation, then attempts to
    > do so fail because the system says the key is already in use, so I somehow
    > need to get through to a live person (who speaks English and can work with
    > Swiss activation keys) to deactivate the earlier installation before they
    > can activate the current one.
    >
     
    >
     
    Ah - that's what you didn't say in your earlier post!
     
    There is no 'de-activation' required (there's actually no such thing in
    Windows).
    It's a simple check that you haven't breached the terms of your licence by
    installing the software onto a new machine or 50 (which from your earlier
    post you haven't <g>). Get a local friend over, and ask them to translate
    for you.
    If you want to check your status, you *could* run the MGADiag tool, and post
    the report here so we can give it the once-over, but I'm pretty confident
    that a 2-minute phonecall is all that's required.
    I must admit that I'm surprised that the Swiss phone support couldn't deal
    with an English-speaker - Swiss almost all speak some English anyhow.... or
    is the service outsourced to Algiers for French, Djakarta for German,etc...
    ? <g>
     
    --
    Noel Paton
    CrashFixPC
     
    Nil Carborundum Illegitemi
    www.crashfixpc.co.uk
     
     

    Noel Paton | CrashFixPC | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi | http://www.crashfixpc.co.uk
    Tuesday, May 25, 2010 8:01 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi Noel,

    Thanks a lot for your help. I believe the Francophone line is outsourced to France, actually, and, while I did take some small satisfaction in venting at them in what limited French I could muster, there really isn't anyone there capable of dealing with English speakers. I will try the solution you proposed (which likely will take a few days). I'm not at my home PC at the moment, but I'll try to upload the results of the tool when I get home.

    Thanks again for your help!

    George

    Tuesday, May 25, 2010 8:08 AM
  • "George Chernikov" wrote in message
    news:f15ec916-4df8-438f-ac18-7f6ecaf03176...
    > Hi Noel,
    >
    > Thanks a lot for your help. I believe the Francophone line is outsourced
    > to France, actually, and, while I did take some small satisfaction in
    > venting at them in what limited French I could muster, there really isn't
    > anyone there capable of dealing with English speakers. I will try the
    > solution you proposed (which likely will take a few days). I'm not at my
    > home PC at the moment, but I'll try to upload the results of the tool when
    > I get home.
    >
    > Thanks again for your help!
    >
    > George
    >
    Heh! - If I know the French, they could probably speak perfect English, but
    since this was supposed to be a French line....
    (BTDT - I spent 4 months managing a plant in the boondocks, halfway between
    Macon and Dijon! had lots of fun with various things....NOT!)
     
    You're welcome, George, and Good Luck!
     
    --
    Noel Paton
    CrashFixPC
     
    Nil Carborundum Illegitemi
    www.crashfixpc.co.uk
     
     

    Noel Paton | CrashFixPC | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi | http://www.crashfixpc.co.uk
    Tuesday, May 25, 2010 11:32 AM
    Moderator