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 Post subject: Windows Activation: UNBELIEVABLE!
PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 5:54 am 
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I'm still fuming.

On Friday I purchased one of the new 300 GB WD Velociraptors to replace my WD 150 GB Raptor which was almost filled to capacity. If you're not familiar with that family of hard disk drives, at 10,000 RPM they're among the fastest drives on the planet. In fact, the only thing quicker than a Velociraptor at this point are SSDs (Solid State Drives), and you know how much those cost!

Because of the way hard disks store data, an almost full hard disk will not have the same performance as a nearly empty one (for instance, sequential read speeds for a Raptor go from 90 MB/s at the outer edge all the way down to 60 MB/s at the inner edge). Mind you, even that smaller number is still pretty fast in comparison to the throughput of average hard drives, but the 150 GB Raptor was already showing its age - and I needed more disk space anyway.

For comparison, the 300 GB Velociraptor not only gives you an extra 150 GB storage space, as it is about 36% faster than its older brother.

Since the Raptor was my system disk, my plan was to clone it into the Velociraptor using Acronis True Image 11 and make the Velociraptor my new boot drive. This would be the first time I performed this type of operation on Vista, and the first time I used True Image for cloning a hard drive, so I was a bit apprehensive.

In the XP and Windows 2000 days I used the excellent Norton Ghost, but then Symantec made some really bad choices with it when Vista came out and I made the switch to Acronis True Image.

When cloning a hard drive, you had to be very careful not to boot your system with both hard drives present right after the cloning operation - if you failed to disconnect your older drive on first boot, Windows would get confused and seriously damage BOTH installations - you would be hosed without a backup.

I wasn't sure if this was still required with Vista and True Image (the documentation said nothing about it), but I wasn't going to take any chances.

For various reasons, I ended up starting the installation at 1 AM of a Saturday. It was about 3 AM by the time I had Vista booting up from the new hard drive.

... and then I get a systray notification: Vista needs to be re-activated, and it magnanimously gave me 3 whole days to do it (unless it was 30 and I read it wrong, but I think not)! All I had done was to add an hard disk, but because in between I had also disconnected and then re-connected the older Raptor hard drive, Vista assumed I had made one too many changes!

I try to activate online and it tells me that my license number was already in use (of course it is, silly thing, *I'm* using it, and I can because I paid good money for it!). The choices I now have are to buy a new license online (what?!!), type in an extra license I might have around (not!), do the activation thing by automated phone process, or go online for help.

I try the last choice and get the general Windows help screen. First suggestion: 'Ask a friend for help'. AHAHAHA.

Ok, only real viable choice is the automated phone process (man, I've been through this when I got Vista for the first time - I even wrote an article about it).

So I tell it where I am (Portugal) and I get two phone numbers, an 800 number and a local phone number. Dialing the first I get a message in English telling me that it was the wrong number. Huh?

I dial the second and immediately get disconnected. Repeat 3 times with the same results.

So here I am, at 3 AM right at the begining of a weekend, with only 3 days to get Vista activated again and nobody to call. All other phone numbers listed in the Portuguese MS web site are available only during working hours!

To cut a long story short, I ended up having to lie: told the software I was in the US and made an international phone call to the Microsoft US number.

It was hilarious - my English is not that bad, but it surelly is different, as the automated voice recognition system had loads of trouble recognizing what I was saying. Then it didn't want to recognize some of the numbers I typed in via the phone keypad, but understood them fine when I SPOKE them over the phone.

Getting that final activation digit was a real PITA - I almost run out of battery on my cell phone before I got it... Now THAT would have been funny.

I had to go through all this agravation (not to mention the cost of that nearly half-an-hour long international phone call) for something I already paid for?! And just because I changed my hard drive?! Way to piss off your customers, Microsoft!

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 1:48 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2008 7:27 am
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Location: Hampton, VA
Sorry to hear about your frustrations, I know what that?s like. I use to work for a tech shop a few years back, and it seemed the most jobs we had involved rebuilding virus infected Windows machines. I remember dealing with these reactivation problems several times a week. It?s so great working for a company now that has volume licensing. 8)

Anyway, hope you enjoy your new drive. I would love to hear how it goes, I?m currently in the market for an upgrade myself.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 2:13 am 
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Well, it is THE fastest drive in the planet. Period. :D

Of course, creating a 600 GB RAID 5 array with 3 Velociraptor drives as they did HERE would bring the average read speed up to an amazing 209.4 MB/s, but... :D

I thought about creating a RAID array before, but each drive you add is an extra point of failure (not to mention that my PK5-SE motherboard does not support RAID :wink: ).

I just can't wait for SSD drives to reach maturity. It's not just that they are faster than hard disk drives in terms of data throughput, for me the most important point is that they are a lot better at multitasking given that they have no heads to move to specific points on a platter.

Try loading two heavy applications at the same time from a disk drive: performance goes down the drain as the drive heads move back and forth between the two different file locations - it is no longer sheer data throughput at stake here, but also access time, etc... This is not a problem on SSD drives, so things are much smoother when loading multiple applications simultaneously (like it happens at Windows startup, for instance).

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 Post subject: Re: Windows Activation: UNBELIEVABLE!
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 6:01 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2008 8:33 pm
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Location: Portland, Oregon U.S.A.
unfortunately vista can be a pain that way. now as for the 300 gig raptor i can attest to the fact that i've never been happier with a hdd c drive as i am with it. i've had mine for years and other than a tweaked out ssd i would never have a drive other than a raptor as c.

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 Post subject: Re: Windows Activation: UNBELIEVABLE!
PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 2:25 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2014 2:18 pm
Posts: 1
I think activation of the latest OS are mapped to different components of the hardware. :)


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