How To: Run Windows Vista Legally Without Activation For At Least A Year
As most Windows users know, Microsoft has required “product activation” since the release of Windows XP in 2001.Windows XP must be activated by communicating with servers in Redmond within 30 days of installation.The activation process will complete successfully only if the software has not been previously activated, such as on a different machine. If activation isn’t completed within the trial period, Microsoft products temporarily shut down some of their features.Microsoft makes Activation was toughened up for Windows Vista, however; after the grace period, non activated computers running Windows Vista drop into what Microsoft calls “Reduced Functionality” Mode(RFM). In Windows Vista Reduced Functionality Mode, users can only browse the Web with Internet Explorer, and then only for an hour before being forced to again log on.
Microsoft has built into Windows Vista a function named SkipRearm that allows anyone to extend the operating system’s activation deadline not just three times, but many times.The same one-line command that postpones Windows Vista’s Activation Deadline To 120 Days can be used an indefinite number of times by first changing a Registry key from 0 to 1.For those who are unfamiliar with the slmgr -rearm technique, this basically allows you to run a command in command prompt that allows you extend the 30-days grace period indefinitely.
To make Windows Vista run legally without activation for at least a year,do the following:
- While running a copy of Windows Vista that hasn’t yet been activated, click on the Start button, type regedit into the start menu search box, then press Enter to launch the Registry Editor.
- Explore down to the following Registry key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows NT \ CurrentVersion \ SL
- Right-click the Registry key named SkipRearm and click Edit. The default is a Dword (a double word or 4 bytes) with a hex value of 00000000. Change this value to any positive integer, such as 00000001, save the change, and close the Registry Editor.
- Start a command prompt with administrative rights. The fastest way to do this is to click the Start button, enter cmd in the Search box, then press Ctrl+Shift+Enter. If you’re asked for a network username and password, provide the ones that log you into your domain. You may be asked to approve a User Account Control prompt and to provide an administrator password.
- Type one of the following two commands and press Enter:slmgr -rearmorrundll32 slc.dll,SLReArmWindows Either command uses Windows Vista’s built-in Software Licensing Manager (SLMGR) to push the activation deadline out to 30 days after the command is run. Changing SkipRearm from 0 to 1 allows SLMGR to do this an indefinite number of times. Running either command initializes the value of SkipRearm back to 0.
- Reboot the PC to make the postponement take effect. (After you log in, if you like, you can open a command prompt and run the command slmgr -xpr to see Windows Vista’s new expiration date and time.
- To extend the activation deadline of Windows Vista indefinitely, repeat steps 1 through 6 as necessary.