Vista Activation Workaround
December 21, 2006

I've been running Windows Vista for just over a 30 days now. How I know this is that Microsoft is nice enough to let you run it for 30 days without activating. It has taken a while for the PO to get approved to purchase licenses, so when 30 days ran out I received this error message telling me that "Windows will no longer work". Since I obviously need to work, and have no control over when the licenses would be purchased, I simply moved the dialog box off my screen and ignored it. I was able to work fine for three or four days and had forgotten about it when this afternoon my machine mysteriously rebooted, and in the process closed the dialog box.

When I logged in, I received a new dialog box telling me that I would have "reduced functionality", meaning that I would only have access to Windows Activation and IE7 so that I could purchase a key online. The retarded part is that you can simply use IE7 to launch c:\windows\explorer.exe and be back to having a fully functional copy of Windows Vista without ever activating. The only thing you can't do is close the Windows Activation box or it logs you out.

How is it that most Internet Cafes can lock down their systems so that you can't access the file system or a command prompt, but Microsoft can't figure it out? How can Microsoft put so much time and effort into WGA and antipiracy efforts but leave such a simple back door wide open? Obviously I don't condone pirating software, and can't see anyone running with the Windows Activation dialog box on there screen for an extended period of time, but c'mon..


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