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Re-activating Vista

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April 24, 2007 4:33:12 AM

I've come across a lovely inconvenience with Vista.

I updated my BIOS version for my motherboard today, the first since installing Vista. I got a nasty little advisory that I needed to activate my version in the next 3 days. All I did was update the BIOS. It seems absurd that I have to go thru this time consuming act EVERY TIME THERE'S A NEW BIOS! Insult to injury, it doesn't accept re-activating online. The kicker is it tries to sell you another license key! How many have had the misfortune of unnecessarily buying a new key??? :evil: 

I did the "phone" update. While the operator was more than helpful in getting me re-activated, it's still seems like one helluva scam MS has going on.

More about : activating vista

April 24, 2007 12:01:28 PM

I think your issue might be more than a Vista issue. It sounds more like a motherboard manufacturer issue. What did they have to say about it?
April 24, 2007 6:00:21 PM

I had the same problem when I moved Vista from one hard disk to another.

I bought an OEM copy of Home Premium, and installed it on a different HD than the one where I had XP Pro already installed. I built the computer a few months ago, buying a new SATA 2 HD for the operating system, and keeping the two, older IDE HD's from my old computer, for data.

As I had no utility to partition the SATA 2 drive, I installed Vista on the 'D" drive, wanting to see how it ran before I either switched permanently or dumped it in favor of keeping XP.

Vista runs just fine and the only problem was that I had to buy a new TV tuner to use with it, but the tuner also ran on XP, so it was OK.

I finally decided to switch it to the SATA 2 drive to see if I could detect an increase in speed, and used the utility in Vista to partition the SATA 2 drive in half. I had to edit the MBR to get rid of the dual-boot option, and deleted Vista from the 'D' drive and rerformatted it.

I then reinstalled Vista on the new partition of the SATA 2 drive. Everything went well, except that it said I had only 3 days to activate it instead of the 30 from the first install.

I tried to reactivate using the key from the Vista CD, but it gave a message saying that key was already in use and asked if I had another key or if I wanted to purchase a new one, and also showed nine sets of six digit numbers. It also gave the option of doing a phone activation from a toll-free number.

I called the number, (connecting to a call center in India), and a very polite and friendly tech asked me to read off the nine, six digit numbers on the screen. He then asked if I had that copy of Vista on more than one computer. I told him I only had one computer, and he immediately read off to me, another nine sets of six digit numbers that I typed into the computer. The OS then immediately reactivated.

I explained to him what I was doing, and he said that was fine, but he didn't ask for any explanation before giving me the numbers. He only asked it I had the OS installed on more than one computer.

I had read that OEM copies are linked to a specific hardware configuration, and certain changes in that, will trigger the need to reactivate, at least for OEM copies. Speculation was that the trigger to reactivate was a new motherboard. Apparently that also extends to a different HD from that which it was originally installed on.

I don't know if they intend to keep this policy...., or to tighten or loosen it in the future. I never had problems before, moving my OEM copy of XP Pro from an old to a new computer or when rebuilding the computer. I suspect that the reactivation disables the old key from getting updates and downgrades it to lesser performance after a certain period of use if you try to update it.
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April 24, 2007 11:20:23 PM

Quote:
I had the same problem when I moved Vista from one hard disk to another.

I bought an OEM copy of Home Premium, and installed it on a different HD than the one where I had XP Pro already installed. I built the computer a few months ago, buying a new SATA 2 HD for the operating system, and keeping the two, older IDE HD's from my old computer, for data.

As I had no utility to partition the SATA 2 drive, I installed Vista on the 'D" drive, wanting to see how it ran before I either switched permanently or dumped it in favor of keeping XP.

Vista runs just fine and the only problem was that I had to buy a new TV tuner to use with it, but the tuner also ran on XP, so it was OK.

I finally decided to switch it to the SATA 2 drive to see if I could detect an increase in speed, and used the utility in Vista to partition the SATA 2 drive in half. I had to edit the MBR to get rid of the dual-boot option, and deleted Vista from the 'D' drive and rerformatted it.

I then reinstalled Vista on the new partition of the SATA 2 drive. Everything went well, except that it said I had only 3 days to activate it instead of the 30 from the first install.

I tried to reactivate using the key from the Vista CD, but it gave a message saying that key was already in use and asked if I had another key or if I wanted to purchase a new one, and also showed nine sets of six digit numbers. It also gave the option of doing a phone activation from a toll-free number.

I called the number, (connecting to a call center in India), and a very polite and friendly tech asked me to read off the nine, six digit numbers on the screen. He then asked if I had that copy of Vista on more than one computer. I told him I only had one computer, and he immediately read off to me, another nine sets of six digit numbers that I typed into the computer. The OS then immediately reactivated.

I explained to him what I was doing, and he said that was fine, but he didn't ask for any explanation before giving me the numbers. He only asked it I had the OS installed on more than one computer.

I had read that OEM copies are linked to a specific hardware configuration, and certain changes in that, will trigger the need to reactivate, at least for OEM copies. Speculation was that the trigger to reactivate was a new motherboard. Apparently that also extends to a different HD from that which it was originally installed on.

I don't know if they intend to keep this policy...., or to tighten or loosen it in the future. I never had problems before, moving my OEM copy of XP Pro from an old to a new computer or when rebuilding the computer. I suspect that the reactivation disables the old key from getting updates and downgrades it to lesser performance after a certain period of use if you try to update it.


Changing mobos, I can see the issue, but to just do a BIOS update and have to re-activate is ridiculous. You may not have had an issue if you "copied" the first OS partition to a different drive. I have partition commander on a floppy and it works fine. The only thing I can't do is transfer stuff on a RAID array.
April 25, 2007 12:47:56 AM

I ran into this a couple of weeks ago. Took a couple of hours to get reactivated.
I first got Customer Service. Took a while to explain to him that I didn't replace the Mobo, I just updated the BIOS!!! He was then going to give me a new key, but the server was down - call back in 20 minutes.

I wait and call back. I get a girl whos accent is even worse than the first guy. No matter how hard I tried to explain, she though that this was a Technical Support issue - please hold [insert light muzak]

I finally get through to Technical Support - YES!!!! English is his native tongue! I explain my problem, and he informs me that this is XP service - please hold while I connect you with Vista service [more light muzak]

I get Vista Technical Support and explain my problem. He says that I just need a new key. They can't issue one from Technical Support - please hold while I connect you back to Customer Service [f**k'n muzak]

Finally, Customer Service picks up - a guy with a very thick accent.- Keep in mind that at every transfer, I have to reprovide my name, operating system, case ID #, email and description of the problem. I redescribe the problem, and he tells me that he's going to connect me to Technical Support. I quickly jump in and tell him that I just came from there, and they said I just need a new key. After explaining my dilemma, he gives me a new key. If anyone hasn't ever tried to get a 25-character string from someone who natively speaks another tongue, it goes like this:

That's * as in *oy
-is that "B' as in"Boy" or "T" as in "Toy"? [repeat 25 times]

Anyways, I finally get the key after it's read to me - and I read it back - several times. I'm glad I had the foresight to keep him on the line while I tried it - because it didn't work. This caused several more read-throughs, to no avail. Finally, let me transfer you to Technical Support. [More G*d D*mn F**kin' Muzak!!!]

I get back to Technical Support, and get a guy named Lawrence. I go through the whole name, OS, Case ID#, etc. - luckily, as my email address contains a word which was apparently being misheard, so he did get that fixed. I go through my whole spiel, and Lawrence said that I need to be transferred to the Activation Department - but that he would also stay on the line in case there were more problems - If you're reading this - thanks Lawrence, I really do appreciate that!! - please hold while I contact the Activation Department. [FOR THE LOVE OF G*D AND ALL THINGS HOLY - NOT MORE MUZAK!!!]

I'm holding, holding, holding....Finally, Lawrence gets on the phone and says that noone is answering at the Activation Department. As the tears form in the corners of my eyes, he says that he will try another number. Please hold...[Muzak is no longer audible over the demons screaming in my brain]

He gets back on the line with an Activation person. They decide to do a live activation string like they do if you activate via the telephone. It worked!!! [Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy!!!]

I then asked if I would now have to go through this again if I upgraded anything (vid card, etc.). He said no, but I'm still too afraid to try it.

In short, the MS people were all very friendly and helpful - but I think I just had a problem Customer Service wasn't trained for. Being that you didn't have any issues reactivating - it sounds like it may be coming common. When I asked the Technical Support people if this would happen everytime I upgraded the BIOS - they didn't say no. So, my BIOS is staying at this version unless there is a life-or-death feature that's upgraded.
April 25, 2007 12:57:03 AM

Quote:
I ran into this a couple of weeks ago. Took a couple of hours to get reactivated.
I first got Customer Service. Took a while to explain to him that I didn't replace the Mobo, I just updated the BIOS!!! He was then going to give me a new key, but the server was down - call back in 20 minutes.

I wait and call back. I get a girl whos accent is even worse than the first guy. No matter how hard I tried to explain, she though that this was a Technical Support issue - please hold [insert light muzak]

I finally get through to Technical Support - YES!!!! English is his native tongue! I explain my problem, and he informs me that this is XP service - please hold while I connect you with Vista service [more light muzak]

I get Vista Technical Support and explain my problem. He says that I just need a new key. They can't issue one from Technical Support - please hold while I connect you back to Customer Service [f**k'n muzak]

Finally, Customer Service picks up - a guy with a very thick accent.- Keep in mind that at every transfer, I have to reprovide my name, operating system, case ID #, email and description of the problem. I redescribe the problem, and he tells me that he's going to connect me to Technical Support. I quickly jump in and tell him that I just came from there, and they said I just need a new key. After explaining my dilemma, he gives me a new key. If anyone hasn't ever tried to get a 25-character string from someone who natively speaks another tongue, it goes like this:

That's * as in *oy
-is that "B' as in"Boy" or "T" as in "Toy"? [repeat 25 times]

Anyways, I finally get the key after it's read to me - and I read it back - several times. I'm glad I had the foresight to keep him on the line while I tried it - because it didn't work. This caused several more read-throughs, to no avail. Finally, let me transfer you to Technical Support. [More G*d D*mn F**kin' Muzak!!!]

I get back to Technical Support, and get a guy named Lawrence. I go through the whole name, OS, Case ID#, etc. - luckily, as my email address contains a word which was apparently being misheard, so he did get that fixed. I go through my whole spiel, and Lawrence said that I need to be transferred to the Activation Department - but that he would also stay on the line in case there were more problems - If you're reading this - thanks Lawrence, I really do appreciate that!! - please hold while I contact the Activation Department. [FOR THE LOVE OF G*D AND ALL THINGS HOLY - NOT MORE MUZAK!!!]

I'm holding, holding, holding....Finally, Lawrence gets on the phone and says that noone is answering at the Activation Department. As the tears form in the corners of my eyes, he says that he will try another number. Please hold...[Muzak is no longer audible over the demons screaming in my brain]

He gets back on the line with an Activation person. They decide to do a live activation string like they do if you activate via the telephone. It worked!!! [Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy!!!]

I then asked if I would now have to go through this again if I upgraded anything (vid card, etc.). He said no, but I'm still too afraid to try it.

In short, the MS people were all very friendly and helpful - but I think I just had a problem Customer Service wasn't trained for. Being that you didn't have any issues reactivating - it sounds like it may be coming common. When I asked the Technical Support people if this would happen everytime I upgraded the BIOS - they didn't say no. So, my BIOS is staying at this version unless there is a life-or-death feature that's upgraded.


Too many steps, too much info. There's no need to give your info...only product key...it appears on the screen. They may ask you where you pruchased it, no biggie. The biggest thing to remember is "this is the only computer that this is on".
April 25, 2007 1:07:32 AM

You would think. However, in my case the Product Key wasn't enough for them. They wanted everything, including the Part Number - of course not the legible one printed on the front of the DVD - they want the one printed on the inside hub on the shiny side. Silver letters on a silver background is fun to try to read under flourescent lighting. The irritating part is giving them the same info over & over - why isn't all filed under the Case ID#? :?
April 25, 2007 5:44:29 AM

Quote:
The biggest thing to remember is "this is the only computer that this is on".


I'll second that! :D 
April 29, 2007 8:16:24 AM

Thanks guys you convinced me to stick with XP :mrgreen:
Holy cow i upgrade parts in my pc at least 1 every 4-6 months and i sometimes have to do a re-install oftern for 1 reason or another, but after reading all this i dont want vista even if you payed me.
Your lucky he wasnt irish, sh.it those guys are hard to understand :) 
April 29, 2007 8:32:48 AM

Quote:
Thanks guys you convinced me to stick with XP :mrgreen:
Holy cow i upgrade parts in my pc at least 1 every 4-6 months and i sometimes have to do a re-install oftern for 1 reason or another, but after reading all this i dont want vista even if you payed me.
Your lucky he wasnt irish, sh.it those guys are hard to understand :) 


So the fact that Microsoft has quickly and painlessly reactivated each persons copy of Vista after they have had issues has convinced you to stay with XP. Wow! Your powers of reasoning and judgement are second to none :roll: Microsoft FIXED the problem these people had. Is that not quite obvious?
April 29, 2007 8:35:43 AM

Thank you :p  and last question NO :) 
April 30, 2007 11:06:24 PM

I don't know if I'd forgo Vista just because of this reactivation issue. I think I had problems because it was a new problem for Customer Support. It sounds like they now recognize the problem, and are reactivating efficiently.

I've had to call MS many times to reactivate XP over the phone, and they've always been friendly, competent and quick.
May 1, 2007 7:00:51 AM

Quote:
I don't know if I'd forgo Vista just because of this reactivation issue. I think I had problems because it was a new problem for Customer Support. It sounds like they now recognize the problem, and are reactivating efficiently.

I've had to call MS many times to reactivate XP over the phone, and they've always been friendly, competent and quick.


Well that's sealed it! I'm not buying Vista. No one wants friendly, competent and quick customer service now do they! :lol: 
May 1, 2007 10:21:37 AM

:lol: 
I prefer slow and abusive - makes it feel more like I'm dealing with my family. :p 
May 1, 2007 12:06:24 PM

Quote:
Thanks guys you convinced me to stick with XP :mrgreen:
Holy cow i upgrade parts in my pc at least 1 every 4-6 months and i sometimes have to do a re-install oftern for 1 reason or another, but after reading all this i dont want vista even if you payed me.
Your lucky he wasnt irish, sh.it those guys are hard to understand :) 

So the fact that Microsoft has quickly and painlessly reactivated each persons copy of Vista after they have had issues has convinced you to stay with XP. Wow! Your powers of reasoning and judgement are second to none :roll: Microsoft FIXED the problem these people had. Is that not quite obvious?

306maxi
what i should of said was" this was the straw that broke the camels back"
My xp works fine (most times) so why do i need vista ? i dont NEED it
After hearing all sorts of things about it, friends different forums etc and what some people said here, why do i need more headaches.
I just want to play my games and do some stock trading, and i know there are game problems with vista so ill just wait for a while.

as far as "your powers of reasoning and judgement are second to none"
maybe so, thanks you for your imput.
PS did you see how exit2dos answered my reply try using a bit more Diplomacy instead of insults thanks :cry: 

exit2dos: i was also thinking calling from here may be a problem since im not from the us, i didnt know if there was a toll free no. and i get upset at repeating myself especially going from tech to customer support all the time or after upgrading my pc oftern.
May 1, 2007 6:29:54 PM

I would imagine that the activation number is toll-free in every country. I couldn't see MS making you pay to activate their product - I don't think large businesses would tolerate that. I tried to check, but when I access the Israeli support on the MS website, the language changes too.

Vista is a good, stable OS - I think a lot of the problems you hear/read about are people who are blowing things out of proportion - or are just afraid of change. Most of the problems I have with it are due to it being 64-bit - but I still have less problems than when I used XP-64.

However, I do agree that if your XP system runs fine - there really isn't a need for you to upgrade. Vista does offer some nice features - its almost worth upgrading just for its file-indexing and search speed, but if your use is just primarily stock trading and games - then IMO, you are correct in waiting to upgrade.
May 2, 2007 2:33:24 AM

Quote:
I would imagine that the activation number is toll-free in every country. I couldn't see MS making you pay to activate their product - I don't think large businesses would tolerate that. I tried to check, but when I access the Israeli support on the MS website, the language changes too.

Vista is a good, stable OS - I think a lot of the problems you hear/read about are people who are blowing things out of proportion - or are just afraid of change. Most of the problems I have with it are due to it being 64-bit - but I still have less problems than when I used XP-64.

However, I do agree that if your XP system runs fine - there really isn't a need for you to upgrade. Vista does offer some nice features - its almost worth upgrading just for its file-indexing and search speed, but if your use is just primarily stock trading and games - then IMO, you are correct in waiting to upgrade.


I agree. There is no reason to upgrade. I would never buy an OS for an old system anyway.
May 3, 2007 5:15:37 AM

Quote:
I don't know if I'd forgo Vista just because of this reactivation issue. I think I had problems because it was a new problem for Customer Support. It sounds like they now recognize the problem, and are reactivating efficiently.

I've had to call MS many times to reactivate XP over the phone, and they've always been friendly, competent and quick.


Well that's sealed it! I'm not buying Vista. No one wants friendly, competent and quick customer service now do they! :lol: 

You miss the point... Why should I have to go thru dealing with M$ at all just for updating my mobo's BIOS version? It's pretty assinine that a BIOS update would trigger a reactivation to start with. But it's adding insult to injury in not letting it just reactivate online, when there has been NO hardware change. Who's to say whether or not 3 or 4 BIOS upgrades down the line, that M$ won't up and refuse an activation?

If ya luv it so much, why dontcha MARRY it? :roll: ...lol
May 3, 2007 7:41:45 AM

Quote:
I don't know if I'd forgo Vista just because of this reactivation issue. I think I had problems because it was a new problem for Customer Support. It sounds like they now recognize the problem, and are reactivating efficiently.

I've had to call MS many times to reactivate XP over the phone, and they've always been friendly, competent and quick.


Well that's sealed it! I'm not buying Vista. No one wants friendly, competent and quick customer service now do they! :lol: 

You miss the point... Why should I have to go thru dealing with M$ at all just for updating my mobo's BIOS version? It's pretty assinine that a BIOS update would trigger a reactivation to start with. But it's adding insult to injury in not letting it just reactivate online, when there has been NO hardware change. Who's to say whether or not 3 or 4 BIOS upgrades down the line, that M$ won't up and refuse an activation?

If ya luv it so much, why dontcha MARRY it? :roll: ...lol

Well the thing is a lot of people will say that unless you're trying to overclock to the max or you have issues there is no reason to update your BIOS just because you can. Updating your BIOS is a great way to introduce problems into your system. Many a mobo has died when an unnecessary BIOS update has gone wrong. Anyway who's to say Microsoft WILL refuse activation at some point in the future? They've never done it in the past for this sort of issue.
May 3, 2007 8:21:32 AM

Quote:
Why should I have to go thru dealing with M$ at all just for updating my mobo's BIOS version? It's pretty assinine that a BIOS update would trigger a reactivation to start with.

we both couldn't agree more, the root cause of the problem is the mobo bios writer. I'm sure MS hasn't changed its policies wrt reactivation (if anything, they have relaxed them!) - put your anger where it belongs and let's castrate the right company. who wrote the bios?
May 7, 2007 1:09:33 PM

Good pirate versions dont have the activate issue! So phone calls to India no muzak. No Bull but probaly no updates and you get some Jail time if you get caught!
May 8, 2007 12:10:35 AM

Quote:
Well the thing is a lot of people will say that unless you're trying to overclock to the max or you have issues there is no reason to update your BIOS just because you can.


Well let's see.......my C2D E6600 is only clocked to 4.05 ghz...... :roll:

So do I skip any BIOS upgrade that comes down the pike....like the ability to use a 1333 fsb cpu :?: :lol: 
May 10, 2007 5:59:49 AM

Quote:
Well the thing is a lot of people will say that unless you're trying to overclock to the max or you have issues there is no reason to update your BIOS just because you can.


Well let's see.......my C2D E6600 is only clocked to 4.05 ghz...... :roll:

So do I skip any BIOS upgrade that comes down the pike....like the ability to use a 1333 fsb cpu :?: :lol: 

You'll more than likely need a new motherboard for that.
!