Re-activating Windows

After fid­dling around with run­ning Win­dows XP on Par­al­lels for sev­er­al months, I came to the con­clu­sion that the best method of instal­la­tion is to use Apple’s Boot Camp first and run Par­al­lels off of the Boot Camp par­ti­tion (which is a real­ly cool option to have, just so you know).

How­ev­er, due to the nature of vir­tu­al­iza­tion ver­sus native­ly run­ning and OS, my copy of win­dows appeared to have been acti­vat­ed on three dif­fer­ent machines. First, was my ini­tial instal­la­tion of XP under Par­al­lels. Then, after installing and acti­vat­ing it under Boot Camp, I attempt­ed to open up the par­ti­tion from with­in OS X via Par­al­lels. The issue is that run­ning Win­dows on Boot Camp and via Par­al­lels appears to have very dif­fer­ent hard­ware con­fig­u­ra­tions to the OS, and thus to Microsoft. My OEM copy of XP would not allow for a third acti­va­tion, quick­ly leav­ing it use­less under XP (although I did have my first vir­tu­al machine copy to use, when need­ed).

Now, despite all the grip­ing I had found online about get­ting a copy of Win­dows re-acti­vat­ed, it real­ly only took me about eight min­utes to get my copy blessed again this past Fri­day evening. As far as out­sourced tech­ni­cal sup­port goes, this was rather pain­less. Actu­al­ly, if I knew more what the auto­mat­ed phone sys­tem want­ed me to say regard­ing “how many machines has this been pre­vi­ous­ly installed on?” I prob­a­bly would have been done in less time (my guess: say “none” next time). All I had to do was recite a 9 x 6 dig­it num­ber (no let­ters, just num­bers) over the phone (twice, once to a machine and once to a live tech­ni­cian). After the sec­ond time, and answer a cou­ple of ques­tions, the tech­ni­cian just read back to me anoth­er 9 x 6 dig­it (yes, that’s 54 dig­its) num­ber to enter in. He even wait­ed to make sure it worked for me before get­ting off the line.

I think some­times peo­ple just like to com­plain about Microsoft. Of all the anti-pira­cy mea­sures I’ve encoun­tered yet, this was one of the least cum­ber­some to deal with as an hon­est user.

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