1. Computer problem? Tech Support Guy is completely free -- paid for by advertisers and donations. Click here to join today! If you're new to Tech Support Guy, we highly recommend that you visit our Guide for New Members.

Vista and disk imaging

Discussion in 'Windows Vista' started by Tabvla, Feb 5, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Advertisement
  1. Tabvla

    Tabvla Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2006
    Messages:
    2,554
    I have seen a number of posts on other Forums where some members are reporting reactivation issues with Vista. There are some reports that if you Clone / Image the Vista disk / partition to another physical disk that when you want to boot from the Cloned disk / Imaged partition, Vista asks for reactivation.

    [NOTE : This is NOT an attempt to defraud Microsoft. Many users image the system disk/partition so that they can quickly recover the system in the event of a disk failure or OS corruption.]

    I have done some investigation of this potential issue on the Microsoft site and my understanding is that in the initial design Microsoft had included a reactivation requirement if the system disk ID changed. However, as a result of user-pressure this requirement was dropped from the final release and that the reactivation requirements of Vista are identical to those of XP.

    Can Forum members ....

    a) Advise if they have noted any issues around reactivation when changing the physical disk

    b) Confirm (or not) if the reactivation requirements of Vista are the same as those of XP

    TiA

    .
     
  2. TechB

    TechB

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2006
    Messages:
    446
    I have restored different editions of Vista from disk images created with Acronis True Image a couple of times. I have restored XP images many times. If the restore is to a physically different drive Vista needs to be re-activated. So far it has always worked via the Internet. I haven't had to call. With XP I've never had to re-activate unless there were other hardware changes involved. Note that for activation purposes hardware changes are cumulative. If you change the video card, a few months later change the NIC, then later change the hard drive, the hard drive change may cause an activation because it put you over the limit for changes. This is the same in Vista and XP. What causes activation appears to be different between XP and Vista. XP is heavily weighted towards the NIC. Vista appears to be weighted towards the hard drive but it's hard to tell at this time. It's too new. MS has had a couple of Vista updates already fixing some irregularities in the process so I'm sure it will change some more as they fine tune things.
     
  3. Tabvla

    Tabvla Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2006
    Messages:
    2,554
    TechB thanks for the feedback.

    I also use ATI and to date have not had an issue with XP. I have several XP disks which I use for a variety of testing purposes and can freely swap the disks (SATA trayless rack) without XP complaining. The only time XP has complained is when I changed the NIC, which correlates with your comment....
    The following is quite absurd...

    That really is a nuisance and does nothing to improve defences against illegal copying. I fully understand Microsoft's concern for protecting their products, but the item to check is the Motherboard, not the hard disk. If the MOBO changes then it is quite reasonable for the OS to require reactivation.

    :mad:
     
  4. TechB

    TechB

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2006
    Messages:
    446
    I agree it's a nuisance but it may change. There has already been at least one update to fix glitches with the activation process. I'm sure there will be more.
     
  5. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor

    Joined:
    May 25, 2005
    Messages:
    20,886
    First Name:
    Jay
    Interesting info ...
    Any idea what happens if you have Vista installed in two (or more) physically different hard drives in the same computer ??
    Then boot to either ?
     
  6. TechB

    TechB

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2006
    Messages:
    446
    I haven't had any problems but I then again haven't dual booted two Vista installations since the early betas. I mostly use vm's for more than one OS now.
     
  7. Tabvla

    Tabvla Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2006
    Messages:
    2,554
    I agree that VM's are a great technology for running different OS's on the same hardware.

    However, if for example, using the same OS (e.g. XP) one wanted to have a normal working environment and 2 testing environments then using VM's becomes expensive because one would need a license for each VM because each VM is concurrently active on the same hardware.

    A less costly (and completely legal) alternative is to create 3 environments on 3 separate hard disks and use a trayless rack (SATA only) to simply swap the environments as needed. Because only one instance of the OS is active at any given moment this method is completely within the XP EULA.

    If Vista requires reactivation every time the disk is swapped this is not really within the letter or the spirit of the EULA.

    (n)
     
  8. TechB

    TechB

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2006
    Messages:
    446
    I use MSDN or action pack versions for the vm's to stay within the licensing terms. Not everyone can do this but if you are doing that much testing a MSDN subscription may be worth it.
     
  9. rainforest123

    rainforest123

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2004
    Messages:
    8,256
    Noyb, #5.
    I cloned Vista Ultimate on a SATA HDD #1 to SATA HDD #2 using ATI 10 & Ghost 2003.
    Each resulted in an error about winload.exe.

    An explanation can be found here.
    http://www.windowsbbs.com/showthread.php?t=55415

    After performing the fix, I can boot to either HDD, without activation issues.

    RF123
     
  10. Tabvla

    Tabvla Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2006
    Messages:
    2,554
    Hi RF 123

    Thanks for the very interesting feedback and links.

    Perhaps I am having a slow day today but even after having read through the info at the links I am still not sure of exactly what you did to "fix" the problem....
    It would be really helpful if you could provide a little more detail. :)

    Thanks

    T
     
  11. rainforest123

    rainforest123

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2004
    Messages:
    8,256
    HDD = Hard disk drive
    FDD = Floppy disk drive
    restart the computer = try "ctrl" "alt" and "delete" keyboard combination.

    Your computer needs a FDD.
    You need a Win 98 start up disk, aka Win 98 ebd [ emergency boot disk ]. You may be able to use a Win 95 ebd. I have never tried the

    following with a win 95 ebd.

    HDD #1 is your main HDD. [ source ]
    HDD #2 is the drive to which you want to clone your data. [ destination ]

    Be sure the bios boot menu / boot order is [ note, terms may vary ]
    1. removable drive, FDD
    2. CD
    3. HDD

    Clone HDD #1 to HDD #2 using Norton Ghost 2003 [ you will need the CD if you are using SATA drives ] or ATI [ Acronis True Image 10 ].
    When cloning has finished, restart the computer. AS SOON AS the post screen appears, turn off your computer.
    Disconnect HDD #2.
    Turn on your computer. Verify that it can boot into Windows.
    Turn off your computer.
    Disconnect HDD #1.
    Connect HDD #2. Verify that it can boot into Windows.
    If it cannot, not the error.
    If the error informs you that winload.exe is missing or corrupt, continue. If the error is different, report back.

    Restart your computer. AS SOON AS the post screen appears, turn off your computer.
    Insert the win 98 ebd.
    Turn on your computer.
    At the win 98 startup menu, select "start computer without CD rom support".
    You will be at A:
    Type: fdisk /mbr
    When finished, restart the computer.
    Hope for the best. :)

    http://www.computerhope.com/issues/ch000175.htm

    If you don't have a win 98 ebd, you can try a different maneuver using a Win XP CD.
    You need a REAL Windows XP CD, or a slipstreamed CD [ search this forum for the steps needed to create a Win XP boot CD ].

    http://forums.techguy.org/windows-nt-2000-xp/370008-solved-ntldr-missing-ctrl-alt.html#post2694418
    http://www.microsoft.com/resources/.../proddocs/en-us/bootcons_fixmbr.mspx?mfr=true

    Best of success.
    Sincerely,
    RF123
     
  12. Tabvla

    Tabvla Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2006
    Messages:
    2,554
    Hi RF123

    Thanks for the detailed explanation - very helpful (y)

    Of course the bottom line is that none of this should be necessary. There is absolutely no benefit to Microsoft to make the system disk ID a key component of authenticity.

    Another studpid idea from some over-zealous pratt that will in probabliligy be removed in some future service pack, but not before annoying about 20 million of us :(

    .
     
  13. rainforest123

    rainforest123

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2004
    Messages:
    8,256
    You're welcomed.

    RF123
     
  14. zainsra

    zainsra

    Joined:
    May 2, 2007
    Messages:
    5
    Hi rainforest123,

    I am trying ot ghost off vista business from one sata to second sata. I tried what you told to Tabvla, but i still get the error winload.exe is missing or corrupt! plz help me out!!:(

    Thank you,
    Zain
     
  15. Sponsor

As Seen On
As Seen On...

Welcome to Tech Support Guy!

Are you looking for the solution to your computer problem? Join our site today to ask your question. This site is completely free -- paid for by advertisers and donations.

If you're not already familiar with forums, watch our Welcome Guide to get started.

Join over 733,556 other people just like you!

Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Short URL to this thread: https://techguy.org/541349

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice