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Multiple activation required XP Pro SP3 RRS feed

  • Question

  • I do part time computer work for a client.  I recently (March 2009) built a new computer for them. I use a ghost image of their old computer and then do a repair install using the new OS disk and activate that so that they have a seamless conversion.  This process has worked fine until the last one I did.  After automatic update installed WGA, on the next reboot she receive a message requiring the computer to be activated.  I activated it again, received no WGA non geniune messages so I thought it was just an anomaly.  Well it just happened again.  I ask her if she had recently installed a new WGA update, she said she didn't know.  I then reactivated it again with no apparent problems.  Does anyone have any idea why this is happening?  How many times will I be able to reactivate before I can no longer do it?  There have been no hardware changes at all on this computer.
    Thanks,
    vanpsmtg
    Tuesday, August 25, 2009 3:41 PM

Answers

  • Hello vanpsmtg,

      Normally a Reactivation is required after changing a significant amount of hardware, but in rare cases, a Driver may change the 'Hardware ID' of the hardware it controls and that can look to Windows as if the hardware was changed. In addition, Hardware Drivers do sometimes come thru Windows Update so it's possible that when WGA was installed, a hardware driver did as well.

      As Dan said, however, installing WGA should not cause a Reactivation.

      If it continues, look into the possibility of it being a social engineering attack. 

      Note that in Windows XP, Activation and Validation are only lightly associated.  So if the issue is not caused by an attack and is, in fact, an issue within the Activation systems, it would be outside the scope of this forum and I would have to advise seeking Activation support at http://support.microsoft.com.

    Thank you,
    Darin MS  

     
    Tuesday, August 25, 2009 5:40 PM

All replies

  • Hello vanpsmtg,

    Activate or validate?  A WGA update would not result in a need to activate, but installing the update would run a validation sequence.

    There is a social engineering attack that does mimic activation:  http://www.symantec.com/security_response/writeup.jsp?docid=2007-042705-0108-99&tabid=2
    For great advice on all topics XP, visit http://www.annoyances.org/exec/forum/winxp
    Tuesday, August 25, 2009 4:14 PM
  • There is a message to activate, not validate. but the first time it happened was after installing the latest WGA update.
    Thanks,
    vanpsmtg
    Tuesday, August 25, 2009 4:50 PM
  • Hello vanpsmtg,

      Normally a Reactivation is required after changing a significant amount of hardware, but in rare cases, a Driver may change the 'Hardware ID' of the hardware it controls and that can look to Windows as if the hardware was changed. In addition, Hardware Drivers do sometimes come thru Windows Update so it's possible that when WGA was installed, a hardware driver did as well.

      As Dan said, however, installing WGA should not cause a Reactivation.

      If it continues, look into the possibility of it being a social engineering attack. 

      Note that in Windows XP, Activation and Validation are only lightly associated.  So if the issue is not caused by an attack and is, in fact, an issue within the Activation systems, it would be outside the scope of this forum and I would have to advise seeking Activation support at http://support.microsoft.com.

    Thank you,
    Darin MS  

     
    Tuesday, August 25, 2009 5:40 PM
  • Thanks Darin,
    I did check the social engineering link provided by Dan, and it definitely was not that one.  It sure looked like a genuine Microsoft activation sequence to me. ( I have done it many times) I was never ask to supply any personal information.  So I am still at a loss as to why it is happening.
    Thanks,
    Tom
    Tuesday, August 25, 2009 5:50 PM