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Gem
Premium
join:2005-09-10
kudos:4
Reviews:
·CableOne

[WIN8] activation problems for computer enthusiasts in Win 8

What is a computer enthusiast to do with windows 8?

Talking about those of us with multiple hardware parts, lots of ram, and several different processors for different platforms, as well as multiple wireless adapters and wired routers.

Windows 8 seems to be ultra picky about some hardware changes even if the motherboard remains the same. How's an enthusiast how likes to test different ram, video cards, processors, and internet connections to deal with that?

Is there a version of Windows 8 that will let us mix and match different parts on a single platform without problem?

If so, what is it and how much does it cost?

I swapped only from a wireless USB internet adapter to a Cat-5 wireless cable when a new Windows 8 build was moved from one room to another. That led MSFT to announce that my windows install was no longer legit due to it having been previously installed on a different computer (even though it had NOT).

MSFT then also alleged that all the reactivations for my W8 key code had been used up so and therefore W8 must be either re-installed with a different key code OR that I must purchase a new key. That's crazy. Windows 8 had only been installed once on the one machine it was still on. I'd just changed the way of connecting to our router.

Heaven forbid that a video card or ram might be changed out in the future, much less a processor or hard drive upgrade, or a new, faster router be purchased.

What's the solution to this problem other than going back to Windows 2000 or XP Pro?



JohnInSJ
Premium
join:2003-09-22
Aptos, CA

It's highly unlikely that simply changing network adapters triggered this. I would think a call to the phone number given when the license check failed would be sufficient.

Your other option is to not use Win8, of course, for system undergoing rapid and wholesale revisions. It's unlikely any version past XP will be happy, as you correctly point out.

The hardware check should be limited to motherboard match, BTW, so as long as you're not swapping to a new/different MB it should be fine. Even if it fails, calling the activation number and explaining you had to swap MBs due to failure or upgrade should be fine.
--
My place : »www.schettino.us


Gem
Premium
join:2005-09-10
kudos:4
Reviews:
·CableOne

You are correct. A somewhat lengthy call to the Windows Activation phone number got me back up and running, but don't know how many times MSFT would allow that.

It seemed like an unnecessary waste of time. I had to forcefully tell them three different times with a progressively loud and forceful voice that "Yes, this copy of windows 8 is installed on only ONE computer."

Really though, the only thing that changed was changing from the wireless USB adapter to the wired CAT-5 connection on our router.

Well, that and a different monitor in the other room, but I've never known changing monitors to trigger an activation issue.

Guess from your reply that there really is no solution in Vista, Win 7, or Win 8 for those of us who often like to experiment with and test new parts - is that correct?



JohnInSJ
Premium
join:2003-09-22
Aptos, CA

said by Gem:

Y
Guess from your reply that there really is no solution in Vista, Win 7, or Win 8 for those of us who often like to experiment with and test new parts - is that correct?

So far as I know, nope. Unless you have access to a Volume License Key it's One PC per Key, and the key is tied to your hardware config. Changing internet connections (not even hardware) really should have no effect whatsoever - millions of people with laptops supporting wired and wireless do it every day, including me.
--
My place : »www.schettino.us

Shootist
Premium
join:2003-02-10
Decatur, GA
kudos:3
reply to Gem

Simple Do Not Install Win 8. They Maybe Microsoft will get the Bright Idea to come out with a REAL Desktop Operating system instead of a Hacked Phone OS.
--
Shooter Ready--Stand By BEEP ********


dave
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-04
not in ohio
kudos:8
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

said by Shootist:

Simple Do Not Install Win 8. They Maybe Microsoft will get the Bright Idea to come out with a REAL Desktop Operating system instead of a Hacked Phone OS.

As if the UI, which is what you're complaining about, has any relationship to the 'activation' complaint of the OP.

Gem
Premium
join:2005-09-10
kudos:4
Reviews:
·CableOne
reply to JohnInSJ

said by JohnInSJ See ProfileChanging internet connections (not even hardware) really should have no effect whatsoever - millions of people with laptops supporting wired and wireless do it every day, including me. [/BQUOTE :

Let me be clear about the change from wireless to wired Internet connections.

In my case it was a bios change too. When the wireless install was created, unused features on the motherboard were not enabled in the Bios. That included sound and the onboard LAN.

When the computer was moved from the test bench in one room to its more permanent location in another room, the onboard sound and onboard Lan features on the motherboard were then enabled in the Bios.

Windows 8 apparently detected that new hardware configuration after the move and thought it was a different computer. It wasn't, of course, but it still created an unnecessary hassle to get Windows 8 re-activated. And that can happen again if the video card, ram, or other components are changed or upgraded in the future - even if the motherboard remains the same.

There should be a way around this for enthusiasts and hobbyists who aren't trying to run the OS on one machine at time. Apparently there is not. That's a real risk to anyone similarly situated who might be considering upgrading their OS to Windows 8.

Based on my experience I don't recommend doing that.


dave
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-04
not in ohio
kudos:8
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

said by Gem:

There should be a way around this for enthusiasts and hobbyists who aren't trying to run the OS on one machine at time. Apparently there is not.

As long as you can figure out a way to automatically discriminate between "enthusiast" and "person attempting to use the licence on multiple PCs", then sure. Or even between "this machine" and "some other machine".

But that's the problem, isn't it?

There has been an escalating war between Micosoft and users who dislike, or are unaware of, the licensing terms. The latest round includes fingerprinting the hardware on the grounds that most users don't change the hardware often.


plencnerb
Premium
join:2000-09-25
Carpentersville, IL
kudos:3
reply to Gem

This almost compares to the debate that centers around the question "Which came first the chicken or the egg?".

If you look at a person who physically owns one desktop. That person may be someone who will modify every component (hard drive, cpu, memory, motherboard, video cards, bios, network cards, sound cards) quite often. It could be do to researching new hardware, or different configurations. However, each time that person does that, Windows *thinks* its a new install for that license.

I can see the problem that Microsoft is trying to solve. What part of the computer do you use to "verify" to see if a key is being used on multiple computes, or is it a re-install on the same computer just with different components? While everything I listed does have unique items to it (MAC Addresses, Serial #'s), the same would be true for all of them if you actually did install it on an actual 2nd computer too. Therein lies the problem.

One thought I had (but no idea how it would be implemented), would be if there was a way to examine (and somehow store) multiple pieces of information. For example, you install Windows 8, and it reads your hardware, and stores the following information

CPU Make, Model, and Serial Number
Motherboard Make, Model, and Serial Number
RAM (amount, make, model, and serial number of each stick)
Video Card Make, Model, and Serial Number
Sound Card Make, Model, and Serial Number
Network Cards (type, make, model, serial #, and MAC)
BIOS Information (Date, version)
Hard Drive Information (Type, Size, Make, Model, Serial #)

Then, the next time an install is done, and a key is used, check ALL of the above data points. If just one changed, then it can be determined it was a hardware swap (if just the memory changed, but everything else is the same, then it has to be the same computer).

However, if all of them are different (or a very high %, like 95% or more), then one could assume it's a new install on a new computer.

The question of course is, how do you implement this, and where do you store all this information?

--Brian
--
============================
--Brian Plencner

E-Mail: CoasterBrian72Cancer@gmail.com
Note: Kill Cancer to Reply via e-mail


dave
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-04
not in ohio
kudos:8
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

There was a proposed method that would have worked in most cases -- the CPU unique identifier introduced by Intel. This got shot down on privacy grounds, despite the fact that it has many advantages for programmers (and not just for restrictive licensing: it's a fairly common thing to need to derive a value that cannot simultaneously be derived elsewhere on the planet).

I suppose that any other value that is a sufficiently unambiguously identifier for "this computer", for the purposes of licence enforcement, will likely be sufficiently unambiguous enough to cause privacy advocates to complain.

(One counter-argument might be to have the identifier readable from kernel mode only, but too late, the CPU serial number is effectively dead).

Re: the proposal to allow some of the hardware to change: I think they did that on previous versions of the OS. As each level of check gets defeated, the restrictions get more severe.



JohnInSJ
Premium
join:2003-09-22
Aptos, CA
reply to plencnerb

said by plencnerb:

If you look at a person who physically owns one desktop. That person may be someone who will modify every component (hard drive, cpu, memory, motherboard, video cards, bios, network cards, sound cards) quite often.

The actual number of users who do this today, as a % of the 1 billion Windows users worldwide, is infinitesimal. 99.5% of all Windows users NEVER update their hardware, OR put a new version of windows on existing hardware. They use what shipped on their PC until they get a new one, then they use that OS. Of the half a % left, 99.9% of those will swap out a HDD, or maybe a graphics card. Of the 0.1% of the half a percent, you might see a few more components swapped, once. This leaves a handful of people who do what you do...

The workaround for these 0.0001% of all users who do what you do is for them to call in when the check fails. It's simple, it works, and it is cost effective for Microsoft.

Honestly, I bet Microsoft would be A-OK with those people migrating to an open source OS. Or they can just call in.
--
My place : »www.schettino.us