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Activation question again!



I built a new PC yesterday.

Before I add my old TV, graphics and ADSL card, with my old hardrive, I have a question to ask.

I currently have 4 M$ products activated and 1 symantec product activated.

I am worried about not being able to boot (heard these stories) to reactivate my legal software.

Symantec problem I will phone them, that seems the least of my worries.

What is the work around this if infact the boot issue is a fact?

Are there any other problems I could encounter also?

Son Goku

No lover of dogma
Nah, it will boot after a new install, that is not a problem. (If the motherboard is changed and it's a substantially changed system, I would recommend a new install anyhow...) What WPA will do is expire in 30 days unless you activate. There was a write up on this sometime back. I'll see if I can find it.

If you have built a new system (and are not continuing to run your old one), it is perfectly legal to transfer your copy of Windows and stuff. But instead of activing it online, you'll need to call the phone number, give them the product code or whatever they call it (don't remember off the top of my head), and type in the activation code they give you.

BTW, I would add all your hardware before activating... You definitely need the hard drive (unless it's a backup), though I think that's one category of device it looks for a change...

Edit: Here's some info


The WPA system checks ten categories of hardware:

1. Display Adapter
2. SCSI Adapter
3. IDE Adapter (effectively the motherboard)
4. Network Adapter (NIC) and its MAC Address
5. RAM Amount Range (i.e., 0-64mb, 64-128mb, etc.)
6. Processor Type
7. Processor Serial Number
8. Hard Drive Device
9. Hard Drive Volume Serial Number (VSN)

It then calculates and records a number based on the first device of each type that was found during setup, and stores this number on your hard drive. Initially, this is sent to Microsoft in an automatic dial-up, together with the Product ID number derived from the 25-character unique Product Key used in setting up Windows.

If Service Pack 1 has been installed, the entire Product Key is also transmitted: This can then be checked against a list of known pirated keys

The hardware is checked each time Windows boots, to ensure that it is still on the same machine. Also, if you subsequently perform a complete format and reinstall of Windows, Microsoft’s activation center will have to be contacted again because the information held on the machine itself (the number previously written to your hard drive) will have been wiped out by reformatting the hard drive. If your hardware is substantially the same, this will be done by an automated call without your needing to talk to anyone.

What does ‘substantially the same’ mean? WPA asks for ‘votes’ from each of these ten categories: ‘Is the same device still around, or has there never been one?’ Seven Yes votes means all is well — and a NIC, present originally and not changed, counts for three yes votes! Minor cards, like sound cards, don’t come into the mix at all. If you keep the motherboard, with the same amount of RAM and processor, and an always present cheap NIC (available for $10 or less), you can change everything else as much as you like.

If you change the device in any category, you have lost that Yes vote — but will not lose it any more thereafter if you make changes in that category again. So, for example, you can install a new video display card every month for as long as you like.
More info is included. Note something like a CPU for instance (both processor serial number and processor type) could be counted in 2 categories.

For this reason, I would recommend that you add all devices counted in these given categories before calling in to activate... This way you get the maximum number of upgrades/changes allowed before having to activate again.


Thanks for your help, a chick in the USA at M$ said that it will boot but remove all the patches, updates, spacks etc and I will have to start all other again reinstalling them, no biggie, just a pain in the ass.


Well very odd even though new motherboard, new processor, ops yet to ask me to reactivate it:)

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