Significant hardware change?


After watching a DVD last night, I went to bed as usual. Then this morning I woke up to find Windows had convinced itself that I'd had a Significant Hardware Change. This led be to believe 1 of 2 things...

  1. I had been sleep upgrading again. I thought I'd grown out of that...
  2. Windows was up to its good old screw ups.

Interestingly, this is a fully legit copy of Windows XP Pro OEM and I haven't had a single hardware change since I installed it.


The next great achievement was the reactivation itself. The online activation wouldn't work - it failed to connect for some silent and unknown reason. Normally I'd have a check-list of things to go through if there are connection issues, such as firewall and so on - however none of these were an issue as everything else was working fine and the firewall was disabled.

Onto the phone! I called the "toll-free" (freephone for those of us in the UK) number and tapped out the handy 48 digit code over the phone into the computer at the other end. That machine then read back to me an equally handy 42 digit code which I typed in and my copy of Windows XP Pro now seems to be reactivated.

What concerns me the most is exactly WHY this happened. If I had changed my hardware or happened to be a naughty boy and was using a "hot" version of windows then I wouldn't complain about the reactivation - but I amd neither using an illegal version of Windows or am I using any new hardware.

After running through the activation, it was brought to my attention that there was a chance it could have been a piece of spyware pretending to be an activation box - in which case I've just activated a version of windows for some script kiddy somewhere. My Antivirus, however, is not showing anything up and I'm doing a full scan now just to satisfy my concern/curiosity.

This is just another nail in the why am I still using windows over OSX? coffin - which is pretty well nailed shut.