TechSpot

XP Activation Timer?

By lakehaze
Aug 31, 2009
  1. I'm experimenting with DriveImage XML for 'Final Solution' spyware/virus protection. It seems that no matter how many firewalls or scanners I have, there is always some weirdness that nothing can detect. So I'm streamlining the reinstall process.

    I have noticed however, that restoring a system image does not seem to reset the activation timer. How did they do that?

    Looks like I have 24 days to find an original OEM XP Home CD that my iffy drive will read and work out my good image restore procedures. But still curious how the activation system remains active and accurate during a system image restore, but not a reinstall.

    Enlighten me?
     
  2. strategic

    strategic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,274

    If you're restoring from an image, you're basically putting everything back as it was.
    If you're reinstalling, you're basically 'starting over' so you have to do updates and everything from the beginning.:)
    I hope this answers your question...
     
  3. lakehaze

    lakehaze TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    Right, that is my understanding.

    So, if restoring form an image sets everything back the way it was, my question is: why doesn't it set the activation timer back the way it was? How do they get around that? Where is the record stored?
     
  4. gguerra

    gguerra TS Enthusiast Posts: 559

    An image is a "snapshot" and when restored will set everything exactly as it was when the "snapshot" was taken including any settings in the registry which is where the "record" you speak of is stored.
     
  5. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,336   +279

    And this record may simply be an install date/time that it can compare with the system bios time.
     
  6. gguerra

    gguerra TS Enthusiast Posts: 559

    I am sure that the the activation information that is saved includes some kind of "hardware signature" or something that makes it unique to your PC. I know that MS licenses XP for one system and one system only. Legally if you want to use your XP on another computer you must first uninstall it from one PC and then install to another. When you make changes to your system (such as change out a motherboard) you will be forced to re-activate which in most cases is pretty easy. Sometimes you have to call MS and do it over the phone and have to explain it to the person that you upgraded or whatever. Exactly what is included in this "signature" is mystery to me. Someone here might know although it's not really that important.
     
  7. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,348   +50

    The activation timer is using the date/time installed (in the registry) and comparing it to the real-time clock on the motherboard. Restoring an imaged OS does not reset the PC date and time, or you would be hopping mad about it.....
     
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