Posted by: kurtsh | January 2, 2009

HOWTO: Get another activation for Windows XP or Windows Vista

WinVistaLogo01 I read something on Slashdot today that continues to perpetuate the myth that there if you’ve activated Windows more than twice using the same consumer product activation key, you’re hosed because Microsoft Licensing Services won’t provide another activation for you.

Folks – This is just plain wrong

If you’re an individual user and you find that can’t activate your copy of Windows XP/Vista because you’ve used up your previous activations on your existing consumer product activation key and:

  • You reformatted/reinstalled Windows on your PC
  • You made a hardware change to your machine
  • You upgraded to a new PC

…you can virtually always get another activation through Licensing Services in the US simply by calling the Microsoft Windows Vista Consumer Product Activation Phone Number at 1-866-740-1256.  (Assuming of course that you aren’t abusing the privilege.) 

The entire reason this thing exists is to prevent either piracy by individuals that aren’t aware they’re violating their licensing agreement, or blatant rampant piracy – primarily:

  1. Folks that create new PCs and sell them and never pay for the Windows license on them such as illicit System Builders or mass software piracy operations
  2. Individuals that try to use the same license across many home machines, despite the fact that it is clear that Windows licenses are assigned per machine, and may not be moved from machine to machine.

It’s not there to make your life harder or to “penalize you”.  Just call the phone number, people.

(BTW:  A “consumer product activation key” is an 35-digit activation code that you get on a bright orange label usually inside a commercial copy of Windows XP or Windows Vista that you picked up from a store.)

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