BIOS flash leads to XP reactivation?

  skeletal 17:52 13 May 2007

In my never ending saga of trying to get Vista to work, I flashed the motherboard BIOS yesterday. Immediately afterwards I only played with Vista.
Today I needed to do some proper work so I fired up my XP partition and, horror of horrors, I got all manner of messages telling me I needed to reactivate Windows.
I won’t bore you with all that saga, but after ages talking to a Microsoft person all is now well again.
My question is why the reactivation? I know if you change a lot of components together, this annoyance crops up, but I am surprised such a minor “upgrade” as a BIOS flash causes it.
My slight fear is that something else caused the re-activate flag, like running XP and Vista on separate partitions (so running Vista again will cause the problem).


  gudgulf 18:09 13 May 2007

The reason is that windows ties itself to the version of the motherboard BIOS it is installed on.

When you flash the BIOS Windows sees this as essentially a new motherboard and, depending on how many other changes you have made to your hardware since activation,may trigger a reactivation request.

It may even be that a change in motherboard details is enough on it's own to trigger the reactivation request.

  skeletal 18:58 13 May 2007

Ah, OK gudgulf, thanks for that. It just seemed a minor change to me (I've changed nothing else)...but what do I know!!

Thanks again.


  phoenix198 19:20 13 May 2007

If XP won't re-activate automatically over the internet then you should be able to call Microsoft and do it manually once you explain the circumstances to them.

Or aternatively you could re-flash the BIOS back to its previous version?

  skeletal 23:21 13 May 2007

Because the activation message was completely unexpected, I did not have a clue what I was doing. I tried the automatic internet way, but got stuck because I could not enter the required numbers quickly enough.

The only way forward was to talk to a person, which I discovered you can do by pretending that you want to buy a volume license!

I hate these automatic telephone service things; one mistake and you've had it; no matter what you shout down the phone you just get a repeated, meaningless message!

Interestingly, I did not have to re-register Vista, only XP.

Anyway, I hope the problem has gone away now...I guess I'll only know when I next restart!

Oh, and the BIOS flash enables Vista to start about half the time now, rather than not at all, so I don't want to go back to the previous version.


  stormy2k7 23:33 13 May 2007

id leave ista well alone for a few months untill they work out all the bugs it has with compatability issues etc i upgraded from xp to vista ultimate and as a result it hammered my processor which ive had to replace , i was told by toshiba to steer clear of this build as its memory hungry,full or un-forseen bugs and generally a pain in the foot u dont need and frankly i agree with them , ive tested all versions of this new os and i recon itll be ok in a few months wen developers patch up there apps etc to work with it, my advice...stay on xp m8

i envy your patience, are you a saint?

  skeletal 19:23 14 May 2007


I do wonder why I keep trying to make Vista work; it’s the challenge I suppose. Some swim the Channel; some climb Everest without Oxygen; me, I try to run Vista.

Am I saint? I would be, except I have to confess that if you saw all the dents in the walls where I have smashed the furniture in frustration you would not think so!


  stormy2k7 15:20 21 May 2007

there is a way around some compatability issues on some softwares you may have but ill leave ya to find the loophole for urself lol i a saint ? ....yeh the saint of stella artois lol ...on a serious note u can make your apps work in vista by simply downloading windows server 2000 and have it run on a virtual ide :) worked ok for me with most apps i used to have with xp ..... run a virtual drive .. its easy all u need is either another hdd or make a new partition n alter your boot up files once u have windows 2000 on a virtual ide u simply right click ur apps u wanna run , advanced n select both run as windows server 2000 and also check the run as admin box..apply it n ok :) if ur a lil cleverer than that u cud just run 2 os's on same hdd and alter the bootup log so u can choose wot os u wanna run at boot :) u may wanna get someone to help u if u go the latter way tho cos if u dunno about altering the bootup ull totaly wreck the os and ull have somewhat of a large blue problem lol google it or look around tech forums or ask

  skeletal 19:31 21 May 2007

For most of my problems, I have not even tried to load other software. I did load Office yesterday and got a crash on the re-boot, first glance Office seems to work, but much slower than under XP (I have another thread on that topic). I need to investigate further.

Because I have set up dual boot, I do all my serious work on the XP partition.

I guess I was lucky in that respect. I have come across problems because the way Vista re-writes the boot.ini file (IIRC).

I had XP running, created a new partition, then loaded Vista in to the new partition. This worked for me (about the only thing that has!).


This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

Fujitsu Lifebook P727 laptop review

Converse draws on iconic heritage for a fresh brand identity

Mac power user tips and hidden tricks

Comment lancer Windows 10 en mode sans échec ?