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Windows 7: Win7 Re-Activation/Re-Validation with Hardware Changes?

01 Nov 2009   #31
bobtran

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Mark Phelps View Post
This thread is getting really confusing because folks are mixing different kinds of licenses and machines.

For example, with an OEM-preinstalled version (e.g., Dell), the activation is tied to the BIOS on the motherboard. So, of course you can swap out anything but the motherboard. That's to be expected.

With retail licenses, you can make several changes and STILL not have to reactivated. Don't know the exact number because reports have varied -- probably due to the degree of changes each time.

With store-bought OEM licenses, you're only supposed to get ONE activation, and if you change even the hard drive (and ONLY the hard drive), you will have to reactivate. At least, that's the theory; in my experience, the practice is somewhat different.

In my case, I had two store-bought OEM licenses with Vista (yeah, I know, not the same as Seven). In one case, I changed only the hard drive (single drive in a laptop), and had to phone MS to get it reactivated. So, saying that changing only a hard drive will NOT require reactivation is not necessarily true.

In the other case, I change the system hard drive, and did NOT have to reactivate. The online activation worked without a problem.

The differences? The forced-reactivation version was Business; the auto-reactivation version was Ultimate.

So, as others have said, maybe Ultimate gives you more flexibility in activations.

So, I'm saying in a roundabout way, that I don't believe that we predict with 100% accuracy whether or not every single change will or will not force reactivation.
Apparently OEM Home Premium also allows multiple changes as I have restored the drive multiple times on Vista and 7 rc and the auto reactivate worked fine. Have not had any reason to restore since Win7 Ultimate or Home Premium RTM installed.

In a weird twisted sort of way it does make sense that the business version would not allow multiple reactivation's. This forces business's to not repeatably upgrade their machines but to instead purchase new ones that come with new licenses whereas most home users will not change machines every 3 years or so and will definitely upgrade multiple times before purchasing a new machine.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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01 Nov 2009   #32
seekermeister

W7x64 Pro, SuSe 12.1/** W7 x64 Pro, XP MCE
 
 

The thing about this subject, like so many others regarding MS's principle and practices, both in OS differences and general practices, is that we too often are not made privy to what they are, until after having made our choices.

I looked at the listed differences between versions of W7 quite a number of times, and activation policy was not in any of them. Sometimes it seems that buying a MS product is like buying a grab bag, hoping for more, but getting less. MS's motto seems to be Caveat Emptor.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Dec 2009   #33
captnorm

Win7 Pro
 
 
Adding an IDE drive broke activation for me

I have just been told Win 7 Pro (student download) needs to be activated. It was originally successfully activated (29 or so days ago). What triggered this was putting a 500GB IDE drive in my mobile IDE rack (which I've been using for years w/XP Pro). I did that to clone (Acronis TI) of a data disk to a backup disk. I've been doing quite a few clones of data & Back Up My Disk with SATA drives, with no notices to re-activate. I've been reading on this forum that very seldom swapping hard drives triggers re-activation. I'm convinced IDE drives cause re-activation. I re-booted without this IDE drive, my old activation is still in effect.

If I need to re-activate every time I use an IDE drive, Win 7 will be history for me, I'll go back to trusted XP.
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06 Dec 2009   #34
Jonathan_King

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by captnorm View Post
I have just been told Win 7 Pro (student download) needs to be activated. It was originally successfully activated (29 or so days ago). What triggered this was putting a 500GB IDE drive in my mobile IDE rack (which I've been using for years w/XP Pro). I did that to clone (Acronis TI) of a data disk to a backup disk. I've been doing quite a few clones of data & Back Up My Disk with SATA drives, with no notices to re-activate. I've been reading on this forum that very seldom swapping hard drives triggers re-activation. I'm convinced IDE drives cause re-activation. I re-booted without this IDE drive, my old activation is still in effect.

If I need to re-activate every time I use an IDE drive, Win 7 will be history for me, I'll go back to trusted XP.
Where did you hear that? The student version is the same as any other version, just a cheaper price.
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06 Dec 2009   #35
captnorm

Win7 Pro
 
 

I agree, student version is the same as a retail box. Some posts have indicated a student download, so I indicated where I got it.

My point was adding an IDE drive broke activation.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Dec 2009   #36
bobkn

Windows 7 Pro X64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by captnorm View Post
I agree, student version is the same as a retail box. Some posts have indicated a student download, so I indicated where I got it.

My point was adding an IDE drive broke activation.
I believe that Win7 activation isn't different from XP or Vista.

Windows Product Activation (WPA)

It looks like even changing the hard drive that the OS is installed on need not trigger activation, if it's the only change in the system since the initial activation. Changing the NIC would score higher.

The link suggests that changing a non-OS HD would have no effect at all, but that obviously doesn't match your experience.

At a guess, adding in an IDE drive wouldn't generally require re-activation. However, the change count may have added to other changes, and put you over the threshold.

The obvious experiment would be to add an IDE drive to a system that was freshly activated. Unfortunately, it's not convenient for me.
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07 Dec 2009   #37
captnorm

Win7 Pro
 
 

Good point, this last change could have brought me over the edge.

I rebooted with 2 additional SATA drives connected (IDE in question not connected). Still activated.

Then I wanted to get back to my original problem, to see if that pesky IDE brought me over the edge. Even with it connected, still activated (after a reboot). I can't seem to repeat the issue of needing to re-activate. I'll report back if get more info.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Dec 2009   #38
Mark Phelps

Win7 Pro 32-bit, Win8 Pro 32-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by bobkn View Post
It looks like even changing the hard drive that the OS is installed on need not trigger activation ...
In my experience, changing the drive on which the OS was installed ALWAYS required reactivation. Other experiences may vary.

Quote:
The link suggests that changing a non-OS HD would have no effect at all, but that obviously doesn't match your experience.
I've changed out non-OS drives on activated machines with a variety of Vista and Seven licenses -- and never had to do a reactivation.

Quote:
The obvious experiment would be to add an IDE drive to a system that was freshly activated. Unfortunately, it's not convenient for me.
Did that only this weekend -- and it did not affect activation at all.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Dec 2009   #39
captnorm

Win7 Pro
 
 
Figured out why I need to re-activate

Here is the scenario:

I normally run with 4 hard drives, 1 IDE, 4@SATA. I often run Acronis True Image 2010. Today I needed to clone a SATA drive to an IDE. Rebooted with IDE connected (in mobile hard drive rack). Win7 activated, like it should be. Started my Acronis clone. Shut down control panel/system screen (says still activated). Brought it back up, Says You must activate today!!! I'm positive that's why I need to re-activate.

Norm

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by captnorm View Post
I have just been told Win 7 Pro (student download) needs to be activated. It was originally successfully activated (29 or so days ago). What triggered this was putting a 500GB IDE drive in my mobile IDE rack (which I've been using for years w/XP Pro). I did that to clone (Acronis TI) of a data disk to a backup disk. I've been doing quite a few clones of data & Back Up My Disk with SATA drives, with no notices to re-activate. I've been reading on this forum that very seldom swapping hard drives triggers re-activation. I'm convinced IDE drives cause re-activation. I re-booted without this IDE drive, my old activation is still in effect.

If I need to re-activate every time I use an IDE drive, Win 7 will be history for me, I'll go back to trusted XP.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Aug 2010   #40
BThule

64 Bit Home Premium
 
 

Im having some odd issues with reactivating windows 7 even when I have had no hardware or major software changes.

I just upgraded about 2 weeks ago from Vista and I was activated fine for about a week. Then I was prompted I needed reactivation in 3 days. I did the diagnostic to see what would cause this and it told me it was most likely a hardware change.

So I had to do the reactivation over the phone because the online option did not work. I did the automated phone activation and it allowed me to reactivate.

Then today, about 5 days after doing the reactivation I have been prompted to activate my copy of windows 7 again! With no hardware changes what-so-ever!

I am going to do the phone activation again and am quite sure it will work, but this is annoying and really will not be impressed if I have to sit down and talk to a computer for 10 minutes every 5 days.

Any ideas what the issue is here mates?
Thanks!
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 Win7 Re-Activation/Re-Validation with Hardware Changes?




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