How to run a legal copy of Vista for 120 days without activation
Hint: You have to 're-arm' the OS with a little-known command
Computerworld - Microsoft's Windows Vista can be used for as long as 120 days without agreeing to its product activation antipiracy software, the company confirmed Friday. That's four times longer than the 30 days the company has widely used as the maximum time span the operating system can be used before it shuts down.
Several bloggers and Windows experts, including Brian Livingston, who publishes the Windows Secrets newsletter, have posted details on how to extend the 30-day grace period a maximum of three times, for 120 days. "All versions of Vista allow a 30-day period without activation, except the corporate-oriented Vista Enterprise, which supports only a three-day trial," said Livingston in the latest issue of his newsletter. "If you know the secret, however, you can extend the activation deadline of editions such as Vista Home Premium and Vista Business up to four months past the original install date."
The one-line command of "slmgr -rearm" changes the activation deadline to 30 after the current date, Livingston said.
A Microsoft spokeswoman confirmed the feature and command on Friday. "Yes, 'rearm' can be run up to three times from the release media from Microsoft," she said in an e-mail response to some questions. "This means [that] a total of 120 days total time is available as a grace period to customers that take advantage of rearm."
Microsoft has documented this option on its Vista Volume Activation 2.0 support site. Although the bulk of the technical information posted is aimed at corporate administrators, the sections dealing with repeated activation also apply to consumer users of the operating system.
Extending the grace period, the spokeswoman continued, is not a violation of the Vista End User License Agreement (EULA).
Some critics have argued that the new activation rules and reduced functionality combine to make what's essentially a "kill switch" -- a way for Microsoft to disable PCs running counterfeit copies of Vista. Microsoft has repeatedly rejected that characterization.
Read more about Windows in Computerworld's Windows Topic Center.
- Why Projects Fail CIOs are expected to deliver more projects that transform business, and do so on time, on budget and with limited resources.
- The New Business Case for Video Conferencing: 7 Real-World Benefits Beyond Cost-Savings This whitepaper provides insight into the value of video conferencing in today's business environment, and how organizations are using visual collaboration to find...
- Gartner Magic Quadrant for Client Management Tools The client management tool market is maturing and evolving to adapt to consumerization, desktop virtualization, and an ongoing need to improve efficiency.
- Audit Ready and Asset Optimized: The Solid Promise of an Intelligent Software Asset Management Solution In this paper Frost & Sullivan examines the benefits of enterprise-grade Software Asset Management solutions, and how these solutions serve as the convergence...
- LIVE EVENT: 5/7, The End of Data Protection As We Know It. Introducing a Next Generation Data Protection Architecture. Traditional backup is going away, but where does this leave end-users?
- On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy... All Windows White Papers | Webcasts