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What is your experiance with Windows Product Activation?

(37 posts)
  • Started 5 years ago by jd2066
  • Latest reply from raphoenix
  • Topic Viewed 3090 times

jd2066
Posts: 3814

This topic is talk about people's Windows Product Activation experiences.
I stated my experience with it in the "Windows 7" topic. In my experience Windows only needs to be reinstalled once every year or two if nothing goes wrong with it and with that time frame it doesn't seem like that big of a deal to call Microsoft after doing so.
Some disagreed with it not being a problem.
I decided to make a new topic so people could list their experience with it as I would like to know how it causes problems for other people.

Posted 5 years ago
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raphoenix
Posts: 14920

Here is a summary of the way Product Activation works.
http://aumha.org/win5/a/wpa.htm
If one reads it carefully, one can see that it becomes a nightmare for Builders, Software Testers and those who constantly reconfigure, change components, etc. and then do O/S Clean installs on their machines on a regular basis.
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At some point in time, though they may be working on the same machine using their own genuine copy of the MS O/S, the over the net PA will fail and a manual PA over the phone will have to be done. From that point forward, net PA will always fail there after and a manual phone PA will always have to be done.
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I have NO idea how MS acquires the information to put a known Genuine Product key piece of software on an only manual phone call to activate list but some how they do.
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To avoid this "hassle" especially on complex Builds and Machines:
1. Purchase MS O/S 3-5 computer volume license.
2. Purchase Retail MS O/S license.
3. Purchase OEM MS O/S with Cals license.
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Have run into the problem on occasion of UN-Archiving an already PAed version of an O/S which had to be Re-PAed on the same machine with a different configuration so archiving / imagining is not mentioned as a solution above.
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In summary, without purchasing expensive appropriate O/S license versions as mentioned above, Builders and others (may) run into a huge problem with MS PA through NO fault of their own and when using legitimate, genuine MS software.

Posted 5 years ago
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BobJam
Posts: 1052

Rick,

I take it the PA phone call will work though. Certainly an irritant, bothersome, and a hassle, but that does do it, doesn't it?

And what do you tell M$ on the phone? Do you have to go through a lengthy explanation of your circumstance and an argument, or is it relatively straightforward and brief? Is the "huge problem" you refer to the phone call, or is it something else with PA?

Posted 5 years ago
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raphoenix
Posts: 14920

@Bob,
A phone number and code pop up in a box on the screen when PA fails.
The phone call is free and can go to any MS call center world wide.
When someone answers, you give them the 45 digit alphanumeric code that pops up when PA fails over the net.
They give you a 50 digit alphanumeric code back in "broken Language" to put in the pop-up box and hit enter to PA the software. (This may be reverse numbered - can't remember but code is longgggggg.)
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If there is a squabble, you give them the Product ID and the Product Code on the Software.
They look that up.
If one has a special status with MS such as MS Partner, You give them that ID.
They look that up.
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That will settle the issue but it is a "hassle" with all the alphanumeric code going back and forth in "broken language" usually at 2:00 AM in the morning your time. (LOL)
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I actually got answer one time from a person who said they couldn't help me.
I ask why ??
They replied; "that they were just there to answer the telephone" - BUT DID switch me to another country who could after I got there attention. NOT A JOKE. (LOL) (LOL)
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If your software is on the "blacklist" or "pirated", don't even bother to pick up the phone. You are just wasting time.
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Remember, you don't own any MS products. You only have a license to use their products if they are kind enough to let you use them.
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Regards,
Rick P.

Posted 5 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

Rick, I have to say though, with all the pirating that is being attempted and going on, I understand their caution. Already 23 years ago I found out that $100 million worth of software was pirated WW each year - and that was only of 1 company and only with commercial customers. I wanted to start with product keys back then - but the development houses would not buy it. MS does the right thing. Maybe the implementation is a little flaky, but if you spoke Hindi, you could make out a lot better.

Posted 5 years ago
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raphoenix
Posts: 14920

@whs,
It's a though matter as I can see BOTH sides of the issue.
I don't know what the answer is.
Maybe if MS didn't have such a large market share, the answer would be easier to figure out.
Most folks will NEVER do a manual PA as they don't build their own machines.
In fact, probably most think the O/S comes free with their machines and don't even know what this thread is about.
Best Regards,
Rick P.

Posted 5 years ago
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0zSpitt
Posts: 1037

i've had to call to get my copies activated, is there a limit to the amount of times they'll activate it over the phone or will they finally say "you've done this too many times, buy a new copy" ~~~>???

Posted 5 years ago
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LH
Posts: 20002

Oz, I would check up on that. I vaguely remember reading somewhere, that there was a limit.
I may very well be wrong. But it's worth checking.

Posted 5 years ago
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0zSpitt
Posts: 1037

if there is i'm sure i'm close to my limits

Posted 5 years ago
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raphoenix
Posts: 14920

@0z,
Don't know the answer to your question.
If you are abiding by the Eula License, I can find no legal grounds for MS stopping one from manually PAing forever.
However, MS makes its own rules up as they go and are much less well regulated in the US than in other world regions so they can really step on the consumers here without one having any recourse.
Best Regards,
Rick P.

Posted 5 years ago
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0zSpitt
Posts: 1037

i'm like you rick, i like that clean install. sometimes i even overwrite norton ghost to get it. even on vista ultimate i've reinstalled instead of restoring. i've probably had to call at least 7 or 8 times. so far they've been nothing but nice to me

Posted 5 years ago
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raphoenix
Posts: 14920

@0z,
"WE Preach a Little Gospel and Sell a Couple Bottles of Doctor GOOD" :) :)
Thanks,
Rick P.

Posted 5 years ago
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jd2066
Posts: 3814

I'm not sure but I would think that if you restore an install from an image made with something like Ghost you would not need to reactivate. So you could just create an image after a clean install and then you wouldn't need to activate again. Problem solved (in theory, I haven't tested it, I rarely do clean installs on my computer and I have yet to try restoring an image).

Posted 5 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

jd, I restored a Ghost image several times - no reactivation required. That is even true when the disk was swapped.

Posted 5 years ago
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LH
Posts: 20002

whs. But was the original installation with an OEM disk ?

Posted 5 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

Yes - all my Vistas are OEM.

Posted 5 years ago
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LH
Posts: 20002

Yep. OEM disks don't need reactivating.

Posted 5 years ago
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raphoenix
Posts: 14920

Wrong.
A machine may need Re-PAing even when using an MS OEM O/S Edition if (SUBSTANTIAL) machine reconfiguration can be accomplished on the (SAME) machine.
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The Posters above are (NOT) reconfiguring a Builder Machine in between the original archived machine configuration archive file and a (new completely different) machine configuration onto which the archive file is UN-archived upon.
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Ghost is only a tool used to make an archive file of a system and components as they are when the file is created.
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On Pre-built OEM Machines, it is highly, highly unlikely one has the option to reconfigure the machine enough to
require a RE-PA.
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However one can run into trouble on a (Complex) Machine with Multiple LANs, WIFI Cards, Multiple Hard Drive Controllers, Multiplicity of Hard Drives used in Different Configurations, Memory Configurations, etc., etc.
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I know of what I speak as my Genuine MS Software is on the (Only Activate Upon Phone Call) MS List.

Regards,
Rick P.

Posted 5 years ago
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LH
Posts: 20002

All I can say is. I have reinstalled with the same OEM disc, over 100 times. Both via clean install, and Norton Ghosts installs (7 times).
Never had to reactivate.

Posted 5 years ago
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madmacs
Posts: 1438

As for OEM and PA, a friend of mine called me back about 2 months ago and said M/S wouldn´t reactivate his system online due to a graphics card upgrade!! He thought it was a virus (not understanding computers that much)!! What had happened was due to a (massive!!) change in hardware, lol, graphics card and ram, one had to call M/S to reactivate (XP). In my opinion it´s absolute B/S, just because one changes memory and graphics card (on an OEM system)!! Matt

Posted 5 years ago
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