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Re-activation again and again RRS feed

  • Question

  • I was asked to post this question on this forum by Jack (Microsoft Answers Support Engineer) on the answers forum. I could not get a resolution to my issue there.

    I have 6 licensed copies of Vista Business (Retail) on 6 identicle machines in a classified classroom environment which do not (and cannot) have internet connections and are not networked. All 6 copies were installed, validated, and activated online prior to being classified. I have to use removable drives for security reasons and for performing updates. 
    I am not updating the OS. The updates are for proprietary software that is locally created/maintained.
    Again, these are secure (Classified) systems.
    1 machine is used for updating all of the drives at a central location and the drives must have the ability to run in any of the other PCs. This is a requirement that I have no control over, but must comply with.

    The problem is Vista keeps seeing hardware changes and requires a re-activation every time a drive is moved to a different classroom or when it is updated. (Sees different HW addresses/IDs) I understand if I was running an OEM version this would not be an issue.
    How do I get this to stop? Re-activating by phone each time I update the systems or every time a drive is moved is not feasible. And obtaining an OEM version to reload them with is also not an option.

    Thursday, September 17, 2009 4:28 PM

Answers

  • Hello,

    There is no way to configure Retail software to act like an OEM load. 
    That option is only available from the OEM who is shipping Windows on their machine.
    Machines are not really identical, MAK addresses on the netcards are supposed to be different and serial numbers of some devices are usually different.
     Does you campany have Volume Licensing agreement?  If so you may want to check with your licensing contact.
    Thanks, Darrell Gorter This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights
    Tuesday, September 29, 2009 10:43 PM

All replies

  • Please forward your inquiry directly to: Microsoft Windows Genuine Advantage - Support
    Carey Frisch
    • Marked as answer by Carey FrischMVP Saturday, September 19, 2009 3:02 PM
    • Unmarked as answer by CaDaVer67 Wednesday, September 23, 2009 7:11 PM
    Saturday, September 19, 2009 3:02 PM
  • Carey,
    I placed the thread on the link you gave. Got an email from customer service telling me to call the activation line.
    What is up with that?
    I need a resolution to my problem, not a phone number to call to re-activate.
    Did anyone actually read the post?
    My problem is NOT that I can't activate. Please read the first post.
    Wednesday, September 23, 2009 7:18 PM
  • To help us analyze and troubleshoot the issue you are experiencing, please download and run the Microsoft Genuine Advantage Diagnostics Tool
    Once you run the tool, click on the Continue button, then click on the Copy button and paste the report into your post. 

    Thank you!


    Carey Frisch
    Thursday, September 24, 2009 2:32 AM
  • I can't do that. These are classified systems and cannot be connected to the internet. Also, there is no way I can take any information from them as any writable media introduced immediately becomes classified and must remain secured.

    Here is the basic issue:
    6 removable HDDs with Vista Business (6 Retail copies) that were installed, validated, and activated in 6 identicle computers. These 6 computers were then disconnected and transitioned into classified/secure systems.
    These systems are totally isolated, standalone systems. The drives are removed after each use and stored in a safe.
    The 6 removable drives must be able to run in any of the 6 computers without requiring re-activation.
    All 6 drives have locally developed S/W that is updated in 1 specific computer(1 of the 6). 
    When these drives are placed in the "update" computer I get the re-activate prompt. When placed back in one of the other computers, re-activate prompt.
    I know the reason is that the OS sees different hardware addresses and IDs causing the re-activation. However, if I was running an OEM version this would not be happening. As I said these are identicle machines all from 1 manufacturer. Unfortunately these systems did not come pre-loaded so I can't get a OEM version to install in them.

    Repeatedly re-activating by phone is not feasible. I need a work-around to stop the re-activation requirement. Since these machines are identicle hardware-wise there should be a way to configure the OS to act like an OEM load. And not de-activate when it sees a different HW address.

    BTW, I have had them require re-activation when a drive is removed from the machine, put in the safe, taken from the safe and placed back in the same machine. That should not happen at all. Nothing was changed in the system or in the software.
    Thursday, September 24, 2009 8:50 PM
  • Still no response?
    Tuesday, September 29, 2009 7:44 PM
  • Hello,

    There is no way to configure Retail software to act like an OEM load. 
    That option is only available from the OEM who is shipping Windows on their machine.
    Machines are not really identical, MAK addresses on the netcards are supposed to be different and serial numbers of some devices are usually different.
     Does you campany have Volume Licensing agreement?  If so you may want to check with your licensing contact.
    Thanks, Darrell Gorter This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights
    Tuesday, September 29, 2009 10:43 PM
  • I am fully aware that most hardware has unique IDs and addresses.
    The volume license we have is for Vista Enterprise, which has been highly modified making it unusable in this scenario. Which is why the Retail version was procured.
    Also, you can purchase OEM versions from numerous different vendors. It is not a "special" load created by each PC builder and sold pre-loaded on new machines.
    If I had known about this issue with hardware during the appropriations process 18 months ago, I would have insisted on purchasing OEM versions. Instead I was more concerned with the security aspect of changing out the XP machines with Vista machines. I didn't realize that Vista requires re-activation every time someone sneezed.
    Now I'm stuck with this issue, and I need a resolution. A resolution that isn't going to cost another $1800. (ex. - buy the OEM version and reload)

    And it's a MAC address. (Media Access Control)

    Wednesday, September 30, 2009 5:56 PM
  • Hello,
    There are two types of OEM licenses, one which you can purchase from a number of vendors, the activation in that one acts like Retail activation,  it still has to activate and has the hardware checks just like Retail.
    The Pre-Load which is sold by the OEM installed on the machine and is tied to their machines.
    How is Vista Enterprise highly modified making it unusable?
    Thanks, Darrell Gorter This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights
    Wednesday, September 30, 2009 6:10 PM