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Windows 7: Activation required after adding HDD -but then not.

11 Aug 2016   #1

7 Home Premium 64bit SP1
Activation required after adding HDD -but then not.

This is more of a "Huh how did that happen, nevermind it works now FYI" post.

Due to quickly needing more HDD space I added a HDD back to the system which was previously replaced by an SSD.

As the only free SATA port was blocked by the GFX card, I used the SATA cable from the DVD drive.

Next boot it said "3 days to activate...". Ok, no problem... just phone. Licence been on the machine many years and only reactivated once."

The activation message remained after each reboot... OK let's take out the GFX card use the other SATA port too and plug DVD back in before activation, as I'll be needing the space for at least a month or two.

DVD goes back into previously used SATA port, old HDD into port blocked by GFX. Next boot it says Windows is activated - no need for the call.

I don't know if some sort of online reactivation occurred automatically or if Microsoft was just happy to see the DVD drive back on the previous SATA port.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Aug 2016   #2

W7 home premium 32bit/W7HP 64bit/w10 tp insider ring

Its because you keep swapping Drives.
Part of the activation process is the HardwareID, if you swap drives in/out that ID changes, ergo the non-genuine, put the old one back in MS says ah i know that one im happy.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Aug 2016   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

I am not surprised. :)

When you activate Windows for the first time, as the BIOS enumerates the devices , Windows assigns a certain weightage for each device and creates a machine ID that goes into the Microsoft Server.

Whenever you make changes to the Hardware configurations, Windows when it boots sees a change in machine ID when there are substantial changes and you get Windows not activated message.( As long as there is no hardware changes beyond the permissible limit, Windows remains activated) When you restore the original hardware configuration Windows sees the original machine ID and it activates automatically without referring to the MS activation Servers.

Windows activation is a very complex and confusing subject. If you want to get confused more or do more research on how it happened to you, you may see a lively discussion between me and NoelDP here "Activation after hardware changes" Activation after hardware changes. where the OP got into an activation problem by introducing a new NIC.
My System SpecsSystem Spec


 Activation required after adding HDD -but then not.

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