Windows XP reactivation queries!

  CurlyWhirly 22:00 18 Jan 2005

I am with AOL broadband (please no AOL bashing here! - lol) and yesterday I downloaded and installed a new connection upgrade that would put AOL members on a bigger and better network.
When I first switched the PC on this morning, I had a "Windows Product Activation" message on screen saying:

"Since Windows was first activated on this computer, the hardware on the computer has changed significantly.
Due to these changes, Windows must be reactivated within 3 days"

How am I getting this message as the *only* hardware change I have made to my PC is a RAM upgrade! lol
This *must* be related to the AOL download as it is only *now* that it has appeared!
If so how come I am prompted to reactivate Windows when the AOL download was SOFTWARE based not HARDWARE based?

Anyway, I reactivated Windows a few minutes ago and got into asking about licensing and the Microsoft Rep suggested me ringing the following telephone number (0870 6010 100) to ask about additional licensing when I mentioned that I would be upgrading to a 64 bit computer later this year!
I always thought that as I have the *retail* version of XP, I could install it on another computer as long as *only* one is activated at a time?
(I paid £179.99 for my version of XP Home Edition by the way.)
Do I *need* to buy an additional license when I upgrade or will the version I am using now still be valid?
I *have* a Product Key on my version of Windows by the way, on an orange sticker with barcodes so it is NOT a pirate copy.
Thanks for any advice in advance!

  Technotiger 22:45 18 Jan 2005

Plenty to read here mate :-))

click here


  CurlyWhirly 22:48 18 Jan 2005

Thanks. I am reading the article at this very moment but it could take me a while due to it's large size! lol

  1514 22:51 18 Jan 2005
  LastChip 22:51 18 Jan 2005

you can use a retail version of XP on any single machine you choose, BUT, I have to say that Microsoft licensing (IMHO) is a nightmare.

There are many IT professionals that have got it wrong. I might have too, so don't take this as being conclusive!

  Technotiger 22:52 18 Jan 2005

Tell you what - you're a lot lot cleverer than me, I could not read one, and type another, at the same time :-)) 'tis a big article I agree.


  Djohn 22:55 18 Jan 2005

If its a retail version as you say Curly, then you can install it as many times as you wish to as many PC's as you wish with the one condition. It is on only one PC at any given time.

  1514 23:02 18 Jan 2005

Modifications to hardware and how they affect the activation status of Windows XP

Go to the above paragraph on my "click here"

  CurlyWhirly 00:28 19 Jan 2005

It is on only *one* PC at any given time.

Hi Djohn.
So would that mean that I would have to format my current hard drive if I changed my PC?
Surely this would make NO difference as my registration details would STILL be with Microsoft?

After asking *why* I had to re-activate, the Microsoft Rep said that the reason was because I *didn't* speak to a person when I originally activated XP!
I originally registered by phone with an automatic registration process i.e. NO person was on the other end of the phone! lol

What must have triggered the activation was the fact that I upgraded my RAM a few weeks ago but as to the reason why the Activation screen came up AFTER downloading AOL's connection download is a REAL mystery to me!

p.s. Thanks to everyone who replied to my query!

  CurlyWhirly 08:30 19 Jan 2005

After reading your links I now have found out the REASON for needing to reactivate Windows XP after downloading and installing AOL's new Connectivity service which is SOFTWARE based!

Below is a [QUOTE] from the Microsoft website itself:

"Microsoft defines "substantially different" hardware differently for PCs that are configured to be dockable. Additionally, the Network Adapter is given a superior "weighting." If the PC is not dockable and a network adapter exists and is not changed, 6 or more of the other above values would have to change before reactivation was required. If a network adapter existed but is changed or never existed at all, 4 or more changes (including the changed network adapter if it previously existed) will result in a requirement to reactivate."

I know the Network Adapter was changed by SOFTWARE (i.e. the AOL download) and NOT physically removed but in this case they must mean the same thing and as I had ALREADY upgraded my RAM a few weeks ago, this was deemed a 'significant hardware change'!
Though to be honest, the reason WHY Microsoft pin so MUCH importance to the Network Adapter escapes me! lol

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