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Re: Windows XP Activation

Ron Martell
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Travis <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>I just purchased XP.
>What is the deal with this activation thing? Is there no way around
>Am I sending MS privacy about my pc?
>What if I purchase a new PC and want to install XP on it? Will I be
>unable to?
>Thanks for the help!

Product Activation is a system implemented by Microsoft to help
enforce the licensing requirements for their software.

It was first implemented with the last Service Release of Office 2000
and was also included in Office XP.

Based on the experience with using it in Office some changes were made
in the system and it was included in Windows XP. Some additional
refinements were included in Service Pack 1 for Windows XP.

In Windows XP it is intended to help ensure compliance with the "one
license for one computer" requirement that has been part of every
version of Windows and of DOS, but which has up until now been widely
ignored by many people.

It does not absolutely stop unathourized installations of Windows XP,
just as no security or alarm system will stop a determined thief from
breaking into your house or car. But it is effective.

The basic principle is that when you install Windows XP a control
total is computed, based on a number of unique identifiers from your
specific computer (such as the volume/serial number of the hard drive
and the MAC address of the network card). This total is then stored
in file on your hard drive and is also submitted to Microsoft along
with the Product Identification Number (calculated from the product
key) for your copy of Windows.

Each time Windows is started up the control total is recomputed, based
on the current hardware found, and compared with the saved total on
the hard drive. If the current computed total differs from the saved
value by more than a specified amount (changing the video card or
changing the amount of RAM, for example, will not by themselves
require a reactivation) or if the saved total cannot be found (if the
hard drive has been reformatted for example) then a reactivation will
be necessary.

See MVP Alex Nichol's article at for a
more detailed explanation.

Good luck

Ron Martell Duncan B.C. Canada
Microsoft MVP
On-Line Help Computer Service

"The reason computer chips are so small is computers don't eat much."
Reply With Quote
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Thanks for the help, everyone, especially Ron.

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