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When was my PC activated?

Discussion in 'Windows Vista' started by toddsyr, Jan 19, 2011.

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  1. toddsyr

    toddsyr Thread Starter

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    How can I find an activation date for my PC when I first bought it, even though the hard drive has been re-formatted? It must be buried somewhere in the PC data but I can't find it there or anywhere on the internet.

    Windows Home Premium.
     
  2. Byteman

    Byteman Gone but Never Forgotten

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    Hi, I don't think that info is retained anywhere, but I could be mistaken.

    Microsoft might be ab le to help but it would cost you $ now to call them for support.

    If it is a branded computer, about the best you can do is go by the manufacturer date which is pretty easy to find online.

    There may be date stamps on hardware or on the inside of the case for a tower.

    You may be able to find an invoice if it was a pc bought retail.

    More details would help us help you.
     
  3. toddsyr

    toddsyr Thread Starter

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    Just looking for the date I first activated it, not the mfg. date. What other info would you like? Thanks for the fast reply.
     
  4. Byteman

    Byteman Gone but Never Forgotten

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    I did understand your posting. I said,
    If it is a major brand, maybe if you got the pc new, they would have a record of the activation.....?

    If you bought it brand new, and set it up soon after you bought it, then it probably would be the date around that time that you
    first turned it on because it asks you right off the bat if you want to Register with Microsoft and Activate over the Internet.

    If the pc is one that you or someone built, then Microsoft may be able to help you find the original activation date.

    XP? Or which operating system? Home, Pro, etc?
     
  5. toddsyr

    toddsyr Thread Starter

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    Windows Home Premium Service Pack
    HP Pavilion a6230n

    HP could tell me, I just find it hard to believe it's not somewhere in the PC. Stranger things exist though.
     
  6. captainron276

    captainron276

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    Belarc Adviser should give you that info. It's a free program and will tell you just about everything that is on your computer. Just look under User/Administrator and that date should be the one you registered.

    http://www.belarc.com/free_download.html
     
  7. captainron276

    captainron276

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    You can also go to your Control Panel then to Uninstall programs then on the upper left side click on View updates. Look for the oldest update and you should have your date.
     
  8. toddsyr

    toddsyr Thread Starter

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    Thanks for trying captainron, but those don't give an accurate date since I've formatted the drive once since I bought the PC
     
  9. captainron276

    captainron276

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  10. Byteman

    Byteman Gone but Never Forgotten

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    I don't think HP gets notified when your Windows is activated- I would think only Microsoft has any record of that.

    "Activation" is an online procedure, where the computer's hardware environment is recorded and sent along with the License key, some other things along to Microsoft so that it can identify that setup for as long as it lives.....each time Windows starts up, the computer checks itself against the current hardware environment saved profile......it won't start up or may prompt for Re-Activation if it senses enough of a change, for example, if you change the motherboard in an upward manner making the computer a more modern, faster or "upgraded" one.

    Activation, is not meaning the first time the computer is used by you at home, though that can be the same time frame it is not neccessarily since you can choose to delay Activation for 30 days......

    The date of sale usually is what determines customer support and perhaps warranty effect dates if that is where you are headed. manufacturers may differ in how the set the warranty start date- usually it's when the computer leaves the store, not neccessarily when you turn the machine on.

    And, since the Product ID is an encrypted hash of a mixture of more than one piece of information, even if the original was stored on the pc, you more than likely could not make use of it easily.

    Each time you reinstall, at least when you choose to do a full format and recovery, the system date is changed, though files you created and have stored and put back may keep their original created on date.....so, perhaps you created a folder or something on the same date you Activated Windows? If HP pre-activates the computers then that is not going to be the same date as when you register etc with Microsoft.
    HP also has their own Registration, which you can defer or even not do at all.

    Could you explain why the original Activation date is so important to you now?

    It's easy enough to find the latest install date, which should be the newest Activation date, if indeed your HP goes through the Activation process.....after the first one.

    That would not be the original build or install date that Windows was installed, it would be when you Activated Windows online.....after the computer was at a store for some period of time, and then sold.
     
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