Microsoft

Updating your device drivers can result in Vista deactivating

According to James Bannan over at <em>APC Magazine</em>, even a simple device driver update could result in an installation of Windows Vista to be deactivated. This could be especially problematic on an overseas business trip, as Vista is bumped back into reduced functionality mode when it fails to activate within three days.

According to James Bannan over at APC Magazine, even a simple device driver update could result in an installation of Windows Vista to be deactivated. This could be especially problematic on an overseas business trip, as Vista is bumped back into reduced functionality mode when it fails to activate within three days.

Excerpt from APC Magazine:

When the machine is first activated, Windows establishes a baseline based on the installed hardware, but interestingly the information is not gathered from hardware IDs (which are not necessarily unique), but from hardware information as reported by device drivers. Any changes away from this baseline are weighted depending on the change (for example, a new CPU counts much higher than new RAM) and once the baseline threshold is passed, Windows deactivates and a new activation request is generated.

The issue has to do with how Windows uses device drivers as the basis for the activation information, since device drivers can and do get upgraded over time. In such a case, the hardware information could be reported back to Windows as a physical hardware change.

Also:

So what this essentially means is that keeping your drivers up-to-date is a potentially very risky process, with all changes monitored and changes weighted cumulatively.

James concluded that legitimate purchases are unfairly penalized and are left to live with Windows Activation. Pirates, on the other hand, will probably apply an official workaround available for OEMs and get a fully-functional pirated copy of Vista Ultimate that does not require activation -- or even a product key.

Have you ever experienced Windows Vista deactivation?

About

Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.

75 comments
bus66vw
bus66vw

Does anyone know if using WU offers any protection from this deactivating problem? This really leaves me out in the cold. I called MS once to get advice on purchase of XP-pro and could not even a good phone connection.

hkjjr
hkjjr

I went to bed last night with my HP Pavillion Laptop working reasonably well, I had activated and registered it when I bought it. I woke up this morning, and was told that my laptop was not Activated, and that I needed to re-enter my Product key. I was told that my Product Key (the one on the bottom of my laptop) could not be activated, and told me to enter another activation key, run in a reduced functionality mode, or to call Microsoft at a special number. I call Microsoft, get an automated system that asks me to read a series of number to it, and then it tells me that this is not an appropriate number and they can't activate me. It then asks me do I want to speak to a representative, so I say yes, and then it gives me to a rep who has me enter some number in without even asking me anything, so I do, and it claims it activated, BUT... I get another pop-up notice telling me that my PC is not activated and I will not be able to update my software because it won't pass Windows Genuine Advantage. It give me a number to call, they have me type some things and then reboot my PC, and now claim that it works. Welllll! After three to four months of continuous errors, failures and blue screens of death from this stupid operating system, which I paid good money for to a real retailer (BestBuy) who sold me a laptop from a normally reliable OEM (HP), with an Operating System from the largest software provider in the world, I am just a little PISSSSSSSEEDDDDDDD OOOFFFFFFFFF!!!!!!!!!!!!! Apple is looking better and better to me. I am an IT guy, I recommend stuff to many people, and although I've always had bones to pick with Microsoft, it has reached an extraordinarily new high of discontent and anger. I've had more blue screens of death on my Vista system alone than on every other PC and/or server aI have ever worked on in my enter career of 35+ years in the IT business. Microsoft has lost any ability to make software that works and is understandable by users. It way too complex, forces users to spend more and more money and does nothing but aggravate what was a loyal customer base. I have not tried to Mirosoft bash, but I have finally reached my limit. MICROSOFT SUCKKKKKKKKKKKKSSSSSS!

mail
mail

you deserve what you get. You paid for it after all.

TechExec2
TechExec2

. There is no piracy "problem". There is only a greed problem. ** Microsoft customers voluntarily paid Microsoft over a quarter of a trillion dollars ($250,000,000,000.00) between Windows XP and Windows Vista. No WGA capricious de-activation at all. ** Microsoft cleared $67.5 BILLION in post-tax profit during the same period. Even the people at Exxon-Mobil are impressed with that. We can argue about WGA all day long. How to fix it. How it should work. How to improve it. But, at the end of the day, WGA is not justified. This is all about Microsoft's incredible stupidity and incredible greed. And, it's not even going to work. Why? Millions of former paying customers are going to switch to sane operating systems like Mac OS X and Linux (I am one). Macintosh sales and market share have risen dramatically since Vista came out in January this year. Stupid Vista is driving Mac sales! WGA is designed to force pirates in countries like China to pay up. They will never do it except at $10 a copy. Microsoft is stupid, stupid, stupid.

divineprime
divineprime

I found a way to disable the software licensing service, legally. Then you can delete the dependency for Readboost, called slsvc. Optionally you can delete the "SL" services from the registry paths: HKLM_CurrentControlSet_Services_EMDMgmt HKLM_CurrentControlSet_Services_slsvc HKLM_CurrentControlSet_Services_SLUINotify The service name for those keys are: ReadBoost(delete only dependency for slsvc) Software Licensing SL UI Notification Service For a detailed tutorial, and full windows application that automatically does all these steps, take a look here: http://groups.myspace.com/ActivateWindows The control panel will be also be disabled, along with the computer properties window. However if you make a folder with shortcuts to the control panel items, these will still work fine. Then customize the folder's icon to appear as a control panel icon. You can also download a replacement control panel, from here: http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/NT6/ Files are found in the files section, for users with a yahoo screenname only.

Fregeus
Fregeus

...why the OS is not simply attached to the CPU upon install. What does MS or any other OS company care about the rest of the hardware. It's a well known fact that PCs get upgraded all the time. The only thing that does not get upgraded within the same machine, is generally the CPU. When you need a new CPU, you generally need a new machine by then. CPU don't fry that often, so problems would be limited to a very small percentage of customers. if you add a CPU, no problem, as long as the original one is still there, you're good to go. What am i missing? TCB

jackie40d
jackie40d

People should go get the NEW Linux Mandriva 2008 i586 DVD version 64 bit and really rips has more stuff and does more . .

JohnMcGrew
JohnMcGrew

...for any mission critical application. Once again, I think it's insanity that legitimate users be burdened with this ticking time-bomb on their computers while the supposed real target, the hacker-pirates, simply use OEM keys or just remove the lockout code alltogether.

mhbowman
mhbowman

The more I'm thinking about switching to Linux once they stop supporting XP. At this point I think M$ need recognize Vista for what it is: Me Part Deux. They should just cut their losses, scrap it, and head back to the drawing board.

paulmah
paulmah

Updating your device drivers can result in Vista deactivating

Big Ole Jack
Big Ole Jack

I have yet to speak to someone without a heavy accent when contacting Microsoft because 99% of calls end up routed overseas to India, yet when they call back, the area code displayed on the phone shows some locality in Ohio. Does Microsoft think we're stupid and don't realize what's going on?

ess
ess

According to Microsoft SP1 will fix the WGA and Vista will only De-Activate... Microsoft. BTW hkjjr... have you considered anger management classes. and/or http://www.computerhammer.com/ or Did you look up in Merriam-Webster Dictionary the definition of "Vista" before you bought it. Don't feel bad I didn't either..till now! 1 : a distant view through or along an avenue or opening The opening is the one between the cheeks I rectum. "a distant view" Microsoft is watching you brother so bend over and smile! 2 : an extensive mental view (as over a stretch of time or a series of events) Notice is says "series of events" Event #2 install SP1 hasta la Vista baby....

jackie40d
jackie40d

I got a Acer for like $399.00 on sale and it had "VISTA" on it . . Took ahum something like maybe 36 minutes from shutting off and rebooting with the Linux Mandriva DVD in the tray to have it running Linux Mandriva 2007 i586 DVD version added Code Weavers Pro ( 6.2 now ) and stuck in some MS junk ( MS XP OFFICE PRO ) so I could show people I could run there stuff inside Linux ! I have all the OPEN SOURCE programs which will run the same file and open it use it write to it send it ect ect Or if your a REAL BEGINNER get Linspire 6.0 now and run it $49.95 ! Has this monster help file which takes you by the hand like your totally stupid and guides you thru EVERYTHING ! EVEN has some of the ISP's built in so you just add ID and PASSWORD and your off and running !

methos7997
methos7997

All this microsoft bashing yet all you guys are still using windows. If you don't like don't buy the product. Yes, I have used RedHat, Suse and Slackware. And for all you Mac users out there, alot of the features was done in KDE and GNome a long time ago. If you used that product, then pay for it. Besides M$ is not the only place that requires activation.

scott38w
scott38w

Our machines are truly mission-critical. Even a remote possibility of deactivation due to driver upgrade is totally unacceptable. When XP Pro is no longer supported, we will have no choice but to go to Linux, quite reluctantly.

brian.mills
brian.mills

If Vista is driving Mac sales, then I say keep up the stupidity, Redmond! Reminds me of that scene from Spaceballs where they're about to capture Princess Vespa. "I knew it. I'm surrounded by @$$holes. Keep firing, @$$holes!"

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

MS lease OEM on the basis that it is part of the package which they define as a set of hardware. According to the license you can't transfer an OEM copy to a new machine, which is why they go over board on hardware capture. Not justifying this garbage mind, but it is Bill & Co's position.

pjboyles
pjboyles

Intel tried to do this before. Remember CPU serial numbering? There was a HUGE outcry. The BIOS was patched to turn off the functionality in the CPU. You can thank AMD's existence for that. Microsoft continues down this road against their customers desires. Does anyone desire this product activation scheme besides Microsoft? This only further illustrates their monopoly power. When there exists a realistic alternative, people will move away from restrictive practices.

brian.mills
brian.mills

That sounds like a pretty good idea. I've only upgraded one CPU in the entire time I've owned computers, and that was because someone gave me a faster CPU that worked in the same socket as the one that I had. Of course that free CPU was a 133MHz Pentium back in the days when 400MHz was considered decent. The OS could be tied to the CPU and the motherboard. Chipset drivers get updated from time to time, but it's not as likely as a lot of other hardware. I know when I end up needing a new motherboard, it's usually past time to replace it anyways.

Big Ole Jack
Big Ole Jack

I've been evaluating Longhorn and have it running as a VM on my VMWare ESX server and I'm at least glad MS decided to bring back the run command in the start menu. When I first saw Vista and didn't see the run command, the first words out of my mouth were "What the f....?" Then if that didn't piss me off enough, I now had to navigate numerous submenus to find common things which took only one click or two under XP or Server 2003. Now Longhorn is the server version of Vista and has all the cheesy graphics and feel of Vista. I'll give credit to Microsoft for adding native support for IPv6 and including the iSCSI initiator and SAN multipathing software, but what good is all that if I now have to hunt for common utilities in menus designed to look like a fisher price game for kids?

friedtoast
friedtoast

After 2 painful weeks of Vista Business, I nuked it and went back to XP Pro. XP Pro's slower, but at least it's stable, doesn't have the alien overlord UAC and you can actually FIND things when you look for them. I'm with you- once XP retires, unless something drastically changes in the MS world, I'll most likely be looking to Linux or Mac for my next step. Anyone in Redmond listening?

rogan_t
rogan_t

After updating my Vista Premium with Intel's latest AHCI RAID drivers/software (v6 to v7), Vista informed me I had to buy a new licence because of new hardware added. I had to do a system restore to reactivate windows again. This kind of protection is really inconvenient. Microsoft need to fix this validation s**t soon. It sux big hairy ones!

jackie40d
jackie40d

I have been telling people that for long time now . . Just wait till the Updates in XP will do that to you . . HEHEHE ( add Evil Laugh here )

joaohmourao
joaohmourao

I experienced Vista deactivation,not by updating drivers, but by flashing the bios. I think that as the ref. number of the mobo changes(one of the components is the date of the bios), Vista assumes that the motherboard is not the same and that I'm trying to install the OS on a second computer.

Big Ole Jack
Big Ole Jack

because in their overly anal attempt to stop piracy, they are hurting legitimate customers who now have to deal with this new WGA bullcrap everytime they change a simple piece of hardware or update device drivers. As for hackers and pirates, they won't be resorting to legal means of activating and licensing the product anyway, as there are numerous cracks already available out there to circumvent having to activate Vista. So in conclusion, users will be forced away from Vista and will continue to stick with XP or dump Windows altogether for an alternative product such as Linux.

rising_hope
rising_hope

Yes. I've had this happen to me. Twice, in fact. Once, in fact, after an install of Microsoft's own Virtual PC. Fortunately, I'm religious about system backups, so I was able to roll back to a prior version that was still activated. Interestingly, a re-install of Virtual PC after restore worked fine, so who knows what caused Activation to go crazy? In some ways, I really like Vista. I think the UI has a great look and feel, and maintains the ease of Windows past, while adding some genuinely nice improvements. In general, however, it feels like I keep having to fight with the system, which seems about as harsh in design as customer service from a phone company. Being an early adopter, I've used Vista since early betas, and was reasonably impressed to see how the operating system has matured over time. However, when the OS was released as final, I still considered it beta, far from ready for prime time. While drivers are no longer a problem, software compatibility has been a struggle for nearly a year since its release, and the number just odd, random problems significantly outweigh my prior experience with every other version of Windows sold. I certainly don't like this kind of treatment as a customer. I often feel like this is a bad marriage that can only end in divorce. I still have (and use) Vista on one PC at home, but I'll admit to being so frustrated, I bought my first Mac back in April. I can't say I'm completely sold on OS X (there's some UI elements that drive me crazy, like ALT+TAB only flips between apps, not windows, and the shortage of keyboard shortcuts in general for instance.) But, in general, both hardware and software have a lot of really creative, unique, and positive things going for it. Ultimately, most of my time is spent less caring about the OS, though, and more about just getting what I need done. I used to consider myself a power user, and have pretty much tried every OS under the sun, tinkered with registry and system files, done system overclocking, grew up as a gamer, etc, but these days I seldom have time for anything more than web for news and email, and occasional need to open Office docs, burning CDs, listening to music, watching movies, and other relatively mundane activities. (Don't get me wrong -- I'm still quite saavy, doing IT work for a living.) Whatever product can deliver the experience with the least frustration wins my boot. (I'm an option key away from selecting either Windows or OS X.) Though initially, I spent more time in Windows (XP, thanks to my negative Vista experience) on my Macbook Pro than OS X, these days I most often find myself booting into OS X. There's a good reason why Apple is picking up market share. It's not because Apple is performing miracles. It's because Microsoft treats its customers as pirates, with mistrust and animosity, and because a growing number of customers are getting frustrated with the Windows experience. Apple, on the other hand, delivers a simple experience, doesn't even bother with product keys on it's OS or iLife (though it does with iWork and many other products), creates genuinely useful, hi-res tutorials, offers 1 on 1 in-store product training (free), and treats the customer as if their business was worth a million dollar contract. Clue to Microsoft: keep it simple, stupid. From everything I've read thus far, it sounds like Windows 7 is right on track to win back my business. For now, though, I'll be anxiously standing in line for leopard this afternoon.

zefficace
zefficace

Its not the first time I posted something to that effect. 1) You own the hardware, and this is important, but nobody seems to understand what it really means. 2) No one is supposed to do justice for themselfs, but MS does just that. They have no right over your hardware, but just because their software doubts you, you can't use YOUR PROPERTY. Let's face it, MS is doing what no one else can do legally. They are the judge, jury and executioner. Nevermind if it happens often or not, it is entirely unacceptable for any entity to act in any way to do justice for themselfs... its the whole point of having a justice system not to let social/commercial entities decide on their own what's right. So I don't like that MS can hijack MY PROPERTY just because of an occasional software glitch or a mistake on my part. I don't accepter to surrender my rigths as a proprietor, and it amazes me that some of you are so asleep at the wheel that you accept MS tell you otherwise. Its not just a technical issue, it is also a legal and very moral one. As owners of anything at all, when did you decide it was OK for a compagny to take your stuff away? I know I sure haven't agreed to that in any way!

TechExec2
TechExec2

. Paul is a good guy. All of you who doubt this report about Vista de-activation caused by driver update have some research to do. You're dead wrong. There are many things that cause Vista to de-activate beyond the significant hardware change that triggered de-activation in Windows XP. And, the penalty in Vista can be much more severe. Vista sometimes goes into the new "reduced functionality mode" immediately (not in 30 days or 3 days...0 days). You lose the ability to use your computer. Check it out. Microsoft has done a very insane thing to Windows.

Forum Surfer
Forum Surfer

I've been running Vista since the early beta versions with very fiew problems. My sytem deactivated ONCE but that was my own goof. I installed the latest nVidia drivers for my chipset which was bundled with their software for the network controllers as well. The nVidia program blocked the system from talking with M$ and subsequently the licensing service crashed. This was in no way m$'s fault nor was it a big deal. It took me about 2 seconds to figure out the last thing I installed once I realized it was broken, I deinstalled the app and everything worked beutifully. I've ran OS-x, Red Hat, Unbuntu, Suse and a whole host of other Linux apps and for the desktop none compare to m$ when it comes to real world interoperability. I can tweak the OS to make it smoother if I have time or I can just do what I need to do and go about my non-pc business. M$ works great for those of us who don't like spending all day/night tweaking their system, compiling drivers or figuring out somewhy to make some obscure software work cross platform. Personally I like to do my business and leave the pc alone, or occasionally play a game or two. Why would I want to spend all the time trying to install something other than Vista and have to find drivers for all my newest hardware, when I can throw in a vista cd and in no time I'm up and running. This is just another Linux/Mac zealot taking a cheap shot at Windows. Every OS I've sampled has it's fair share of problems, install a 3rd party faulty or non compatible product and you can seriously break the system. However in my experiences, it has always been easier to correct these problems in a m$ OS, so that's what I'll stick with. Well, that and the fact that the overwhelming majority of the free world runs m$ os and Office. In the end they just make a better product, front and back end. Once m$ gets their hands in the mapping world (current project is linking geo spatial data to SQL databases) they'll join hands with Google and take over the world. Linus be darned...

amj2010
amj2010

we have updated the system since the beginning of our trial out vista and at NO TIME at all did it deactivate the system...so come on, let's show it.

LiamE
LiamE

Big deal. This has been the case on XP for the last 6 years. Its very rare though. And so what if it happens on a business trip? How many people take a laptop to do business somewhere where there aren't any phones?

curlergirl
curlergirl

Sorry, Paul, but IMO this ranks as just another Microsoft-bashing exercise. Lots of people may not be aware of it, but the same thing is true of Windows XP. Why are lots of people not aware of it? (1) Because they have short memories and don't remember the uproar about activation that happened when XP first came out; and (2) #1 is true because almost no one has ever experienced any problems with it. I ran across it once at a client's site, where the machine had been upgraded several times with new hardware (CD-ROM, memory, camera, etc.) and then had been re-imaged due to hard drive failure. We got an activation notice after loading the new image, presumably because it had hardware that was unrecognized. We were finally able to get it reactivated, but it took some doing. I anticipate the instances of this happening with Vista will be just as rare.

1bn0
1bn0

and thinks your too stupid to do anything about it anyway.

jackie40d
jackie40d

I made a copy and paste of that to send to some of the people I know whom want to add "VISTA" to their computers . . Think it will make a dent in their Mental Facilities ! . . :-)

jackie40d
jackie40d

There are some thing which will not work in Linux yet ! Like my Verizon Broad Band USB modem . . It see's it just does not have a driver for it yet ! And Several Programs I use Still do not have a simular thing in Linux As the idiots will not make a Linux version of their stuff ! Soon they will as a lot more people went to Linux with the advent of "Vista" and it's DOA problems and add WGA to it hahaha ! NOT ME, do not want it ! I have a lot more I could say about M$ but its to early to think yet this morning Still wiping sand out of my eyes !

jackie40d
jackie40d

If you find a WGA tray icon there your just a short time away from being zipped by a WGA shut down . . I have noticed it on a few of my Customers machines NOW ! . . As MS has been secretly been up dating your XP machines besides the Tuesday Patch / FIX things . . Its been so stated by MS in several of these blogs

dschuster
dschuster

I have an OEM copy of Vista on a PC which has has the hard drives changed from a RAID setup to a common single drive after Vista had been registered. I have never had this happen and I have updated several drivers not the least of which was the ATI video and the onboard NIC. Can anyone provide an example including which Vista version and after which driver update?

Big Ole Jack
Big Ole Jack

It's either their way or no way. Well, if they force people into doing what they don't want, there will be a mass rebellion and revolution, and that will end up in more people dumping Windows in favor of Linux and MAC OS.

Fregeus
Fregeus

...very vividly i might add. But was that serialization being done for the OS licensing or for another reason? I find it hard to believe that some form of serialization does not already exist inside the CPUs.

jackie40d
jackie40d

And get the NEW Linux Mandriva 2008 i586 DVD version and try it out . . Add Code Weavers Pro and re load the windows stuff like MS OFFICE PRO and you got all the MAJOR MS stuff you need to run windows stuff COST is less too !

Big Ole Jack
Big Ole Jack

In their never ending anal retentive quest to stop piracy, I can bet they're going to go that route and really make using Windows a complete nightmare, which will result in their own demise as a corporation.

roaming
roaming

It's called selfhelp and it is illegal. But as someone else pointed out, they are so rich that the fines mean nothing.

ess
ess

Talk about hitting the nail on the head....! With that said....there's nothing more to say except.....! Bottom line has been crossed. Legal Right __________________ No Legal Right So to understand the implications here... what if OnStar disabled your car because they thought it was stolen. scenario OnStar... sir we thought your car was stolen when we saw it depart your driveway at 3am. No my wife was going into labor and I was taking her to the hospital! So if MS can do it... why can't OnStar..!? Funny world we live in!

rodneyjensen
rodneyjensen

The owner of Vista and all other OSs are the manufactor of the OS. This is true of UNIX, Mac, Lenix and Microsoft. You are the owner of the hardware but not the software. When you purchase and download the software, you purchase the use of the software.

jackie40d
jackie40d

I found a program which de activates WGA ! and it works . . I am Actually thinking of putting XP Pro on my computer . . and removing the WGA problem . . Still working on getting VMware to load and run Windows inside Linux as some bleeping programs will not YET RUN in Linux under Code Weavers 6.02 . . or Wine

Big Ole Jack
Big Ole Jack

I can't imagine any business in their right mind knowingly installing a server that will deactivate or go into a reduced functionality mode when mission critical applications depend on it. MS is treading through dangerous waters here.

jackie40d
jackie40d

Their WGA will be the death of them yet . . Me I will stick with Win 2K pro and the new Linux Mandriva i586 2008 DVD version And add Code Weavers Pro so I can run some of the stuff WHICH is NOT made for Linux yet ! ! If they make a Mac version I am guessing soon it will have a Linux version someday !

Forum Surfer
Forum Surfer

I've ran Vista business since it's MSDN release. Since then I've upgraded (in this order one item at a time) the motherboad so I could have SLI support, the procesor and my graphics card. The only thing that has remained the same is my case, the screws and the raptor hdd that has Vista on it. At NO time did Vista ever "deactivate" other than when I installed improper/incompatible drivers or a firewall that wasn't Vista tested. That is on my system at home. I have several lab pc's at work running Vista which are constantly having new/untested hardware software installed and uninstalled. I'm not doubting he has had a problem, I'm just saying I haven't had a problem directly related to Vista and deactivation. You can't take one failed 3rd party app and point fingers at m$ or any os for that matter. If you tweak it/add something/remove something, be it softwar or hardware, sooner or later you WILL break something on ANY OS. Fact of life, so quit whining about how it's someone else's problem.

Big Ole Jack
Big Ole Jack

And I'm not talking about slapping a CD into a Dell PC. I'm talking about building an actual server using a server class piece of hardware, such as an HP Proliant server? I just love it when PC support techs, who don't know squat about building servers or even have to support AD or Exchange in a corporate environment think they're smarter or know more about the products than senior level engineers who have been doing this longer than you have been answering helpdesk calls or changing out a motherboard in a PC. Unless you've been in the trenches and had to deal with all of these issues introduced into a corporate environment where an hour of downtime means $10 million dollars lost, you'll quickly change your tune and attitude about MS and the problems they introduce.

brian.mills
brian.mills

You seem to be a rather confused individual. The majority of your post makes you sound like a Microsoft fanboy, but your use of M$ instead of the company's name makes you sound like a Mac or Linux fanboy. And I'm going to have to differ in opinion with you on one thing. Just because the majority of the free world (or majority of any group) uses one particular product doesn't mean it's any better than any other product. What it actually means is that product has better marketing than the competition. Take the Iomega Zip drive for example. When it first came out, it was competing with and eventually beat the Super Floppy, which I have heard was a far superior product. Iomega had better marketing than the competition, whose name I can't even recall now, if that'll tell you how good their marketing was. Okay, that was nice and off-topic. I still haven't used Vista yet, so I have no experience with or without the deactivation issue.

2rcoke00
2rcoke00

Right on, very short memories, I got so tired of activation errors everytime I did something I found a simple work around using microsoft's own key finder and "blue list numbers"

lastchip
lastchip

It just amazes me, why so many people continue to tolerate this crap. Microsoft have got it wrong with Vista and frankly, I believe they know it. It promised so much, but delivered bugger all.

TechExec2
TechExec2

. I hope all is going well for you. [b][i]"...Lots of people may not be aware of it, but the same thing is true of Windows XP..."[/i][/b] You've got this wrong. There is a new aggressive WGA in Vista that capriciously de-activates and sometimes immediately does into "reduced functionality mode". This is very different than Windows XP. XP would only deactivate if you made a significant hardware change and it would give you time to re-activate. Vista de-activation can be triggered by all sorts of things including the phoning home thing (or the inability to successfully do so), software install or uninstall, driver install/remove/upgrade/downgrade, BIOS update, Windows Update (I don't know why but it does, per reports), running a new program for the first time (per Microsoft), software touches the "wrong" thing in the system or certain system files become corrupted or changed (this is "Frankenbuild" detection), and finally... malware. Check it out. It's the truth. I can provide more info. It appears that Microsoft's new philosophy is to de-activate first and ask questions later (of you, on the phone to their call center in a foreign country). I don't know about you, but I think this is completely insane and I won't tolerate it.

dschuster
dschuster

Last night I installed 2 Gig in my Shuttle box (up from one Gig) and installed a new HD. Guess what?? My OEM Vista made me call MS to get a new code to activate. After many failures with RAID and various HD conversions, this is reinstall number 5 on the same machine (same drives, different configuration) and I'm ready to use it as a door stop and depend on my T41 Thinkpad with XP Pro for all my work.

bus66vw
bus66vw

I fall into this group of pre-installed OS.

jackie40d
jackie40d

Walk into some of the Circuit cities and ask about it There are computers which have sat there and died ! What God are you praying to ? There are enough people whom have had it come to a stop just for breathing wrong . . . .

dschuster
dschuster

That explains why my OEM version didn't trigger when I changed from RAID to conventional. Thanks for the post!!

w2ktechman
w2ktechman

it only happens on Non OEM versions! So, the people who aer paying the most directly to MS aregetting screwed the most...LOL But the problem goes away if you buy a new system that comes pre-installed with Vista... Sounds like MS wants everyone to only buy from HP, Dell, Gateway, etc., etc., etc...........................

TechExec2
TechExec2

. I don't know why some driver updates cause de-activation and other's don't. That's why I refer to it a "WGA capricious de-activation". The fact that it happens sometimes makes it unacceptable. How do you know when it will happen? It's a bomb with a hair trigger. Here's an example in response to your query: http://blogs.zdnet.com/Bott/?p=271

tthijs
tthijs

Hi, I am an IT journalist from Holland. Can I quote you on that? Kind regards, Tony Thijs

friedtoast
friedtoast

Thanks for the info. I've DL'd a copy. Will try it out. Appreciate it!

brian.mills
brian.mills

I wouldn't buy a car with On Star included in it for the reason that I don't want others having access to my car unless I know them personally and trust them. I can keep track of my keys and take care of myself. The ability to track my car if it's stolen isn't enough to justify the intrusiveness of the system. I also don't like having to prove again and again that I'm not stealing the software on my system. Microsoft seems to be the only software company these days that treats its customers like thieves. And I really like what it's doing for the Mac and Linux communities.

Tig2
Tig2

They can send a signal to your vehicle to unlock your doors. Which is part of why I don't own an On Star enabled vehicle. The first time I heard that the thought in my mind was "Gee, all anyone has to do is call On Star and they could conceivably gain access to my vehicle. Why does that sound like a bad thing to me?" To me, losing the Nanny mindset that seems to be so prevalent lately is Job One. I prefer to be responsible for my car keys, and I prefer to not have to daily prove that I am not a thief.

Big Ole Jack
Big Ole Jack

The problem is that MS is allowed to get away with this and keeps blatantly breaking the law and has so much money that paying fines to them isn't even a dent in their pockets. The feds have to step in again and really force MS to break up and change the way they do business. I'm not a big fan of Europe or their laws, but I side with them when they have the cojones to stand up to MS and their monopolostic practices.

zefficace
zefficace

Cause I finally got someone to understand what I was saying. The car is a good exemple, because there is software in them electronics, and you don't own that either. What happens if that software allows a car maker to stop your vehicule dead just because they feel its right?

zefficace
zefficace

Your still missing the point comparing linux to windows. Nothing in Linux can deprive you from using your property, period. Windows is a whole other story. I don't want to get into linux vs windows game, both have advantages and disadvantages from a technical standpoint. And yes, you don't own the software. But a linux system will never lose it's fonctionnalities over a software glitch or anything else. And Torvald (or any other linux world entity) won't and hasn't tried to do justice himself up to now. Just try to take justice into your own hands and see waht happens as private citizen!

JohnMcGrew
JohnMcGrew

Back in the mid-80s, we went through this when the major vendors of the time (Lotus, Ashton-Tate, but not Microsoft) decided to impliement various schemes that would prohibit their software from running should they suspect that they'd been illigally copied or installed. Crude by todays standards, these schemes frequently involved hiding data on hard drives or memorizing hardware configurations. Of course, a disk replacement or even a defrag would trash the scheme and render the software inoperable. We became adept at removing or bypassing the inhibiting code. (Remember, even large applications back then were only a few 100k, if that, instead of the gigabytes they are now; it was not too difficult to isolate and hack out the offending code) Finally, the IT support at large buyers (mainly corporations and the government) decided that they had had enough of the nonsense, since over half of their support problems now had to do with malfunctioning copy protection schemes. They announced that they'd boycott any software that had any of these schemes, and within a year they dissapeared. My question is: Will the corporate world's rejection of Vista have the same effect?

TechExec2
TechExec2

. I'm not whining, Microsoft fanboy. I'm just telling the truth. And unlike you, I've got a lot of documentation to back it up. This isn't about a problem that you might run into with "any OS". This is about Vista, the insane operating system that is [u]designed to self de-activate[/u]. That is bad enough right there to make Vista completely unacceptable. But even worse, it is very poorly designed and de-activates on legitimate customers all over the place. Here is a good place to start: http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-6230-0.html?forumID=102&threadID=231764&messageID=2315639

lammwa
lammwa

You partially answered your own statement: "nobody will notice..." Redundancy, modern infrastructure, correct processes, etc., etc. You are stuck in an archaic IT system. I too was once there but now work in a truly modern IT environment that delivers likes it is supposed to. The other guy that replied had a good point about amount of money spent, absolutely true. But if IT delivers, they will pay : ) Not trying to argue and definitely not dreaming, just stating the facts Jack.

w2ktechman
w2ktechman

I work in a large company, and we frequently experience problems that last over an hour, and up to a day. Nothing like not being able to get email because your exchange server went down, along with 2 or 3 others. After 2-3 hours without mail, often people just start to go home and will try again later remotely. And that is just exchange issues, how about 5 hours with a bad router connecting 2 sites? It happens, but that is more often due to lack of funding for IT in the first place. This company seems to be against IT, and targets them constantly (good thing I left IT), and since then, the problems just seem to get worse and worse. Like performing AD maintenance during the day on a Tuesday.. What kind of quack thought of that, but it got approved. Took down all authentication to the network for 16 hours because the killed the AD and had to try to recover it...lol

Big Ole Jack
Big Ole Jack

You can have the best trained staff and all the senior level engineers in the world, even with SNMP monitoring of every device on your network, but the truth of the matter is that stuff will break and many of times, you cannot predict it and it just crashes instantly. Also, if the IT staff is really knowledgeable, they won't allow such a crap OS like Vista to be introduced into the environment, but unfortunately, it's not always their decision and they are forced to do what they know is wrong by clueless executives and upper management. With that said, system crashes will be inevitable, but a truly excellent staff will swap out this bad box in under 10 minutes or with clustering, nobody will even notice anything is wrong.

lammwa
lammwa

In a corporate environment maintained by 1- a properly trained IT staff with 2- properly planned infrastructure you do not have hour downtimes due to some mythic single server crash. If you do have this problem refer to steps 1 & 2 !!!

jackie40d
jackie40d

Get your self a Laptop and load different versions of Linux into it then add Code Weavers Pro to it and begin loading the 3rd party items to it and run them . . to see if there is any problems ( I run Quicken inside of Linux Mandriva 2007 i586 DVD version ) and several MS programs just to show People it does it ( loaded MS XP OFFICE PRO into Linux and run it the ENTIRE CD of stuff )

curlergirl
curlergirl

I'm just peachy-keen thanks. My response may have been a bit of a knee-jerk reaction, but others in this thread have posted in support of what I said. I'm really not into either Microsoft-bashing or Linux/Mac/whatever-else-bashing. I'm a consultant who works with small firms, many of which use a number of 3rd party applications that have to work. These applications don't, and probably won't for any foreseeable future, run on any platform except Windows. If the Vista activation thing really poses that much of a problem to corporate environments, you betcha that Microsoft will pull back on it or modify it in such a way that it works smoothly for 99% of users. My guess is that in a lot of cases, the problems people have seen come from a lack of experience with Vista itself and with the activation process.

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