Ayende @ Rahien

It's a girl

Windows Activation SUCKS: How to give someone a heart attack

On a day that I have to give 3 presentations, I open up windows and I refuse to log me in, instead, I get this thing:

200812041410.jpg

And then it refuse to activate! Turning the window installation to a brick!

I solved that eventually, but that was a really scary time.

Comments

Philipp
12/04/2008 01:46 PM by
Philipp

I've stopped purchasing software (especially development tools) that hassles me with activation schemes whenever possible. After all, this is the one thing that I as a customer can do to get over-eager vendors to re-evaluate their positions on the subject.

I can't help but think that activation punishes the wrong people anyway - the ones who are not willing to pay for software will still get their cracked versions (at least if the product is worth being cracked). And anyway: Is that really that bad? I still assume that the vast majority of people who commercially use software will buy it anyway - because they appreciate the work, they want to have access to the latest releases, or simply because it’s just not worth the risk. As for the others - I think they wouldn’t buy the product in the first place, but once they are hooked up, they have become potential customers who will purchase the product eventually. Simply because they want to upgrade or use the software on a commercial product.

It’s not that long ago that I went to school where literally nobody paid for their software (beer ain’t cheap here in Switzerland and you couldn’t download that off the internet ;) ). But here we are today and most of us still work with the same (now properly licensed) tools we used a couple of years ago - that’s a lot of money earned, not lost.

Just my 0.02$

Cory Foy
12/04/2008 03:44 PM by
Cory Foy

To be fair, it's probably been nagging you about it for awhile. But I had the same thing - I have a DIY webcam security system, and the machine running it has XP, and I forgot to activate it. One day it stopped working, and upon logging in I found the same thing you had above.

configurator
12/04/2008 03:45 PM by
configurator

I too stopped using purchased software.

Even though I have a legal copy of Windows, I use a downloaded, cracked version to avoid activation. While this is apparently legal and definitely (in my opinion) legit, I still feel like I'm doing something wrong here.

The something wrong is actually buying the software, of course.

Mr_Acronis
12/04/2008 05:56 PM by
Mr_Acronis

Perform an Acronis (cost $100 or so) image of your system each night when finished working and sleep like a baby.

When your system barfs you re-image in an hour and you're back in the saddle.

Steve Jobs
12/04/2008 08:08 PM by
Steve Jobs

Or just don't use a shitty operating system?

Linus Torvals
12/04/2008 10:55 PM by
Linus Torvals

I have the same opinion than Steve Jobs.

J Healy
12/04/2008 11:59 PM by
J Healy

And don't even get me started on the cost of development tools in an environment where vendors are, in word at least, attempting to sway hearts and minds...

Atul
12/05/2008 12:14 AM by
Atul

Stop Complaining Ayenda... Seriously you are not regular user many of whom would not know that you need to activate windows and also you are not retard to know that you should have done it.

Firstly you don't do the thing you are suppose to do.... Activate it, Sure windows must have given those prompts to, but you were some idot or trying to be HERO. type of guy and did not do it And then on top of it you use the same machine for presentation and then start complaining....

Seriouly are you a idiot. Stop writing such bad Post firstly... and secondly.... stop blaming others for the things you should have done ...

Ben
12/05/2008 04:46 AM by
Ben

I have run into this problem with virtualization. Especially when it comes to moving from machine-to-machine. It also seems as though Windows updates to the host have caused reactivation requests on the guest.

Don't you own a Mac, are you using Parallels or something like that? Did you just install/change/etc something? I just think activation and virtualization haven't caught up with each other yet. We had a major PITA with a virtual box we setup for portable demos, that someone decided to buy a one-off license for...

Long live volume licensing!

RE: Activation, it's programmers trying to get paid for their work. IMO, it isn't that big a deal, I don't mind. I've never had a time that code I had purchased that wasn't activating wasn't immediately addressed by the vendor. Microsoft included. As a programmer, I buy/pay for all software I use religiously.

Stefan Wenig
12/05/2008 08:31 AM by
Stefan Wenig

There you go. Complaining about operating systems generates more flak than talking about Israeli security issues. Weird world.

alwin
12/05/2008 09:17 AM by
alwin

Not everyone has to deal with the Israeli security, but we all face operating systems each day.

Personally, I find it a weird world where cracked software is not only cheaper, but also easier to use than when you payed for it.

Carl
12/05/2008 02:14 PM by
Carl

"Perform an Acronis (cost $100 or so) image of your system each night when finished working and sleep like a baby.

When your system barfs you re-image in an hour and you're back in the saddle. "

Wouldn't have really helped in this situation, because re-imaging would've picked todays date up and then kicked off the activation process again, I think...

Chris
12/05/2008 05:43 PM by
Chris

@Atul: Windows refused to activate for him. If it activated without undue delay, Ayende probably wouldn't have posted this.

Mr_Acronis
12/06/2008 03:47 AM by
Mr_Acronis

@Carl:

Well at the worse case he could have gone back 1 additional day and re-imaged, activated, then used the current days image to restore any source code etc. he was missing.

Ok, so he's now down an hour and a half instead of an hour, but you still sleep like a baby. Oh, I forgot, when you re-image you sleep like a baby too.

Ayende Rahien
12/06/2008 03:49 AM by
Ayende Rahien

You seem to miss the point.

I WASN'T ABLE to activate.

Joe Bob
12/06/2008 03:13 PM by
Joe Bob

But at least your install isnt a "brick" if you had a backup. You simply restore and activate. Right?

Or install a new OS, activate, and restore your files. Right?

Eric Hauser
12/07/2008 04:45 PM by
Eric Hauser

Click Activate Later, open a command prompt, and type slmgr -rearm. This will give you another 30 days of time to activate each time up to 120 days.

Comments have been closed on this topic.