Re: Windows XP Activation

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by Ron Martell, Jul 18, 2003.

  1. Ron Martell

    Ron Martell Guest

    Travis <> 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."
    Ron Martell, Jul 18, 2003
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  2. Ron Martell

    Travis Guest

    Thanks for the help, everyone, especially Ron.
    Travis, Jul 18, 2003
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