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Does Vista need reactivation after replacing hard disk?


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#1 Farstanley

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Posted 15 April 2011 - 04:45 AM

I got warning signs that my hard disk is going downhill so it has to be replaced but I don't know about activation. Does Vista Home Premium sp2 allow things like swapping a hard disk or will I have to get into an international telephone call to get it activated? I saw articles saying you only need to reactivate if you change the mother board and or processor but I can't get the details.
Microsoft Customer Service and Technical Support are ' Unable to answer ' such a simple question and expect me to wade through a mountain of FAQs and other stuff for which they expect me to pay 46 up front which in my opinion equates to the best advert for Linux I have ever seen. Anyone can go back to a Ford dealership and get info about a car decades after they bought it but Microsoft.. but I digress.
Right now I have to get a plan B ready just in case it won't go ie install Ubuntu on the new disk if Vista won't activate and I'm fairly sure I won't be able to get exactly the same hard disk model
Does anyone have any info about the reactivation process after changing hard disks?
Thanx

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#2 cryptodan

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Posted 15 April 2011 - 05:00 AM

It will once you reinstall Windows Vista.

#3 Allan

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Posted 15 April 2011 - 07:07 AM

If you create an image of your drive (with disk imaging software) and then restore it to the new drive you will not have to reactivate.

#4 strolln

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Posted 15 April 2011 - 07:49 AM

Making an image is a good suggestion but if the failing HDD has corrupted any files, that corruption will be preserved in the image. If the drive is currently still bootable then the restored image will be too. You'll just need to clean up the corrupted files.

It is completely irrelevant whether you get the same hard disk model or not so you can go with a bigger, faster drive if you wish.
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#5 Farstanley

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Posted 15 April 2011 - 10:05 PM

Thanks people
Does anyone know if the reactivation is done on line or do they insist on expensive telephone calls?

#6 ThunderZ

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Posted 15 April 2011 - 10:21 PM

Thanks people
Does anyone know if the reactivation is done on line or do they insist on expensive telephone calls?



It should be taken care of online.

I believe you have 30 days.

After initial install when it first prompts you to Activate it you may be unable to due to lack of NIC (your network card drivers). Not a big deal as you will be prompted on a regular basis to activate it until you do.

#7 Farstanley

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Posted 16 April 2011 - 03:23 AM

In which case after installation I can get the NIC and \ or Wifi up and then do activation from Control Panel > Systems ?

Might have to do it that way because ..

Tried Allan's idea but my disk imaging software ( Acronis True Image Home 2011 on a bootable cd ) isn't doing what I expected. I've backed up individual partitions before and this requires an amount of disk space about equivalent to the amount of used disk space in the partition but this time the amount of back up space required seems to be the same size as the disk being backed up even though the wizard showed an amount of 37GB it goes on making backup files until it runs out of space and I only have something like 70GB to spare.
I had the idea of pulling a 500GB disk from another machine, putting it in a usb docking station, and letting Acronis make as many backup files as it wants but this could take half a day and seems a bit ...
I thought disk backup files were about the size of the used space on the disk not the size of the disk itself

#8 pip22

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Posted 16 April 2011 - 03:54 AM

Thanks people
Does anyone know if the reactivation is done on line or do they insist on expensive telephone calls?


Here in the UK, activation by phone is a freephone number, at least it was last yesr when I used that service.

#9 NicciAdonai

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 03:58 PM

I once had to reactivate Windows 7 Home Premium when the only hardware changes that occurred were several hard drives connecting/disconnecting from the system. I use it as a troubleshooting station. A free phone call got me going again, though the process was not as painless as it might have been.

You could try to shrink the partition from Right-click My Computer > Manage > Storage > Disk Management in Windows, though I seriously doubt you will be able to shrink it to 37 GB. Maybe under 70, though? Depends on how large your drive is in the first place.

As for why Acronis is trying to image an exact sector-by-sector replica of the drive instead of the usual file-based, compressed image, that beats me. It might have something to do with bad sectors on the drive. I can't recall if Vista SP2 includes the option to create a system image from Backup and Restore? You might try that if it does.




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