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Re: Upgrade from Windows 98SE to XP Pro

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"Ron Hunter" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote
> It's an ugly method, and hardly foolproof, and it annoys users. Surely
> there is a better way, such as having the OS contact MS each time you go
> online and identify the owner and number, and the computer
> information... Oh? You don't want that given out either? Someone has
> to trust someone, sometime.

I have no problem with a method like that, so long as I can still use my
computer without connecting to the Internet, and reinstall as many times as
I want (or more like NEED to, because of the crappy OS that eventually
bloats up and slows your computer to a crawl).

If Microsoft can come up with a way to deny pirates from using their OS,
that's great. But, they shouldn't unnecessarily inconvenience legal users.

> Does anyone have a better suggestion for how MS can protect its profits,
> and users won't have to be inconvenienced?

I doubt that the XP activation scheme has resulted in less piracy. The
pirates will always find a way around the copy protection. What was wrong
with the serial number scheme? It stopped the "dumb pirate", and didn't
inconvenience the legal users.

If they want to beef it up, force a "one-time" registration of the product
if a user wishes to download any updates from Microsoft. You'd have to
register your serial number and your real name (and maybe a contact phone
number) with Microsoft, before being allowed to download software updates
from their site. It wouldn't stop the pirates, but it would make it a little
more difficult for them.

The problem is that more copy-protection means less usability. It's a battle
the pirates will always win, and the legal users will always lose.

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Roger Halstead
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On Tue, 22 Jul 2003 20:53:53 -0500, Ron Hunter <(E-Mail Removed)>

>gr wrote:
>> "Randall Ainsworth" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote
>>>>Pre-installed OS's only allow you to reload your system on the exact

>> same
>>>>hardware. What if I want to upgrade the hard disk or switch the

You might be able to change hard drives, but unless you use a mother
board from the same manufacturer you are probably stuck.

>> motherboard?
>>>>I'm screwed, and I have to pay Microsoft for another copy of their OS to

This is a very good reason for not purchasing a computer from a
company that does not give out the install disks. Most of the general
public doesn't realize this when they purchase a "ready to go"
computer from one of the major companies. Nor do they realize that
one of those companies has a proprietary architecture and can be
difficult to upgrade from a hard ware point, let alone the OS.

>> run
>>>>on my computer. How many times do I have to pay for the same OS to run a
>>>>single copy of it???

Just once if you purchase a copy of the OS. In this case the problem
comes from the computer manufacturer, not the OS provider.

>>> Not true. You may have to sweet talk the guy at MS when you have to
>>>re-activate it but I've found that they're pretty forgiving on this.

There isn't even any "sweet talking" required.
You dial a number, go to the activation screen, give them the number
and they give you a number which you type in. They even wait to make
sure it accepted the number.

IF you've had to do a number of reinstalls it will raise a flag, so
you have to call a regular person, who takes you through the same
thing...You tell them why you are reactivating...New hard drive, or
new motherboard...what ever and they read a new code which you type

I think this machine has been reactivated about 7 times now., the one
to the right has never been activated, just registered. The one in
the shop has been activated 4 or 5 times.

All 4 computers here have OEM versions of XP Pro,

I built the computers and purchased 4 licensed copies of the OS.
All I have to do with these is connect via the internet to register
them. I can do this twice with each before I have to call for product

>> Bending over for someone at Microsoft isn't my idea of a consumer-friendly
>> method to "prevent" software piracy. (I use quotes, simply because the
>> hackers will bypass any copy protection scheme anyway. So, the copy
>> protection ends up hurting the legal owners, not the pirates.)

As I said above (the problem comes from the hardware vendor, not MS),
activation is very easy and there is no cost. (IF you have a copy of
the OS.) Even if you are going to install the OS on a different HD,
just use "Ghost".to put the contents of the original HD on the new
one. and when it requires activation just call MS. BUT if the system
came pre configured from the hardware manufacturer, upgrading may be
difficult or impossible.

IF the system hasn't been reactivated since new and that was a while
back the automated system will probably just give you a new code.

OTOH...The computer manufacturer *MAY* have installed some hooks
preventing you from using other hardware.

A friend who has a Dell computer was having trouble reinstalling the
OS. He asked me to take a look at it. So, I stuck the CD into the
drive on one of these computers. I didn't get any farther than that.
A big sign popped up on the screen and said "This computer can not be
identified. This disk will install only on the Dell system that it
came with", or something to that effect. So, it was most likely
looking for something in the BIOS.

As to copy protection...The OS was hacked before it was released to
the general public and was available on the internet.

However, don't expect the hacked version to be able to get all the
updates...Or better yet, down load and install service pack 1 to a
hacked copy of XP and then try to down load the newer updates. BUT
as a suggestion...Make a Ghost copy of your Hard Drive first <)
before installing SP-1


>It's an ugly method, and hardly foolproof, and it annoys users. Surely
>there is a better way, such as having the OS contact MS each time you go

It's very easy to use, but it does annoy me something fierce. OTOH
even at 3:00 or 4:00 AM on a week end you will find some one manning
the phones at MS. The whole operation should take less than 5

>online and identify the owner and number, and the computer
>information... Oh? You don't want that given out either? Someone has
>to trust someone, sometime.

That's a bit too much information. And with the reputation MS has
developed they rank pretty low on my integrity scale.

>Does anyone have a better suggestion for how MS can protect its profits,
>and users won't have to be inconvenienced?

Although I personally do not like the activation, it is simple, easy,
and takes very little time and I've had lots of practice using it.

Roger Halstead (K8RI EN73 & ARRL Life Member)
N833R World's oldest Debonair? (S# CD-2)
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