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Windows XP and adding Hardware

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Windows XP and adding Hardware

Postby NoSmartz on Sat Jan 31, 2004 12:44 pm

Remember when XP came out there was an uproar over Microsoft doing something to the XP operating system where you can change only 2 pieces of hardware before it won't let you change or add a piece of hardware again without buying another XP opertaing system?
Am I crazy or is this in Xp?I should be recieving my RMA in a few weeks and was wondering am I gonna have any probs installing the new DVD-+RW drive?I ask 'cause I don't recall how many times I've added hardware to this PC.

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Postby CowboySlim on Sat Jan 31, 2004 1:14 pm

Don't worry about it. It told me one time that I had a different hard drive, which was true. I was given an 800 number to call. I explained to the lady what the issue was and I read off a fifty digit number that XP displayed along with a box to put in another fifty digit number. She gave me the number to enter and I was up and going. Took less than 5 minutes.

They are not trying to prevent the consumer and home hobbyist from upgrading their computers. They are making it extremely inconvenient for a computer builder to load and authenticate one copy of XP on five hundred machines in one day.

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Postby NoSmartz on Sat Jan 31, 2004 2:59 pm

So will I have to dial that 1-800 #?
My XP Home came preloaded and came with no serial card to verify the serial #(might be sticker on back of pc,I'll check).Just remembered that I've installed a hard drive(1st one went out in August after 17 months of use)and this Plextor 708 since I've had this PC(2 hardware changes).
Thanx for the input CowboySlim

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Postby CowboySlim on Sat Jan 31, 2004 3:24 pm

I'm not sure about that. If I recall correctly, one time I installed a new hard drive in addition to the original and didn't load and operating system on that and was OK. I think that I also installed another new hard drive and then tried a fresh Windows install on that HDD and then got the message when I tried to activate Windows and had to call. I also had to call when I tried to reinstall XP on the same HDD but a new mothreboard and CPU.

Also, when I was trying to do a fresh reinstall on existing hardware but kept screwing it up and starting over, including the activation, about 4 - 5 times in one night.

Maybe it always happened on a fresh install when I tried to activate with MS. Probably won't happen to you.

You need the activation key when you do a fresh install, I don't think that you'll need it anyway. But it should be stuck on the case.

If you are adding another hard drive, but keeping the other one and booting off the old one, I don't think that it should complain as you don't have a fresh install of XP to activate.

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Postby NoSmartz on Sat Jan 31, 2004 8:56 pm

yeah I just used the restore discs(3 of em) that came with the pc and it took 3 hours when I did my new HD back in august.After the install it booted into regular mode and said the words"do you want to register with microsoft and Compaq".I said yes and it called the servers,did their thing for a few minutes and it's been fine since.nO sweat.I do believe their is a serial on the back of the PC.I'm just lazy as H-e- double hockey stix to crawl down there to do it.

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Postby CowboySlim on Sat Jan 31, 2004 9:46 pm

The "activation" and "registration" are two different entities. Only the activation step requires the product authorization key. If activation is required and not performed with 30 days, supposedly XP will shut down. Registration is not a condition of operability.

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Postby NoSmartz on Sun Feb 01, 2004 12:34 am

excellent.
Thanx for your help!!

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Postby MediumRare on Sun Feb 01, 2004 6:14 pm

This is mildly related.
It's been recommended to install a second XP system on a different partition to handle backup and trouble shooting for the primary sytem. Is there a way to use the same activation key for both systems? Is there a file you can copy to do this?

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Postby CowboySlim on Sun Feb 01, 2004 9:11 pm

Yes, yes and yes. I do that but I have the backup XP on the first partition of a second hard drive that is on my secondary IDE channel as master. Now, I've loaded it as a fresh install on the secondary just like on the primary and one time had to make that phone call with the 50 digit deal as it saw a new hard drive and they gave me the number to activate it. You may have more than one install of one XP on a machine because it is still just one machine. When you have this, XP makes a boot.ini file (C:\boot.ini) that gives a choice of which to boot into when you come out of BIOS:

[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition" /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition" /fastdetect

Now, I have never done it as a second XP install on another partition on the first (primary IDE channel) hard drive, but I think that it should work. Others have multiple OSs on a single drive. For that, the boot.ini should look like (if on the second partition):

[boot loader]
timeout=7
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition" /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition" /fastdetect

Now, I've also done it as a "copy" type operation. I've used Drive Image to make a back up image of my primary OS and save it to a logical partition. Then I use Drive Image to do a full restore which can be back to the primary partition of either hard drive. In this case, no further activation is required as the OS was already activated upon original installation. Drive Image also provides for a direct partition to partition copy, which I've never done as I want a backup image around. But the direct partition to partition should accomplish the same thing also.

Whatever, just make sure that your destination partition is at least the same size as the original.

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Postby MediumRare on Mon Feb 02, 2004 9:21 am

Thank you for the reply, Slim. I already have several OS's (Win 98, NT4, Linux) in addition to XP on my drive, so I know how to access these from the boot loader. I'm sure that the information will be useful to others, though.

My question was a bit different. I want to install a second XP system (on the second hard drive, as you recommended) and don't want to go though the phone call bit (I could of course- I'm not trying to do anything illicit). The hardware hasn't changed at all, so it should be possible to copy the activation key from the first installation- if I know where it resides. Do you have any information on that?

Thanks

G
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Postby CowboySlim on Mon Feb 02, 2004 1:34 pm

I don't know where the key resides. However, if you install onto the second HDD from the first by making an image and then restoring the image onto the second HDD as described above, the key is not an issue.

I'm kind of guessing here but upon original installation and activation of XP, the key and maybe something else are sent off to the MS database which then sends back something that unlocks or turns off the 30 day counter. So then that installation will work indefinitely. Now, if just copy that whole partition onto another partition on another HDD, nothing changes. It is a functional twin or clone of the original and doesn't need re-activation. It doesn't know that it is not the original.

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Postby MediumRare on Mon Feb 02, 2004 7:00 pm

CowboySlim wrote:Now, if just copy that whole partition onto another partition on another HDD, nothing changes. It is a functional twin or clone of the original and doesn't need re-activation. It doesn't know that it is not the original.

Thanks Slim. I was actually hoping to do a "lean" second system without all the stuff that accumulates in the main system. That would also avoid reassigning drive letters (which XP can do just fine). I try to keep a "system partition" separate from programs and those separate from data.

I'm afraid that this is going to be moot point though, because my main machine has deteriorated to the point that I can't even enter setup anymore (see the thread in the hardware forum). I'm afraid I'll have to replace so much that I'll have to reactivate XP anyway.

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