How to disable product activation..
Posted 04 July 2001 - 07:21 PM
A. The time limit runs out.
B. You do a major upgrade to your system (By major I mean Motherboard, CPU, RAM & Video card all at the same time) in which case you'll need to run Product Activation again.
If you wanted to know how to continuously use your OS without first registering/activating it via Microsoft then I'm afraid that would be considered 'hacking' the OS and shouldn't be discussed on these boards.
Posted 11 July 2001 - 05:25 AM
So it's either hope MS makes another build that you can get your hands on (which is probably why nobody really bothered to check when the activation gives you 2 weeks and there's a new build available after 1 week) or reinstall it.
Posted 18 July 2001 - 11:39 AM
[size:9]Tuesday, July 17, 2001 - 1:09 pm CT[/color]
[size:18]Windows Product Activation Compromised[/color]
[size:9]Sources: Tecchannel and The Register [/color]
The Windows Product Activation implemented in the current RC1 of WindowsXP contains serious bugs that will open the way for hackers to avoid the whole system, Tecchannel, a German-based online computing magazine, reports. Several interesting shortcomings were revealed during the course of Tecchannel’s experiments with several hardware components, product keys, and a critical central file. Together with peculiarities in generating the ID of the hardware, this will open the way for hackers to avoid activation completely.
WPA can be compromised via numerous hardware-related routes, all centered on a file named wpa.dbl, which WinXP keeps in the System32 directory. Summarizing Tecchannel’s detailed findings, UK-based The Register reports that this file stores information on the nature of the hardware at the time of activation, and when WindowsXP notices more than three items of hardware have changed, it deletes it. The user then needs to activate again.
Tecchannel first saved the file then started changing hardware. Two items were changed without incident, but replacing a third component -- the CPU -- triggered the deletion. Tecchannel then copied the saved file back and avoided having to reactivate. Next, Tecchannel tried a completely new installation using the same product key. This produces a new product ID, but nevertheless copying the wpa.dbl file back again works.
Additional investigation showed that users can use the same wpa.dbl file to activate multiple computers, provided the RAM size is the same. The question is whether Microsoft's programmers can close these gaps before RC2 is released.
Posted 27 July 2001 - 01:22 AM
We spoke with Microsoft about how it is addressing user concerns over XP's inflexibility toward hardware upgrades.
Microsoft has revealed that it plans to change its antipiracy measures in Windows XP to respond to the beta testers' concerns of that XP's product activation system wasn't tolerant enough of typical system upgrades. Windows product activation (WPA) is a method of tying the serial number to a specific system's hardware. Windows XP prompts the user to "activate" Windows in the first month of installation, and once the serial code is used for one configuration it cannot be used to activate Windows XP on a different hardware configuration. However, savvy users have been concerned that incremental hardware upgrades would be enough to cause WPA to lock Windows from use. Microsoft has indicated that the final version of Windows XP, set for release in late October, will modify the activation procedure to allow for a certain number of hardware changes within an unstated amount of time.
A German company recently revealed how WPA generates its hardware fingerprint from 10 hardware components, including the model identification codes for the processor and graphics card, as well as the hard drive's serial number and network card's MAC address.
GameSpot spoke with Allen Nieman, technical product manager for Windows XP, to get more information on how product activation will work.
GameSpot: Tell us a bit about the changes to Windows product activation. What now triggers the prompt for reactivation?
Allen Nieman: What triggers the prompt for reactivation hasn't changed. What has changed is that we have addressed feedback from power users participating in the beta that the need to reactivate by telephoning can be a hassle. Therefore we have made changes in the way those reactivation requests are handled to allow it to be done over the Internet based on the amount of time that has passed since the last time that product key was used to activate Windows XP. As we've always said, we are trying to strike a balance between our desire to reduce piracy and our desire to ensure a positive customer experience with Windows XP.
As far as what changes will prompt for a reactivation, we plan to provide the user community with more information on this in the next couple of days.
GS: You mention that the changes have to do with the amount of time since the key was last used, presumably for either the initial activation or one due to hardware changes. How long are we talking about?
AN: The amount of time is based on initial activation. If you make changes to your PC--changes that would normally prompt a need to reactiviate--120 days from the time you initially activate the product, it will automatically do it online for you.
GS: What's the process for reactivation if the upgrades do exceed the new limits?
AN: As before, the user still has the opportunity to contact Microsoft via telephone to obtain another confirmation ID.
GS: Does the activation system need access to the Internet after the initial activation to confirm hardware changes with Microsoft?
AN: No, there is no ongoing access to Microsoft or "phone home." The only time a user may have to reactivate is when a substantial hardware change occurs such that the PC appears to Windows to be a completely different PC. This is to protect against hard disk cloning piracy.
GS: Thanks, Allen.
By Sam Parker, GameSpot PC [UPDATED: 07/20/01]
Posted 27 July 2001 - 07:33 PM
I ran a little prog called wininfo, and it tells me that the expiration date is Jan 16 2002 @ 12:12am.
I was told it would be ok... maybe Im just looking for a bit more confirmation.
Posted 29 July 2001 - 10:25 AM
1. If they wanted to see whether it was the same computer or different, then forget taking a snapshot at time of activation, forget comparing to a snapshot taken at this time....and forget taking the rather dictatorial approach which ends up controlling how many upgrades a person is allowed to make within a given amount of time. I can only hope that 2 things result:
a. Customers get perturbed when inability to upgrade due to activation restrictions ticks them off because they demand better levels of performance with new next gen programs. The burden then is placed on Microsoft to provide miraculous levels of software optomization to make old hardware one can't currently upgrade (too many already) deliver next gen performance. People start becoming extremely voicterous about the amount of bloatware MS provides, and starts counting wasted CPU cycles to the extreme....and if MS doesn't give satisfaction....they get some seriously negative PR and a new unshackeable reputation as a result. This, how much additional memory, disk space, and every other computer resource this and that new feature takes is scrutinized....because new restrictions don't allow one to make the upgrades that would make these insignificant. If MS releases bloatware (all the former jokes about Wintel...and how one releases new faster hardware to run all next gen software, and the other releases software to make one have to upgrade, etc) and then puts any restrictions on allowed upgrades.....getting some negative feedback and reputation is well deserved.
b. Hardware companies feel the pressure as people can't, under liscence sell as much hardware. This results in a slump in PC sales among Microsoft's partners, who get together and decide to put pressure on Microsoft to cease activities which could have some negative consequences on hardware sales. Perhaps, if feasible, stop putting hardware IDs in their products, and making it impossible for an OS to ID them, so as to make any kind of hardware profile at all. Perhaps also tell Microsoft, they will only return to putting identifiers in their hardware, only after any system such as WPA has been removed....with the incidental negative effects it could have on hardware sales.
Anyway, if all that was really involved was seeing if it was the same machine or not...the following would work.
1. Each time the machine boots, take get the hardware profile info
2. Compare it to the info retreived at the time of the *last* boot, not time of activation.
3. At shutdown, save the config retrieved from hardware at time of boot, so that it can be used for the next comparison.
It is the number of upgrades BETWEEN reboots that is significant, not that from some time of activation, however far back.
Posted 01 August 2001 - 08:27 PM
the os is great and the cracks are as well - together they equal what the OS should be to start with
thats my 2cents
Posted 13 August 2001 - 08:26 AM
Absolutely right! MS shouldn't be limiting you to how many things you upgrade. That's the thing that not everybody may know about XP, since the whole world isn't full of geeks like us;)
XP is great, but the activation is it's achilles tendon if you will.
Granted, the average joe schmoe doesn't usually upgrade a zillion parts per day, however, I would like to know how long the period of time is before you run into the upgrade limit. I'd also like to know why the hell a cpu counts as 2.
My biggest complaint about XP is the activation: It's hitting the majority of users who are legitimate customers who have bought their OS. It's also saying that MS doesn't trust it's customers to do anything right and that we're all crooked.
I for one do like XP, and you can be damn sure I'll use cracks around it, on my store-bought copy of XP Pro.
Posted 13 August 2001 - 08:15 PM
"Microsoft Waters Down Activation"
"According to Nieman, the company has plans to offer a "time-based clean slate."
A grace period of 120 days between activations will open a window for power users to install Windows on a separate PC than the machine initially activated. This means power users can perform substantial hardware changes without worry. Nieman pointed out that customers are still bound by the End User License Agreement (EULA) and cannot install on more than one PC at a time.
Admittedly, this grace period does provide for a watered down version of WPA. Nieman told BetaNews, "What we are doing here is further fulfilling our strategy of erring on the side of the user - even to the extent that our effectiveness might be reduced. Microsoft firmly believes in striking that balance."
The Redmond giant has also decided to allow OEMS to ship pre-activated PCs directly to customers. The plan to offer pre-activation has been in the works over several months and requires BIOS information to be constructed in a specific manner. Nieman predicated that mainly large and medium sized OEMs will be able to participate given that constraint.
Because the dependency of pre-activated machines rests on BIOS information rather than a hardware hash, the prospect of defeating WPA through installing Windows on machines within the same brand name was raised. Nieman dismissed the idea, stating that the different BIOS information among target PCs would make it unfeasible.
The publishing of the technical details behind WPA follows a whitepaper by Fully Licensed GmbH detailing the process. Microsoft had always planned to clarify activation, but believed it would best to wait until final changes were complete. "
Posted 13 August 2001 - 10:17 PM
I ain't that desperate for getting around PA, the kamakazie nerds can do that.
Posted 30 May 2005 - 12:06 AM
On another note, if any one is getting as tired of Microsoft as I am there is an alternative OS. Xandros 3.0 is a free linux based OS and its GUI is comparable to that of Windows. The biggest draw back to this OS is hardware compatibility especially video cards. But if you check out their support page they have an HCL , as well as a link to computers that have Xandros pre-installed. Plus their is Linspire AKA Lindows, but they have the same HCL problems as well as the two versions I tested could not network to my windows network. These are options I thought are worth mentioning, and the Xandros is one I am seriously considering. Plus Xandros offers a way to install and run windows programs, so it might be the one way I can get away from the Big Brother Microsoft.
Check out www.xandros.com
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