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Author Topic: Ghost in the machine? XP wants to re-activate.  (Read 1750 times)

tranglos

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Ghost in the machine? XP wants to re-activate.
« on: June 11, 2009, 05:08:10 AM »
I realize when and why XP may want to reactivate itself after hardware changes or additions. In my case though, the only change was shutting down the computer one night and starting it up the next morning. (I haven't installed or removed any hardware at all since I built the system over a year ago.)

Something slightly weird happened there, as the system booted up but the graphics card aparently was not feeding signal to the monitors. Hard reset wasn't working, unly unplugging and plugging the power cable back in did the trick. But then, on startup, Windows said it detected a significant change in hardware configuration and needs to be reactivated within three days. My first instinct was maybe something died inside (oh no!), but then again, according to MS, removing or adding a single device should not trigger the reactivation prompt. And thankfully eveything seems to be working fine, I didn't lose a disk or anything like that.

Online reactivation worked and things are seemingly back to normal. I'm still puzzled though, why would Windows do that for no reason? Is it a known ocurrence? Has anyone seen it happen in a similar way?
« Last Edit: June 11, 2009, 05:21:59 AM by tranglos »

Carol Haynes

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Re: Ghost in the machine? XP wants to re-activate.
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2009, 08:50:13 AM »
I have had that happen a number of times.

The most frustrating time was when I disable one of my unused network adapters in device manager - the next time I enabled it I got the reactivate message.

I have also had the same problem after removing security software (can't remember which one off hand)!

Basically MS activation sucks - and they don't know their arse from their elbows when it comes to any sort of Genuine Advantage!

Innuendo

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Re: Ghost in the machine? XP wants to re-activate.
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2009, 10:05:26 AM »
Here's my weird activation story...

I used to have a job where one of my job duties was to maintain all the company PCs on the premises. One day we have a power outage and when the power comes back up one of the Windows XP Pro machines was screaming about needing to be re-activated although it was activated before the outage.

I figure I'll deal with the re-activation later and do the mandatory scandisk on all the drives that we always do after power loss. This company was located out in the middle of BFE so power outages were frequent and although we have everything on UPSes we always try to verify data integrity after any unexpected event. Data loss is a bad thing.

Anyway, I tell Windows to scandisk all the drives, it reboots to do so, and I'm sitting there watching the process and according to the report there were no errors that needed fixed. After it boots back up, you guessed it, it was showing itself as activated again. This PC had no internet connection so I know it didn't re-activate itself, either.

Nowadays, I don't maintain anything but my own PCs and I keep all my licensed OS discs safely stored away and on my PCs I run the equivalent versions of those OSes that have had all the activation and WGA nonsense neutered. I have the warm feeling of not being a software pirate without having to deal with all the nonsense of being a legitimate customer.

I hear that the activation routines in Vista and Windows 7 are more forgiving, but MS had their chance. I'm not going to deal with activation and WGA if there's any way to do so.


Innuendo

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Re: Ghost in the machine? XP wants to re-activate.
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2009, 10:07:29 AM »
Quote from: Carol Haynes
I have also had the same problem after removing security software (can't remember which one off hand)!

Some security software do their thing by installing virtual network adapters to route all traffic through for monitoring which, when you uninstall it, has the same effect as when you enable or disable those unused network adapters you were talking about.