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Vista deactivated after driver update

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  • User profile image
    Bas

    Apparently confirmed by Microsoft, there seems to be an issue where swapping out hardware or updating a device driver can deactivate Vista.

    I've never had a problem with activation, since it's a click-once-and-forget process for me, but.. this is getting embarrassing. Thoughts?

  • User profile image
    GoddersUK

    Yet another sensible report where the comments section has been hijacked by trolls:

    zomg M$ are out to take over the world!!!!! Use Linux, save a polar bear! 'cause zomg open source r0xors. And WTF? man are you doing with Windows 'cause zomg it's the cause of war and global warming.

    Tongue Out

  • User profile image
    GoddersUK

    Now this comment is more interesting:

    User wrote:
    I have to warn you - not only updating device drivers makes Vista want a reactivation, working with encrypted volumes does too!

    While testing device encryption of TrueCrypt (http://www.truecrypt.org/) I created several encrypted volumes, formatted them again and tried to find out whether TrueCrypt could deliver what I needed in terms of privacy. But I guess creating encrypted devices made Vista Ultimate recognize them as new devices and someday after encrypting a device, Vista told me I had to reactivate my copy.
    There had been not a SINGLE change in used hardware since activating my copy of Vista.

    I was able to call Micorosft Activation Support, layed down my case and received a new activation code that worked. Still, it gave me some headaches.

    That could cause some problems.


  • User profile image
    Massif

    It doesn't surprise me though, as the HDD is one of the key devices windows uses to check whether it's been put on different hardware. I imagine an encryption layer over the hard disk would have to present itself as a separate piece of hardware to windows. Meaning windows goes "OMG, the disk's changed!"

    I'm surprised there are drivers out there that make such an impact windows sees them as different hardware though.

    Also: zOMG, macs nevar hav this problem v1sta is teh sux0r5!!1!!ONE!!|||!!TWO!!!!

  • User profile image
    Dr Herbie

    I wonder if my deactivation issue was due to driver updates (I can't quite remember if I upgraded video drivers prior to this happening, but I think I did apply a couple of patches -- the speed and stability ones).

    Hasn't happened since.


    Herbie

  • User profile image
    GoddersUK

    Massif wrote:
    It doesn't surprise me though, as the HDD is one of the key devices windows uses to check whether it's been put on different hardware. I imagine an encryption layer over the hard disk would have to present itself as a separate piece of hardware to windows. Meaning windows goes "OMG, the disk's changed!"


    Truecrypt actually mounts the encrypted sections as new drives, so I guess that's what's done it. (He said he had several encrypted volumes in TrueCrypt so when I he decrypted them and they were mounted windows would have seen several new "drives".

  • User profile image
    wkempf

    Bas wrote:
    Apparently confirmed by Microsoft, there seems to be an issue where swapping out hardware or updating a device driver can deactivate Vista.

    I've never had a problem with activation, since it's a click-once-and-forget process for me, but.. this is getting embarrassing. Thoughts?


    My thoughts remain the same as I've posted over and over here.  Anti-piracy schemes in software provide little or no actual deterrent to the pirate, but cause serious problems to legitimate licensees.  Our industry needs to wake up to this and stop attempting to use any anti-piracy software schemes.

    Find the pirates and prosecute them, but don't penalize your legitimate customers in the process!

  • User profile image
    stevo_

    I added a slave drive to my Vista (retail copy) machine once, I was doing a sata hotswap..

    I got everything off the drive and disconnected it and everything went good.. when I restarted Vista had decided my hardware had changed enough to require reactivation..

    I accept all of this up to this point.. however, when I went to activate, Windows informed me it had already been activated (yes well done- I know that)..

    It informed me I had to activate it via the phone service.. thoughts of XP reactivation flooding into my head, I knew what I was to expect, and I was bang on..

    Upon calling this activation line, you give a polite machine the prompted number.. at the end of this 3-4 minute process, the machine tells you it is going to try and authenticate the number.. seconds later it informs you that the code could not be validated.. bless 'her', shes been lied to..

    'She' redirects me to a real person who asks me to repeat a block from the code I entered, this appears to be a precaution with the machine>operator transfer..

    They inform you that they are getting an activation code.. and always follow with some innocent chit chat, along the lines of:

    Can I ask you why you are reactivating?
    Is this the first activation?
    What version of windows are you trying to activate?
    Did it come with the machine or did you purchase it separately?

    Given that you have any sense of avoiding problems, you will tell the operator what they 'want' to hear (in my case I'm of course legit)..

    Magically when you finish this little chit chat, the activation is complete.. you go through about 3 minutes of the operator telling you the numbers, you entered them and super, Windows is happy again..


    Now, at what point during ALL of that, did the operator confirm that I wasn't Mr P. C. Haaker, who stole someones key (even via a keygen) and is trying to activate their stolen copy of Windows..

    Given that its easily possible for that to happen, why not just change the authentication model to:

    Just activate Windows and invalidate the old activation, so that given a phone home from the old copy (if its still out there), it deactivates itself.. if it never phones home for whatever reason, then we're in the same situation as we are now anyway..

    But what we do save is, 15 minutes of me having to go though a ton of shite just to get working what is mine..

  • User profile image
    PerfectPhase

    GoddersUK wrote:
    
    Massif wrote:
    It doesn't surprise me though, as the HDD is one of the key devices windows uses to check whether it's been put on different hardware. I imagine an encryption layer over the hard disk would have to present itself as a separate piece of hardware to windows. Meaning windows goes "OMG, the disk's changed!"


    Truecrypt actually mounts the encrypted sections as new drives, so I guess that's what's done it. (He said he had several encrypted volumes in TrueCrypt so when I he decrypted them and they were mounted windows would have seen several new "drives".


    I installed a 'Intel Turbo Memory' card in my laptop the other day and office 2007 deactivated,  I assume Vista would have as well if it was activated at the time.

  • User profile image
    cheong

    Bas wrote:
    Apparently confirmed by Microsoft, there seems to be an issue where swapping out hardware or updating a device driver can deactivate Vista.

    I've never had a problem with activation, since it's a click-once-and-forget process for me, but.. this is getting embarrassing. Thoughts?

    As I've said before, we once "ghosted" a Win2003 server from RAID0 to a bigger single HDD, then put the harddisk back to the same server, and it deactivates as it reboots.

    Activation ties to motherboard is a lie, Vista is not alone for sure.

    Recent Achievement unlocked: Code Avenger Tier 4/6: You see dead program. A lot!
    Last modified
  • User profile image
    intelman

    My motherboard drivers, and SATA drivers do this. Nvidia puts out a lot of updates to drivers (nforce) so I update ever month or so. I'm tired of calling Microsoft. Since I'm not much of a PC gamer anymore, I think my next PC will be an Apple. #1 I don't have to deal with WGA crap, or activation and #2 hardware and software are more tightly tied. and #3 I like the idea of having one version of the OS for 130 bucks.

    WGA/Activation has to change or go away, it is a big turn off.

  • User profile image
    Ray6

    GoddersUK wrote:
    Yet another sensible report where the comments section has been hijacked by trolls:

    zomg M$ are out to take over the world!!!!! Use Linux, save a polar bear! 'cause zomg open source r0xors. And WTF? man are you doing with Windows 'cause zomg it's the cause of war and global warming.




    This was my favourite .....

    Geoff Da Man wrote:

    Is there any truth in the rumour that Microsoft's Anti piracy division employs more people, than their software division that creates the software.

    I know with all Linux derived distributions... 100% of people are in Software development.




    I guess that's how this crap gets started ....

    Still, have to say that this was a really well written article and really nailed the problem with activation; it assumes the customer is a criminal and slows pirates down for two minutes.


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