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Reactivation requested/required but no changes

By jspcrepair
Mar 31, 2012
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  1. I am a computer repair tech (J's PC Repair) and I am stumped by my situation and would like some input.

    I have owned this same computer for several years and NO "Significant Hardware Changes" have been made within the last year.

    System Info:
    Windows XP Pro SP3 (fully licensed and updated)
    Intel Pentium 4, 2.4GHz CPU
    1.5GB RAM
    250GB IDE/PATA HDD
    DVD-RW +DL Optical
    USB External (for storage and backup)
    Speakers, Webcam, Mic, etc.

    Nothing unusual there...

    I made a backup image of the OS after I reinstalled it a few months ago and recently, I had a system crash and used the exact backup image to reinstall -- On the same machine, same hardware, same BIOS, same OS and license.

    I was not required to activate after the reinstall because it was an exact OS Image already activated prior to the imaging.

    I am aware of all the "Flags" used to determine and initialize the reactivation alert but -- I have not made any changes to anything and I have always disabled my NIC to turn off all internet traffic when not using the pc (security precaution because my firewall does not allow traffic blocking) and this is the first time I have ever seen a notice.
    I have not even updated any hardware firmware with anything significant (I am still using all the same drivers and firmware revisions) -- besides, any hardware update is moot because the hardware itself still has the same signature and VIN ID in the Device Manager and hardware profile... thus an update of hardware firmware should not trigger this.

    Just yesterday, I got a notice popup that said I have 3 days to reactivate due to "Significant hardware changes".

    Although I was able to reactivate online without issue, that reactivation counts as one more I won't have if I need to activate again later (because all MS OS's only permit so many activations in a certain period of time before you have to call MS every time for activation).

    Can someone shed some light on this because I am stumped as to why such a thing would happen.
  2. raybay

    raybay TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    Normal. Windows detects the changes of even a reboot such as this. When you do a reinstall of an "exact backup, there are actually a great number of differences... though it works exactly the same. Microsoft also installs "tricks" to detect such activity as what you describe.
    Otherwise, lots of technical experienced techs would make "exact" copies.
    But since it is essentially the same install, you will have no trouble with the activation... though someone may want to discuss the situation briefly.


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