PA: First Tale

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Hi, this is my first-hand experience with product activation.

I signed up for the WinXP Beta program. Yesterday, I got around to
installing RC1. Here are my system specs:

Abit VP6
Dual PIII 700CC0 @ 1001MHz
256Mb Ram
Geforce2 GTS
3Com 3C905
WinTV Theater
Gametheater XP
RealMagic Hollywood Plus
Adaptec 2940U2W

Well, RC1 installed fine, and on the first reboot after installation, WinXP
prompted me to activate it. Knowing that I have a legitamate copy of
WinXP, I clicked “Register over the Internet,” and in less than two seconds,
it was activated. I thought, “Well, that was easy.”

So I got into WinXP and got tready to install updated device drivers for my
hardware. The first thing I did was go to device manager and see what was
installed.

WinXP installed working drivers for my Geforce2, SCSI Card, and NIC just
fine. My sound card was listed in the “Sound, Video and Game
Controllers” as “Unsupported Crystal Audio Sound Device”.

I also had three
entries in the “Other” field. There were two “Multimedia Controller”
listed and a “Multimedia Video Controller” listed. I knwe these devices
were for my DVD Decoder and my TV Tuner. I proceeded to update my Nvidia
drivers and install my Gametheater XP drivers. All was still good.

Next I installed the Hauppauge WDM Drivers for my Tv Tuner. I restarted, and on
the next boot, WinXP said that I needed to activate the OS with Microsoft.
Aparently, installing the TV Tuner drivers was enough to trigger WinXP into
thinking it was installed on a different computer. That was really bad,
considering the expansion cards were installed, just unrecognized by the OS
with working drivers. So now I have to call Microsoft, explain them the
situation, and get my copy of WinXP reactivated.

My question is, if a simple driver installation for my WinTV caused
WinXP to deactivate, what is to say a simple ram upgrade or hard drive
addition won’t do the same. My only advice to other WinXP users out there
is to install all of your drivers first, then activate the OS, otherwise
you could wind up in the same situation.

Ed. note: Good question.

I would bet a lot of you will be doing the same thing this week. Please feel free to send in your stories, problems or not.

Email Ed

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