Windows 8 forced re-activation, if hardware changes

Discussion in 'Windows 8' started by CuteBirdy, Aug 19, 2012.

  1. CuteBirdy

    CuteBirdy MDL Junior Member

    Aug 17, 2012
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    A Windows 8 activation by MAK key becomes deactivated when "hardware changes significantly". Anyone know how Microsoft calculates when you cross the line? So far it looks like changing a motherboard is guaranteed to trigger the deactivation, but what about other components? I am surprised Microsoft is so vague about it, surely it is important to plan ahead to make sure activation is not lost before purchasing expensive hardware.
     
  2. neoviktor

    neoviktor MDL Novice

    Jun 17, 2011
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    My Windows 7 machine triggered reactivation when I changed my GPU, I think they a notebook as rule, HDD, RAM and peripherals are ok, Motherboard, CPUs and GPU or any PCI-E expansion car trigger reactivation
     
  3. PaulDesmond

    PaulDesmond MDL Magnet

    Aug 6, 2009
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    interesting to know, what happens when I add a 2nd hard disc e.g. in my self made PC.
    OS stays on disc one and nothing else changes. Is this a major change? or simply extending disc space?
     
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  4. derausgewanderte

    derausgewanderte MDL Senior Member

    Jul 21, 2009
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    I've done hdd changes and additions many times on Windows 7 and never de-activated (most recent one switched to SSD from regular hdd and imaged Windows 7 onto new SSD - no problems). However, when I changed GPU I had to re-activate. I am sure it will work the same in Win8
     
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  5. myhken

    myhken Experienced MDL Tester

    Feb 28, 2010
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    On Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 you need to activated if you changes your hard drive from a normal drive to SSD. (cloning the OS from disk to disk). Cloning it from a normal HDD til another normal HDD is not requiring a reactivation, only SSD. So I'm sure this apply to Windows 8 also.
     
  6. wiryawang

    wiryawang MDL Junior Member

    May 10, 2007
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    From my experience all these years, I believe Mainboard, & Processor, these are 2 main component that must not be change.
     
  7. derausgewanderte

    derausgewanderte MDL Senior Member

    Jul 21, 2009
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    that is interesting. Wonder what happened to my system then. I did not have to re-activate. Good to know to be careful then.
     
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  8. Bluescreen

    Bluescreen MDL Senior Member

    Jul 16, 2009
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    Mine has been deactivated just after I installed a Ramdrive from DataRam without a signed driver.
    It's not a true hardware change, but I suspect Windows 8 has found a new Drive... = Hardware changed. Too bad :fuyou31:
    The activation backup did not help in this case. I had to use the Image Partition made the day before.
     
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  9. Mr Jinje

    Mr Jinje MDL Expert

    Aug 19, 2009
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    #9 Mr Jinje, Aug 19, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2012
    What happens inside VM's when moving from multi-cpu to single CPU hosts, or different architecture (amd vs intel). Or when booting a VMware image from Virtual Box ?

    I know they are virtualizing the hardware, but I gotta think Windows 8 will notice no longer having a VMware bios and waste one of my keys.
     
  10. myhken

    myhken Experienced MDL Tester

    Feb 28, 2010
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    I have to reactivate if I move it from one of my servers (Asus P5E, X38, Socket 775 HK with Intel Xeon X3210 Quad-core 2.13 Ghz) to my other server (ASUS Vintage V7-P8H67E, H67, Socket-1155 with IntelĀ® Core i5-2500 @ 3.3Ghz). Thats apply to Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2 and now Windows 8. I'm using VMware Workstation 8.0.4
    So in your scenario I'm 100% sure you have to reactivate.
     
  11. Mr Jinje

    Mr Jinje MDL Expert

    Aug 19, 2009
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    Are we gonna be able to call up the 1-800 # and say my video card died and get them to re-activate if / when online fails. Or is $39.99 going to be an excuse to offer poor service.
     
  12. myhken

    myhken Experienced MDL Tester

    Feb 28, 2010
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    I'm sure the offer provides you with a Upgrade license, and it's almost the same as the retail license. You can move it to other computers, and change your hardware. But there is a limit of 10 activation total on the license. But, they have change much around the activation of Windows 8, so maybe they have change the numbers of total activations per key...but still, I'm pretty sure it will be 10.
     
  13. CuteBirdy

    CuteBirdy MDL Junior Member

    Aug 17, 2012
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  14. CuteBirdy

    CuteBirdy MDL Junior Member

    Aug 17, 2012
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    #14 CuteBirdy, Aug 20, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2012
    (OP)
    Adding new hard drives will not affect activation at all, I have confirmed it, the only hard drive that matters for activation is the OS drive. It doesn't care what your other drives are. If you change your OS drive, you might need re-activation.

    It's easy to see if your hardware change has affected activation, go to command prompt (admin) and type "slui 4", select any country, and your activation ID will be there. If the numbers change, it means a hardware change is detected, if it doesn't change at all after the hardware change, it means windows activation has not detected any change.
     
  15. Vect

    Vect MDL Novice

    Oct 13, 2011
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    The graphics card is not the problem, tested myself today. When using an APU 3410MX and a Radeon HD6750m if one installs everything in the graphics package the activation remains, however, if one installs the chipset package the activation is removed. In particular this is caused only by 1 component, which is the SATA driver for the AMD users. Quite foolish if you ask me, because the OS thinks that it changed harddrive... I don't know any motherboard capable of switching chipsets. When updating drivers first create a System Restore point, that way if activation is removed it can be easily recovered.
     
  16. CuteBirdy

    CuteBirdy MDL Junior Member

    Aug 17, 2012
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    Thanks, I am happy to hear a change in graphics card by itself won't cause activation to be lost. It is after all not a "significant hardware change"!

    I can also confirm that driver change can make Windows think you changed hardware. Some BIOS changes I noticed changes the computer's unique Activation ID too, for example, changing from IDE to AHCI mode. So you have to be very careful.

    By the way, changing RAM does change the Activation ID, but does not cause activation to be lost.
     
  17. ashoktvm

    ashoktvm MDL Senior Member

    Jul 29, 2009
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    I installed a new HDD and restored the windows backup and no success. It was still not activated
     
  18. Mr Jinje

    Mr Jinje MDL Expert

    Aug 19, 2009
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    All bark no bite ?

    Well if that is the case, then I think this thread will go the way of the dodo. I seem to recall they said the same thing about XP, changes will kill your activation, and everyone was nervous for a few months until they realized it wasn't as bad as they imagined.

    But then again, now they have a hardware hash database, they could theoretically ban all future activations just like they ban xbox's from Live. Think about it, no possible way to activate a machine even with a valid license. Look at how they treat used xbox's on craigslist, if you bought a banned one, even though the jerk lied about it not being banned when he sold it to you, Microsoft don't care, you can't ever go online with it.

    Windows 8 is a step in which direction ?
     
  19. CuteBirdy

    CuteBirdy MDL Junior Member

    Aug 17, 2012
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    Unlikely I think, the activation can all be done offline, which means activation is checked at the local level rather than through Microsoft-controlled servers. XBox is different as it is a toy, it can be banned without causing big losses.