How does Windows XP Activiation Work?

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by Julie P., Jun 18, 2004.

  1. Julie P.

    Julie P. Guest

    I noticed while reading my Windows XP manual, or I should actually say
    "pamphlet", that Microsoft uses an activation process before you are allowed
    to (re-)install Windows XP, to make sure you install it on only one
    computer. I experienced this a few days ago, and since I was unable to
    connect to the Internet after installation, I had to phone the code into
    Microsoft.

    1) Question: what if I decide to uninstall Windows XP from this computer and
    install it on another one instead? When I go to activate XP, how will
    Microsoft know that I have actually uninstalled it from my other computer,
    especially if I don't go online at all so they can "read" my other computer?

    2) And what if I have to reinstall XP on my computer for technical reasons?
    How will they know this is simply a reinstall, and not a new installation?
    Does the code that XP spits out once installed include some kind of unique
    ID for the computer it was installed on?

    3) Do I have a fully-licensed version of XP Home, the one that came with my
    new Dell? Because there isn't a real manual that came with it, like the one
    that came with my Windows 98SE Upgrade that I bought. I only have a very
    small leaflet.

    4) Finally, the leaflet I have for XP says you are allowed to use XP for 30
    days before being required to activate it. This was not the case when I
    reinstalled it on my new Dell. It would not let me access my computer until
    I activated it, either via the Internet or via telephone. I had to walk to a
    payphone to do this. I did not like how Microsoft held my computer hostage
    during this time. It should have given me an option to immediately uninstall
    XP. Plus, what about people who fail to activate XP after 30 days? Does
    their computer self-destruct, or does it revert back to their old OS?
    (Aside: "destruct" above was flagged by my Microsoft Office dictionary for
    being misspelled!).
    Julie P., Jun 18, 2004
    #1
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  2. Julie P.

    Blackmesa8 Guest

    j00 were owned by m$crosoft
    Blackmesa8, Jun 18, 2004
    #2
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  3. Julie P.

    Toolman Tim Guest

    Replies "mixed in"...

    "Julie P." <> wrote in message
    news:
    > > I noticed while reading my Windows XP manual, or I should actually
    > > say "pamphlet", that Microsoft uses an activation process before
    > > you are allowed to (re-)install Windows XP, to make sure you
    > > install it on only one computer. I experienced this a few days ago,
    > > and since I was unable to connect to the Internet after
    > > installation, I had to phone the code into Microsoft.
    > >
    > > 1) Question: what if I decide to uninstall Windows XP from this
    > > computer and install it on another one instead? When I go to
    > > activate XP, how will Microsoft know that I have actually
    > > uninstalled it from my other computer, especially if I don't go
    > > online at all so they can "read" my other computer?


    Microsoft won't know until you try to activate it. Your code is already
    matched up to the hardware in the first computer (mobo, HD, etc.).

    > > 2) And what if I have to reinstall XP on my computer for technical
    > > reasons? How will they know this is simply a reinstall, and not a
    > > new installation? Does the code that XP spits out once installed
    > > include some kind of unique ID for the computer it was installed on?


    The code is matched up to the hardware's serial/model numbers. Yes, it is
    unique to the hardware.

    > > 3) Do I have a fully-licensed version of XP Home, the one that came
    > > with my new Dell? Because there isn't a real manual that came with
    > > it, like the one that came with my Windows 98SE Upgrade that I
    > > bought. I only have a very small leaflet.


    Dell has fully licensed the XP operating system for your computer. You
    should have a sticker on the side of your case that contains the key. The
    installation CD sent with Dell computers is modified and will only install
    on Dell systems.

    > > 4) Finally, the leaflet I have for XP says you are allowed to use
    > > XP for 30 days before being required to activate it. This was not
    > > the case when I reinstalled it on my new Dell. It would not let me
    > > access my computer until I activated it, either via the Internet or
    > > via telephone. I had to walk to a payphone to do this. I did not
    > > like how Microsoft held my computer hostage during this time. It
    > > should have given me an option to immediately uninstall XP. Plus,
    > > what about people who fail to activate XP after 30 days? Does their
    > > computer self-destruct, or does it revert back to their old OS?
    > > (Aside: "destruct" above was flagged by my Microsoft Office
    > > dictionary for being misspelled!).


    If the OS is not activated after 30 days, you will only be able to
    accomplish one thing when you start the computer: you can activate it. If
    you don't, it will shut down. Since there was no "old" OS on the system,
    there is nothing to revert back to.

    I don't fully understand the lack of 30 days in your case, although I have
    ran into this problem on repair (not reinstall) jobs. If, for instance, when
    it was necessary to do a repair from Windows XP setup disk, the files on the
    system showed that it had been in use for more than 30 days, but the repair
    install says it isn't activated anymore, and requires re-activation.

    --
    "If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die, I want to go where
    THEY went." ~Will Rogers~
    Toolman Tim, Jun 18, 2004
    #3
  4. Julie P.

    Julie P. Guest

    "Toolman Tim" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Replies "mixed in"...
    >
    > "Julie P." <> wrote in message
    > news:
    > > > I noticed while reading my Windows XP manual, or I should actually
    > > > say "pamphlet", that Microsoft uses an activation process before
    > > > you are allowed to (re-)install Windows XP, to make sure you
    > > > install it on only one computer. I experienced this a few days ago,
    > > > and since I was unable to connect to the Internet after
    > > > installation, I had to phone the code into Microsoft.
    > > >
    > > > 1) Question: what if I decide to uninstall Windows XP from this
    > > > computer and install it on another one instead? When I go to
    > > > activate XP, how will Microsoft know that I have actually
    > > > uninstalled it from my other computer, especially if I don't go
    > > > online at all so they can "read" my other computer?

    >
    > Microsoft won't know until you try to activate it. Your code is already
    > matched up to the hardware in the first computer (mobo, HD, etc.).
    >
    > > > 2) And what if I have to reinstall XP on my computer for technical
    > > > reasons? How will they know this is simply a reinstall, and not a
    > > > new installation? Does the code that XP spits out once installed
    > > > include some kind of unique ID for the computer it was installed on?

    >
    > The code is matched up to the hardware's serial/model numbers. Yes, it is
    > unique to the hardware.



    Wait, I thought when you bought OS software, and you sold the computer, you
    had two choices:

    1) sell the computer with the OS installed along with the OS CD, or
    2) keep the OS CD for yourself, and remove the OS from the computer before
    selling it.

    For example, many computers sold on eBay don't come with an OS, so you may
    need to keep your old OS when you buy another computer.

    So don't I have the right to remove XP from my Dell computer, and install it
    on a another computer of my choosing, since I retain full license of Windows
    XP? I can do this with my Windows 98SE Upgrade that I bought.


    >
    > > > 3) Do I have a fully-licensed version of XP Home, the one that came
    > > > with my new Dell? Because there isn't a real manual that came with
    > > > it, like the one that came with my Windows 98SE Upgrade that I
    > > > bought. I only have a very small leaflet.

    >
    > Dell has fully licensed the XP operating system for your computer. You
    > should have a sticker on the side of your case that contains the key. The
    > installation CD sent with Dell computers is modified and will only install
    > on Dell systems.
    >


    which sucks. If I have full license, then I should be able to install XP on
    another PC too, as long as I remove it first from my Dell.

    > > > 4) Finally, the leaflet I have for XP says you are allowed to use
    > > > XP for 30 days before being required to activate it. This was not
    > > > the case when I reinstalled it on my new Dell. It would not let me
    > > > access my computer until I activated it, either via the Internet or
    > > > via telephone. I had to walk to a payphone to do this. I did not
    > > > like how Microsoft held my computer hostage during this time. It
    > > > should have given me an option to immediately uninstall XP. Plus,
    > > > what about people who fail to activate XP after 30 days? Does their
    > > > computer self-destruct, or does it revert back to their old OS?
    > > > (Aside: "destruct" above was flagged by my Microsoft Office
    > > > dictionary for being misspelled!).

    >
    > If the OS is not activated after 30 days, you will only be able to
    > accomplish one thing when you start the computer: you can activate it.


    what if you used the XP OS to upgrade from another version though? and you
    fail to activate. It should revert back to your old OS after 30 days.

    If
    > you don't, it will shut down. Since there was no "old" OS on the system,
    > there is nothing to revert back to.



    In my case, there was an old OS: Windows XP.

    >
    > I don't fully understand the lack of 30 days in your case, although I have
    > ran into this problem on repair (not reinstall) jobs. If, for instance,

    when
    > it was necessary to do a repair from Windows XP setup disk, the files on

    the
    > system showed that it had been in use for more than 30 days, but the

    repair
    > install says it isn't activated anymore, and requires re-activation.
    >


    Well, it kept on asking me how I wanted to activate XP: via computer or via
    telephone. It did not give me other options. And I did not try turning my
    computer off.
    Julie P., Jun 19, 2004
    #4
  5. Julie P.

    Toolman Tim Guest

    "Julie P." <> wrote in message
    news:...
    | "Toolman Tim" <> wrote in message
    | news:...
    | > Replies "mixed in"...
    | >
    | > "Julie P." <> wrote in message
    | > news:
    | > > I noticed while reading my Windows XP manual, or I should actually
    | > > say "pamphlet", that Microsoft uses an activation process before
    | > > you are allowed to (re-)install Windows XP, to make sure you
    | > > install it on only one computer. I experienced this a few days ago,
    | > > and since I was unable to connect to the Internet after
    | > > installation, I had to phone the code into Microsoft.
    | > >
    | > > 1) Question: what if I decide to uninstall Windows XP from this
    | > > computer and install it on another one instead? When I go to
    | > > activate XP, how will Microsoft know that I have actually
    | > > uninstalled it from my other computer, especially if I don't go
    | > > online at all so they can "read" my other computer?
    | >
    | > Microsoft won't know until you try to activate it. Your code is already
    | > matched up to the hardware in the first computer (mobo, HD, etc.).
    | >
    | > > 2) And what if I have to reinstall XP on my computer for technical
    | > > reasons? How will they know this is simply a reinstall, and not a
    | > > new installation? Does the code that XP spits out once installed
    | > > include some kind of unique ID for the computer it was installed on?
    | >
    | > The code is matched up to the hardware's serial/model numbers. Yes, it
    is
    | > unique to the hardware.
    | |
    | Wait, I thought when you bought OS software, and you sold the computer,
    you
    | had two choices:
    |
    | 1) sell the computer with the OS installed along with the OS CD, or
    | 2) keep the OS CD for yourself, and remove the OS from the computer before
    | selling it.
    |
    | For example, many computers sold on eBay don't come with an OS, so you may
    | need to keep your old OS when you buy another computer.
    |
    | So don't I have the right to remove XP from my Dell computer, and install
    it
    | on a another computer of my choosing, since I retain full license of
    Windows
    | XP? I can do this with my Windows 98SE Upgrade that I bought.

    Technically you are correct. But the CD from Dell won't install on a
    non-Dell computer (except machines shipped very early in the life of XP -
    some of those did ship with standard CDs from MS, but only for a few months
    in 2001/2002).

    | > > > 3) Do I have a fully-licensed version of XP Home, the one that came
    | > > > with my new Dell? Because there isn't a real manual that came with
    | > > > it, like the one that came with my Windows 98SE Upgrade that I
    | > > > bought. I only have a very small leaflet.
    | >
    | > Dell has fully licensed the XP operating system for your computer. You
    | > should have a sticker on the side of your case that contains the key.
    The
    | > installation CD sent with Dell computers is modified and will only
    install
    | > on Dell systems.
    | >
    |
    | which sucks. If I have full license, then I should be able to install XP
    on
    | another PC too, as long as I remove it first from my Dell.
    |
    | > > > 4) Finally, the leaflet I have for XP says you are allowed to use
    | > > > XP for 30 days before being required to activate it. This was not
    | > > > the case when I reinstalled it on my new Dell. It would not let me
    | > > > access my computer until I activated it, either via the Internet or
    | > > > via telephone. I had to walk to a payphone to do this. I did not
    | > > > like how Microsoft held my computer hostage during this time. It
    | > > > should have given me an option to immediately uninstall XP. Plus,
    | > > > what about people who fail to activate XP after 30 days? Does their
    | > > > computer self-destruct, or does it revert back to their old OS?
    | > > > (Aside: "destruct" above was flagged by my Microsoft Office
    | > > > dictionary for being misspelled!).
    | >
    | > If the OS is not activated after 30 days, you will only be able to
    | > accomplish one thing when you start the computer: you can activate it.
    |
    | what if you used the XP OS to upgrade from another version though? and you
    | fail to activate. It should revert back to your old OS after 30 days.

    If you did an upgrade from 98, ME, 2000, etc., you would have been given the
    option to uninstall. If you used the upgrade CD to do a "clean" install, you
    would have to erase the HD, and reinstall the old OS.

    | > If you don't, it will shut down. Since there was no "old" OS on the
    system,
    | > there is nothing to revert back to.
    |
    |
    | In my case, there was an old OS: Windows XP.

    You upgraded from XP to XP?

    | > I don't fully understand the lack of 30 days in your case, although I
    have
    | > ran into this problem on repair (not reinstall) jobs. If, for instance,
    | when
    | > it was necessary to do a repair from Windows XP setup disk, the files on
    | the
    | > system showed that it had been in use for more than 30 days, but the
    | repair
    | > install says it isn't activated anymore, and requires re-activation.
    | >
    |
    | Well, it kept on asking me how I wanted to activate XP: via computer or
    via
    | telephone. It did not give me other options. And I did not try turning my
    | computer off.

    It wouldn't have helped - the next time you turned it on you would have
    needed to activate anyway (or shut down).

    Apparently, you did upgrade from XP to XP. That deactivates the OS on the
    computer. So it needs to be activated. And since the computer had been in
    use for more than 30 days before the upgrade, you had run out of time to
    activate. Catch 22.

    Why did you upgrade XP to XP? Home to Pro?
    Toolman Tim, Jun 19, 2004
    #5
  6. Julie P.

    Julie P. Guest

    "Toolman Tim" <> wrote in message
    news:...

    >
    > If you did an upgrade from 98, ME, 2000, etc., you would have been given

    the
    > option to uninstall. If you used the upgrade CD to do a "clean" install,

    you
    > would have to erase the HD, and reinstall the old OS.
    >



    ok, this makes sense.

    >
    > Apparently, you did upgrade from XP to XP. That deactivates the OS on the
    > computer. So it needs to be activated. And since the computer had been in
    > use for more than 30 days before the upgrade, you had run out of time to
    > activate. Catch 22.



    but if it deactivated the original OS, how did it know I had been using XP
    for more than 30 days?

    >
    > Why did you upgrade XP to XP? Home to Pro?
    >



    Because I had to reinstall XP because I thought I had problems with IE and
    OE, as well as other problems. I though reinstalling XP would solve these
    problems. Geez...sometimes I hate Microsoft!
    Julie P., Jun 19, 2004
    #6
  7. Julie P.

    Ron Martell Guest

    "Julie P." <> wrote:

    >I noticed while reading my Windows XP manual, or I should actually say
    >"pamphlet", that Microsoft uses an activation process before you are allowed
    >to (re-)install Windows XP, to make sure you install it on only one
    >computer. I experienced this a few days ago, and since I was unable to
    >connect to the Internet after installation, I had to phone the code into
    >Microsoft.
    >
    >1) Question: what if I decide to uninstall Windows XP from this computer and
    >install it on another one instead? When I go to activate XP, how will
    >Microsoft know that I have actually uninstalled it from my other computer,
    >especially if I don't go online at all so they can "read" my other computer?


    Two different answers, depending on your specific Windows XP License.

    - Windows XP Retail License - The software comes in a Green (Home) or
    Blue (Pro) Microsoft retail box. That software is licensed to the
    purchaser and may be moved from computer to computer to computer at
    the discretion of the purchaser, provided that it is only ever
    installed on a single computer at any given point in time.

    Insofar as validating the uninstall is concerned, Microsoft will take
    your word for it. However if you ever do have it on more than one
    computer and you do major hardware changes so as to require
    reactivation then the fecal matter may impact the impeller.

    >
    >2) And what if I have to reinstall XP on my computer for technical reasons?
    >How will they know this is simply a reinstall, and not a new installation?
    >Does the code that XP spits out once installed include some kind of unique
    >ID for the computer it was installed on?


    If you reformat and reinstall on the same computer then the activation
    control files on the hard drive will have been erased and you will
    have to reactivate. When you reactivate the new control information
    is compared to the activation information currently on file at
    Microsoft and if it is the same, or within the allowable tolerance,
    then the reactivation will proceed automatically.

    >
    >3) Do I have a fully-licensed version of XP Home, the one that came with my
    >new Dell? Because there isn't a real manual that came with it, like the one
    >that came with my Windows 98SE Upgrade that I bought. I only have a very
    >small leaflet.


    You have a licensed version of XP Home, no doubt about that, but it is
    what is called an OEM version. For a variety of reasons it is still
    called Microsoft Windows but in reality it should perhaps be referred
    to as "Dell Windows, licensed from Microsoft".

    Because it is an OEM version the End User License Agreement has some
    specific terms and conditions that are different from those associated
    with the retail versions of Windows XP. The major difference is that
    licenses for OEM versions of Windows are permanently locked to the
    first computer that they are installed on and may be be legitimately
    moved to another computer under any circumstances, even if the
    original computer is lost, scrapped, destroyed, or stolen - the
    license goes with it and suffers the same fate.

    You should familiarize yourself with the terms and conditions of the
    Windows License for your specific computer. These are contained in
    the file EULA.TXT in the c:\windows\system32 folder.

    >
    >4) Finally, the leaflet I have for XP says you are allowed to use XP for 30
    >days before being required to activate it. This was not the case when I
    >reinstalled it on my new Dell. It would not let me access my computer until
    >I activated it, either via the Internet or via telephone. I had to walk to a
    >payphone to do this. I did not like how Microsoft held my computer hostage
    >during this time. It should have given me an option to immediately uninstall
    >XP. Plus, what about people who fail to activate XP after 30 days? Does
    >their computer self-destruct, or does it revert back to their old OS?
    >(Aside: "destruct" above was flagged by my Microsoft Office dictionary for
    >being misspelled!).
    >


    The 30 days is on a newly installed copy.

    If you had been allowed to uninstall Windows XP, what operating system
    would have been in place on the computer? I thought you said that
    your Dell computer came with Windows XP preinstalled in which case
    there would have been nothing to go back to even if an uninstall
    option was provided.

    For more information about Windows Activation see MVP Alex Nichol's
    article at http://aumha.org/win5/a/wpa.htm

    For more information about OEM software see my article at
    http://onlinehelp.bc.ca/oem_software.htm

    Good luck


    Ron Martell Duncan B.C. Canada
    --
    Microsoft MVP
    On-Line Help Computer Service
    http://onlinehelp.bc.ca

    "The reason computer chips are so small is computers don't eat much."
    Ron Martell, Jun 19, 2004
    #7
  8. Julie P.

    Toolman Tim Guest

    "Julie P." <> wrote in message
    news:
    > > "Toolman Tim" <> wrote in message
    > > news:...
    > >
    > > >
    > > > If you did an upgrade from 98, ME, 2000, etc., you would have
    > > > been given the option to uninstall. If you used the upgrade CD to
    > > > do a "clean" install, you would have to erase the HD, and
    > > > reinstall the old OS.
    > > >

    > >
    > >
    > > ok, this makes sense.
    > >
    > > >
    > > > Apparently, you did upgrade from XP to XP. That deactivates the
    > > > OS on the computer. So it needs to be activated. And since the
    > > > computer had been in use for more than 30 days before the
    > > > upgrade, you had run out of time to activate. Catch 22.

    > >
    > >
    > > but if it deactivated the original OS, how did it know I had been
    > > using XP for more than 30 days?
    > >


    Simple. The "old" system still had files in place with dates on them more
    than 30 days old. You didn't format the drive, so the original files were
    still there. The system still knew the date it was first used, hence, 30
    days from THAT date had already expired. That is exactly what I was talking
    about the first time regarding using the XP "Repair" function from the OS
    CD.

    > > >
    > > > Why did you upgrade XP to XP? Home to Pro?
    > > >

    > >
    > >
    > > Because I had to reinstall XP because I thought I had problems with
    > > IE and OE, as well as other problems. I though reinstalling XP
    > > would solve these problems. Geez...sometimes I hate Microsoft!


    Not me. I understand fully why they want this activation stuff. Do you have
    any clue how many pirated copies of earlier versions of Windows exist out
    there? Or MS Office? IMO, they have the right to protect their intellectual
    property from theft, just like I have the right to protect my home from
    theft.

    As for the "other" MS problems, most, if not all, are caused not by MS
    software (OS, Office, IE, OE, etc.) but by hackers, trojans, spyware, other
    malware, poorly written applications from other vendors, and even
    operator/user errors. I have systems at work that have been running trouble
    free literally for years. And others - same hardware, same software,
    different *users* - that get screwed up all the time.
    Toolman Tim, Jun 19, 2004
    #8
  9. Julie P.

    Julie P. Guest

    "Ron Martell" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > "Julie P." <> wrote:
    >
    > >I noticed while reading my Windows XP manual, or I should actually say
    > >"pamphlet", that Microsoft uses an activation process before you are

    allowed
    > >to (re-)install Windows XP, to make sure you install it on only one
    > >computer. I experienced this a few days ago, and since I was unable to
    > >connect to the Internet after installation, I had to phone the code into
    > >Microsoft.
    > >
    > >1) Question: what if I decide to uninstall Windows XP from this computer

    and
    > >install it on another one instead? When I go to activate XP, how will
    > >Microsoft know that I have actually uninstalled it from my other

    computer,
    > >especially if I don't go online at all so they can "read" my other

    computer?
    >
    > Two different answers, depending on your specific Windows XP License.
    >
    > - Windows XP Retail License - The software comes in a Green (Home) or
    > Blue (Pro) Microsoft retail box. That software is licensed to the
    > purchaser and may be moved from computer to computer to computer at
    > the discretion of the purchaser, provided that it is only ever
    > installed on a single computer at any given point in time.
    >
    > Insofar as validating the uninstall is concerned, Microsoft will take
    > your word for it. However if you ever do have it on more than one
    > computer and you do major hardware changes so as to require
    > reactivation then the fecal matter may impact the impeller.


    Wouldn't Microsoft again just take your word that you have done the
    uninstallation on the other computer?

    >
    > >
    > >2) And what if I have to reinstall XP on my computer for technical

    reasons?
    > >How will they know this is simply a reinstall, and not a new

    installation?
    > >Does the code that XP spits out once installed include some kind of

    unique
    > >ID for the computer it was installed on?

    >
    > If you reformat and reinstall on the same computer then the activation
    > control files on the hard drive will have been erased and you will
    > have to reactivate.


    I reinstalled XP on my computer without reformatting (I chose the "upgrade"
    installation, instead of the completely-new install, when given the choice
    by the CD), and still had to activate XP.


    When you reactivate the new control information
    > is compared to the activation information currently on file at
    > Microsoft and if it is the same, or within the allowable tolerance,
    > then the reactivation will proceed automatically.


    But if you install on a new computer with the full retail license version,
    don;t they just take your word, no matter what the tolerances?

    >
    > >
    > >3) Do I have a fully-licensed version of XP Home, the one that came with

    my
    > >new Dell? Because there isn't a real manual that came with it, like the

    one
    > >that came with my Windows 98SE Upgrade that I bought. I only have a very
    > >small leaflet.

    >
    > You have a licensed version of XP Home, no doubt about that, but it is
    > what is called an OEM version. For a variety of reasons it is still
    > called Microsoft Windows but in reality it should perhaps be referred
    > to as "Dell Windows, licensed from Microsoft".



    Exactly. And that is probably why I wasn't charged the same price as the
    full retail version by Dell.

    >
    > Because it is an OEM version the End User License Agreement has some
    > specific terms and conditions that are different from those associated
    > with the retail versions of Windows XP. The major difference is that
    > licenses for OEM versions of Windows are permanently locked to the
    > first computer that they are installed on and may be be legitimately
    > moved to another computer under any circumstances, even if the
    > original computer is lost, scrapped, destroyed, or stolen - the
    > license goes with it and suffers the same fate.
    >
    > You should familiarize yourself with the terms and conditions of the
    > Windows License for your specific computer. These are contained in
    > the file EULA.TXT in the c:\windows\system32 folder.
    >


    Thanks. I will look at this file.

    > >
    > >4) Finally, the leaflet I have for XP says you are allowed to use XP for

    30
    > >days before being required to activate it. This was not the case when I
    > >reinstalled it on my new Dell. It would not let me access my computer

    until
    > >I activated it, either via the Internet or via telephone. I had to walk

    to a
    > >payphone to do this. I did not like how Microsoft held my computer

    hostage
    > >during this time. It should have given me an option to immediately

    uninstall
    > >XP. Plus, what about people who fail to activate XP after 30 days? Does
    > >their computer self-destruct, or does it revert back to their old OS?
    > >(Aside: "destruct" above was flagged by my Microsoft Office dictionary

    for
    > >being misspelled!).
    > >

    >
    > The 30 days is on a newly installed copy.
    >


    including if you reformat and reinstall XP, or if you choose "completely new
    install" on the CD without reformatting?

    > If you had been allowed to uninstall Windows XP, what operating system
    > would have been in place on the computer? I thought you said that
    > your Dell computer came with Windows XP preinstalled in which case
    > there would have been nothing to go back to even if an uninstall
    > option was provided.



    I had the original version of XP installed by Dell, which actually was still
    functional. I just overwrote it with the reinstall. If it weren't able to be
    activated for whatever reason (say I was too lazy to make the phone call),
    it should have gone back to the Dell-installed XP version, since there was
    no reformat.

    >
    > For more information about Windows Activation see MVP Alex Nichol's
    > article at http://aumha.org/win5/a/wpa.htm
    >
    > For more information about OEM software see my article at
    > http://onlinehelp.bc.ca/oem_software.htm
    >



    thanks! Already bookmarked those sites.\

    J.
    Julie P., Jun 19, 2004
    #9
  10. Julie P.

    Julie P. Guest

    "Toolman Tim" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > "Julie P." <> wrote in message
    > news:
    > > > "Toolman Tim" <> wrote in message
    > > > news:...
    > > >
    > > > >
    > > > > If you did an upgrade from 98, ME, 2000, etc., you would have
    > > > > been given the option to uninstall. If you used the upgrade CD to
    > > > > do a "clean" install, you would have to erase the HD, and
    > > > > reinstall the old OS.
    > > > >
    > > >
    > > >
    > > > ok, this makes sense.
    > > >
    > > > >
    > > > > Apparently, you did upgrade from XP to XP. That deactivates the
    > > > > OS on the computer. So it needs to be activated. And since the
    > > > > computer had been in use for more than 30 days before the
    > > > > upgrade, you had run out of time to activate. Catch 22.
    > > >
    > > >
    > > > but if it deactivated the original OS, how did it know I had been
    > > > using XP for more than 30 days?
    > > >

    >
    > Simple. The "old" system still had files in place with dates on them more
    > than 30 days old. You didn't format the drive, so the original files were
    > still there. The system still knew the date it was first used, hence, 30
    > days from THAT date had already expired. That is exactly what I was

    talking
    > about the first time regarding using the XP "Repair" function from the OS
    > CD.


    oh, was there an easier way to do that, rather than reinstall? like this
    "Repair" function? And if I had chosen to not reformat, but do a completely
    new installation of XP (the Dell CD gives you the option to do that or just
    do the XP upgrade), would I still not have had another 30 days, since the CD
    would have been able to see files older than 30 days old?

    >
    > > > >
    > > > > Why did you upgrade XP to XP? Home to Pro?
    > > > >
    > > >
    > > >
    > > > Because I had to reinstall XP because I thought I had problems with
    > > > IE and OE, as well as other problems. I though reinstalling XP
    > > > would solve these problems. Geez...sometimes I hate Microsoft!

    >
    > Not me. I understand fully why they want this activation stuff. Do you

    have
    > any clue how many pirated copies of earlier versions of Windows exist out
    > there? Or MS Office? IMO, they have the right to protect their

    intellectual
    > property from theft, just like I have the right to protect my home from
    > theft.



    Yes, true. But I wonder whatever has happened to the concept of ownership of
    anything. In other words, if I own the CD, it is my CD to do with as I see
    fit. Not that I would violate the license, but I am just arguing a point.
    Don't I have a right to make a backup copy in case I scratch the original
    CD? Or will Microsoft mail me another CD if the original is damaged and I
    have the license? Another argument is that maybe if software weren't so
    expensive, people wouldn't need to pirate it, like they do in Thailand (just
    read an article about that--although they do it here in the US too). It's
    funny how Microsoft can sell the same software from anywhere from $50 to
    $200, depending on where you live or if you are a student, etc.


    >
    > As for the "other" MS problems, most, if not all, are caused not by MS
    > software (OS, Office, IE, OE, etc.) but by hackers, trojans, spyware,

    other
    > malware, poorly written applications from other vendors, and even
    > operator/user errors. I have systems at work that have been running

    trouble
    > free literally for years. And others - same hardware, same software,
    > different *users* - that get screwed up all the time.


    True. I find that it is often software conflicts that cause problems, or
    user error or misunderstanding or panic or ignorance. Sometimes, for
    example, Norton can neither fix nor quarantine the virus, so this makes
    users panic. So they go to Symantec's site and try to delete registry keys
    as instructed, but then the instructions get too complex, and they give up.
    Or the instructions didn't really apply to the user. At least, this happened
    to me a few years ago. As it turned out, Norton did actually quarantine the
    virus, but the message they gave was wrong.
    Julie P., Jun 19, 2004
    #10
  11. Julie P.

    Toolman Tim Guest

    <snipped>

    > > > The "old" system still had files in place with dates on
    > > > them more than 30 days old. You didn't format the drive, so the
    > > > original files were still there. The system still knew the date
    > > > it was first used, hence, 30 days from THAT date had already
    > > > expired. That is exactly what I was talking about the first time
    > > > regarding using the XP "Repair" function from the OS CD.

    > >
    > > oh, was there an easier way to do that, rather than reinstall? like
    > > this "Repair" function? And if I had chosen to not reformat, but do
    > > a completely new installation of XP (the Dell CD gives you the
    > > option to do that or just do the XP upgrade), would I still not
    > > have had another 30 days, since the CD would have been able to see
    > > files older than 30 days old?
    > >
    > >


    I don't believe the disk has an "upgrade" option in the setup...it would
    have been "Reinstall" or something. Which is basically going to do the same
    thing as the repair: overwrite the OS files, leaving everything else intact.

    Anytime I need to re-install, I backup, format, and do a clean install.
    Because the repair, upgrade, reinstall options *all* leave something behind
    of the old setup. So, at that point, there is the possibility (actually,
    probability) that errors existing in the old setup will persist into the
    new.

    > > > > > >
    > > > > > > Why did you upgrade?
    > > > > > >
    > > > > >
    > > > > > Because I had to reinstall XP because I thought I had
    > > > > > problems with IE and OE, as well as other problems. I though
    > > > > > reinstalling XP would solve these problems. Geez...sometimes
    > > > > > I hate Microsoft!
    > > >
    > > > Not me. I understand fully why they want this activation stuff.
    > > > Do you have any clue how many pirated copies of earlier versions
    > > > of Windows exist out there? Or MS Office? IMO, they have the
    > > > right to protect their intellectual property from theft, just
    > > > like I have the right to protect my home from theft.

    > >
    > >
    > > Yes, true. But I wonder whatever has happened to the concept of
    > > ownership of anything. In other words, if I own the CD, it is my CD
    > > to do with as I see fit. Not that I would violate the license, but
    > > I am just arguing a point. Don't I have a right to make a backup
    > > copy in case I scratch the original CD? Or will Microsoft mail me
    > > another CD if the original is damaged and I have the license?
    > > Another argument is that maybe if software weren't so expensive,
    > > people wouldn't need to pirate it, like they do in Thailand (just
    > > read an article about that--although they do it here in the US
    > > too).


    Most EULAs allow the user to make a backup copy of the original software.
    Read them...each is different. I would say that you do own the actual disc -
    no one can come and take it way as if it were a rental or unpaid for leased
    item. But, you are limited to what the license allows in terms of what you
    do with the software ON the disc.

    > > It's funny how Microsoft can sell the same software from
    > > anywhere from $50 to $200, depending on where you live or if you
    > > are a student, etc.
    > >


    Just like my vet charges less for people on social security, and sliding
    scales at the doctors office...what's the difference? The concept is that
    those who have less ability to pay should not be totally unable to receive
    the service.

    > > >
    > > > As for the "other" MS problems, most, if not all, are caused not
    > > > by MS software (OS, Office, IE, OE, etc.) but by hackers,
    > > > trojans, spyware, other malware, poorly written applications from
    > > > other vendors, and even operator/user errors. I have systems at
    > > > work that have been running trouble free literally for years. And
    > > > others - same hardware, same software, different *users* - that
    > > > get screwed up all the time.

    > >
    > > True. I find that it is often software conflicts that cause
    > > problems, or user error or misunderstanding or panic or ignorance.
    > > Sometimes, for example, Norton can neither fix nor quarantine the
    > > virus, so this makes users panic. So they go to Symantec's site and
    > > try to delete registry keys as instructed, but then the
    > > instructions get too complex, and they give up. Or the instructions
    > > didn't really apply to the user. At least, this happened to me a
    > > few years ago. As it turned out, Norton did actually quarantine the
    > > virus, but the message they gave was wrong.


    Yeah - confusion is rampant in the home computer user base. Heck, I get
    confused with this stuff myself sometimes!

    --
    "If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die, I want to go where
    THEY went." ~Will Rogers~
    Toolman Tim, Jun 19, 2004
    #11
  12. Julie P.

    Ron Martell Guest

    "Julie P." <> wrote:

    >Wouldn't Microsoft again just take your word that you have done the
    >uninstallation on the other computer?


    They do keep track of how many times the same copy of Windows XP has
    been activated on different hardware and when that count reaches a
    certain point you will at least have to phone Microsoft and, if the
    copy is in fact installed on more than one computer, lie to them about
    having uninstalled it.

    Most people are fundamentally honest by nature and while they may
    install software multiple times on different computers without really
    thinking about, having to deliberately lie about what what was done is
    a different situation altogether.



    Ron Martell Duncan B.C. Canada
    --
    Microsoft MVP
    On-Line Help Computer Service
    http://onlinehelp.bc.ca

    "The reason computer chips are so small is computers don't eat much."
    Ron Martell, Jun 19, 2004
    #12
  13. Julie P.

    Julie P. Guest

    "Toolman Tim" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > <snipped>
    >
    > > > > The "old" system still had files in place with dates on
    > > > > them more than 30 days old. You didn't format the drive, so the
    > > > > original files were still there. The system still knew the date
    > > > > it was first used, hence, 30 days from THAT date had already
    > > > > expired. That is exactly what I was talking about the first time
    > > > > regarding using the XP "Repair" function from the OS CD.
    > > >
    > > > oh, was there an easier way to do that, rather than reinstall? like
    > > > this "Repair" function? And if I had chosen to not reformat, but do
    > > > a completely new installation of XP (the Dell CD gives you the
    > > > option to do that or just do the XP upgrade), would I still not
    > > > have had another 30 days, since the CD would have been able to see
    > > > files older than 30 days old?
    > > >
    > > >

    >
    > I don't believe the disk has an "upgrade" option in the setup...it would
    > have been "Reinstall" or something. Which is basically going to do the

    same
    > thing as the repair: overwrite the OS files, leaving everything else

    intact.
    >



    I just re-checked: the CD gave me two choices:

    Upgrade (Recommended)
    New Installation (Advanced)

    > Anytime I need to re-install, I backup, format, and do a clean install.
    > Because the repair, upgrade, reinstall options *all* leave something

    behind
    > of the old setup. So, at that point, there is the possibility (actually,
    > probability) that errors existing in the old setup will persist into the
    > new.



    Wow. I didn't know this. Even when you completely wipe/re-format your hard
    drive?

    >
    > > > > > > >
    > > > > > > > Why did you upgrade?
    > > > > > > >
    > > > > > >
    > > > > > > Because I had to reinstall XP because I thought I had
    > > > > > > problems with IE and OE, as well as other problems. I though
    > > > > > > reinstalling XP would solve these problems. Geez...sometimes
    > > > > > > I hate Microsoft!
    > > > >
    > > > > Not me. I understand fully why they want this activation stuff.
    > > > > Do you have any clue how many pirated copies of earlier versions
    > > > > of Windows exist out there? Or MS Office? IMO, they have the
    > > > > right to protect their intellectual property from theft, just
    > > > > like I have the right to protect my home from theft.
    > > >
    > > >
    > > > Yes, true. But I wonder whatever has happened to the concept of
    > > > ownership of anything. In other words, if I own the CD, it is my CD
    > > > to do with as I see fit. Not that I would violate the license, but
    > > > I am just arguing a point. Don't I have a right to make a backup
    > > > copy in case I scratch the original CD? Or will Microsoft mail me
    > > > another CD if the original is damaged and I have the license?
    > > > Another argument is that maybe if software weren't so expensive,
    > > > people wouldn't need to pirate it, like they do in Thailand (just
    > > > read an article about that--although they do it here in the US
    > > > too).

    >
    > Most EULAs allow the user to make a backup copy of the original software.
    > Read them...each is different. I would say that you do own the actual

    disc -
    > no one can come and take it way as if it were a rental or unpaid for

    leased
    > item. But, you are limited to what the license allows in terms of what you
    > do with the software ON the disc.
    >


    I'll have to think about this one, but this makes sense, I guess.


    > > > It's funny how Microsoft can sell the same software from
    > > > anywhere from $50 to $200, depending on where you live or if you
    > > > are a student, etc.
    > > >

    >
    > Just like my vet charges less for people on social security, and sliding
    > scales at the doctors office...what's the difference? The concept is that
    > those who have less ability to pay should not be totally unable to receive
    > the service.


    Well, what if I am poor? How do I let Microsoft know?

    >
    > > > >
    > > > > As for the "other" MS problems, most, if not all, are caused not
    > > > > by MS software (OS, Office, IE, OE, etc.) but by hackers,
    > > > > trojans, spyware, other malware, poorly written applications from
    > > > > other vendors, and even operator/user errors. I have systems at
    > > > > work that have been running trouble free literally for years. And
    > > > > others - same hardware, same software, different *users* - that
    > > > > get screwed up all the time.
    > > >
    > > > True. I find that it is often software conflicts that cause
    > > > problems, or user error or misunderstanding or panic or ignorance.
    > > > Sometimes, for example, Norton can neither fix nor quarantine the
    > > > virus, so this makes users panic. So they go to Symantec's site and
    > > > try to delete registry keys as instructed, but then the
    > > > instructions get too complex, and they give up. Or the instructions
    > > > didn't really apply to the user. At least, this happened to me a
    > > > few years ago. As it turned out, Norton did actually quarantine the
    > > > virus, but the message they gave was wrong.

    >
    > Yeah - confusion is rampant in the home computer user base. Heck, I get
    > confused with this stuff myself sometimes!
    >


    :)
    Julie P., Jun 19, 2004
    #13
  14. Julie P.

    Julie P. Guest

    "Ron Martell" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > "Julie P." <> wrote:
    >
    > >Wouldn't Microsoft again just take your word that you have done the
    > >uninstallation on the other computer?

    >
    > They do keep track of how many times the same copy of Windows XP has
    > been activated on different hardware and when that count reaches a
    > certain point you will at least have to phone Microsoft and, if the
    > copy is in fact installed on more than one computer, lie to them about
    > having uninstalled it.


    Oh, so they can tell what hardware you have installed it on? What if I
    reinstall XP on the same computer 30 times in 30 days though?

    >
    > Most people are fundamentally honest by nature and while they may
    > install software multiple times on different computers without really
    > thinking about, having to deliberately lie about what what was done is
    > a different situation altogether.


    Even if I wanted, I couldn't install XP on my old computer, since it would
    be too slow! But I wouldn't do this anyway. Ideally, I'd like to buy another
    Dell Pentium 4, as well as a new Mac.
    Julie P., Jun 19, 2004
    #14
  15. Julie P.

    Toolman Tim Guest

    "Julie P." <> wrote in message
    news:p
    > > >
    > > > I don't believe the disk has an "upgrade" option in the
    > > > setup...it would have been "Reinstall" or something. Which is
    > > > basically going to do the same thing as the repair: overwrite the
    > > > OS files, leaving everything else intact.
    > > >

    > >
    > >
    > > I just re-checked: the CD gave me two choices:
    > >
    > > Upgrade (Recommended)
    > > New Installation (Advanced)
    > >


    That's weird - it's a Dell computer, is it the Dell XP CD that came with it?
    I've never had to reinstall from the Dell CD, so maybe they did theirs
    different than the standard MS release. Or, maybe you've got an Upgrade CD,
    not a new full version?

    > > > Anytime I need to re-install, I backup, format, and do a clean
    > > > install. Because the repair, upgrade, reinstall options *all*
    > > > leave something behind of the old setup. So, at that point, there
    > > > is the possibility (actually, probability) that errors existing
    > > > in the old setup will persist into the new.

    > >
    > >
    > > Wow. I didn't know this. Even when you completely wipe/re-format
    > > your hard drive?


    Nope - if you format it isn't an issue, only (as I stated) the
    upgrade/repair/reinstall options, since they don't format the drive or erase
    the current contents.

    > > > <<snipped>>


    > > > > > It's funny how Microsoft can sell the same software from
    > > > > > anywhere from $50 to $200, depending on where you live or if
    > > > > > you are a student, etc.
    > > > > >
    > > >
    > > > Just like my vet charges less for people on social security, and
    > > > sliding scales at the doctors office...what's the difference? The
    > > > concept is that those who have less ability to pay should not be
    > > > totally unable to receive the service.

    > >
    > > Well, what if I am poor? How do I let Microsoft know?
    > >


    Go back to school so you qualify for the student discount <g>
    Toolman Tim, Jun 19, 2004
    #15
  16. Julie P.

    Julie P. Guest

    "Toolman Tim" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > "Julie P." <> wrote in message
    > news:p
    > > > >
    > > > > I don't believe the disk has an "upgrade" option in the
    > > > > setup...it would have been "Reinstall" or something. Which is
    > > > > basically going to do the same thing as the repair: overwrite the
    > > > > OS files, leaving everything else intact.
    > > > >
    > > >
    > > >
    > > > I just re-checked: the CD gave me two choices:
    > > >
    > > > Upgrade (Recommended)
    > > > New Installation (Advanced)
    > > >

    >
    > That's weird - it's a Dell computer, is it the Dell XP CD that came with

    it?
    > I've never had to reinstall from the Dell CD, so maybe they did theirs
    > different than the standard MS release. Or, maybe you've got an Upgrade

    CD,
    > not a new full version?


    It's called "Operating System. Reinstallation CD Microsoft Windows XP Home
    Edition Including Service Pack 1a". It came with my new Dell. The leaflet
    says "For distribution with a new Dell PC only. Version 2002".

    When I insert it, it gives me four choices:

    Install Windows XP
    Install optional Windows components
    Perform additional tasks
    Check system compatibility

    If I choose the first option, it asks me which type of installation do you
    wish to perform:

    Upgrade (Recommended)
    New Installation (Advanced)

    I chose the upgrade option. it took 45 minutes to install, and then required
    me to activate it.


    >
    > > > > Anytime I need to re-install, I backup, format, and do a clean
    > > > > install. Because the repair, upgrade, reinstall options *all*
    > > > > leave something behind of the old setup. So, at that point, there
    > > > > is the possibility (actually, probability) that errors existing
    > > > > in the old setup will persist into the new.
    > > >
    > > >
    > > > Wow. I didn't know this. Even when you completely wipe/re-format
    > > > your hard drive?

    >


    oh, duh! I read your first post too fast.

    > Nope - if you format it isn't an issue, only (as I stated) the
    > upgrade/repair/reinstall options, since they don't format the drive or

    erase
    > the current contents.
    >
    > > > > <<snipped>>

    >
    > > > > > > It's funny how Microsoft can sell the same software from
    > > > > > > anywhere from $50 to $200, depending on where you live or if
    > > > > > > you are a student, etc.
    > > > > > >
    > > > >
    > > > > Just like my vet charges less for people on social security, and
    > > > > sliding scales at the doctors office...what's the difference? The
    > > > > concept is that those who have less ability to pay should not be
    > > > > totally unable to receive the service.
    > > >
    > > > Well, what if I am poor? How do I let Microsoft know?
    > > >

    >
    > Go back to school so you qualify for the student discount <g>
    >
    >


    I actually am planning this! May be a few years though.
    Julie P., Jun 19, 2004
    #16
  17. Julie P.

    Ron Martell Guest

    "Julie P." <> wrote:

    >"Ron Martell" <> wrote in message
    >news:...
    >> "Julie P." <> wrote:
    >>
    >> >Wouldn't Microsoft again just take your word that you have done the
    >> >uninstallation on the other computer?

    >>
    >> They do keep track of how many times the same copy of Windows XP has
    >> been activated on different hardware and when that count reaches a
    >> certain point you will at least have to phone Microsoft and, if the
    >> copy is in fact installed on more than one computer, lie to them about
    >> having uninstalled it.

    >
    >Oh, so they can tell what hardware you have installed it on? What if I
    >reinstall XP on the same computer 30 times in 30 days though?


    In theory that should go through okay, as all of the hardware
    identifiers would be the same except for the volume-serial number on
    the hard drive, which changes each time you reformat it.

    But I have seen reports of people doing repeated reinstalls,
    supposedly on the same hardware each time, and being required to do a
    manual activation by telephone somewhere between the 5th and 10th
    installs.

    But if you have to reinstall the operating system daily then you have
    more serious problems than just the product activation requirements,
    :)

    >
    >>
    >> Most people are fundamentally honest by nature and while they may
    >> install software multiple times on different computers without really
    >> thinking about, having to deliberately lie about what what was done is
    >> a different situation altogether.

    >
    >Even if I wanted, I couldn't install XP on my old computer, since it would
    >be too slow! But I wouldn't do this anyway. Ideally, I'd like to buy another
    >Dell Pentium 4, as well as a new Mac.
    >


    Ron Martell Duncan B.C. Canada
    --
    Microsoft MVP
    On-Line Help Computer Service
    http://onlinehelp.bc.ca

    "The reason computer chips are so small is computers don't eat much."
    Ron Martell, Jun 21, 2004
    #17
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