Product activation horror

I got a shiny new CPU and motherboard this week, which required that I reinstall Windows to get it to boot (and by reinstall I mean "repair"). All was going well until I had to reactivate Windows. It wouldn't let me logon until I did so. The problem was, of course, that it couldn't connect to the Internet because the new network drivers weren't installed.

I had to call. For reasons I don't understand, the automated process failed, so I had to wait for a human. I waited 20 minutes. Unbelievable.

I don't have a problem with product activation, and as someone that owns a little IP, I understand Microsoft wants to protect its products. However, when the design of the product activation creates major inconveniences, it's broken. There has to be a better way.


  • Windows didn't atuomatically detect/install the appropriate ethernet drivers? Weird. Always has worked for me.

  • I had the same problem. Upgraded my box, Windows said I have three days to activate, so I logged in, it asked to reboot so I rebooted and that was it. Next time it started it said it had to be activated or else. No more three days. And no, it didn't find the ethernet drivers on its own (Intel PRO/1000 CT).

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